How I felt about sex after childbirth

I’m in awe of people who have close age gaps between their babies, not because I think they’re amazing for managing multiple babies in one go, but because I, personally, could not comprehend getting jiggy with my husband so soon after pushing a baby out of my vagina.

The very thought of sex so soon after birth was, well, to be honest it wasn’t even a thought. I was far too busy trying to cope on two minutes sleep a night and Googling baby reflux symptoms to think about sex. There was no way I was going to waste precious time in bed having sex when I could be sleeping.

It’s not just the sleep thing either. With a sanitary towel the size of a duvet stuffed in my pants soaking up all that post-birth blood I felt about as sexy as Jabba the Hutt. If my husband had even suggested a gentle fondle of my enormously engorged leaking boobs I think I’d have punched him in the face, if I could have summed up the energy.

I can’t remember exactly how long we waited to have sex after having each of our babies, but I’m 100% sure the time could be counted in months rather than weeks. It wasn’t that we no longer fancied each other (although sleep deprivation often made me view my husband in an irrationally grumpy light) or that we weren’t affectionate, it’s that neither of us was ever in the mood. The fact the baby was often in the bed with us was also a major turn-off factor.

For sex to have happened any earlier I’d have needed a full SWAT team. It would have included a night nanny,  make-up artist, chef and personal trainer, and probably a cleaner and someone to do the laundry too – as there is no greater turn-off than sorting through milk-encrusted nursing bras, poo-covered baby-grows and smelly man socks.

It wasn’t just the lack of feeling sexy, the lack of sleep or the lack of privacy that put me off sex after having a baby. It was also the very recent memory etched on my brain of the fiery stinging sensation that came with pushing a baby out of my vagina. The thought of putting anything near my bits – even a tampon – was enough to make me wince.

At the time, there were pangs of concern that perhaps our marriage wouldn’t survive, that we’d become more like house-mates than lovers. In moments irrationality I fretted that I might forget how to have sex at all.

But now I know, three and a half years on, the early weeks and months after birth don’t spell out how it’s going to be for the rest of time. And even though sex was off the menu for a while, there were other ways we could show our affection for each other. I have never appreciated my husband more than those early weeks after having a baby, when he’d make me cups of tea, cuddle the baby while I napped and generally be a big protective force over our new little family.

Join BabyCentre’s Let’s Talk About Sex! group.

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Copyright or Author: Molly Forbes
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