Tag: #loveandmarriage

Let’s Talk About Sex (after) Baby…

Let’s Talk About Sex (after) Baby…

Shit changes after you have a kid.   Physically. Emotionally.  I remember distinctly the anxiety and nervousness I felt before having sex the first time after giving birth. It shot me back in time, feeling like a virgin who was going to “do it”.  How would it feel?  Have my lady parts recovered from birth?  Will he notice a difference in how it feels?  How will it feel to me?  Holy fuck, what if I get pregnant again right away?!?

I had some birth trauma, and was getting physical therapy for my pelvic floor muscles, so I was incredibly worried I’d somehow pee on my husband involuntarily.  (Side story:  when I was cleared for exercise, I went for a short run and pissed myself.  Not just a little leakage…full on could-have-wrung-out-my-pants pissed myself.  I think the anxiety was warranted in this case.)

More than anything, I felt like this body, that I’d known and lived in for all these years, suddenly felt completely foreign to me.  I had to re-learn what would feel good in the sack.  And conversely, what wouldn’t.  I had to come to the realization that sex post-baby wasn’t going to be like it was pre-baby.  And that was OK.  This was a new phase for us as a couple and for me as a woman.  I can say this, now that my daughter is approaching 2-1/2, with some degree of confidence.  In the moment, I felt like an insecure hormonal wreck.  This is the shit about parenthood and pregnancy that people don’t tell you about, but really should.  Everyone talks about the joy of motherhood…not how you and your partner will be rolling around like teenagers trying to learn the lay of the land (again) while simultaneously trying to keep quiet so as not to wake the baby!  More than one time I cried after sex.  Not because it was terrible, but because it was different and seemed to fill me with overwhelming emotion.  I blame hormones on that one.

Things change for our partners too. My husband witnessed the miracle of birth and actually helped deliver our daughter. That meant he got an up close and personal view of what happened to my lady bits. He was traumatized for months. On top of that it took him awhile to reconcile that I could be a mom to our child and want to get laid at the same time. It was difficult for him to see me as a sexual being and not just a mom. We struggled to find a rhythm and flow to our sex life for the first year after baby.

We still don’t have sex as after as we’d like to, but the demands of raising a family, and us working full-time tires the shit out of us.  I hate to say this, but it’s a reality I want to share with you.  There have been plenty of nights where I have chosen sleep over sex….and I find my husband incredibly attractive.  We also don’t have any family close by, so there’s no one to give us a break.  And he travels frequently.  The list of reasons go on and on.  I write this, while my daughter is asleep and my husband retired to bed.  I really should be sleeping myself but wanted to write.  Ah, the trade offs.

For those men reading this that may be horrified and may never want to get their partner pregnant, it does get better.  I can tell you that.  It really does, it just takes time.

 

A Savage Fight

A Savage Fight

I feel hungover this morning but not from alcohol. From an awful fight last night with the husband. I had put our daughter to bed and come downstairs and he is watching the news, as per usual. A panelist gets done talking and my husband is practically spitting the words “Shut the fuck up you fat, ignorant bastard” at the tv. I had just sat down but immediately got up and walked into the kitchen muttering, “I don’t want to be around THAT energy.”

He seethes at me, “You don’t want this energy?!?  Is that what you said?!?”

“YES!” I hiss at him. I feel my pulse racing and I’m white hot angry at him. Does he not realize I’m exhausted and I just want a little peace and quiet?!?  Does he not realize how much any kind of negativity physically affects me?  

He’s up off the couch and his face is all twisted in rage. “So it’s OK for you to be in a shitty mood but you don’t want MY energy?!?  WELL FUCK OFF THEN!”

He spins on his heel and leaves the room which I fucking hate. It’s so dismissive. I call after him and he returns. The fighting continues up until the point where he threw something across the room and I screamed “GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!”

Wait, how did we go from 0-1000 in like 5 seconds?!?  

He leaves. I’m shaking in anger. Then the sadness sets in and my body is wracked with sobs. I continue to get ready for bed because I still have to get up at 5am and I honestly have no idea if he’s coming back or not. 

How did we get here?  How are we at the point that we are screaming at each other over an insignificant news show?  What is going on with is?  Who have we become?

I have no answers. I lay in bed, shaking still. I don’t know if it’s leftover adrenaline or I’m just cold. I feel like I could throw up.  I won’t be sleeping anytime soon.

I text a simple “I’m sorry” to him. No response. I wait 15 minutes and then call. I’m  surprised when he picks up. “Two questions:  are you safe?” I ask quietly into the phone. Despite the fight, he’s still my best friend, my partner, the father of my child. 

“Yes.”

“Are you going to come home?”  I almost whisper. His anger seems gone but I’m scared to risk either one of us blowing up again. 

“Yes. Are you still mad?” He asks me. 

“No. Are you still mad?” I inquire while holding my breath for his response. 

“No.  I’m coming home.”

“Ok.”

He got home and we sat in the dark side by side talking. Trying to figure out what is going on. Trying to figure out how to fix our relationship. How to stop hurting one another. 

We talk about some ideas but there’s a sadness in both of us. I cry on and off. Bottom line we are struggling because we don’t have a village. No family here.  No real close friends that we can rely on. No one to help with the big job of parenting. No one to give us a break. We can’t be everything to each. It’s not possible and not healthy. We both chuckle as we agree that our dog is always there for us. At least we can agree on one thing. 

We head to bed, not because we’ve resolved anything, but because we are both exhausted and need rest before any more sleep is lost. 

Maybe today will be a better day.  Today is a new day.