The other day my friends and I had “the talk”! The talk that we all need to have after having a baby but no one dares bring up for fear of what they’ll hear….. “have you done “it” since having the baby”.
It’s so important for us girls to have this chat with each other after babies arrive because it is like one big collective sigh of relief, a moment of “thank God it’s not just me”. I was a bit nervous to broach the subject at first; it’s a personal one and they could have told me to mind my own business. Luckily my girls seemed grateful that I brought it up and it got us chatting about what can be such an awkward subject.
For lots of mums the prospect of having anything back up in the place that not so long ago, you were shoving a watermelon sized head out of, is terrifying. It is pretty likely you’re going to feel like your vagina has been destroyed and no one, not even David Beckham, is going anywhere near it for at least 6 years! You’re tired, sore and there is… The Fear!!! Going for a poo is horrifying enough in the days after giving birth (another thing no one talks about and you must face on your own terrified and then oddly proud when you manage to go), so the thought of anyone touching you down there is slightly horrifying- it is a serious fear for all new Mums and it’s one that can put us off having sex again for as long as possible.
I was interested to see how my friends had got on with braving getting back in the saddle AKA bed (or anywhere you can get the necessary 5 minutes you need – lets face it, after a break from sex it’s not going to take much longer than that)! It’s a daunting prospect; you’re tired, you’re sore, you’ve got lopsided boobs (!) and there is the utter fear of how much it is going to hurt when you finally do it again; it’s like losing your virginity all over again with all this pressure and lets face it, that was bad enough the first time (actually mine wasn’t bad… I was lucky, it was bloody brilliant…. ah the discovery of sex…. sorry digressing)!
One of my friends cracked me up with her top tip; avoid an episiotomy ! Even though she said it in a joking manner, it raises the very valid point that sex can be bloody painful after giving birth. You’ve got to take it relatively easy and this is not the time for adventurous positions! Your other half is bloody lucky to be getting it at all so don’t put pressure on yourself to be at it like you were in your honeymoon period!
One thing all us girls admitted to is that most of the time we are just too tired. Sometimes we are hormonal and grumpy, sometimes we are just exhausted, sometimes we just can’t be bothered. Sometimes you have sex, sometimes you’d simply rather be sat watching Gogglebox! But on the other side of the coin, we all admitted sometimes we need to make an effort because you don’t want to lose that spark you have with your other half. It can be a lot easier said than done; in the early days when you’ve got baby in the bedroom with you, you couldn’t be facing more of a mood killer!! You can hardly concentrate on getting down to it when your baby suddenly wakes up and throws up all over his or her crib in some sort of unspoken disgust at what the parents are up to! And of course there is the time issue. When baby finally has a nap and falls asleep, you are often limited to minutes before they’ll inevitably wake themselves up right when you’re at the point of no return! This is where a quickie really comes into its own, but obviously you aren’t going to want a quickie if you’re still healing down there! It’s so bloody hard trying to find that middle ground.
Finding the time is a massive issue. If you’re not feeding, your changing nappies, or cleaning the house, or cooking or doing the washing (and what the actual hell is going on with all that washing – it is never ending). Again it’s about trying to find a middle ground; I mean yes, I could bounce off my husband or I could make sure dinner’s prepared. Yes I could reverse cowgirl my eyebrows off or HELLO GUYS I’VE GOT TONNES OF WASHING TO GET THROUGH IT’S COVERING MY LANDING!!
After a day of having a baby stuck to me; grabbing at my hair, my face, wiping dribble on me, gnawing on my shoulder, fish-hooking me, feeding from me; sometimes the last thing I want is anymore touching. And it’s hard having to explain this to your partner without hurting their feelings. And if it’s not that issue, it’s the fact I want to have a shower before I feel in any way sexy. Or I want to change out of my shapeless nursing bra and in to something which makes my boobs more like melons and less like bean bags, but obviously you don’t want to have to say that out loud. You want to look like you’ve got your shit together, like you have reclaimed your former sex goddess self back.
Fortunately most blokes are quite understanding; having seen you go through labour they’ll now have uber respect for you and therefore shouldn’t be nagging and hounding you for a bunk up!! And having that understanding for how we’re feeling really helps; us girls we like all the soppy side of things, feelings and emotions, so that understanding can go a long way and actually makes us feel more like getting it on with our ever understanding partners. You’ve got so many emotions going on during those first few weeks so it’s important to take your time and not put too much pressure on yourself or the situation. I wish I’d taken my own advice……
I was pretty stupid. I was not at all myself in the weeks after having Josh; I was very hormonal and felt overwhelmed with such a huge change in my life. I felt like I’d lost who I was (just a point to note, speaking to someone about these feelings was the best thing I did – if you feel down at all after having your baby please speak up and get some support, you’re not alone feeling these things) and I thought that having sex would be one way to reclaim back a bit of me. I had had a C Section as well as failed forceps before the operation, so my body was pretty battered and despite Josh making his entrance into the world via the “sun roof”, I was still sore down there. Of course none of this occurred to me in my mission to get back to myself and I gave it a go after just three weeks of having Josh. Epic Fail. It wasn’t great and I must stress that there was no pressure from my husband, it was me that put the pressure on myself! And I shouldn’t have, cause in all honesty, it really bloody hurt!I wasn’t even remotely relaxed and then I think Sam felt guilty as he was never going to discourage me from having sex but at the same time he knew I was uncomfortable and it wasn’t the best!! There is a reason for the magic six week mark and I can reassure you all that when we did it again at that point it was much better and far more enjoyable.
There is a lot to think about when you take the plunge of getting back into the sack. On top of the physical barriers, you’ve also got a lot of emotional baggage. You’re exhausted, you might be feel self concious about how you look post baby, and you might feel differently about certain things. When my girls and I were talking about all this I was very relieved when one of them admitted that despite the benefit of having fantastic looking tits after having a baby, boobs are very much a look don’t touch zone! This is obviously torture for our poor partners, but all of us said that along with tenderness and potentially embarrassing boob leakages, it is simply quite hard to view your boobs in any sexual way now. To me, they are Josh’s and there for feeding and that’s it! I haven’t totally banned my other half from touching them cause he bloody loves them, but he knows I feel a bit weird about it and I am so reassured to hear it’s not just me who feels this way.
Of course, as time goes on, things settle down and sex becomes a part of your relationship again without that fear or any potential embarrassing situations. But remember, you’ve got a baby now. And you are bloody shattered! So it does take a back seat, and when you do get a chance, the franticness can result in some wonderful comedy moments; you will have a 3 minute quickie down to a fine art so you can have your wicked way whilst baby has a morning nap, you will have moments whilst wondering round Tescos thinking “tonight is the night, I’m gonna put out and give him a treat”, yes you are actually scheduling sex and doing it with the added bonus of knowing that if tonight is the night, you can judge whether you need to Sky Plus Eastenders later or not. And I can’t lie, more often than not, despite all best laid plans you will fall asleep early anyway or have to resort to “speedier” options! And now that you have a small person sharing your bedroom too, it maybe the time to attempt the A-Z of sex, as you’ll suddenly realise there are many places around the house you can have sex and in a bizarre way, inject some additional passion into your sex life as you indulge in urgent sex in the bathroom…. kitchen…. any place other than your actual bed!
On a serious note, during our chat all us girls agreed how much things in your relationship can change when a baby comes along. Unfortunately we are so often inundated with negative points of view such as “you’re twice as likely to get divorced after having a child” and although we all admitted it is harder to find time for our other halves now, we all also identified some really massive positives. Some people find their relationship has strengthened, and this is one I definitely agree with. Sam and I were solid anyway but I know now he feels so proud seeing me as his childs Mum and he has a new respect for me. Having a baby can make some couples even closer as it creates that wonderful family unit. Yes lack of sex is an inevitable, albeit temporary, part of life with a newborn but that doesn’t mean your relationship has to suffer. Sometimes you almost have to laugh about it which I know several of us have said we’ve done with our other halves. I admitted to Sam I had a naughty dream about him the other night and he laughed “God, it’s come to us dreaming about having sex cause we don’t have the time at the moment” (damn his stupid overtime work – roll on it finishing)!! But it made us smile, it was almost like an unspoken reassurance that we do still fancy the pants off each other, and even though it’s not always as easy to sleep together now thanks to tiredness, a baby keeping you busy, work and so on, that desire is still there.
Don’t pressure yourselves, don’t compare yourself to others and think “everyone else is at it” cause I can guarantee they won’t be. They’ll be just like you, wondering how everyone else is getting on and hopefully breathing a collective sigh of relief when reading this and knowing “it’s not just me”! And sometimes us girls, dare I admit this, overthink things! There are a few things we could do to put us in the mood and more importantly, relax us:
- Underwear! A gorgeous matching set never fails to make you feel good no matter how crappy you might be feeling. Rock those melons in something that isn’t an unflattering nursing bra; you’ll feel immediately like a sex goddess! The power of a a nice set of matching underwear is underrated! And if you feel sexy, your partner will find you even sexier.
- Be cheesy and light some candles!
- Fresh bedding. No-one wants to roll around in a bed that smells of boob milk.
- Date Night: Get a baby sitter, go out and ban phones. Remember why you fancy each other.
- Lube. Sorry to be blunt but no-one likes friction and boy is friction a nervous post-birth mum’s best friend.Another thing that can relax you!
Most importantly take your time, relax and enjoy.
I hope you enjoyed this post and it offered you some reassurance. I’d love to know how you’ve all coped with getting your sex life back on track after having a baby, and if that’s even something on your agenda.
Thanks for reading 🙂
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