I was still pregnant with my last baby when I started inquiring about birth control for after he was born. My husband and I are fortunate to be very sexually compatible and I knew that I’d want to get back in the saddle as soon as I could after my scheduled C-section.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Although this was my second baby, I didn’t really have a frame of reference for what sex would be like after delivering a baby. The first time around I was a single mom and had decided not to sleep with my ex ever again by the time my daughter was born.
So, coming at it like an amateur, I assumed most women retained their libido and sex went back to normal whenever it could. Boy, was I wrong.
Sex after having a baby takes even more intention than it took to make the baby in the first place. Life is so different with a newborn and even with a partner, not much else matters for the few weeks.
The wild thing is, I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t interested in sex. My husband was exhausted, too. The late nights and early mornings had him sleeping when the baby was sleeping, and the last thing he was thinking about when he had a few moments to himself was getting his jollies off.
Then there was the matter of me not quite feeling like myself. I didn’t give birth vaginally, so technically I could have had sex as soon as my abdominal scar healed. I just didn’t want to. It wasn’t about lack of energy, either. A couple of months later, I was still feeling all gooey and sloppy. I was having super weird night sweats, my luscious pregnancy locks had become thin and started to fall out postpartum, and I still didn’t have a handle on my leaky breasts. I was not feeling sexy. At all.
Throughout all of this, my husband was incredible. He hugged me as much or as little as I needed, complimented how I looked and never pressured me to hurry up and be ready to be intimate. It was because of how he handled things that I decided, going into our third month of postpartum celibacy, that it was time to see what that thing could do again.
It was awkward at first. I had a new body with extra weight, and it took me a few minutes to get comfortable. Neither one of us was sure what to do with my boobs. We finally decided that it was probably best to ignore them for the moment. Even still, it didn’t take us long to figure things out. Sex ended up not being the huge sacrifice that I thought it would be. What I mean is, going into it, I felt like I was doing it for my husband. Getting into it, I realized it was for both of us. I needed that intimacy with him, and I felt like a new woman afterwards.
We’re still not quite the busy bees we were before this last baby. Our baby sleeps in bed with us, so we have to be creative when we want to make love. Sometimes we’ll bribe my daughter with screen time while the baby naps so we can get it on in the middle of the day. Other times we’ll put my son in his crib after he’s fallen asleep and do what we can do until he wakes up crying because he’s not in between us. We’ve even dropped the kids at my in-laws’ house so we can go back home and do what we do.
Sex after baby is different. Once I accepted that, I was able to get out of my head and enjoy it more. The extra pounds, the saggy boobs, the baby who will inevitably wake up and start crying—none of that matters. As a mom, I need that release. I need to feel sexy and desired. Thankfully, my husband gets that, which is why we’re both happy we’re getting it on again.