Tuesday, November 20, 2007

thankful for sex

Shocking, I know, but having a baby puts a damper on your sex life.

(Are you laughing yet?)

When I was pregnant, I listened to friends complain about how pregnancy was disrupting their, um, frequency with their husbands, and I smugly thought that since it hadn't happened to us, we were immune. I felt great, generally, throughout the pregnancy, and we were still having regular sex up until a couple of days before I gave birth. I felt certain that this boded well for our postpartum period. I'd recover quickly, and we'd go back to our regular routine.

And then I squeezed a human, a tiny human, but still a human, out of my BODY. Along with that came stitches and pooping problems, and bladder pains, and general soreness, and well, lots of excess weight, and I felt like someone else. Definitely not the me that existed before December 28th. Plus, I felt consumed by this fiery new love for this defenseless little thing. That, coupled with exhaustion and the round the clock breastfeeding, and I couldn't imagine anything I'd rather do less than have sex.

But time changes everything, I guess, and slowly things got better. We worked out the new kinks, especially those associated with breastfeeding, and when I got my period again, my libido made it's lovely return appearance. Libido wasn't quite the same as the last time I'd seen her, but we were happy to see her nonetheless.

The truth is, though, Gabe still wakes up once a night, more often than not, and by the time Josh gets home at night and we put Gabe to bed, I'm beat. Exhausted. Grumpy. And definitely not in the mood. I try to rally for the team, but I need tips on how to get myself off the bench and running the bases more often.

I read an article recently on trying to figure out what makes you feel sexy, and trying to do that as often as possible. So I got my legs and bikini waxed, I bought cute pajamas, I'm trying to go to sleep earlier. Oprah says you should read romantic novels, but it isn't really my thing. I'm willing to try anything, though, so if you see me at the library picking out trashy novels, please look the other way.

At the risk of having Josh kill me for exposing our whole life to the Internet, what else should I do? What has worked for you?

And be graphic, please. I'm begging you.


nancy said...

took us many many months...and now that they are five, well, at end of day, still exhausted and grumpy. BUT! (always thankful for the but) if you can get it on really early in the evening, moments after offspring hits slumber, libido often manages to still be awake by then.

other hints:

- weekend afternoon during naptime sex
- porn

have fun?

Chatty said...

Sweet Lord, HL, I will only do this for YOU (keep in mind how insanely repressed I am please).

Sweetie and I are lucky if we get to it thre times a year, and so far, in the last few years, sex almost always ends in pregnancy. I mean, if you figure that I've been pregnant/giving birth/caring for a newborn every year since 2004, you can see where we end up with those less than appealing numbers.

More often than not? Sadly, I need some wine to get me in the mood. Otherwise, I just bite the bullet (bad analogy?) and we do it anyway and I end up in the mood if I wasn't to begin with. But it's very difficult to psych yourself up for that kind of sex. I think I find it difficult to switch from being MOM to being SEXY WIFE simply because the kids have gone to sleep.

I am going to try the making ourself feel sexy thing though, because feeling like a hottie can't hurt, right?

Otherwise, I think Nancy's onto something with the porn. Also, what helps for us is to go out for a date, without the kids, at night. Dressing like a grownup without reasonable fear of someone spitting up on me helps considerably.

M said...

Wine. Plain and simple. It's about the only thing that does it for me these days. And I don't drink often...so you fill in the blanks.

chris said...

Wine. Also planning on doing it before getting into bed. I hate to say to psyche myself up, but that is a pretty apt description.

And honestly I think it doesn't return fully until you stop nursing. Leaking boobs just are not that big of a turn on, you know?

Did I mention the wine?

Angie said...

Did anyone already say wine?

OneTiredEma said...

Huh, I am not a wine drinker. Or drinker of any variety.

Maybe should try it.

'Cause I've got nothing.

Cassa said...

Have afternoon or morning sex on the weekends when baby naps. But don't make it a chore; flirt and have fun first.

p.s. I'm typing one handed while breastfeeding my eight week old and I just exchanged some sexy text messages with my husband.

jo(e) said...

The most important thing is making sure you HAVE TIME TO YOURSELF. Seriously. I'm lucky in that I have so much extended family here so I always had babysitters. And my kids were always good about drinking breastmilk from a bottle. So I could take time for myself, and my husband and I could go to the movies without the baby, and feel like grown-ups. I think that's the main reason I never had any decline in my sex life during those years.

I think it's important to spend some time away from the baby so that you can step away from the role of mother, and be in touch with other parts of yourself.

I disagree with the advice about the wine (I don't drink, but I think it would make me sleepy, which would sort of defeat the purpose), nor do I think breastfeeding has to be something that kills your sex life. Leaking milk adds more fluid in a situation where fluid is a GOOD thing.

I used to tell my husband that the most important thing he could do to get me in the mood was HOUSEWORK. Seriously. Nothing turns me on more than knowing that my husband is cleaning the kitchen while I'm nursing the baby to sleep ....

OneTiredEma said...

Oh, yes, jo(e) has it right.

A spotless kitchen at 9:30pm is a huge turn-on. Almost never happens. But when it does...

liz said...

Didja all know that your body probably depresses the production of hormones that help your libido to function for a few months after the baby is born so that you're less likely to have more than one baby a year? This helps the survival of the existing baby because pregnancy reduces the production of breast milk.

So...there it is.

kathy a. said...

can't argue with jo(e)'s thoughts.