Sex, Postpartum

I was pretty open and honest about my sex life while I was pregnant, which I feel is important because a lot of people don't talk openly about it. Also, during pregnancy, a woman's sex drive can vary greatly from wanting it all the time to not wanting it at all...and it's all completely normal! Postpartum, though, you have to take a little break from sex to let your lady parts heal. And after six weeks and a whole other human taking up residence in your home (and at your breast), things have changed.

So I feel that it's important to let y'all know what happens after baby to your sex life. Or at least what happened to mine.

Some of my friends and family said that they were back at their sex life before the six weeks. Me? I took the full six weeks and waited for the midwife to clear me for both sex and exercise. Was it completely necessary? Probably not. I felt completely healed and knew that I was doing just fine. But I was scared. Yes, you read that right...scared.

After having had a couple of small stitches after my daughter was born, I knew that things were, well, a bit tighter than they might have been before all this birth stuff. That simultaneously made me happy (no one wants a nether region that is big as a bucket) and ambivalent (because, obviously, it might hurt.) A couple of my friends warned me, "the first time back is gonna hurt!" So of course I had built it up in my head to be this crazy experience, full of pain. This is somewhat hilarious because I had just been through natural childbirth! What could be more painful than that?!

Nonetheless, the day before my appointment with the midwife, where I knew I would be cleared for sex, I went and bought a big old bottle of lube. I wasn't taking any chances. My midwife said that was a good call. While I was excited for my first sex back, I was also really nervous. I can tell you, I haven't been that nervous for sex since I lost my virginity. Now, it's been a loooooong time since I first had sex, so finding myself so nervous was actually a little bit fun in a weird way.

Here's my big suggestion for your first sexual experience back after baby: take advantage of your nerves. Remember how nervous and sort of giddy you might have been when you first had sex? Well, here's your chance to relive it! I kept saying, "Wait! I'm nervous!" And I totally meant it. Then I would start laughing because I felt sort of silly. My hubby found this all a bit exciting. If you, like me, did not actually lose your virginity to your husband, than it's a bit like getting to do it all over again and give them that "special experience." As I said to my husband, it was like hitting the reset button on our sex life (in a good way, of course).

The build up I had in my head (about the pain) was a bit unfounded. Yes, it hurt a little, but it wasn't unbearable or wholly uncomfortable. My husband was gentle and it was enjoyable. It was more the mental hump I had to jump over in my head, and hey, that was no small hurdle, I'll admit it.

One really cool thing I have noticed is that I am actually MORE sensitive than I was before I gave birth. In fact, right after my daughter was born, when the midwife was stitching me up, I remember commenting to her that my clitorus seemed more sensitive. Turns out, it is! Seems that after having a rocky road with sex during pregnancy, I've gotten a little reward after all! The biggest challenge is actually finding time with a new baby to have sex! Haha.

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