Let’s talk about sex and babies. Obviously to have a baby, you have to have sex. What about after conception? I didn’t realize just how much having a baby would effect my sex life. This is a topic I felt fairly alone in, until I was able to open up to friends and realized I was definitely not alone. There is also a TON of variance in couples (obviously) so take this with a grain of salt.
After having our little girl, I assumed once I was healed from birth and got the go ahead from my doctor, my sex life would resume as normal. Little did I realize the tiny, alien like potato baby was also a succubus and would suck all the life and energy out of me and my husband for basically the first three months of her life. We did, however, make it over the first time postpartum hurdle. We took it slow, lowered all expectations, and it was fine.
Once that bubble was broken, and we were getting into the swing of parenthood again I thought, “surely now, our relationship will resume as it was”. Again friends, I was so wrong. When you have a baby, it is so easy to let the intimate and romantic part of your relationship slowly fade away. You become so focused on your child, your house, work, family, basically everything else but each other. As the months went by, sex was few and far between, but what really suffered was any form of casual intimacy between us. No longer were there hugs when he arrived home, kisses goodbye in the morning, a passing touch in the hallway, snuggling on the couch at night. We both retreated into ourselves, and became co-parenting roommates without even realizing it.
I thought my marriage was failing. I thought it was all my fault, because most days by the end of the night the last thing I was thinking about was sex. I was exhausted. My body was still not my own, as I’ve exclusively breastfed Claire. I felt touched out some days, after having a clingy baby on me. And the lack of casual intimacy affected me greatly. I didn’t want to have sex with someone who I’ve barely talked to all day. Who I haven’t touched in days. It felt like I’d be jumping into bed with a stranger.
One night after the baby was asleep we talked over wine. I cried, and said I didn’t understand how we got here. We absolutely let ourselves completely neglect the intimate part of our relationship. NO MORE, we cried! .
We took action to really focus on each other. Hold hands while talking on the couch. Asking each other about our day, bring casual intimacy back into our daily lives. We began to schedule sex, this may seem completely unromantic, but this way, we were setting aside time for each other. Even if sex didn’t happen, we would take the time to check in with each other. Even if it was just ending the night cuddling before falling asleep. It was a way for us to find a way back to each other.
Does that mean everything is all fixed? Absolutely not. I regularly have to check in with myself and make sure I’m still setting that time aside. It’s so easy to slip back into focusing on baby, the house, social commitments, basically anything but my husband. It is so important to communicate about it, even if it’s the most awkward thing. Grab a bottle of red, open it up and say, let’s talk about sex.