(Dad, please stop reading here...)
I’d like to think that leading up to getting pregnant, my husband and I had a pretty healthy sex-life. Everyone’s “healthy” is different. I mean, we’re definitely not a pair of rabbits, but neither of us was hurting something fierce for it either.
Until I got pregnant.
Y’all. I won’t lie to you. The changes that happened to my body while I was pregnant were really hard for me to deal with. My self-image was the worst it has ever been.
I had been very lucky in that I had been extremely comfortable in my own skin.
Until I got pregnant.
Being so out of control of what was happening to me (for such a good reason, I know!) killed how I looked at myself. Which in turn, just flat out murdered my libido. Which, actually, was such a big ol’ bummer. Because when the mood struck both of us, the sex was AMAZING! Like- angels singing, fireworks blowing and Morgan Freeman saying literally anything at all. I don’t know what it was, but once we hit the second trimester, the sex hit me in all the right spots…. And quickly (wink, wink).
But even having it be THAT good wasn’t enough for me to get over the mental image I had of myself. It is really hard to want to try to be sexy and intimate and vulnerable when you just aren’t happy with the way the person in the mirror looks. And so, at about 5 months pregnant, I shut down.
Thank sweet baby Jesus, my poor, sweet husband was so supportive throughout the whole process. He never pushed me or made me feel like a crazy person for having these feelings. And let me tell you, going from being so self-confident to soooo not, had me feeling like an absolute crazy person.
This was such uncharted territory for me that I didn’t even know how to begin working through it.
I don’t know if you’ve ever fallen into a similar “rut” before, but if you have, then you know just how rough it is.
I equate my experience with this to eating chocolate. If you allow yourself a piece of chocolate, then you tend to crave chocolate more and more. But, if you stop having chocolate altogether, suddenly you don’t seem to think about it much at all. (In case you didn’t catch on, sex = chocolate in this scenario.)
Because I wasn’t confident in myself and didn’t crave “chocolate” anymore, chocolate just got pushed further and further down the priority list.
And then, we had our daughter.
To no one’s surprise, I didn’t feel like having sex after putting my downstairs through the abuse of pushing a human out. Not only do you have to wait the doctor-recommended six-weeks, but I was still changing my own diapers 8-weeks postpartum. I don’t think I have to tell you, neither of us was running to the store for more chocolate…
Guys, can I tell you? It took me the amount of time that it takes to bake a whole baby full-term, to feel comfortable and confident enough to even TRY to be intimate again. Ten months. T-E-N dang months.
At that point, we were well past the fourth trimester and finding our rhythm in our new normal. I picked running back up as a way to regain control over my body and my self-image, which helped fuel my confidence again.
My husband and I had quite a few talks about my feelings and my nerves (you know that whole pushing a baby through a tiny hole thing?) about being intimate again. His understanding and patience with me to allow me to get there in my own time was so important and HELLA sexy to me.
And so, we ate chocolate. There was fumbling, and nerves, and some awkwardness, but in the end we ate that damn chocolate.