*disclaimer: if you’re related to me, this might be a good one to skip.
When I got pregnant I had a little sex drive, but nothing crazy. I was very sick from about 5 weeks until around 17 weeks, and then still threw up occasionally for the duration of my pregnancy. Throwing up is not sexy. It did nothing for my sex drive or my sex appeal. I was also tired, sore, swollen from the calves down, and whiny. Not too whiny, but somewhat whiny, which is also not sexy.
I had an “irritable uterus” and did not enjoy having orgasms because orgasms gave me contractions. Not cute little Braxton Hicks contractions, but strong consistent contractions that made me wonder if I was in preterm labor. After a particularly strong set of postcoital contractions that lasted almost two hours (6-8 min apart), my doctor’s appointment showed that my cervix was beginning to efface. I was put on pelvic rest for the duration of my pregnancy. That was around 24 weeks. No sex. No orgasms. Nada.
So, while I did still fool around and my husband and I remained intimate, I was sexually frustrated and afraid of orgasms. I did have a few still (those damn pregnancy dreams that are WAY too real and out of my control) I think, but never if I was awake.
I went into preterm labor at 29 weeks. Not sex induced. Just preterm labor. With the help of magnesium sulfate and prayers my labor stalled when I was 3cm and mostly effaced. Hospital bed rest for 4 more weeks and then the twins were born via c section when I went into labor again.
One of my first postpartum questions, once I could walk without wincing, was “When can I safely have an orgasm?” I got the go ahead at 2 weeks postpartum, just no sex. Which I was totally okay with.
Then we took twins home and I continued to bleed until about 8 weeks postpartum. Then of course, sex. It was brutal. He was gentle and nice we spent a long time getting warmed up and all that and it was still brutal. It didn’t matter that I had a cesarean and not a vaginal delivery. Brutal. I made it through, but it was not enjoyable.
Sex while breastfeeding is notoriously tricky. My body is vetoing the idea of another baby, so natural lubrication is practically nonexistent and sex drive is not on my biological priority list. I started having cycles again at around 10 months postpartum and it actually got considerably better around then. Since successfully night weaning both the twins, I actually want to have sex. Not as often as my husband does (I’ve come to realize that the frequency of intercourse in our lives will likely always be a compromise), but sometimes. And that will likely only get easier as the twins nurse less and my body eases back into “sexy” mode.
I have no real issues sharing my body (with its stretch marks and chubby parts) with my husband, and I know that isn’t always the case, so I’m thankful for my natural confidence regarding his opinion of me. It helps that he is usually appreciative of my body and tactful enough not to mention it if my butt isn’t the same as the size 1 butt he fell in love with so many years ago. I try to return that favor, but tact isn’t my forte and I know that I sometimes hurt his feelings inadvertently. It’s one of the biggest issues that we have regarding sex. If I’m not up for it, it seems personal to him (after all, it’s his penis that I’m declining). That’s not how I mean it, but it comes across like that nonetheless.
My point is, it gets better. It’s still getting better, which makes me incredibly hopeful. I didn’t enjoy not enjoying sex. Good sex is a great way to reconnect with my partner though, and I am thankful that it’s more fun every time we give it a go.