It’s been eight months since baby was born. We’ve had sex maybe 10 times - probably more like five. It hasn’t been what I expected. There have been sooo many feels but soooo many more feels I am avoiding.
There was the time I broke down sobbing about 3 weeks in because my body was feeling so ignored by my partner. I was missing kisses and back rubs and just, well, love. They talk about being touched out - I have a clingy eight month old now so I soo get it --- but back then I was keenly aware of this massive shift in the way my partner and I were relating to each other physically with this wee thing attached to me night and day. And my hormones let it be known.
There was the time I decided I’d better check things out under the hood. As a sexuality coach I am keenly aware of the need to reconnect with my own body before being ready for prime time. elt so different. My labia felt gynormous, everything felt like it was in the wrong place, my wild imagination had me thinking I was experiencing prolapse. I tried a few of my go to moves and it just felt like everything was off - like the landscape had totally changed. I didn’t really want to deal with it emotionally so i just sort of mustered through. I have masturbated a handful of times since but I have been very specific about avoiding ANY of the emotions that have come up for me about my body, my sexuality and my motherhood. I have all the tools I need to tap into and release these things but my brain is like FUCK NO - WE ARE NOT READY TO GET VULNERABLE WITH THAT SHIT YET.
Then there was the first time we tried. I can’t remember when - maybe eight weeks post-partum. I was really lucky and no tearing or major “damage” to my vagina and vulva during childbirth but I was still so paranoid about pain - I put sex off for a while. My plan was that we would get some childcare and set aside a couple of hours to just play naked, do a lot of massage and hand stimulation to warm things up and ease into things. Finally after weeks of just not finding the right moment I told myself “ You just need to rip the band aid off girl”. So we did it - It didn’t hurt as much as I thought but it was rushed and I was nervous, my mind was busy worrying about pain, or the baby waking, or my now ginormous labia (my mind has a way of over exaggerating), or if my partner could find the new location of my clitoris in such a rushed state. None of these things contribute to a relaxed vagina that is ready for pleasure.
Then there was the time I tried masturbating again - even just a few days ago. My whole body was so conflicted about it. As I slid my hand down under all these brain gremlins popped up. Suddenly my head was filled with shame - “sex is bad, sex is dirty, you are gross, this is so naughty, your boobs feed people now, a baby came out of there, who are you to want this, masturbation is wrong!!!”. The racket was so loud I just gave up.
We have tried a handful of times in the eight months since my daughter was born. Generally with the same results. It feels great to please my partner but we are both keenly aware it is pretty mechanical for me. I did realize that part of easing into it was just being kind with myself - not forcing myself through shitty sex but allowing it to be ok that it’s not great sex. I need to map my insides and find out if there were any pain points, I need to learn to relax into it again. Problem is those pescy feels again. Anytime we did hit a pain point my body would instantly close down and I would just want to crawl into a hole - a clear signal we hit a spot where some emotions were hiding for me to release and process.
Instead I’ve done the opposite- like with my self-pleasure practice. Clam up and close down.
Those pescy brain gremlins are sure doing a great job of making me want to avoid it. This is such a time of transition, for me and my partner. It’s a time when all we believe or were taught about ourselves and about sex can come creeping back. We can feel shame about being a mother who wants sex or a father who is wanting of his partners body. We can feel bad about our sexual needs when there are so many other demands. After that last self-pleasure sessions I’ve realized I need to take some time to investigate those beliefs and that shame and see how I can let it go.
Also - let’s face it. When your time is stretched and you are feeling stressed intimacy goes out the window. In our house we are bed sharing in a King-sized so I can go the whole night without any touch from my partner. Life is busy with the ins and outs of family life and those small intimate and flirtatious moments can get few and far between. When they go I get grumpy, more irritable, more prone to blame and frustration with my partner. When they go it’s hard to tap into all the love and safety and comfort we need to feel to let ourselves unravel fully into the feels both with ourselves and with our partner.
So now what.
As I gear up to go back to work and gear up to dive deeper into this new me I know it’s time to do two things.
I’m launching an intimacy campaign in my house. Everyday I will explore one micro-way to connect with my partner whether it’s a 2 min french kiss on his way out the door, a butt slap, or even just looking into his eyes for 10 to 20 seconds at the beginning of the day and sending him all my love through my eyes.
It’s time to get intimate with my vagina and my feels. That means one thing - finding some solo self-love time and intentionally using it to face my emotions and explore them.
Because I know that the journey back into my sexuality, is the journey back into myself. It’s the journey back into my power, to my intuition and my inner knowing. It’s my journey to being the best mom and the best person I can be.
Thanks for listening. I will be sporadically sharing as inspired in the coming months as I gear up to get back to work. In the meantime I would love to hear from you -on the Facebook page, in the comments or send me a personal message or email. What’s your post-partum sexual journey been? What feels are you avoiding? How has intimacy changed with your partner since baby joined the family?
All the love
The Happy V