This post is about sensitive material. Too Much Information Material. Things like pooping, breastfeeding and sex, so if you’re not into reading this stuff, especially if you have a Y chromosome, I suggest you keep on moving and join us tomorrow.
There were a few things that scared me nearly to death after I gave birth. One fear was how was I going to take care of an infant when I felt I was barely able to take care of myself. What crazy God thought I could take this little bitty innocent thing and nurture him to manhood? Obviously someone who is either not omniscient or just has too much faith in me.
But more immediately I feared having a bowl movement. As in dear-God-if-you-would-remove-this-cup-from-my-lips fear. I dreaded it, wondering if somehow my stitches would come undone just by that. Things are just so fragile down there. Of course, nature takes its course, and everything turns out just fine.
Then there’s sex. There are so many concerns about sex. Or at least I had so many concerns about sex. I wondered what kind of damage birthing did to my lady parts. (I’m torn because I’m one of those people who uses biological correct terms, but euphemisms are so much fun.) Again, those stitches worried me, and I wondered if everything was as pretty as it used to be. I wondered, like so many others, was I little stretched out. Finally I worried that I would squirt milk on The Husband at an intimate moment.
The first concern was the last to be resolved because I became a convert to lights out sex after pregnancy. Not only was I concerned with how my stitches looked, I became very much aware that my tight little belly pooch hung down and out now. So it wasn’t until one afternoon long down the road, that I completely forgot about my new religion that I was assured I was fine.
The second concern I mentioned to my mom one day, soon after Tornado E’s birth. She looked at me funny. “Sweetheart, if we never went back to normal, the tampon industry would only be selling to teenage girls.” Um, good point. I’ve yet to hear of a man that was as thin as a tampon, so I think we’re all safe.
But my real concern, my real fear, the thing that keeps The poor Husband celibate much longer than I attend or he would want, is squirting milk during sex. Once my milk comes in, it stays in abundance. I could feed several babies if I wanted. My breasts are always ready and waiting for the next feeding. If I just think about feeding, my breasts start to leak. It doesn’t take me long to picture what some fun bedroom activity would do to my swollen, ready-to-feed breasts. While I’m sure The Husband would shrug it off, I would just be mortified. It would feel like the ultimate betrayal of my body, reminding me that it’s not just MY body anymore. My body also belongs to the hungry monster sleeping in the bassinet at the foot of the bed or the crib down the hall. So rather than try and put my fear aside, I feign an uninterest in sex for the first several months until the kid is feeding every four hours or so, not every two.
Now Fie Upon This Quiet Life has this wonderful post about how she coped with motherhood and sex, and I thought how different my experience was from hers and yet it really is very similar. She didn’t feel sexy because she was a mommy, and I don’t feel sexy because I was a mommy (that leaked). It’s so hard to be sexy when you’re coming to terms with a body that has changed so dramatically. I was worried that if The Husband watched me push a baby out of my vagina that he would have flashbacks for months. It didn’t happen. While he was uncomfortable with third trimester pregnancy sex, he couldn’t wait to get back on the ball after the six week all clear. Granted, I wasn’t ready with all the lack of sleep and all. (Sweetheart, that feels . . . ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.) But in the end, I gained a comfortablitly with this new body, much like when I went from a tall, lanky kid to a tall, curvy woman. It was awkward, uncomfortable, and weird to go through puberty, but I liked me and my body afterwards. Just like pregnancy is often awkward (at least the waddling is), uncomfortable (which is how you feel when the baby lays on your bladder), and weird (ok, your belly is being moved around by something inside you and you can See It), but in the end, you’ll grow to love the new parts of you, stretch marks and all. And so will your husband.