You and your spouse are absolutely delighted in the little bundle of joy you’ve just brought home, and at the same, completely taken off guard… NO ONE prepared you for the complete exhaustion that you’re now encountering caring for a newborn.
You’re spending 100% of your time taking care of this adorable little human being, making sure all of his or her needs are being met. This precious baby that is the perfect mashup of you and your spouse. This little peanut you could cuddle and stare adoringly at for hours on end.
Simultaneously, your body is healing from this amazing process, a process that only a woman’s body was assigned the task of- growing a baby inside of her for OVER 9 months, laboring for HOURS, and then pushing that baby THROUGH HER VAGINA. Or if things didn’t go exactly as you had planned, you may have needed a last minute c section, adding to your recovery experience. But you’re not complaining, you just glance down at that little face and are instantly reminded all is well in the world!
So here you are.. doing your best with nursing for the first time, changing diapers every hour, trying to remember to put on nipple cream to soothe soreness, rinsing your lady parts with that squirt bottle you took from the hospital, and simply getting SLEEP whenever you’re able. And then your hubby starts reminding you of the upcoming six week follow-up appointment with your OB/GYN. You suspect his interest in your next appointment isn’t to ensure you’ve healed properly or to make sure you’re adjusting well emotionally to motherhood or to the crazy fluctuation of hormones you’re experiencing. No, of course not, your suspicions are confirmed when he mentions to you you can have SEX again after that appointment. “Who the F*c$ is thinking about that?,” you wonder to yourself and/or, “What a selfish jerk!”
At first, you feel annoyed. How can he even be thinking about that right now? Doesn’t he even NOTICE how completely overwhelmed and tired you are? The only thing you’re fantasizing about is sleeping for a consecutive four hour period. But you do love husband, in addition to this little creature that has taken up permanent residence in your heart recently. And yes, it’s been mentioned to you that once the baby arrives, you as a couple should get back to DOING ALL THE THINGS that you did before the baby came into view, and as soon as you can, for the sake of the relationship. Whoever, came up with the six week period for recovery, thank you (I’m guessing it was a woman)
Most women need the ENTIRE SIX WEEKS to even be able to process the thought of having sex! Really, sex doesn’t even make it onto our mental “to-do list.” Ladies, your priorities are healing, carrying for your infant, getting proper nourishment and hydration and sleeping. THAT’S IT! But it wouldn’t hurt to let your husband know you heard him, and you understand how he’s excited to be intimate again. And remind him you’re looking forward to intimacy again too, then set the expectation being intimate will probably look different in the coming months.
In the next post we’ll talk about some factors that may need to be addressed before you’re feeling frisky again for sex after childbirth. We’ll also share tips on how to ease into intimacy post-delivery and following your six week checkup.