Archive for the ‘Postpartum’ Category

You knew this was coming. This topic applies to any mom, no matter how far into the fourth trimester you may be: Living with an 11-month-old baby or only three weeks into it, the no-sex is part of your life.

I scoff now, at those mythical stories we all heard, of the women who did the ultimate no-no, had sex prior to that six-week mark, not waiting until that follow up appointment when the doctor yells “All clear!” from behind the paper sheet. Those naughty girls ended up pregnant mere moments after giving birth.

Yeah, right. We all know after pushing out a baby, or having to go through surgery to welcome our child into the world, there is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks we’re messing around with anything down there. Not for six weeks. Or eight weeks. Or whatever timeline our bodies take to heal.

My own story surprised me. We waited until the lame six-week mark, plus time for birth control pills to kick in, plus more time for me to be ready. And I still wasn’t ready. In the first few months after giving birth, the idea of sex didn’t even pass through my mind. And rightfully so, anyone else would say, my hours were filled with being Mom, and not being awake. But I’d see a sex scene in a movie or on television and just be repulsed by it, as if my body had trained my mind to tell me: Girl, you do not have time for that. That is a frivolous use of our resources. We are not entertaining any ideas of doing that!

But as much as I wanted to blame the dry spell on Max, I couldn’t. Eventually, we got past that first three-month phase. Past the waking up several times a night. Past the falling asleep on the couch in the morning while the baby played in his awesome underwater Baby Einstein gym. And the routine was still … crickets.

It had nothing to do with Ned. Or me really, there was no not being attracted to my partner. Just a big span of nothingness. Desire gone *poof*.

So like most modern moms, I turned to the Internet. Which had a handful of articles about how to get yourself in the mood, how to schedule time with your partner, and how important, deeply, deeply important, it was to get yourself back on that sexy horse.

But in reality, I think, the response most of us may have is, “Yeah but, I still don’t wanna.” In reality, I think that we don’t talk about this, not to each other, to our partners, nothing. Sex is a thing we’ve just stopped caring about, because all of our caring has gone to another little human being. And we’re mostly okay with it. In the words of Rock (Jake Ryan’s chin-up buddy) in Sixteen Candles, “There’s nothin’ there man … It’s not ugly. It’s just … void.”

It’s just void.

The lesson of the no-sex talk is that the void doesn’t last forever, and like most things I’ve discovered in this post-birth world, it is futile to beat myself up over the changes. My marriage won’t fail if I don’t enlist the Top Five Tips for Scheduling Sex. I will keep getting up going about the day, even with 20 extra pounds, which eventually has become 15 pounds. My world will not fall apart if I don’t make it to yoga every day. And my family certainly will benefit most when I just cut myself some much needed slack.


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Last Thursday marked my 35th birthday. (Happy Birthday to me.) I chose to start out my day testing out my look in a few bathing suits, for a pool party we were attending the next day. Yes, I’m an emotional cutter. Normal women wouldn’t dream of trying on a bathing suit on the day that celebrates when they first sported their birthday suit. I mean, really.

For some reason though, I managed this without ending my day in tears and ice cream. I think it was the pre-shower prep work. We all know this routine: While waiting for the water to get hot, you check out the frontal, then the side view. Then the frontal versus the side view … all while sucking that tummy in in in. Sometimes there is actually lifting and pressing in of the stomach, to get the full this is what I should look like look. Then you finish with letting it all out, so you can see the worst of the worst.

So by the time I got to the bathing suits, I was tempered, if you will. The suits themselves, however…

Let me preface by saying, both one-piece bathing suits were purchased sometime in the mid-90s. The first suit is a white/orange/blue/yellow/green/black calico-like number, with a halter top and shirred bust. The suit the Chiquita banana lady would wear to the beach. Now, the fact that I looked like a large body stuffed behind a flamenco-inspired print is bad enough. But the cups designed for a size C, in fact do not hold a breasts that are actually still overflowing at size E.

I moved on to the other suit, with a more subtle, forest-green diamond pattern, a standard tank with just a shelf bra. Although this eliminated any I’m-wearing-Mexican-wallpaper effect, and the smaller pattern helped shrink my butt, it also mashed down my chest so much that I became a rectangle of green.

There were my choices: Pretend I’m on the beach listening to “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” and risking a wardrobe malfunction, or look like a pudgy 13-year-old forest with no boobs.

So off to the Internet I went, to discover that my average number of suit options on any given website was five, and most of those were sold out. I will stop myself from venting about why the world is not made for tall people, since $100 plus shipping later, I have a nice little zebra number on its way, ready to cover my extra 18 ½ pounds and my getcha getcha yaya tatas. Good lord.

Yes, I said it; I’m back down to around the weight I was at when I started this blog, thanks to a few yoga sessions and a few family walks after dinner. Of course, Florida heat being the evil, twisted lady she is, the yoga may get kicked up a notch.

In the meantime I’m gonna practice sucking in that pooch—or maybe I’ll just find a cover up.

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I had one once, but I threw it up against the wall when I couldn’t figure out where the batteries went. I know now I was suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome. ~Truvy Jones, of “Steel Magnolias,” on getting a radio for her carport-enclosed beauty salon.

Normally every time I hear something blamed on PMS I want to cringe, but right now, it’s true. Case in point: I’ve been trying to work on this blog all week, and I’m just not feeling it. I think I’m too cranky. I mention this to Ned, who promptly suggests that I would be better suited to write this blog when I am not feeling quite so close to the topic.


This means Ned is noting the insane hormonal behavior. This means he has not forgotten my irreverent meltdown over not having enough sour cream in the fridge this week to finish a recipe. Or my blatant irritation when putting away his Walkman earbuds yesterday, which have been sitting on the coffee table, sans Walkman, for three days. I can only imagine if he’s observed the tearing up at commercials for “Intervention” or me wiping my eyes after I tried, in vain, to fit into a pair of non-fat jeans this weekend.

There is plenty of talk about how pregnant women can have crazy hormones … the kind that make PMS look like a cake walk. I was not one of those pg women. No pickles and ice cream, no crying at random commercials for tissue. And I never developed “pregnancy brain,” where you run back into the house every morning at least three times because you forgot your keys, in which each return to the house resulted in you not remembering that you forgot your keys … and so on.

No, those symptoms my body has saved for now, nine months into motherhood. And they go beyond the convenient PMS excuse. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m second-guessing simple decisions such as: Should I have dressed the baby in a romper today, because we’re going out to dinner and we’ll have to hold him for awhile while we wait, and his shirt will get all bunched up? Or I’ll kick myself for not having gone to the post office before storytime because now it’s almost noon and Max is freaking out in the car seat, wanting to eat.

The truth is, I hate that complete non-control over my anger and frustration. But man, some days after cleaning the house, doing laundry, making a two-hour babyproofing trip to Babies R Us, coming home to a baby that won’t take a nap, even after trying for two hours; plus the pressure of work and when am I gonna clean out my office; it all slams up against: I need to start dinner, and the stupid missing tub of sour cream is just one more thing in a long list of things you just have run out of energy to deal with.

I know it’ll all be okay. In a day or two, I’ll wake up and feel better. But right now, I have to hunt down a spoon, and what’s left of my half-gallon Publix-brand Chocolate Cookie Quarry frozen yogurt. Mmm ….

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