The term “hatchet wound” is not new to me. I learned the phrase when I used to be an employee, but mostly an avid customer at a local bar in our town. The term was frequently thrown around amidst sexual innuendos and general sexual harassing of any woman who was around at the time. What a stellar environment. I’d never thought it was really an accurate phrase, just another reason for men to chastise something they are secretly obsessed with, until I pushed a human through mine.
The parting of the red sea had never been messier. All sorts of crazy was going on down there and I had only gotten a few stitches. I was sure I was not going to get the green light at my 6 week appointment. I could barely sit without flinching. To my horror, my gynecologist said I was healing perfectly and could resume sex. Her shoving her fingers up me was enough to make me want to vomit. I wanted to cry. You’ve got to be kidding me, right? Pat was at home twiddling his thumbs, anxiously waiting the outcome of this appointment. To sex or not to sex? Ha, he wasn’t actually doing this, but I knew it was on his mind and that increased the pressure to be “fixed” down there.
We didn’t show up to the sex show until I was 8 weeks postpartum. I am not sure you could even call it sex. It was like sad hugging. There was some thrusting, there was some kissing, but mostly there was lots of crying. How were women doing this? Did he stitch me up completely? I researched sex after baby and it is the lamest advice EVER. There are many women who are pressured into it by their SO’s and others who brag about how great it is.
Shut the front door. I am bound and determined to have an honest conversation about sex after baby. It hurts. It really freaking hurts. I am not a pansy when it comes to pain, so please refrain from telling me about your orgasmic, sexual experience 4 weeks after pushing a human out of your vagina. I will NEVER believe you. It took me 6 months before sex even felt sort of good. I cried a lot because I thought sex was over for me, Pat was for sure going to leave me to bone something else, and I would never heal down there.
I finally got the nerve to ask my friends how their sex lives were post baby and guess what? They had relatively the same experience as I was having. Talk about a sigh of relief. A weight had lifted. I wasn’t the only one suffering. It wasn’t just me and my sad vah-jay-jay. These online forums had me feeling like a baby myself. I was unable to rationalize my situation. Like give yourself a break, Shelby. You just had a baby come out of that thing.
Even now, sex still hurts at the start, but we are getting there, god damnit. Lube is a necessity if you want things to literally go smoothly. I had a small tear down there and it had some scar tissue, which is why the sex hurt.
I researched scar tissue and found that you need to apply pressure to it for it to heal. So, I tried that and have honestly no idea if that helped or not, but sex applies pressure to the area also, so practicing couldn’t hurt the situation, right?
Condoms were a cruel joke. They made things hurt more and if you are exclusively breastfeeding your body is pretty much not going to allow you to make another baby anyway, so just skip the protection. There is simply no reason to put yourself in more pain unless you’re into that kind of thing.
Pain aside, the sexual arena is a little different with a baby. The kid is always around and you want to always be around to make sure he’s alive, so that leaves few places to “do it”. Obviously, when they are newborns you can just pop it in when they are sleeping, but as they get older and more aware, you have to get creative with where you are doing it.
A year ago, I bought a yoga mat in hopes I would do yoga, but exercise and I have an on and off, tumultuous relationship, so the yoga mat has become a sex pad. You can just pop that thing down anywhere and you have a decent sex spot. Namaste.
Exhaustion also plays a ferocious role in postpartum sexcapades. In the beginning and middle, sleep would trump sex any day of the week. This new level of tired caused many a shutdown to the sex show for Pat. I couldn’t fathom keeping my eyes open during it let alone my legs.
I was also a barking lunatic. My hormones were everywhere. I am certain this lunacy is nature’s way of telling you to not mount your SO for an extended period of time after baby. You are crazy, the idea of having sex is crazy, and you don’t need one more reason to feel crazy. If you are having trouble liking or enjoying sex after having a baby, please know that it is normal. It is beyond normal. Know that it will take time, sometimes lots of time, for things to go back to normal, physically and mentally. In the mean time, buy a yoga mat. Maybe yoga does really chill you out. If not, it’s a solid investment for sexy time down the road.