Knitting Boots and Knocking Booties: The Good, The Bad, and The Unexpected

Knocking Boots and Knitting Booties is a no-holds-barred series about sex during (and after) pregnancy from MsBehaved contributor BrighidLast time, Brighid shared the story of her laborious labor. This week, she talks about getting back into the swing of the things, after surviving some post-partum trauma. Read on!

*Not actually Brighid.

*Not actually Brighid.

The day after my delivery I turned to MVP and said, “ I have no idea how there are any younger siblings in this world. I am never doing that again.” My vagina had closed shop. I was exhausted, sore, couldn’t sit, and waddled slowly when I had to go anywhere. However, 5 months out and I now feel more or less normal. Thinking back on the post-partum period (immediately after birth to 6 weeks later), I can break it down into the categories of: The Good, The Bad, and The Unexpected.

First, The Good:

Despite my feelings 24 hours after labor, by 48 hours after delivery my sex drive came back with a vengeance. You see, while pregnant the pregnancy hormones did the same thing to my libido that birth control did: squash it flat . Add the growing uterus put pressure on my vagina that resulted in swelling, and that my arousal fluids became very watery, and sex was hard and uncomfortable. If it wasn’t with my handy dandy Panasonic Easy Reach*, it was a lot of work and still uncomfortable. Not to mention more than a bit ironic considering I had signed onto to write these posts about sex and pregnancy. Fortunately, just like going off the birth control pill, once the pregnancy hormones were gone my libido was back and I felt much more like myself. Never mind that I was healing from an episiotomy, couldn’t sit, and could barely walk…. I wanted a lil’ sumpin’ sumpin’ and I wanted it bad.

 The Bad:

Uh, I was in no shape to get back in the saddle. Going to the bathroom was a challenge so a little nookie was not going to happen anytime soon. A second not-often spoken of problem was that pushing frequently results in painful hemorrhoids. Between the stitches, the stretching, the swelling, and the bleeding – it was going to be a while before I was going to let anything or anyone near my nether-regions.

 The Unexpected:

I had three big surprises post-partum. The first was that my sex drive came back so quickly. Second, I leak milk whenever I get aroused. Unless I want to end up laying in a sticky puddle, I have to wear a bra with nursing pads through all sexual contact. Even light breast squeezing results in a fountain. Considering my breasts are one of my most beloved erogenous zones, I’m annoyed that I have to keep them swathed in absorbent fabric and can’t play with my nipples (too sore and leaky).

Third, for the first time in my life I was scared to touch or look at vulva and vagina.

I knew what my vagina had been through and I was downright scared to look. Ever since I had figured out how to see myself in a mirror around the age of 13 (Thanks, Our Bodies, Ourselves!), I’ve had a very up close and intimate relationship with my yoni.  Now, I was scared of the stitches, scared of the scar, scared I would look as battered and bruised as I felt.

After two weeks, the bleeding had slowed, my swelling had gone down, and I couldn’t feel my stitches. Despite being nervous, I was horny as hell and figured I could put on (or pull off) my Big Girl Panties and take a peek. Honestly, it wasn’t so bad. I look a little different. I definitely have a scar. But for the most part I looked completely normal.

After 5 weeks I told MVP to get some condoms. We figured out how to put Owl down for a bit and I was ready to give sex a shot. It was pretty damn good. Only basic missionary worked, and only if MVP leaned forward to take the pressure off my scar. Even now, I have problems with positions that put pressure on my scar – I was cut down and to the left – though last week we managed to pull off having me on top. Rear entry positions are still too much.

What does it feel like? The scar feels tight and sore. Until very recently, penetration and the first few minutes following were uncomfortable. Lots of deep breathing and relaxing is a must. I’ve also had to change the way I orgasm because if I clench, it hurts. Instead, I’m channeling some of my Tantra training and focusing on deep breathing and relaxing through climaxes.  Yup, my multiple-orgasm super power – though squashed by my pregnancy – is back post-partum.

Things are going pretty well these days. The biggest impediments to sex are not hormonal or physical, but related to being exhausted. Given the choice between sleep or sex, we’ve been choosing sleep nearly every time. That being said, it’s been wonderful to rebuild our physical relationship and I can’t wait to start exploring sexually again.

* Lots of babies are soothed by loud white noise. I like to think that I got Owl hooked early from the Easy Reach.

Read more from Brighid here! 

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