I was so convinced that my vagina would be demolished after childbirth that I spent close to $100 on a makeshift repair kit: plus- size adult diapers, perineum-shaped ice packs, and Tucks antiseptic wipes. Although labour was an insane thirty-six hours, with an epidural that ONLY froze my legs (thank you, modern science), my vagina somehow came out of it relatively unscathed.
Three-days postpartum, I went for a walk around the block. One-week postpartum, I took a longer stroll through the park. Two-weeks postpartum, I laced up my running shoes for a five-kilometre walk with the stroller. Physically, I felt great―rejuvenated and ambitious.
By week three, I felt ready to party again. My midwife said I should wait to have sex until week six to avoid infection, but on week four, baby and I took an afternoon walk to our local drugstore and found ourselves standing in the condom aisle. Feeling like a sheepish teenager perusing the possibilities of protection, I grabbed a dozen “thin silk” lubricated condoms. I purchased a chocolate bar and some cleaning products too, to make my checkout a little less awkward for everyone involved.
On the walk home, I listened to some old Usher tracks and sent my husband a text:
“Let’s have sex tonight.”
The evening unfolded like any other, with shitty diapers, breast pumping, and a lacklustre dinner eaten while taking turns bouncing a newborn in our laps. Around 8:00 p.m., I slipped away to prepare my bod for postnatal coitus. I shaved my armpits, legs, and toes. I considered tackling my lady bush, but realized that my razor wasn’t sharp enough for that jungle.
I took a long look at myself in the mirror. I wasn’t a slender gal to begin with, so I wasn’t so much saddened by the extra pounds I had put on during pregnancy as I was disturbed by the way they now positioned themselves on my body. My chub, previously full and tight, now looked like flesh-coloured bread loaves stapled to my belly. My nipples had starburst over my breasts without any clearly definitive ending points.
I decided to draw attention upward to my face by putting a little makeup on. I plucked the three chin hairs that had returned since pregnancy. I even put a little foundation on my boobs to tone down the nipple extravaganza.
I found a pair of sexy underwear. As I was trying to hike them up, my hands literally ripped through the lace as if I were The Incredible Hulk. NEXT. I found another pair and managed to get fully inside of them, only to realize that they made my butt look like it was holding its breath. NEXT. I finally found a plain, black-cotton thong. It was so old that the crotch was just a few threads held together by luck and magic, but at least it fit.
I slipped into a black sheer negligee that I used to wear pre- pregnancy. My breasts were heaving to the point of discomfort, but my cleavage looked Elizabethan in a sexy way, so I decided to endure. I got into bed and waited for Husband.
I finally saw him coming up the stairs with the baby in his arms. Oh, right. The baby. The baby is now part of the sexy equation. Although I’d like to pretend that being a new mom has me feeling blessed 24/7, it simply isn’t true. There are moments where I think, He’s cute, but he’s also a bit of a drag. This was one of those moments.
Husband looked at me and recalled our earlier text exchange, finally clueing in. He lifted an eyebrow as he gently lowered the baby into the bassinet next to our bed. “You look great, babe.”
I’m not in the business of writing erotica, so I will spare you the explicit details, but let’s just say we got down to business. At one point, Husband looked up at me to say something smooth, but I couldn’t hear anything, because all I could see was my face/nipple foundation brushed across his cheek. I chose not to ruin the moment and simply pretended like it wasn’t there.
Finally, it was time for the sex. We were doing this. I was about to lose my postnatal virginity.
Me: “Go slow.”
My inner-monologue: I guess this is okay. I’m not very wet. I think breastfeeding dries you out. Is that a thing? He doesn’t seem to notice. Is it weird that we’re having sex right now with the baby in the same room? Can the baby see us? No, it’s not weird. I’m a modern woman. This is how it’s done. This is probably very European of us.
Me: “You can go a bit faster.”
My inner-monologue: Okay, this feels familiar. Sex feels the same. Does it feel the same for him? Is he taking longer than normal? Oh shit, maybe I’m super stretched out and it’s terrible. Maybe I’m different now, and I’ll never be as good. I used to be really good. Maybe I was never THAT good though? I’ll ask...
Me: “Is it good? Is it the same as it was?”
Husband: “It’s great ... it feels really good.”
My inner-monologue: Oh shit, the baby made a noise. He’s going to cry. If he cries, do we stop? Is it child abuse if we keep going until we finish? What if he made that noise because a blanket was somehow kicked over his face? Why isn’t he making the noise again? Maybe he’s dead. I bet he’s dying right now, and we’re here just boning. We’re the kind of negligent parents you’d see in a movie like Trainspotting.
When the police ask what happened, do we lie? Or do we say we were having sex while our baby quietly suffocated a few feet away? They’ll ask why I had sex before the recommended six weeks. Oh my god.
My inner-monologue: Okay, good. That sounded normal and lively. In fact, it sounded super cute, like he’s babbling. He’s advanced. I was really hoping he’d get my propensity for language and articulation. What a young scholar. I need to call more daycares, get him on more wait lists. Montessori, even. Who am I kidding? We can’t afford that. We can’t even afford to buy a house in this stupid city. I’m a terrible mother.
Husband: “I’m getting close.”
My inner-monologue: Oh yeah, sex! Is that a blackhead on Husband’s shoulder? How long has that been there? I wonder if he’ll let me look at it after.
Husband: “Are you close as well?”
Me: “I think so?”
My inner-monologue: Nope. I’m like a good ten minutes away. Oh well, I can always take care of things on my own later...
Husband orgasms and rolls onto his back.
Baby: “Wahh, wahh, waaaahhhh!!!”
I hopped out of bed, ran to the bassinet, and was greeted by a wailing newborn baby. I scooped him up and brought him back into the bed where his parents’ sinful deeds were likely still detectable by a forensic light.
Husband: “We’ve still got it, babe.”
Me: “Yeah, we sure do.”