Smile Politely

The bunless oven

Baby-bump mania is everywhere — from alleged celebrity pregnancy pouch sightings, to I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, to the ever-popular preggo porn faction of the adult entertainment industry — we’re constantly bombarded with baby-to-be imagery. Even better for parents-to-be, medical experts have worked tirelessly to dispel myths surrounding sex during pregnancy, and have celebrated and encouraged copious amounts of contraction-inducing coitus until delivery day.

The most popular how-to pregnancy guides for expecting parents give delightfully graphic play-by-plays on how couples can learn to enjoy their sexuality as that little bun bakes away in the oven. Lucky for us fornicators out there, we don’t hear much about a couple’s sex life after the bun has left the oven and the reality of a bundle of (pooping, crying, nursing, screaming) joy has set in. Childless by choice, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity of getting an inside scoop on the sex lives of a newly-bunless couple who welcomed their first born into the world this July.

Nicole and Michael had been together almost three years when they discovered Nicole was pregnant last December. A year later, the proud parents of four month-old Heidi allowed me to interview them over a round of post-Thanksgiving drinks. I might have thrown in a few jello shots for good measure—we want all the dirty details!

Emma: So tell me about pregnancy vs. post-pregnancy sex.

Nicole: Non-missionary positions were easier with the large belly, and I would get tired easily. I wasn’t extra horny like I thought I would be, but we’d still do it about three times a week.

Michael: We read all the books, but that doesn’t fully prepare you. We had to get creative after the birth, before the six-week checkup that would give us the go-ahead. It was a transition going from a “normal” pre-pregnancy sex life to a pretty active pregnancy sex life to absolutely nothing.

N: We waited the full six weeks post-partum before trying to have sex. I wanted to prove the point I could follow directions, but I was also tired from tending to the baby, and still very sore. I didn’t get the luxury of an episiotomy, so I had several intense tears. We had tried to grease it up during labor, but it didn’t work. My midwife called it a “greasiotomy.” The reconstructive surgery part of it ended up nicely though. Everything has changed in appearance, my vulva is more compact and organized. So that was a nice surprise. We finally had sex on the exact day of my six-week (checkup). Michael was going to try to be home as soon as I got back from the doctor, but he couldn’t get off work.

M: Yeah, I think she was the first woman ever to go the full six weeks—it was a long wait! And we kind of had to re-learn some things, because after the surgery it was like they rearranged my favorite room in the house and I had to get reacquainted with all the new furniture!

Emma: How are you two adjusting to Nicole’s new body?

Nicole: I like to keep the lights off because I’m self-conscious of my stretch marks and the shape of my breasts since I’m still breastfeeding. They’re pretty sore most of the time too. Not erogenous zones right now at all.

Michael: Those boobs were all mine, now they’re not even a little bit mine! I’m not going to lie, I’m jealous Heidi, our daughter, gets to see them way more often than I do.

N: The fluctuations of hormones due to breast-feeding make the whole arousal cycle happen differently too. There isn’t as much natural lubrication, and my body makes a lot more noises—once queefing becomes a regular part of your sexual routine, you really don’t hold anything back any more.

Emma: If that’s true, why do you keep the lights off?

N: Before I got pregnant, I was a size 2. I was hot! Until my body goes back to “normal,” I anticipate always feeling uncomfortable with how my body looks. I’m back to the same “size” but not the same shape, so it’s lights off and bra on for me.

M: I think her body is sexy. I did before the baby and I do now. [Adorable googly eye contact and giggling between the two.]

Emma: Alright guys, we still have to finish up the interview, then I’ll let you get to it. With all the baby-tending you’re doing these days, how do you find time to enjoy each other alone?

N: He works long days, and I have to pump before I go to sleep, so sometimes he’ll fall asleep and I’m supposed to wake him up to have sex.

Emma: Do you always wake him up?

N: I usually try, but sometimes he wants to stay asleep. He has to wake up eventually, though, because I want my spot of the bed back!

Emma: Sounds hot.

N: Well sometimes I’ll take the initiative to dress up nice and make myself feel more sexy, but it’s not exactly a turn-on to hear a baby crying. No matter how much effort we put in to the preparation, we can lose the whole mood pretty quickly.

Emma: So has the frequency of your sex changed?

M: There’s definitely less spontaneity—we have to plan better.

N: Yeah and make sure to turn the baby monitor down. Now that’s foreplay!

M: It’s just a natural shift in priorities. I’m out there working and getting paychecks while I can. So it’s normal to be absolutely exhausted when I get home. That doesn’t mean the desire isn’t there though. Drive and energy are two completely different things.

N: Yeah and when he’s gone I miss him, but when he’s home he can piss me off pretty easily. So we don’t want to regiment our sex and make it feel like a chore.

M: Like I said, I did the reading, I knew what to expect. For me as a guy, it’s like our sex life is a lottery—she knows when it will happen and I get clued in. Then it’s like, “JACKPOT! I’M GETTING LAID!”

Emma: If you’re not already asleep! Maybe it’s because I’ve never sat the two of you down and probed about your personal life, but it sounds like you communicate a lot more clearly since Heidi arrived.

M: We’ve always had great communication, in and out of the bedroom. I guess now there’s just more to communicate about.

N: We’ve taken on new roles that we didn’t previously have. I stay with the baby while he works, and when he gets work he takes it. So he might be gone until ten at night. We keep in touch all day, and communicate about the baby and our endless to-do list. After a few days we’ll realize it’s time for some sex—but he usually doesn’t hesitate communicating about that!

Emma: Anything else you’ve figured out that wasn’t in the books you read?

N: I had to get on a new kind of birth control that doesn’t contain estrogen since I’m breastfeeding. You were the one that told me to ask my doctor about that! These new meds make my hormones fluctuate even more, and differently, than they did before Heidi.

M: Yeah, and one way to guarantee no sex any given night is to come home from work and comment on her mood or blame it on her pills.

N: Damn right.

Emma: On a scale of 1-10, rate of your pre-baby sex life vs. post-baby.

M: Pre-baby, 9.5.

N: Now it’s like a 7. It’s getting better though.

Emma: If you could have one thing from your partner in bed tonight, what would it be?

M: Blow job.

N: Back massage.

Emma: Sounds like you have some negotiating to do! On that note, I’ll let you two get home.

M: Hey, you were buying the drinks, you better be driving! Speaking of, Nicole, did you pump before we left?

N: [Rolls eyes.]

Related Articles