Sex After BirthApril 22, 2021
I met my now-husband when I was already a mother of 3. My biggest fear: How tight was my vagina?
Yes, I had the audacity to minimize my greatness down to how tight my vagina was. LE SIGH.
Sex after having kids changes you, it changes your body. It changes your vagina if you have had a vaginal birth (and I’ve heard it changes with a belly birth too!).
But vaginas are also MAGICAL. They heal, so well. Not like nothing had ever happened to you, but they heal greatly when you consider everything you’ve been through together.
I remember after our first times intimate together I was obsessed with finding out his thoughts. I’d been doing kegels during the entire thing like PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let it feel good for him.
Enough that I too often I forgot to pause and think: “oh wait this is supposed to feel good for me too” (and doing kegels in the middle of sex was distracting AF and probably didn’t do a damn thing).
First of all, before we go any further, this whole “tight vagina” narrative around sex is the epitome of the patriarchy.
A vagina that is turned on, I’ve read, is a relaxed one. Not tight and painful. Relaxed, joyful.
All that to say, the sex was good. SO good. My 3x baby birthing vagina was at the top of her game. We’ve always had great sex, and I’d not felt insecure about it again…
But then we became pregnant with our own baby.
Then… I got put on pelvic rest (aka no exercise, no sex!).
THEN… I gave birth to our beautiful daughter…. and now, weeks later… sex is back on the table.
And I was freaking terrified to do it.
Excited, but terrified.
My tearing was second degree, meaning both tissue and muscle tore, down towards the bottom (like if you’re drawing a line between holes… that way, yeah… fun, right?). I felt I healed really well, and I was super proud of it. Go Vag Go!
But an 8lb human just exited my most precious yoni, and now I felt very vulnerable using her in any way again. Let alone SHARING HER.
I also, to be honest, was nervous for my husband to see it, experience it, and for any change to happen to our sex life. Ah yes, back to those insecurities.
So when the 6-week mark hit, we both were dying to try it… but…like, WHERE DOES THE BABY GO? She hates to be put down, let alone in another room, then to have her in the room made us feel weird. Gosh, why didn’t we think of this LOGISTICALLY?
We agreed to a quickie. Let’s not like, run a marathon. Let’s have a quick sprint. Lord knows I’m probably gonna get winded even doing that.
So let’s get real about it. I refuse to let y’all down with something as fragile as a freshly healed vagina and the acts of sex. So this, this is our story…
Well, LUBE IS EVERYTHING.
During a time of healing, my vagina is not the same, let alone producing moisture typical for me, probably because my body is in NO MOOD to be pregnant again. While many may be craving that intimacy again, it’s not uncommon for you to just forget sex exists. I’m sure it’s your body’s way of just trying to slow you down and not ramp you up. You’re not broken, your body is just taking its time it needs. I went from thinking about sex all day all night while pregnant to like, gosh… I could care less. BUT, I still enjoy that time with my husband, ya know?
Next, it felt totally fine, in our missionary position, slow going quickie. Until I felt a quick sharpness, and I knew I had a small paper-cut-sized tear. I winced, he grew concerned and the moment felt far from romantic, but there was something about my fragile vaginal state in his hands that made the whole experience safe and intimate no matter how it felt.
After it was done, I wiped, there was a TEENSY bit of blood, and a quick peri bottle squirt or two, and I felt absolutely fine.
The second time? Same deal. Bit of discomfort, a tiny bit of blood, the absolute need for lube.
But I felt more confident this time, I felt more relaxed, I felt more aware of what to expect.
However, I’m one person. ONE VAGINA. One experience.
So why not ask the community, too?
That’s exactly what I did. I put up a question box in my IG stories, and just asked those watching to finish the sentence:
“Sex after birth for me was…”
Here are some of the replies:
“Still not an option”
“Very Very Careful”
“Hurt at first but is pure gold now better than before!”
(sensing a theme here)
“1st baby: did it too early to “prove” I could do it again. 2nd baby: Was more open about my feelings”
“It’s been two years and I’m still working on being touched after dealing with a traumatic birth”
“Nerve racking but totally fine!”
“Bottom of the list”
(this answer is just…too relatable)
“I felt like I was a virgin again”
“weird/terrifying still only do it in one position”
“slightly uncomfortable but also very satisfying and welcomed”
“exciting! I could have an orgasm faster and stronger”
“So so bad, for months! Everything hurt. And I didn’t even have a vaginal birth”
“Tiring but needed. Touched out by breastfeeding but needed that connection with hubby”
“Hot. Hubs and I couldn’t wait. Making a baby is hot.”
“Dryyyyy. For a while at least. Lube is key!”
“Painful. After pelvic floor therapy it got better” (praise be the pelvic floor therapists!)
“felt like a pinecone up in there”
(personal fav tbh)
“Better than before, but I was scared because everyone warned me that it would be bad!”
“I’m so exhausted it feels like another chore”
“Took 6+ months before I was ready and it still hurt”
“Nerve wrecking. Gentle. Emotional. Very much needed”
“1st time: HORRIBLE. 2nd time: Okay. 3rd time: Normal!”
“I got pregnant again”
(Reminder that even though you are postpartum and/or breastfeeding you can still be fertile!)
“I thought it wouldn’t be different because I had a c-section, I was wrong”
“It felt the same, I had a c-section”
AND SO MUCH MORE
So sex after birth.
It’s a lot of things.
Emotionally, physically, mentally.
We all deserve healing, openness around it so that we can honestly…relax a little.
I can only hope that this intimate blog post provides comfort and understanding for those who need it.
And if nobody told you today, you’re doing great…however you’re managing. Sex or no sex.