Some thoughts, feels, and laughs about this pregnancy, birthing, and mommying thing. Let's work on thriving together.
Let's Talk About...Sex BABY (part one)
First, this post just might be chock full of puns, and I’m not mad about it ;) We won’t beat around the bush…let’s get to it. ;)
When Brennen and I first got married I remember very suddenly, I could have cared less about him touching me at all, even if I was even feeling up to getting out of bed or eating a cracker let alone going at it like…newlyweds. Imagine my self criticism as a 7 week newlywed wife, abruptly not wanting anything to do with sex? Imagine my poor young husband, suddenly wondering why he couldn’t get things rolling for me? I thought I was broken. He thought he was inadequate.
NOPE. We were just prego.
I had NO knowledge about how hormones worked in pregnancy. We had no idea that everything we were experiencing was very normal (however frustrating). The variations of normal in pregnancy and labor are vast and wide, and no one had told me. All our friends were either A) not parents yet, or B) didn’t have a clue either. We quickly scoured the internet for anything that would tell us how to “fix” our “problem” and when it would change. The only information we could find was that in the first trimester mamas tend to be sick, second trimester they magically feel better and have a surge of horniness, and third trimester you’re huge and maybe need to change positions. Simple, right? Except NO, because it did not help us or seem to apply for us. And somehow, we had a sneaky suspicion we weren’t the only people in the world on that ship.
So here I am, two babies later and lots of studying of hormones, ready to tell you the little bit I know. I’m not an expert by any means, but I do know some things. ;)
First, there is nothing wrong with you. If you’re so over it you can’t see a single sexy hormone from here to there moon, it is NOT your fault.
Second, if all you wanna do is shag till the stars fall out of the sky, there is nothing wrong with you. You’re rabbit like tendencies are completely normal. You just might want to give your partner a break at some point. ;)
First, let’s talk a little bit of how hormones work during your monthly cycle. The first half of your cycle (pre-ovulation), is called the follicular phase. This is the first day of your period until ovulation. You have high estrogen during this phase, and your hormones are screaming, “MAKE A BABY.” You feel sexy, confident, ready to conquer the world. You definitely want to get it on.
Then, ovulation. All those sexy hormones (mostly estrogen) hit a peak and then drop like nothing is hot. When estrogen drops, progesterone rises, causing you to stay prego if you are prego. If you’re not prego, that means the egg was not fertilized, causing it to die and your body prepares for menstruation. Progesterone is necessary and a wonderful thing, because it is necessary to sustain a pregnancy. However, high amounts of progesterone causes things nausea, lower moods, exhaustion, andddd you guessed, lower libido. When your baby and placenta are born, all those huge amounts of progesterone flee your body and thus: postpartum mood swings. Side note: this is why you have night sweats, baby blues, mood swings, and why so many women choose to encapsulate their placentas postpartum, to help level out their hormone that are dramatically shifting.
So, taking all of that into consideration, I will repeat this again, what you are experiencing is NORMAL. That does not change the fact that all the frustration is completely valid. However, this too will pass. And while we wait for it to pass, here’s the number one “tip” I have:
Don’t stop talking. Don’t stop listening. Both of you talk about how you’re frustrated. Both of you talk about what you like about the other person. Listen to what they they say, and truly take it in. Seeing someone like a marriage or relationship counselor, even a sexologist, is a great idea and investment. You are not failing, and sometimes help to walk through processing hard (our counselor only allowed the word challenging because…puns ;) things is needed.
Go ahead and be close to each other, start things without the pressure of actually finishing with sex. Cuddle, massage, kiss, etc. but without the necessity that it must end in sex. If it does, that’s great, but see how you can bond intimately without actual intercourse, and just see what happens :) Oxytocin (the "love hormone") can only be produced in a place a safety. If it is being squashed by feelings of failure, insecurity, and shame, it just won't work. Fostering a space and environment where both people feel loved, safe, and accepted will be vital to oxytocin being produced and thus any ability to have fun in the bedroom.
I’m going to talk about positions and fun things next time in part two, so stay tuned!
I just wanted to preface everything with actually letting you in a little on what the heckkkk is actually going on in your body. Basically, your body is making a baby, and working pretty freakishly hard. Your hormones were designed to do that job, and sometimes they cooperate to do other things, sometimes they don’t. Either way, that is A-OK. The goal is to maintain connection with your partner, and still have a thriving relationship amidst the season of pregnancy. And, just like labors where every baby and birth is different, every pregnancy is different as well.