It's Friday so Let's Talk about SEX
While this post is absolutely Safe For Work and contains no graphic details, it does contain info and specifics about my sex life during pregnancy and sex during pregnancy in general so if you're not into that, this post might not be for you.
Alright, so I had sex. OBVI! I'm literally a walking, rounded billboard on the consequences of having sex. Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about sex during pregnancy. It's been one of those things that was definitely a *thing* during each one of my trimesters and there were several talks with my midwife and plenty of google searches in order to make it less of a *thing*. It's absolutely safe to have sex at any point during your pregnancy but also don't be afraid to talk to your midwife or doctor if something is bothering you. If you are into more avant-garde trysts, also make sure that your safe; toys, BDSM, role playing are all great but make sure you stick to safe words and remember that the safety of Baby as well as your safety comes before fun times!
After I found out I was pregnant, I was so paranoid about having sex, it was weeks before I was willing to attempt. Even if I had wanted to have sex, it's really hard to get it on when you're always exhausted and sleeping about 15 hours a day. I was also lucky enough to not have morning sickness but I can imagine that vomit really doesn't add to a sexy atmosphere. When we did finally have sex, it was great! I've read studies claiming that because of increased blood flow, a woman can be very sensitive. I would't say I was more sensitive down there but it did feel great to be able to connect with my husband and to do something that didn't revolve around eating and sleeping.
The second trimester is where all the trouble started. All of a sudden, it physically hurt to have sex. We tried everything - different positions, coconut oil for lube, nothing worked. After talks with my midwife and more google searches, it seemed like maybe all that extra blood flow was causing some intense tightness and it just wasn't going to happen. The Hubs was very patient and understood when I had to stop mid-action. This was a trimester that I'm so happy I'm in a marriage with great communication. I was never made to feel like I was to blame and I never felt bad stopping when it was so painful I wanted to cry. It was tough though - I wanted to connect with my husband but physically couldn't. Emotions are already so high during your pregnancy and I felt like the 2nd trimester was when my body really started changing. It was hard enough to feel normal, let alone sexy, so when on top of it I couldn't actually have sex, it felt like a double blow. The Hubs was so kind and would remind me that he found my changing shape sexy. It helped to hear kind words and encouragement even when I didn't necessarily feel that way myself. Another obstacle that I hadn't expected during this trimester was the ultimate 3rd wheel - BABY! It's really hard to stay in the moment when you feel your baby kick and move. I mean hello --- awkward much, Baby?! The Hubs and I didn't stop communicating though and kept trying and eventually, the pain went away and we were able to successfully "do the deed".
Now we've come to the end of the road and sex is...interesting. It's weird actually. I mean, I've 37cm of additional belly, 30 extra pounds, and I haven't been able to see my pubic area in months. We try to keep our humor - we've taken to calling my pubic hair "Gandolf's Beard" - and we don't ever have expectations. There's been plenty of days where I'm all fired up but then the Olympic feat of walking to the bathroom happens and I'm suddenly incredibly exhausted but when it happens, we make sure to really be present. I realize these are the last moments that it'll be just the two of us and I want to make moments of intimacy count. Am I looking forward to sex without the human equivalent of a 12in ruler at a middle school dance between us? YES! But I'm also aware I don't know yet what that will look or feel like so when sex does happen and it works, it's pretty awesome.
If you're having some difficulty during your pregnancy, here's some tips for a hopefully more fun experience in the bedroom:
- Go Slow - you have a new body and it might take some figuring out!
- Use coconut oil for a safe and natural lube. Physically, you might need a little extra help (pregnancy can cause some dryness) and mentally, when it's hard to stay in the moment because Baby comes into your thoughts, it's nice to have a little backup.
- Toys can be great for added stimulation. If you're not into purchasing something new and fancy or over the top, these little guys are cheap and easy to try out before investing in something more permanent.
- Try new positions - even ones that you weren't so into when you were pregnant. Your partner behind you is a great one. It's not my favorite in terms of intimacy since you're not face to face but laying on your side or being on all fours takes a lot of pressure off your belly and keeps it out of the way.
- Communication is key. Before, during, after sex - all these are great times to talk to your partner about what you're needing, how you're feeling, and anything else that might be on your mind in regards to intimacy.
As for the Hubs and I now, at 38 weeks, we're doing our best to have intimate moments. Secretly though, I'm hoping sex at this point will get contractions going! That way we'll finish this pregnancy the way we started it. #fullcircle
Were you able to be intimate with your partner during your pregnancy? Did you find it to be a completely different experience than when you weren't pregnant?