I have a confession: I haven’t been entirely honest with you.
Two times each week for the last six months, I’ve claimed to share with you all the various and sundry details that make up life with a baby.
But there is one sundry detail that I have purposely left out of my weekly musings.
My old-fashioned delicacy won’t permit me to type out the word.
Seriously, it gives me the heebie-jeebies. So, I’ll give you a hint: it starts with an “S” and ends with an “X.” And, unfortunately, it’s not “six,” “suffix,” or “spandex.” I’d rather write about those words any day of the week, but now that I’ve mustered the courage to brave the topic, I’m doing it.
And, speaking of doing it, when you have a baby, “doing it” almost becomes a thing of the past. “Trying” to do it is more like it. And, “failing” to do it is even more like it.
Keeping romance alive—and I don’t mean going on a picnic or reading love sonnets together—when you have a baby isn’t easy.
Beyond the fact that you recently birthed a human being out of your body … No, wait, we can’t get beyond that just yet. It’s an important fact. Having a baby changes forever things “down there,” even if only in your mind.
After having Jacob, for what seemed like ages, I couldn’t even bear to think about the state of things below the belt. Between the stitches, having my granular tissue burned off and the hemorrhoids, I felt far from sexy.
Then, of course, there was the fact that I had suddenly turned into “tiger belly” (to borrow a phrase from a friend) thanks to my stretch marks. Actually, make that “saggy tiger belly,” as long as we’re being honest …
If that wasn’t enough (it was!), there was the reality that what was once source of erotica had suddenly becomes a source of food. And, no matter what foodies try to make us believe these days, food is not sexy.
But, like I was saying earlier, let’s go beyond all that because the physical ramifications of birth are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. (Insert “frigid” joke here.) Anyone who has been a parent for more than thirty seconds has undoubtedly come to the ironic conclusion that babies and the act of making babies are like oil and water. They just don’t mix. Unless, the oil…er…the baby happens to be sleeping. Even then, the mere knowledge that the baby COULD awaken at any moment has a certain libido-lessening effect.
The effect is even worse when the baby still sleeps in your room. Seeing your little guy pop his head up over his bumper and grin is generally adorable, but it’s not the kind of thing you want to see while trying (there’s that word again) to get hot and heavy.
And, if your little one happens to cooperate by not peering over the edge, there are always his sound effects to contend with. Staying focused on each other while your baby makes motorboat noises just a few feet away is a lost cause. At first, you try to pretend you don’t notice. But, then one giggle slips out, then another, and then a tidal wave of laughter ensues. The ship is bound to sink.
And, for those who are still expecting, let me warn you that the sweet nothings that you and your husband whisper in each other’s ears now will be quickly replaced by phrases like this:
“Hurry, I think he’s about to wake up.”
“Quick, he’s crying, plug your ears.”
“I think he’s getting mad.