At 20 months postpartum, I’m finally starting to feel human
again. I joined a gym and got back into
my pre-pregnancy jeans—the stretchy ones, at least. I’m sleeping better, so I’m not so foggy—no
need for Siri to calculate the babysitter’s hours anymore. I’ve even found tiny
pockets of me-time for reading magazines and taking showers (ah, the decadent luxury
of a mom’s life.)
But you know what I’m not doing? Having sex with my husband. At
least not very often. And I feel terrible about it. My husband is a wonderful partner and dad, and
he deserves all the sex. But nothing he
does—buying me flowers, taking out the garbage, rubbing my back while I watch
Real Housewives or just being hot—can light my fire. Not
while I’m still breastfeeding.
This isn’t some made-up excuse. Nursing totally mucks with
my hormones. Decreased estrogen and increased prolactin is a perfect formula
for low libido—it’s like nature’s way of saying “Trust me, you don’t want to have
sex right now, or you could wind up with two kids under two.” Which is pretty
considerate of nature, when you think about it.
There really should be a Viagra-style drug for women, except instead of manufacturing an erection it would make us crave sex
My sex-starved husband is patient with me because he knows nursing is worthwhile
and he understands this is a relatively short-term drought (we went through something similar while I was nursing our firstborn). But I'm sure he misses
regular action with an enthusiastic partner.
course we do the deed sometimes, but I literally need to be reminded. I go
entire days—weeks even—without thinking about sex. Which is so weird! I used to be obsessed. I can remember having
passionate crushes as early as first grade. At summer camp, I’d initiate games
of truth or dare just for the kissing practice.
So for sex to totally disappear from my brain is so bizarre. There really should be a Viagra-style drug for
women, except instead of manufacturing an erection it would make us crave sex
after baby. I think it would sell, don’t you?
So I’m in a slump. I know it’s temporary, but I still feel
crazy guilty, because, technically I could stop breastfeeding at any time. I
just don’t want to. This is my last baby
and I’m savoring every last moment of her babyhood. I love the closeness, the
bonding, and the magical soothing nursing provides. Frankly, I’m afraid to face
teething without it. And I know that
once I stop breastfeeding, I’ll never get to do it again, like, ever, and
it breaks my heart a little.
I’ll probably wean in a few months, around my daughter’s
second birthday, and I know my husband is counting down the days. I have faith
that our sex life will perk up, because not only will my hormones level out,
but I’ll be able to drink a lot more vodka, which is a great way to get me into
bed. Hopefully, my husband and I will
look back at this special but slumpy time and feel like the trade-off was worth