July 12, 2007

Six Weeks


Henry is six weeks old today. I am imagining you all greeting that news with Jerry-Springer-audience sounds: lascivious woooops or sympathetic groans, depending on how you felt or feel or think you'd feel about having sex after taking care of a newborn all day and night for six weeks following nine months of carrying another human being around in a body built for one.

I copied Devan's idea and made my six-week OB appointment (note: for those of you who are not hip to the childbearing thang, this is the appointment at which the OB gives you permission to Resume Relations) for more like seven weeks, but even so, here we are within a headache's distance of it.

Listen, I am well aware that many women CAN'T WAIT to start having sex again. Some of them are rumored to be so hot for it, they break the 6-week rule. I'm not saying we can't be friends anymore if you feel that way about it, but I'm more at the end of the spectrum where Jamie from Mad About You tries to get away with telling her husband that it's six months.

Having a baby is very, very physical, and I am not a touchy-snuggly person to start with. Holding and nursing the baby maxes out my desire to feel warm skin against mine. Burping and changing the baby maxes out my desire to deal with another person's bodily fluids.

And that's not even including topics such as whether I can imagine doing anything in a nice soft bed except sleeping, or whether I can imagine having sex with someone who spent his whole evening on the computer while I held a crying baby.

I'm not interested, that's all. Part of it is hormonal (at my 6-week post-William appointment, my OB said cheerfully, "This is what you can look forward to after menopause!"), part of it is the circumstances (newborn, sleep deprivation, milk everywhere, incision just barely finished healing), and part of it is my own personal capacity for physical contact (low).

Simple to explain that to a husband? Um, no. So next week I have to choose birth control (all the options suck) and then I have to act Happy To See Him.

46 comments:

MrsGrumpy said...

Confession time. I spent a lot of time sleeping on the floor of my son's room for the first 3 months because 1. I wanted to make sure he was still breathing and 2. It kept me away from human (i.e. husband) contact. After holding, nursing etc. a baby all day the last thing I wanted was another invasion. In fact my husband (who knew full well I was avoiding him) would come up to me, grab me and yell,"Whooop! Whoop! Sector 7 breach!!!" And, because I can't believe the stuff I never say in public but feel totally free to post on the information superhighway, I went with a diaphragm and then my husband got snipped. Which sucks in a way because now, there really are no excuses. Wonderful post, I totally relate.

MrsGrumpy said...

Oh, I forgot... What a looker Henry is! Absolutely babylicious...

Stacie said...

Lie. You weren't cleared for sex. Well, I guess that is terrible advice. I got nothing, other than that baby is CUTE.

Tessie said...

Oh my, he is barely wrinkly AT ALL anymore! WAH!

I totally agree, in the first six weeks the division of labor is so completely out of whack that it's hard to look adoringly at Mr. Showers-Daily-and-Sleeps-Through-the-Night.

Maybe a timely mention of how you can't wait to get to work on that 6th baby?

Swistle said...

Tessie: AWESOME.

Swistle said...

Mrs. Grumpy: I love your funny husband. Sector 7 breach! Ha ha ha!

Shannon said...

My husband tried telling me all about his "needs" like...two weeks after my surgery (it may have been sooner). OMG, lay off man! We broke the six-week rule but only to get him to SHUT UP and leave me ALONE! Too bad it wasn't permanent. He was moaning again last night about his needs. Maybe I will buy him a bottle of lotion the next time I'm at the store. Because sex? That is the LAST thing on my mind.

Amie said...

At least your OB didn't include "may resume s*xual relations 4-6 weeks" on your discharge papers. Mine did and hubby didn't miss it.

Laura said...

Hmph. Lucky. My sadistic OB's office schedules the classic 6-week appt for FOUR weeks and I was "cleared" then.
I got my husband to back off until 8 weeks-ish, when I finally felt ready, but I felt guilty about it.

Devan said...

ah yes, the dreaded appt. My husband was eagerly awaiting it, while I wanted to reschedule it for closer to 3 months or 6 maybe.
Get a baseball bat. It's a good form of birth control.

Jodi said...

Tell him HE is totally responsible for birth control because you are not going to take or do anything.

That will buy you at least two more weeks while he pouts and complains. Once he remembers that they sell condoms at the store though he will be back in your personal space. :)

Marie Green said...

ok, well, first of all, having a csection buys you two more weeks, at least in these parts. Csection patients see their Dr. at 8 weeks, not six.

Also, having an infected incision might just delay that a bit more. Well I'm not saying you should lie, you could say "He said it's ok, but only if I feel ready... and I don't."

Catherine Newman once said that she thinks all OB's should tell couples 6 months. Then when you break that rule, you'd feel all naughty... and might actually have some desire?

Henry is looking older- and chubbier. What a sweet boy!

Jana said...

You're allowed birth control at the dreaded appointment? My OB won't give me a thing until I'm done nursing. Which, I guess, is a good thing since dh HATES condoms and there's no way I'm risking getting pregnant again this soon. Hmmmm.....maybe my OB is smarter than I give him credit for.

angie said...

I obviously haven't had any kids but oh my gosh did I laugh at your post! These are the things I have to look forward too...I better start scheming now because my boyfriend whines if we go too long haha!

Henry is a little cutie too!

Swistle said...

Jana: My OB highly disapproves of the mini-pill for nursing mothers--but will prescribe if I insist. (My previous OB wouldn't prescribe it until I was done nursing. I guess it's a Hot Topic with OBs.) And I might insist this time, considering the, er, "user failure" we had with condoms. On the other hand, I kind of like the idea of combining the "Sure, we can have sex--but you're responsible for birth control" with the whispering sweet nothings about "Just think: we could be making the sixth baby RIGHT NOW!" thing.

1hot&tiredmama said...

I told my hubby no sex until he got the little snip-snip! We have 4 children under the age of 6 and I am DONE! (I love 'em but I'm tired & busy & my body is just not ever gonna be the same.) He agreed to the vasectomy, but by the time he made the appointment, scheduled the surgery, etc. it had been about 6 months. Yay for me!!!

4andcounting said...

You have the cutest baby on the planet. I am actually afraid of the reaction I will have to my child, seeing as how he/she can't possibly be as cute.

No words of wisdom on the "relations" issue.

Misguided Mommy said...

ahahahahahahaha. i'm going through the opposite right now, you know that stage in pregnancy where you are extremely...hot and bothered....well i can't do shit about it because of this damn bed rest i'm restricted from sex my whole pregnancy. and you know how it goes, when you can't have something you want it more....sigh

Shelly said...

I'm almost 10 months out and still not that interested. Thankfully my hubby is patient, but I would like to enjoy it again one day...

Beth Fish said...

I vote for lying. Actually, I vote for "get your f'ing hands off me, this is all your fault anyway" but lying might be accepted a bit more gracefully.

Suburban Oblivion said...

I don't know if it works, but Sam over at Temporarily Me posted the coolest thing ever on how to turn your man off to sex awhile back!

http://www.temporarilyme.com/archives/288

Shauna said...

I wish someone told me about the making the 6 week appointment at 7 weeks. Although, I'm all for the Jamie Buchman 6 MONTH rule.

Colleen said...

I totally relate to this post. Add me to your end of the spectrum. I have the same issues you do... I'm just not all that snuggly a person to begin with... and even 2 years later... by the end of the day I still feel all touched out by Zoe.

On the birth control issue... my OB suggested the injection while nursing. I could barely remember what (or if) I ate during the day. There was no way I was going to remember to take a pill daily. The shot was one time every 13 weeks. LOVED it.

Nellyru said...

man, am i ever glad that my husband just KNOWS he's not getting any if i'm even remotely tired...

pretty much the rule is, if you want any, then i will be requiring AT LEAST eight hours of uninterrupted sleep prior to any action...and if you can't figure out a way to make that happen for me, well then...too bad. (um, there's not much action around here.)

CakeHead said...

That is one seriously cute baby! I can't comment on the sex thing 'cus I did get out of it for like six months. :P

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Emblita said...

Well, here they say 8 weeks, MINIMUM and my midwife (OB's here only work with high-risk pregnancies)said to me and my husband that most importantly I should be ready! Which was at like 10 weeks. But hell, actual intercourse was just painful up until a couple of months ago. But the hubby was wonderful about the whole thing. So... oral and lots of massage oil :p For both of us mind you.

And MrsGrumpy... hysterical! Whoop Whoop :รพ

Penny said...

Surely you wouldn't "have to" anything.

While I wasn't all skippy-happy to resume relations at 6 weeks, I was pleasantly surprised when it did happen. I'd heard horror stories of desert-like dryness and a libido the size of a flea, but it was the opposite for me. I had always wondered whether a c/s plays a role in that ? Sounds like: no.

Anyway, on topic, I think you should self-prescribe yourself some serious alcohol to pave the emotional way, so to speak. And get some lube. Plenty of lube. With enough alcohol and lube, you might hardly know what hits you. pun intended, dirty dirty me.

Good luck and god speed.

Penny said...

Oh, also: Look into the Mirena, if no body's suggested that already.

pinks & blues girls said...

OK, I'm not even 6 weeks out of having a baby (I've never even given birth...) and sometimes even I am always looking for valid excuses to get out of sex. :)

That little guy of yours is absolutely scrumptious! Love that picture.

Thanks for visiting our blog... glad you came through NE Mamas! Love blogging there, too!

Jane, Pinks & Blues

Sara said...

I so get you, even now when my kids are 2 and 3. After dealing with them all day, that's about as much human contact as I can take.

I refuse to take the pill because it makes me feel like garbage. My hubby is going to catch on soon that I'm not ovulating every single day of the month....

Erica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erica said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post and all these lovely women decided to comment. I was feeling pretty freakish over here with my COMPLETE AND TOTAL LACK FOR ANY INTIMATE CONTACT.

I wasn't allowed to have sex or the big "o" the last five months of my pregnancy and then got the all-clear at four weeks postpartum. By then, it had been six months since we'd had sex. And four months later, I'm still not interested. I think we've done it maybe three times in the six months since Maddie was born. It's like my libido just packed it's bag and moved out.

Does it ever come back? I really miss the intimacy with my husband. I want to want to, you know?

Misty said...

Hmmm.

I think I should call my husband and tell him thank you for being such a stand up guy. He never pressures me. Never. Especially after having the baby. It was a mutual decision and we didn't exactly wait the whole 6 weeks. More like...um...2 weeks.

After taking care of the kids all day, I missed that adult time to talk and connect with my husband. (Shrug) I guess everyone is just different, but I think I am on the "less average" end of the spectrum.

As for the BC issues, I got Mirena and of all of the things I have been on (and I have been on just about everything), I LOVE this one best. Doesn't hurt your milk supply at all (I am still nursing at 10 months and plan to continue after the baby is 1), is the most effective of all birth control (like 99.9% effective), AND no periods. Now, the no period thing sounds a tidge alarming, but Mirena is so "non-invasive" hormonally, that you don't have to wait to try to get pregnant after having it removed, like you have to wait for the pill or the patch to get out of your system. But they are very very picky about "good candidates" for this type of BC. So you will have to see if your doc is up for it and also if YOU are up for it. Some women really just don't like the idea of an IUD. That is an American thing, actually. Anyway.

*Smirk* And actually, Catherine suggested TWO YEARS.

Erica said...

PS - I have Mirena, too and LOVE it.

Samantha said...

I am already trying to prepare my sweet Husband for this issue - the whole "breastfeeding can lessen my libido" speech. Not to mention whatever damage may happen from birth, and the healing, and the whole we'll be really, really tired thing. At this point he's just looking forward to being in the same bed with me - we've spent months sleeping apart because of my monstrous snoring! So, really, his standards are very low at this point.

Henry is delicious!

CAQuincy said...

What a little doll!

My husband rather snidely comments to me from time to time that the only time I ever seemed to want to have sex was when we were actually trying for a baby. So I rather snidely comment back that I didn't want to then either--it's quite a hassle of a thing to go through just to get a kid! Then he's quiet again for a while! He just has a poor memory--we waited 6 weeks, 5 weeks and 6 weeks respectively. After the last baby, I did end up sharing a bed in the spare room with her. It was heaven! I got tons more sleep than with the other two, didn't hurt my back/neck from falling asleep while nursing in the rocker, AND I didn't get quite so many "Sector 7 breaches" (hysterical!) in the middle of the night. Ahhh....so nice.

My ob put me on the mini-pill after all three.

I'm still on the pill. I actually have more problems remembering it NOW that the youngest is 2 1/2 and I'm chasing after three little monsters every day (not to mention working full time). My husband will have a freakin' heart attack if I get pregnant again, so it might be time for him to finally go in and get snipped.

Not that I'm REMINDING him, or anything....

Omaha Mama said...

It took me 18 months both times (I'm only at 15 months now, so I'm guessing here) to want to want my husband. There's an Ewww factor what with all of the milk and fluids and I was usually STILL bleeding at 6 wks pp. Ugh.

Good luck to you.

I recently did the plastic IUD (TMI, I realize) and bought us 5 years to decide if we're done. I recommend based on the convenience factor and I can't really even tell I've had it done. Just a thought.

Congrats on baby's 6 week mark though - he's so huggable!

Omaha Mama said...

Mirena. That's what it's called. Thanks, Misty. I am also glad I did Mirena. I spotted for a while after it was put in but now, no period. Love it!

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

The Pill is EVIL.

Henry is adorable.

Although I felt the urge around wee 4, it's gone. I nodded my head thru your whole post and comments.

Swistle said...

Nellyru: AWESOME. I LOVE that rule.

Swistle said...

Penny: That sounds like the perfect one-two combo.

Erica: I know just what you mean about WANTING TO want to. But researchers are so very busy making medicines for MEN. Because, you know, men classically have so much trouble getting interested in sex. Whereas women only need medications to keep them from getting pregnant.

gabby said...

Man, this is where I remember I have a SAINT of a husband. He said whenever I was ready and actually meant it. Never brought it up, never whined. Even though it was WAYYYYYY past the 6 weeks. Of course, I nearly died. That may have created built in waiting.

You have lots of sympathy....

Brillig said...

happy To See Him. hahahaha. Yeah, I always do the same thing. By about 6 months, I'm rarin' to go. But six weeks? No, thank you. I'm the same with the touchy-feelies. I've been touched too much today, thank you, so don't come anywhere near me.

So, yeah... good luck with thtat!

And he is SO STINKING CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!

JMC said...

Well, my newest (I have 4) is 8 months old, and while I have had sex a few times since the birth, it was not once because I wanted to. I am just too damn tired, and don't want even a 0.1% risk of another kid - I've got all I can barely handle.

Shannon said...

Just in time...look what my "lovely" husband emailed me: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19696794/

ktjrdn said...

I just about killed my doctor when he "cleared me" at 4 weeks! after a c-section! with my husband in the room listening! B*stard. Anyway I was not really ready, but I tried to be understanding, blah, blah. I know what you mean with the limit on personal contact. You've got someone else pawing at you all day (and most of the night). I used to go downstairs to use the bathroom and "accidentally" fall asleep in bed before he got there so as to avoid the topic, sometimes. bleh.