Thursday, January 31, 2008

Asexual milk machine seeks guidance...

Despite every book that told me as much would happen, despite all the warnings from girlfriends, I find myself completely and utterly taken aback by how disinterested I am in sex. This is NOT like me… I love sex. I enjoy sex. I am not shy about loving and enjoying sex. But here I am- quietly and irrationally resenting Husband for the awful crime of… *gasp*… being attracted to me and loving me enough to want some.
There are the usual reasons for my lack of zest, of course. I am tired from trying to find time for a full-time job, a marriage, and oh yeah, that crazy little gal I call my daughter. I am still trying to come to terms with the new physical version of myself. That’s a big one. And it’s not just the changes from pregnancy and birth, but things like the absence of pedicures and frequently shaved legs- little things I would never have neglected prior to the baby. It’s tough to find your inner vixen when she’s been driven away by the constant smell of breastmilk puke.
There’s also the state of my relationship with Husband. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an excellent and healthy marriage. But it’s also still a marriage with a newborn. It’s easy to switch on for to make the sexy time when you’ve had ample time with your partner for connecting, communicating, just being together. Husband and I hadn’t slept in the same bed for a couple of weeks up until we figured out this reflux business. Our time together, our conversations, they focus largely on our daughter’s needs. That’s appropriate, obviously. We are putting her first and working together to be good parents. But it does leave you feeling sort of… I don’t know… far away from your partner. Definitely not as intimately and profoundly in tune with one another as you were before baby- you’re too busy being in tune with the baby.
But I think the biggest obstacle has been my state of mind. The only way I can describe how I feel is … well… utilitarian. My body and my very self seem to be in a constant state of producing/providing/procuring to meet someone else’s needs or demands. The baby needs a ton of care on a daily basis, but I have to give credit that Husband has done his half and more. Beyond that, she requires my body to produce her sustenance. Which means almost every other aspect of my life is in some way ruled by how it will affect her milk. My sleep, my diet, my clothing, my schedule, my appearance, my exercise… all are modified to meet her needs. And I’m back at work- so there are a myriad of people who need things of me here, and a lot of pressure to meet the needs of my internal clients. Then there’s all the things I should be doing for others and feel guilty for not getting to- the unwritten thank you notes, the unreturned phone calls, the family and friends who want to see the baby, the meals I never cook, the house I cannot seem to clean…
So by the end of the day, the prospect of sex sometimes feels like one more demand, one more person who needs something to be given of my most basic self. Like, I can barely find time to eat during the day and you want the last bit of my energy to get your rocks off? It feels like one more way in which someone needs to use my body, even when I have no time or energy to use it for myself. It’s a completely irrational and unfair way for me to feel, too. Husband is a wonderfully giving and attentive lover- he wants to make love for the feeling of connectedness and for my pleasure as much for his own fulfillment. He has never pressured me. And in my more rested and rational moments, I want sex as much if not more than he does. I mean.. he’s HOT! And good at it! (Sorry, Mom…) But when I have not been alone in weeks except to go to Target (to buy things for the baby) and I can’t wait to get to work so I’ll be able to pee whenever I need to… well, not so much on the sexy time. Now enters the guilt for how this must make poor Husband feel. I don’t for a single second want him to think he is not desirable and wonderful and amazing. Because he is- it’s the ultimate “it’s not you, it’s me”.
So veteran Mamas… any advice? Scratch that. Advice I’ve got- all of it impractical shit like “make time for yourself… take a long bath…get away for a few hours…” which I’m sure you all got too. How about just some reassurance and a hang in there or two? Anyone want to be a wet nurse /body double for about 24 hours? I swear that’s all I’d need…

7 comments:

klasieprof said...

YES yes and Yes. I remember nursing and having a new born. I simply DID NOT WANT ONE OTHER PERSON TO TOUCH ME!! If someone came to visit.."Don't hug me"...I was simply "touched out". Maybe that's where you are at. It WILL go away.
I think it might be god's way of making sure that new earthling is taken care of...to make sure we are not so distracted with great sex to forget to feed them. !! ((Hugss))but just air hug so you don't have to FEEL someone else on your skin.

ccw said...

All I can say is that this will pass.

Your feelings are completely normal. You're right it is very difficult to find the time or summon up the desire to have sex when you are exhausted, dirty, or have a baby in bed with you.

I quit breastfeeding Kid L at 5 months because I could no longer stand feeling like a milking machine. I wanted my body back.

With Nonami being 21 months, my body has just recently started to look and feel like my pre-3 baby body. Now, if he would just stay in his crib every night...

Ollie said...

Except for the work part, I could have written this post. Especially the part about feeling like it's just one more person who wants to use your body. Man, that was perfectly stated.

I don't really have much in the way of advice because I'm still trying to figure it out. The best we can do is a quickie when she naps on the weekends.. and that RARELY happens. I just don't feel like it. At all. Icky, no way. And I like it too, so it's a weird feeling to have.

Mieke said...

This is all normal. As you've probably guessed. The thing to do is find an inbetween to connect with H.

She was just born - give yourself some time. It will all come racing back - just when you least expect it. I nursed my boys FOREVER!!! I loved it and it didn't get in the way of my desire (once I got some sleep). THe important thing to celebrate is that he desires you and loves you.

One step at a time my friend. One step at a time.

emgop said...

I guess you don't want to hear your dear old mamma's take on this one but you're gonna get it anyway. Just remember, this too shall surely pass. You DO have two younger sisters! And you were the biggest pain in the ass newborn every to come on earth. I mean that quite literally - I thought my hoo hoo would never heal after you. On top of that there was the aspect of being all touched out from having a kid hanging on me all the time. It passes, you reconnect ( and have MORE babies!)

Anonymous said...

Hi I know you don't know me but I do remember you, we went to high school together. Anyhow.....I have 3 babes of my own so I know how you feel, it will pass, I promise!!!! Your lil one is absolutely beautiful and I wish you all the best. If you would ever like to talk, I am here. *smiles*. Maechell Davis OPHS C/O 1994
maechell76@yahoo.com

Sarahlynn said...

Exactly! It's not helpful advice, just - I hear you! And, I was SO PLEASED to realize that it gradually faded back to normal for me. There was even a time, before Second Baby was born, when I enjoyed having my breasts touched by someone other than the baby. Hopefully it will be so with you, too.