Kids, you may want to shut your eyes. I’m talking about pregnancy sex with your Dad.
I love Ronnie. He is supportive, passionate and no matter what’s happening he’s always there. Although we’ve only been together for a little over a year and a half, I have known him for almost a decade. What surprises me about him is his…. Ahem…. “penis”. I use quotation marks because I don’t love the word penis, but writing cock, dick, schlong, doodle just doesn’t seem right. I’m always amazed by its gravity defying way of standing to attention! Don’t you think it’s funny that a man can come home from a long day/week of work, almost in a coma, yet a single smile can get his blood pumping in an instant?
I thought being pregnant would increase our (my) sex drive (not sure he needs any increase in this department!). I had heard countless stories of Mammas who couldn’t get enough pregnancy sex and was thrilled about the prospect of getting down and dirty but… sadly, I simply didn’t want it. Being pregnant had the complete opposite effect on me (poor Ronnie).
There is shame associated with not wanting sex while pregnant
Not wanting pregnancy sex was a big deal for me. Ronnie and I had always been ‘into’ each other. At first, I would push myself to have sex. I kept thinking there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want it. I had expectations as to how I would be as a ‘woman’ and what my pregnancy and relationship needed to look like. It wasn’t until one night when Ronnie stopped mid-way through and asked, ‘baby, what’s wrong? I know you and you don’t seem like you want to be here’.
I didn’t want to have pregnancy sex
That moment was both heartbreaking and freeing. I silently nodded and burst into tears. I didn’t realise the amount of shame I was carrying about not wanting pregnancy sex. I was afraid I was becoming an ‘everyone loves Raymond’ sitcom version of myself – you know, where the wife constantly nags her husband and beats him off anytime he tries to ‘advance’ her. I was worried the pregnancy and then baby was going to cause our relationship to change and become less. I didn’t want Ronnie and I to end up being roommates; and my biggest fear… what happens if he didn’t want to stay?
I didn’t feel like a loving partner. I felt lost. Ronnie, in true form, looked at me and said, ‘Babe, this is normal, stop stressing’. My eyes searched his to see if he still loved me (Pregnancy Hormones + Expectations = Crazy Stories) but it wasn’t really his love and acceptance I was looking for; it was my own.
What’s a woman to do?
Taking all the pressure off and sharing my feelings helped. Accepting the season of my life made it even better. Understanding my body made all the difference. There are numerous reasons why you might not want to get funky in bed while pregnant (but if you do want some ‘hot pregnancy sex, here is an excellent guide for sexy positions for each trimester). All are real and nothing to be ashamed of.
1. Physical Stress – You’re building another human
It takes a lot of energy to build another human being. Your body is going through significant changes and your nutrients and energy are dedicated to creating a new life. Being kind and gentle to your body during is this time is key and so is listening to your energy levels. As my naturopath says, “now is the time to be selfish and look after Mamma. You are embarking on a big project and it’s ok for your libido to change. Don’t worry, it will come back”. Pregnancy sex was not what my body (or emotions) wanted and that’s ok.
2. Emotional Changes – There is something extremely intimate about having a baby inside you
One night Ronnie and I were getting funky. He was kissing me; I was feeling excellent and then…. “kick”. Our baby started kicking and, when I say kicking, he was having his own little party in my belly. Talk about mood killer! Now I know for some women this isn’t a big deal (power to you) but for me it didn’t feel good. Accepting this and honouring how I felt was the right thing to do. Having pregnancy sex while my baby was kicking didnt feel right for me and that is ok.
3. Physical conditions
I didn’t want pregnancy sex because it hurt. It wasn’t until a (rather painful) internal exam that we found I had a bad case of thrush. Sometimes the lack of sexual desire can be due to something as simple as a physical issue. Chatting with your obstetrician can be helpful and yes, you can have thrush without knowing.
4. Stressing about sex and getting up in your head is not going to help
Ronnie has been so supportive. He has taken all the pressure off me and made it ok for us to have a break. Now, before you go all hard-core feminist and shout ‘so he should’, remember; a loving partner doesn’t just want sex to get his rocks off.
I know for Ronnie one of the primary ways he expresses his love for me is through making love. He has always been physical and it’s one of the things I really love about him. More importantly, I love making love with him! I love the feeling, the connection, the excitement and how happy we are in the moment. One of the moist magical things about our relationship is how we communicate without fear.
Ronnie had shared his frustrations about our current situation, spoken about the tension he felt and how he missed that part of us yet at no point did he make me feel less than.
Giving yourself permission to be honest and not doing things due to obligation is so freeing and allows enjoyment in other areas. I know I’m never going to have another child, having these nine months to really enjoy pregnancy has been an experience I have loved. Marring this experience because of some crazy expectation is silly and frankly a waste of time.
5. Intimacy can be built in other ways
Ronnie and I have had some ups and downs during this pregnancy. We’ve had lots to discuss, found different ways to connect and found intimacy in other ways. As I reflect on the last nine months, I see how much we have grown. We have both seen the best and worst of each other. We have spoken until the early hours of the morning, almost at breaking point trying to navigate this next chapter.
I have understood him in ways I doubted I ever would, and he has understood me. We have unpacked areas where we didn’t have complete trust and celebrated how strong we are as a couple. I’ve discovered I love this man even when I don’t like him and, despite its absolute importance, our sex life isn’t the thing holding us together. Our love has deepened as a result and I feel more connected to him and he to me. I also feel an intimiate connection with my baby. For me, pregnancy sex was taking away from building intimacy in both relationships
Look, I don’t know what the future is going to hold; I’m still pregnant. One thing I have no doubt about is I am more in love with Ronnie than ever and I am already starting to feel that Salt-n-Peppa Push It feeling coming back! I will have a lot of ground to make up!
What about you? Don’t leave a girl hanging! Surely I’m not the only one who has felt this way? I would love to know your experience. Post below.