Sex is one of the most often overlooked elements of a happy life, and even more so when women transition into motherhood. Investing time and effort in restoring intimacy is a long and complicated road for many couples. Intime Collective is here to start a conversation about how women can empower themselves and feel sexy in the bedroom, even after becoming parents.
Six months had passed after her first pregnancy before Pamela had sex again. She can count on both hands the amount of times she’s done the deed with her husband in the last two years.
“My sex drive is gone”.
Now, after two pregnancies, Pam has found her normally active libido has all but dried up. Motherhood has come to take its place, and it’s not allowing much time in the bedroom.
Pamela’s pregnancies haven’t exactly been straightforward. Her first child and was delivered via an emergency C-section, and the four-year-old can’t sleep through the night without coming into her and her husband’s room. But it was in trying for their second baby that real challenges arose. After struggling to conceive, Pamela and her husband decided to go down the infertility treatment path with IVF.
The hormones that Pamela was taking before the IVF began required her and her husband to have frequent sex for the six days a month that she was ovulating. “Sex was a chore, there was no lust. It was all about trying to conceive”.
Although it resulted in a second successful conception, Pamela suffered an intense reaction to the hormone used in the pre-IVF procedure. It altered her moods drastically, and put an intense strain on her relationship with her husband, causing them to fight a lot. The intensity of Pamela’s reaction towards the ovulation hormone stimulated a thyroid disease that she is still trying to remedy.
Becoming parents has permanently changed the way that Pamela and her husband interact. The children are their number one priority, and as any parent knows, they leave you pretty exhausted at the end of the day.
“Sometimes I can’t bear to be touched because I’ve had the kids climbing over me all day”.
Date nights have been pretty impossible for Pamela and her husband to tee up. Both her children had never taken to the bottle, so Pamela’s and her breasts need to be available around the clock for her youngest.
Pamela can’t engage in penetrative sex just yet – she gave birth via cesarean only four months ago. But she’s learning to lose the “all or nothing” mentality, and embracing other means of sexual fulfillment. Oral sex can be just as satisfactory, and help partners reignite sexual spark they’ve been missing. Pamela and her husband have been able to have a laugh about the direction that their sex lives have taken. There’s no pressure, and the environment is safe.
Despite the setbacks Pamela and her husband have endured, the couple have managed remind themselves of their deep friendship that is as the root of their relationship by working on the farm that the family owns. The two both have a passion for sustainability, healthy living, and the great outdoors. The farm has allowed them to simply do things together that they love – that isn’t centered on the kids.
The property, only an hours’ drive away, is visited by Pamela and her family most weekends. The change of scenery and fresh air is a healthy switch from the busy suburban life that dominates during the week. The farm has allowed the family to bond as a whole, and share passions for healthy living, and plan future updates to the farm. The two dream of building a fruit tree orchard, in addition to veggie patches.
Pamela fondly recollects that although she and her husband have been married for six years, their car trips to and from the farm are still filled with conversation and genuine interest in each other’s lives. “There’s never silence. We have complementing personalities”.
Sex can be intimidating, especially after a long hiatus. But sometimes the smaller acts can add up too – Pamela has instated a rule with her husband that they must kiss goodbye and hello every day. Although a far cry from doing the dirty, these small acts of intimacy have helped Pamela and her husband bond sexually again.
“Look, somedays I feel like a grumpy bitch”, says Pamela. “But I’m making an effort, trying out lighten up a bit. I know it will happen soon for us.
When women take on the title of mum, they adopt an important role in life. No longer serving their own needs first, sex life is quick to get demoted on the priority list. But its importance in a healthy marriage and indeed a healthy life cannot be ignored.
The Intime Collective believes that sharing stories of sex life after children can empower women, and help them allow their sexuality to re-enter their lives. Every woman is different, but by igniting a conversation and providing a safe space for sex to happen, The Intime Collective hopes to be a source of information and positivity to mothers everywhere.