A blog about miscarriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period that talks about everything no one talks about. Input WELCOME, email me at Swedishskier@gmail.com with suggestions, additions, or guest post submissions.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sex after childbirth... it does happen someday, right?

I was lucky in the postpartum pooping department. I shit within 24 hours after giving birth. And I figure this was lucky because it meant that I didn't stew about how bad it was going to hurt. I didn't have time to get too scared about it.

Sex postpartum is another story.

I was so happy to have gotten to have natural childbirth at home. Moments after giving birth, I felt so close to my husband. I really wanted to have sex with him. It was such an intimate time. And sex is what you do to celebrate intimacy. But not so much when 8 lbs of pain has just torn through your vagina. Best to hang back and wait for some healing.

I'd torn in the regular places and also in my labia. They call it a button hole. What a cutesy bunch of bullshit.

But 3 months later, I still hadn't had sex. I only had a couple of stitches but apparently it was hard to determine where to stitch because I had hematomas all over. Which is gross and painful. They didn't stitch my labia at all. Which wouldn't have been a big deal if it had been a small hole, but it wasn't. Which means it could catch during sex and could tear and hurt like a motherfucker. So then 6 weeks postpartum, I went back to the midwife. She called in a national expert on stitching who debraded and restitched everything. Which was painful. I mean, really, really painful.

Then 13 weeks postpartum, the hole in my labia completely reopened. Which meant I was facing stitching for a third time. The third time I gave up on being tough and went to the OB's office for the comfort and the good drugs.

I'm a slow healer. It happens. My husband was very patient. He genuinely did not pressure me. I did all the pressuring myself. I'm awesome like that.

The long and short of it is, it was six months before we successfully had sex again. This isn't as uncommon as you would think either. There's the six week mark where you think you'll be healed. And I sort of was. I went hiking and could do most things then. But there's still tissue remodeling that takes place for a long time. So take heart if you're waiting and worrying. Or... say... pressuring yourself. Relax. It will happen.

For me, sex is better now. I prefer not to look downtown. Things are a little larger than I'd anticipated. I don't like changes to my body. I like to look at me and see me. If I had the choice to switch places with Paris Hilton, I wouldn't. Partly because I'm better looking than she is, and partly because she's horrible. Ok, better example, Scarlett Johansson. I would like to fuck someone's brains out in her body for a day. But if I had the choice, I'd rather see me in the mirror. That's how I feel about some of the changes to my body post partum. But how they FEEL? They feel fucking great! Now that things are healed, its more comfortable than ever. And for the past year, I've orgasmed easier than ever.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What not to say- Miscarriage

When I had my miscarriage, there were certain things people said that set me off. From talking to other people, I've found that they too had things that set them off. Sometimes the my things and their things overlapped, but not always. For example: it never bothered me when people talked about the science of how your body got rid of something that wouldn't have developed properly. But other women I talked with were upset by this comment. So here's the list of things I've heard NOT to say:
-It wasn't meant to be.
-You'll have other kids.
-Its in god's plan.
-You'll get pregnant again.
-Its for the best.

The list could go on and on. Because in reality, there's nothing good to say. Except maybe, "I'm sorry." The best thing after that is to listen. To let the person cry. To offer to talk about mindless other things. To tell the person you're there for them. And after that, call them. They're unlikely to call you, even if you said to. Its a good idea to call them again and ask what they want. I like offering some options- "you can talk to me about things if you want, or I can talk about mindless shit on tv if you want a distraction."

One thing that really surprised me about my miscarriage was how long I grieved. I don't mean that lightly either. I mean, I came home from work and if you weren't right in my face, you didn't know, but I was actively in pain. For months. And months. I think its helpful for people to know that. Don't assume your friend is ok because it happened a couple of months ago and she's back to drinking and hanging out again. Ask. Offer.