But then transcendence found me. It found me in the strangest moments, in watching my husband hold our infant daughter, his hands cupping her tiny head. It found me as he cradled her to give a bottle or as he read Good Night Moon in the nursery glider, her tiny fingers pulling apart the pages. It found me in the memory of his hands during 11 hours of labor, his wet tears falling on my shoulders.
Instead of thinking about when it would be over or my flaws, I thought about what the act had created—our child. My body was scarred with irrevocable truths of motherhood: two silver streaks covering a fleshy pocket of skin on my stomach. And yet, I no longer cared. Read: Loving A Post-Baby Body
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And my husband, surprisingly, was more than abs and shoulders, more than biceps and strong pectoral muscles. Objectification, once the way we related, intentionally or not, had become passé in the face of such a miracle. We had joined the ranks of so many mothers and fathers before us, united through more than just a piece of paper or a ceremony. We had created life together.
And the result? Hot sex—lots of it. I finally understand what all those bodice rippers and sex columns have been touting. Every touch, every move, everything that once seemed so routine was now charged with this new knowledge. It was one thing to hear him say he wanted me to mother his children. It was another to do it, to spend all day passionately loving something created from both of us and to then love each other in bed at night.
The childbirth books speak of diminished desire post-birth and suggest lubrication, but nobody talks about the other possibility. What if sex were better? What if all of the inhibitions and disparaging thoughts that once filled our heads fled? What if the very act of childbirth forced them out?
My husband felt it, too. We used to get up immediately after sex, always somewhere to be, something else to do. Now we would lie, tangled for hours, discussing our daughter, drifting off to sleep in the moments that felt stolen while she slept in the next room.
I mentioned it to a couple of friends who were also more than a few months past the birth. "I have more orgasms now," one mom told me while another giggled and admitted that she, too, was enjoying sex more post-baby. But no one spoke of the connection I felt.
And not all moms experience it this way. "No," said one mom as her nine-month-old clawed at her chest. "There are too many things that want a piece of my body each day," she said. Then she laughed. "Maybe you are just a freak."
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Maybe I am. But if I am, there is at least I know one person who appreciates it.