Let’s talk about firsts. We all remember our first kiss (come to think of it, I actually don’t but I have a feeling it was a rough and tumble affair at a Young Farmer’s Ball and I’d drunk too much cider but, enough of that…) we all remember the first time we fell in love, the first time we bumped uglies with someone but once you emerge from the fog of pubescence, the firsts tend to slow down.
Well, that is until you have give birth and, with alarming speed, the ‘firsts’ starting rolling in again. Let’s talk about sex. You (obviously) have already lost your virginity once. Probably a long time before you fell pregnant (but who am I to judge?) and let’s face it, it was pretty traumatic the first time. Whatever they say about making sure your first shag is special is a load of rumtiddly ballwank. It’s awkward and painful and way more technical than any nudey scene in a movie would have you believe. You get through it, you hope to the lord of cherry-popping that he’s not going to laugh about it with his mates the next morning and you move on. You power on through until you start to get some idea of what the hell it’s all about and, after that, it’s simply a case of honing your skill. As they say, practice makes perfect.
Then, you find the one, you have sex, you get pregnant and you give birth.
At some point following this, you will be expected to have sex again. It’s a highly unreasonable expectation and one that I considered practically barbaric, considering what happened the last time…but it is an unavoidable necessity. When it comes to it, everything in you (mostly the nerve endings surrounding your baby exit) will scream and shout that you shouldn’t do it, that you can’t do it. “Look where this kind of behaviour got you the last time?” your nerves will scream at you. You will nod sagely as the midwife advises six weeks wait before you jump on the sausage train again but in your head you’re thinking, “Six motherfunking weeks? Are you joking? It’ll be a cold day in hell before anything goes in or out of that hole again.”
But the six weeks comes around. In a haze of sleeplessness, hormones, stinky nappies and painful nipples…all of a sudden the six weeks is here. If your partner is brave, he may look at you expectantly, he may even broach the subject in conversation…if he’s careless with his life, he may even make a move on you.
It took me thirteen weeks to gird my sexual loins. We were at a wedding, we had a night off, granny had the baby, we were in a hotel. I suddenly realised there was no avoiding it. What good reason did I have…other than outright fear? I love my husband and I fancy the pants of his ginger, bearded soul but when it came to reinstating my physical marital duties I felt like a sixteen year old virgin all over again.
We entered the hotel room and I went straight for the minibar. Champagne. Obvs.
“Want a drink?”
“No,” he said with a sneaky glint in his eye.
At this point, I want you to know that I really wanted to do it. I really wanted to get back in the saddle (so to speak) and get on with normal married life but every time I thought I something…anything…going in I had to stop myself from doing a little shiver. I also knew I was being a massive weed and resolved myself to it and even told myself I was going to enjoy it.
And enjoy it I (obviously) did. BUT, it did feel different. It did feel a little like I was losing my virginity all over again. It wasn’t a bad thing, it didn’t hurt, it wasn’t weird but it was different. It was another ‘new’ think, it was another ‘new’ me and in the end, it was actually better.