I have just discovered that I'm on the shortlist for 'Best New Blog' award at the Bloggies - so thanks to everyone who's voted so far (and btw, while you're at it, why not vote again - right here?!).
It would be very cool to win however I note that many previous winners of Bloggie awards have written about sex. Since this blog is mainly about telling the unvarnished truth about giving birth and raising a baby, sex is hardly the central theme... although of course sex is what got us here in the first place.
I do remember the furtive and fearful looks I received from teenage boys as I trundled down the street while enormously pregnant and at the time I liked to think of myself as a Living Warning. I also remember the somewhat wistful looks I received from women of many ages and on a good day I felt like the Living Embodiment of 'This is What it's All About'. What I did not feel however was particularly sexy, a situation which without treatment can last for a very long time - particularly when breast-feeding as suddenly those boobs don't feel very alluring anymore, attached as they normally are to a baby who is just as likely to spit up on them and punch them as he is to have his breakfast from them. The subject, however, doesn't just go away.
Here in the UK, when your baby is somewhere between 6 and 10 weeks old an appointment is made for you both to visit your friendly local doctor, who in between checking baby's responses and making sure he isn't a martian slips in the question 'Are you having sex yet?'. Rather like a biology teacher in front of a class of 14 year olds, the poor Doc then has to run through birth control options, as if the bare fact that you have a baby indicates that you are in serious need of instruction in this area.
A short survey among close friends revealed that a surprising number of couples are At It again as soon as they possibly can. The remainder however are of the opinion, certainly at 6 weeks post-baby, that they will Never Have Sex Again.
The main worry, apart from about any damage that may have occurred to one's nether regions during birth, is less about 'will it hurt' and more about 'will I feel anything at all?'. Clearly, one's partner (if male) is not the size of a baby and most likely not the size of a baby's arm either no matter what he likes to think - and crucially, there has been some serious expansion in Certain Areas that no amount of Lady Gardening can disguise.
If one has been obsessing about this in any way one will have been doing those pelvic floor exercises that one is always lectured about doing on buses and while feeding baby and in the queue for the post office and all sort of other unlikely places where squeezing one's bits together seems a bit filthy. I suspect however that no matter how many one has done there will always be a little suspicious thought that one is no longer as one was on the honeymoon and on this topic I can tell you to relax. Your partner has not had sex for 6 weeks or more and to him, you are Venus on the half-shell with Angelina Jolie thrown in for good measure.
More to the point, now one (and I am talking about myself specifically here) has some significant weight to lose, one could even consider sex as part of one's exercise programme and therefore A Good Thing even if one isn't feeling that keen. How effective it is remains to be seen. I, however have purchased a new heart-rate monitor for my venture into the gym and one night, it is bound to make it's way into the mysteries of the parental bedroom, at which point I will tell you how many calories The Act actually burns.
Meanwhile, no, I am not going to start writing about our sex life, to the no-doubt relief of my family and close friends. I hope this doesn't predjudice any of you potential voters out there... I hope however that this post somewhat offsets this glaring omission.