Worried about how long it takes after birth before you feel like you in the romance department again? Thankfully, there are timelines aplenty telling you exactly how long it should take for you to resume many of your pre-baby activities. You should be back to your pre-baby weight in six months! You should have your period back in three months! You should be back to work in four weeks! And, unless you want to risk your happiness, husband's happiness, baby's happiness, husband's friends' happiness, and the very fidelity of your marriage, you best get your man's hot P back up in that V in exactly 42 days.
That's right! Six weeks is when the medical community says you're good to go to get down to doin' it again. So get up here! Gitcha shirt off! Pro tip: It might be the last thing on your mind or even really painful, but you should still do it, because doing it matters. However, it will be touch and go keeping your partner into you during this desperate, unhappy life-dampening desert of a month-and-a-half where there is No Sex. Or, as a coworker of my husband's told him knowingly: "Longest-six-weeks-a-yer-life, bro."
I understand you'll have some questions.
Does it really have to be a hot P?
I'm afraid so. And the warmer the better. Cold P is as good as no P at all, as they say in Argentina. The good news is that you're cleared within four hours of delivery to administer sweet handjobs to get things cooking, and, it is advised that you continue to do so every hour on the hour until the 42 days have passed, just to cover all your bases.
What if I don't feel like it?
Precisely what you can "feel," you'll soon learn, is a relative term. What feels like an oddly shaped steel cube being inserted into your vag the first time you have sex again might very well be your husband's P lovingly entering you. Luckily, you've got 42 days to figure it out how you'll "feel" about that. But forget feelings, get out a calendar and get to lubing something already.
Will my husband understand if it takes a little longer than 42 days for me to be ready?
Absolutely not. According to the literature, he's an oafish idiot who thinks that the second the baby comes out, the second he can get back to business. He doesn't even know about the 42 days! Also, he doesn't understand why you might think sex is "tiring." He's wondering why you're not "into it." And even if he's putting exactly as much effort into newborn care as you are, he's still got a massive bone on just like always, that roustabout, and is very confused and hurt by your unwillingness to "give it up." He'll be having elaborate, creative daydreams about every woman he's ever met while you're in the bathroom changing your Swiffer pad.
Oh no. How can I get him to notice me again in spite of the fact that I'm still healing from childbirth, am exhausted, possibly depressed and haven't lost all the baby weight?
First, order satin sheets for all beds in the house, including the couch and the baby's crib. Second, perform a strip-tease routine every single night upon his return from work, always varying your hair color, technique, outfit and breast size. Third, round-the-clock handjobs are critical — this cannot be stressed enough. This may require enlisting your friends or sisters, but a serviced man is a happy man. Fourth, you'll need to drug your husband quickly just as you finish the striptease, order a surrogate vagina (ahem, Real Doll) who'll swoop in at the last minute and finish him off, thereby giving him the sense of having been satisfied by you but without any of the mess, and of course, without you risking infection. One caveat: This only gets you through the first four weeks and it is advisable to have a backup plan for those two crucial weeks just before the 42 days are up. You'll also need a nanny, a night nurse, and a full-time fluffer on staff.
But what about the baby?
Right! You'll have approximately 36 seconds to complete intercourse including warm-up, full contact, surrogate vagina and all post-sex reflections.
But what about oral sex?
I have a younger sister who, when she was little, was always like, "I wanna be a cash register when I grow up" and we were like, "Come on, a cash register? Like, don't you mean like a cashier? Because a cashier can actually touch the money and stuff, whereas the cash register just has to hold it," and she was like, "Nope, a cash register." It's kinda like that.
What happens when I can finally do it? Will I enjoy it at all?
Maybe? I hear some of us come out of this thing good as new and rarin' to go. Some of us are filled with the desire for contact but find ourselves suddenly in possession of a rogue vagina who refuses to obey her master's orders. Those of us so afflicted might feel so temporarily disconnected from said vagina that we lay there like a dead carp who also happens to be participating in a medical experiment in which we have been instructed to give blunt, clinical commentary. For instance:
Him: Does it hurt?
You: Yeah. We should stop.
Him: Does it hurt? Because I can feel you wincing.
You: Yep. We should stop.
Him: How does that feel?
You: Well, it's like I can definitely feel it, but it definitely still hurts. Steel cube. We should stop.
Him: How about this time?
You: It's like I can feel it on the left side but not the right, and it actually doesn't hurt as much in the upper third quadrant as it did two weeks ago, except this time I just don't care.
Him: That feels good, right?
You: Yeah, it actually is starting to feel really — shit, is that the baby crying?
Tracy Moore lives in Los Angeles. She's taking a break from handjobs.