Only we were talking about my vagina. My post-childbirth vagina.
"You can have sex again…exercise… whatever. You're good-to-go."
I must have looked concerned because the doctor flashed me a reassuring smile. "Don't worry," she said. "You can tell your husband you can't have sex for another couple of weeks, if you want."
Given how quick the doctor was to give me an excuse, I obviously wasn't the only patient who wasn't exactly clamoring to jump back in the sack. Unless it was to sleep that, is. Oh, blessed, elusive sleep.
Here's the thing about sex: it takes energy. Don't believe the over-eager husband who claims you "don't need to do anything" – even rolling over afterward takes energy. Energy a new mom doesn't have after spending a day with a baby clamped on her breast and a whole night with a fussy baby screaming in her arms. In fact, the last thing most new moms want to do with their only fifteen minutes of "free time" is engage in yet another activity involving their breasts and screaming. Those fifteen minutes are precious, and best spent doing really important activities. Like sleeping.
Did I mention how much I miss sleep?
Not only are us new moms exhausted, but we may not exactly be thrilled with the State of Our Body only six weeks after popping out a baby the size of a bowling ball. Sure, celebrity moms are crowing "HOW I GOT MY BODY BACK!, complete with a bikini shot, flat tummy and perky breasts, on the cover of tabloids only five minutes after giving birth; however, us commoners don't have the benefit of using Photoshop to shave off the extra pounds in real life. After having my daughter two years ago, I not only gained the love of my life – I also gained a deflated spare tire around the middle and hips wide enough to stop traffic in a neighboring state. This was not how I wanted to make my return to the bedroom. I mean, my body had been growing bigger and bigger for nine months. Now I was sans baby – time for my sexy comeback! Only I had imagined my comeback to be more Robert Downey Jr., less "Charlie Sheen stand-up tour." I was sure my husband expected the same. Not to mention my vagina still felt uncomfortable. You know, after the whole popping-out-the-baby-the-size-of-a-bowling-ball thing.
Here's the thing about men: THEY DON'T CARE. They don't care that we're exhausted. They don't care that we're carrying a spare tire. Or that our vagina cowers at the thought of accepting visitors in there again. They have gone without sex for six weeks – or more, depending on the voracity of their sex life during pregnancy – and only one question dominates their thoughts:
"When is my wife finally going to give me my five minutes?"
I wish I could tell you the first time after having a baby feels amazing – and maybe for some people it does (freaks) – but I can tell you this: Giving your husband those five minutes is a lot less painful than listening to him whine about it. Because you already have enough fussy babies in your house.
Also: It gets better with time. Way better. Unlike Charlie Sheen's stand-up tour.