sex

"I felt something had shifted": What our sex life really looks like after 3 kids.

The first time my husband I had sex was on his kitchen floor. 

I was cooking him dinner and the sexual tension was so high that as soon as he turned off the cooktop and laid me on the floor I came almost straight away. 

It was one of those fairytale nights where we spent hours naked, entwined together. Discovering each other’s bodies in between bouts of sleep. 

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As the months rolled on we experimented with props, positions, porn and lots of laughs. 

Eventually the love part came and our sex would take a more emotional turn. Deep and healing, knowing what each other needed. 

There was still the fun, the laughs. We travelled the world together and there was sex on balconies, in buses, on boats, on drugs and in tents. Experiencing new cultures as much as discovering new ways to be together. We never made it to the mile high club though? Not sure what that was about. 

Then there was the baby making sex. More exciting for what it would bring. Purposeful and scary and not about just the two of us anymore. Hopeful that this time would lead to something much bigger. And a new sense of freedom not having to worry about where he should finish. Also, right around the time I read the 50 Shades books, so it got a little kinky. 

And in those blissful months of late pregnancy when I just couldn’t get enough of him. Always slightly aroused and ready for it. Still just the two of us. 

Baby number one then slowed it all down. Why would I want to be touched when I am touched all day by a small human? Literally sucking the life out of me. 

How can I feel sexy when I smell like old milk, not sleeping and I literally have no idea what I’m doing? Winging it from day to day and falling in bed at night hoping that tonight I might get four hours sleep in a row. 

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The sex become a little more methodical and a little more rehearsed. We knew what each other liked and did the bare minimum to finish each other off. Mostly glad that I’d ticked it off the list and didn’t have to worry about it for a while.

We wanted a boy for baby number two, so the sex become about timing. Peeing on an ovulation stick, doing it just the once then hoping for the best. 

We got it right, and our beautiful baby boy joined us.

Over the years we went through peaks and troughs. Fighting about how much we should have sex, having it out of guilt and having genuine times of connection. Watching Kama Sutra videos to help spice it up and trying to get a sneaky session in the shower while the kids banged on the door. My husband even googled sex retreats in Northern NSW for us to attend. 

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And once we had sex on the bed while the kids were under it playing cubby houses. Our sex life ebbed and flowed through the normal chaos of raising two small children. 

Fast-forward four years and baby number three was made. And a few agonising weeks of trying to decide if we wanted another child.

After much soul searching and a shamanic breathing workshop, I decided that our third baby was meant to be. However my pregnancy took a turn for the worse. Nine months of hyperemesis gravidarum (a severe form of morning sickness) and gestational diabetes. I was basically bedridden, in and out of hospital, unable to care for my other children. 

My mental health took a huge hit. I lost a lot of weight; I lost the will to live. Both my husband and I started taking medication to help deal with the stress and neither of us even broached the subject of sex. 

That was the longest we had gone without sex. At my postnatal six-week check, the doctor gave us the okay but I couldn’t bring myself to. I felt traumatised, angry, sleep deprived and undernourished. Plus the antidepressants really reduce your sex drive.

My husband had a vasectomy at the first chance he could get. 

In the seven months since number three, my husband and I have had sex twice. Once in the bathroom on holiday and once when I bought a new car and we christened it.

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Those wistful days of kitchen sex, even the emotional healing sex, seemed far away. 

Then this morning I woke and realized that baby three had slept through the night... a full 12 hours. Which meant I had had a full nine hours sleep. My other two had spent the night at Nanna’s. 

My husband and I were so excited we decided to celebrate by having sex. So the third time I’ve had sex in 16 months was on the bed, whilst baby three lay beside us with Cocomelon on the TV. 

I came to 'the wheels on the bus go round and round' and I’m pretty sure she was watching me as I called out. And as I felt the weight of my husband on me, our skin touching, I felt something had shifted. 

Without the possibility of more children, the sex can now go back to just being about us. It may not be the same exciting sex we had on that South American bus, but at least a bus was still involved.  

And once the borders open back up, maybe even that sex retreat...

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo from Getty.

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