Does anybody remember that episode of Friends where Monica gets super competitive about her sex life versus Pheobe’s sex life? So the episode goes like this: Phoebe gets a new boyfriend (who is a cop) and the whole episode they can’t keep their hands off each other. Monica, being the competitive person that she is, feels like she has to show off how ‘hot’ a couple she and Chandler are. She starts going crazy and trying to seduce Chandler in a variety of public places to try to convince Phoebe that her relationship isn’t old and boring. But really, towards the end of the episode, you realize that Monica is just a little insecure about her and Chandler moving from a ‘hot & spicy’ couple to a ‘committed and lukewarm’ couple.
I think about this episode in terms of my pregnancy often. I remember people telling me things like ‘oh yeah, a good way to get the baby out is by having sex’ or ‘you need to learn how to do different positions once you get in the 3rd trimester’. I don’t remember people ever telling me that I wouldn’t really want to have sex. This made me feel a little bit strange when I found myself reaching for the pillow instead of reaching for my husband at night. What’s wrong with me? I would wonder. Is this normal? I thought...
The answer is YES and also, YES.
So, for those of you like me, I am just putting this PSA out there: It’s Okay if You Don’t Want to Have Sex When You Are Pregnant.
You Are Tired
I was tired the majority of my pregnancy. There were times in the first trimester when I would come home from work at 5:00 PM, take a two-hour nap, and then go to bed for the night at 9:00 PM. Not only that but I felt nauseated. Many times, the only way for me to stop feeling sick was by falling asleep. Who wants to have sex when they are tired and sick? Not me.
You are Stressed
Knowing that a child was going to be entering our lives soon gave me anxiety. What kind of mother was I going to be? How will I keep this tiny human alive? I was also working as a teacher at the time, and my school made teachers plan out 12 weeks of lessons for the duration of the time that they would be gone on FMLA. I was spending every waking hour planning my daily lessons, while also planning detailed lessons for my substitute to do while I was gone. I am sure many jobs are like this, but I felt like I was being punished for having a child. I had to put in so much extra work on the weekends just to keep my head above water. Working that much certainly didn’t put any Austin Powers vibes in my head.
Your Spouse is Also Stressed
If I wasn’t staring at the wall freaking out about hypothetical parenthood scenarios, then my husband was. He was worried about becoming a father, about my health (we had a few complications), and he spent countless hours working out the family budget over and over again to make sure that we could afford everything for the baby without taking on debt. Sometimes after all that responsibility is done crushing your shoulders, all you really want to do is cuddle.
It’s Science –Your Hormones are Changing
Hormones wreak havoc on your body during pregnancy. Hormones are like Peeves the poltergeist in Harry Potter. They are always showing up and causing trouble. Unless you are crying because all of the barbecue chips in the bag are broken, they don’t feel like they have done a good enough job ruining your life.
You Are a Walking Watermelon
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was wobbling around like a damn penguin. I couldn’t even walk up the stairs to my apartment without getting winded. Sex just sounded like too much work; unless my husband was comfortable having sex with a woman who resembled a corpse. He wasn’t – so we didn’t.
Pregnancy is a wild adventure
There are some couples who have ‘Phoebe and cop boyfriend’ sex on the daily while they are pregnant. That is great. There are also some of us who are more like Monica and Chandler. That is also great.
Not wanting to have sex all the time while you are pregnant is normal
There is nothing wrong with you. You don’t have to go through great lengths to try to prove to yourself that you are still a ‘hot’ couple. You are as hot as they come. The dry spell will end eventually and before you know it, you guys will be running around the house naked again. I promise.
Our next reco: Your Sex Life After Baby - Good, Better, Gone?