Everything I Know About Being a Mom

Sex is always important, but it's really important after you've had kids.

I was so obsessed with my role as a new mother that I put my marriage on the back burner. I didn't have time to look cute. David thought I looked bodacious after Conrad's birth, but I was in no mood to be romanced. I greeted his question about post-C-section sex with about as much enthusiasm as I faced the prospect of renewing my gym membership. I knew I'd feel better afterward -- as I do after hitting the treadmill. But my body was sleep-deprived, my breasts leaked, I felt fat, and I had a Fran-kensteinish scar below my navel that was numb to the touch. Not hot. As for my heart, I loved David, of course, but I was head over heels in love with Conrad. The intimacy of his falling asleep while nursing and my having to nudge his tiny foot to get his mouth to pop off my nipple when he napped was so new and satisfying I didn't need anything more. I was worried that I loved my son more than I loved my husband.

After about ten weeks, I came around. We pushed the cradle out of the bedroom into the hall, turned on the monitor, and tried to giggle and remember the fun we had making the baby. But then I'd hear Conrad cough or whimper, and I'd start thinking that he was about to stop breathing and that when the police came they would ask why didn't I check the baby, and I'd have to explain that I was trying to have sex with my husband.?

I had a C-section with Dash too. I had the same issues: no sleep, leaking, numbness, and fat. What was different this time? As soon as they handed me my red-faced newborn, the spitting image of Italian-American actor Paul Sorvino, I knew I had enough love for all the guys in my life. It was like my heart was opening up franchise stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Hamptons. With Conrad, the intensity of my love rattled me because it threatened my relationship with David, and I'd figured a second baby would be a wedge between me and my first.

It was just the opposite, though. Dash filled me with confidence and a new sense of possibility that my heart could multitask between everyone's needs and do it joyfully. Plus, I had more support. I already had a babysitter coming to take care of Conrad, so I handed her my new bundle and napped during the day. I fixed myself healthy salads and ate them sitting down. I even took time to work out between feedings. Having nursed before, I didn't feel like Dash was the landlord of my body the way I did with Conrad, it was more like he was simply renting my breasts until he could move on to solids. And when David crept into bed and asked "When?" I couldn't wait to get started. The sex was great, and I realized it is our marriage glue. We disagreed less afterward, we shared inside jokes, and despite the fact that we had 100 percent more kids to take care of, our lives were easier--so much so I wondered if I was ready to be further enlightened by a third.

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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