I waited 2 years, 4 months and 12 days for my libido to return after having twins

To be honest, I waited longer than that, since my pregnancy was rife with circumstances which made it difficult to get in the mood:  feeling sick, feeling huge, then the fear of doing something to disturb those two growing fetuses, then a cervix that was too short and needed rest and then feeling REALLY huge. But pinning the disappearance of my libido on the birth of my twins is an easier marker.  After all, the day I suddenly became a mom to not one but two children is difficult to forget. 

This is not to say that no sex was had for those 2 years, 4 months and 12 days. I just didn’t enjoy it. I also didn’t not enjoy it. All previous (and infrequent) postpartum attempts at “fulfilling my wifely duties” felt just like that: fulfilling a need. Not my need, but my husband’s and my marriage’s. Perhaps I enjoyed feeling like I was desirable  and the pleasure of knowing I was still capable of the physical act, even if I wasn’t very interested in it. 

At first, my disinterest didn’t bother me. I figured it was due to the exhaustion of new motherhood. Or, the fact that I was nursing two babies around the clock and my breasts seem more like feed bags than fun bags. Later, I figured it was a hormonal thing attached to my continued breastfeeding, or my exhaustion upon returning to work. 

But when I got close to the two year mark with no libido in sight, I started to wonder if I’d be permanently broken. I got uncomfortable every time my husband tried to tell me I was sexy or planted a suggestive kiss on the back of my neck. I wished I could go back in time, to when my libido was in full force, and have a lot more sex. In the months before I got pregnant, I’d never had such great sex. I’d stopped taking my birth control pills, my hormones were doing their natural thing and I felt re-awakened. Alive. I missed that feeling terribly. 

One night, while our two-year-old twins watched Daniel Tiger in the other room, I cried and told my husband my fears. Was my libido gone for good? Would I ever want, I mean really want to have sex again? 

The answer came with the return of something else: my period. Two years without menstruation did seem extreme, but producing enough breast milk for two nursing infants who then turned into two nursing toddlers took a lot out of me. Sure, breastfeeding causes the production of prolactin, a hormone known to kill libido. But, breastfeeding also delays the return of the menstrual cycle. 

It should be no surprise that ovulation and libido are tied. Biologically, if a woman’s ovulation is suppressed, she’s not able to produce another child, so why should the body bother to make her all “hot and bothered?” However, once my period came back, it was a different story. As I neared ovulation, I found myself looking at my husband differently. Excitedly. So, one night after the kids finally fell asleep, I wriggled out from underneath two snoring toddlers, creeped out of the darkened bedroom, hurried downstairs to my husband’s studio and surprised him. Wearing headphones, he turned away from the mixing board to see me standing in the doorway wearing only a shirt and underwear. He seemed bewildered and looked toward the laundry room, tacitly asking if I was looking for pants to wear. So, I gave him a hint. 

“Wanna have sex?”

Dear Reader, he said yes. 

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