Courtesy of Mariah MacCarthy

Actually, Sex During My Third Trimester Was Awesome

By
Share
Ad failed to load

I loved sex in my third trimester. I loved how it felt; I loved being able to feel sexy when I was 90-percent baby; I loved making that connection with another person at such a unique moment in my life. Maybe you think I'm depraved for even thinking about sex when I'm incubating a human life. Maybe you've tried third-trimester sex and it wasn't for you. But the way I saw it, I didn’t have to worry about getting pregnant again, I could get in some exercise that didn’t leave me winded, and orgasms are good for you. All in all, sex during my third trimester was pretty damn great.

Yes, I had a small boulder in my tummy, and this limited me physically. No, I didn’t exactly know where anything was anymore, because the landscape of my vagina had shifted and I hadn’t seen past my navel in a month or two. Yes, it was painful at first, before I figured out how to position myself with a partner. But holy cow, was it fun!

I loved my pregnant body. In general, I wouldn’t call myself so much “confident” as, “I have accepted my awkwardness and can make it work for me on occasion.” But I felt effortlessly, unstoppably hot when my stomach was the size of Canada. When I am not pregnant, which is most of the time, I fight with my skin and my hair a lot, but those two things smoothed out in my pregnancy toward the end of my first trimester. With my silky mermaid hair and my glowing complexion, I looked like an earth mother. I'd always thought pregnant women were beautiful and sexy, so I wasn’t necessarily surprised to feel this way, but I really, actively liked the way I looked.

Ad failed to load

And I was horny.

Courtesy of Mariah MacCarthy

I was already a sexually adventurous person before getting pregnant, and this did not go away when I got pregnant. My pregnancy also added an interesting ticking-clock element to my sexual experiences. I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant again anytime soon; in fact, I hadn’t been planning to get pregnant this time around, and was planning to place my son for adoption. (He lives with a wonderful gay couple now and I see them all the time — it’s a story with a happy ending.) So with only nine months to experiment, and an intense, innate curiosity on what pregnancy sex would be like, I very much wanted to get my pregnant freak on before my time ran out.

Ad failed to load
When he said he wanted to (and I quote), “take you home and have sex with you,” he didn't expect me to actually say yes. But I did.

So there was a hookup in the first trimester with a polyamorous guy who couldn't spend the night, and I dabbled with group sex in my second trimester (twice in one week). These experiences were fun and sexy, but emotionally unfulfilling and a little bit impersonal. Despite my sometimes-experimental sexuality, I realized that I didn’t actually want anymore one-offs at that moment in my life. I wanted sleepovers and cuddling and brunch in the morning. I didn’t expect to meet the love of my life, but I very much craved connection.

Ad failed to load

Right as Trimester Three began, I met a friend of a friend named Irving. I found out that Irving had a personal rule: He'd say yes to any woman who asked him out. I remember him saying, “I figure, she put herself out there, the least I can do is give it one date.” And he was cute, so I figured, why not? I asked him out that night via Facebook message. Per his rule, he said yes.

And wonder of wonders, we had actual chemistry! We greeted each other with a warm, long hug, and bonded over complaining about our jobs. However, he clearly had hangups about my pregnancy, asking questions like, “How wrong is it to be attracted to a pregnant woman?” I was surprised by this; why would it be wrong to be attracted to a pregnant woman? Especially when she asked you out? “I don’t blame you,” I said. “I mean, I look great.” He laughed and said, “Yeah. You do.”

I missed sex. I missed being touched. And I liked him.
Ad failed to load

When he said he wanted to (and I quote), “take you home and have sex with you,” he didn't expect me to actually say yes. But I did. His response was, “Really?” Me: “Yes!” Him: “…Really?” It took a while to convince him that I was serious, but once I did, we went home together.

Courtesy of Kacey Stamats

Sex with him the first time was a little painful. I didn't know yet how to position myself so that it wouldn't hurt. It wasn’t awful, just not perfectly smooth sailing —pressure on the wrong vaginal walls or something. I still enjoy sex when it hurts a little, though. It wasn’t so much distressing as, “OK, we’re learning!” (We also were pretty much limited to missionary position due to my tummy.) But the intensity factor was deliciously high. It'd been a very long time since he’d slept with someone, and the unleashing of all that sexual frustration led to a very enthusiastic night of sex for both of us. When pain shows up as a byproduct of passion, I don’t mind it as much.

Ad failed to load
I’m proud that I kept living my life, even as my stomach approached outlandish proportions. I’m proud that I didn’t shut down my body’s capacity for pleasure.

I missed sex. I missed being touched. And I liked him. I liked that he was kind of awkward, like me. I liked it when he fell asleep on top of me. I had forgotten what it was like to have sex with someone I wanted to see again. We both agreed that we should do this again sometime.

Ad failed to load

I didn’t fully realize at the time that having sex later in pregnancy was taboo. I certainly knew that dating during pregnancy was unexpected. All the pregnancy books I’d received just tacitly assumed that whoever got you pregnant was your husband, but I ran with a liberal, artsy crowd who understood that single mothers are a thing. It didn’t even cross my mind to judge myself. Nor did it occur to me that sex during the third trimester would be perceived as any different than sex during the second. And why would I stop having sex just because my belly had gotten to a certain size? Irving knew about my adoption plan, so there was no implicit question about whether he’d ever have to take on a fatherhood role. My son’s due date was still months away. We could just have fun.

The next time we slept together was pretty great. I don’t know if it’s just that we’d had a chance to work out the kinks, but it was not painful at all. We went from, “OK, we’re learning!” to “We got this!” We were able to go at it for longer than the first time, and there was a tenderness to it that hadn’t been there the first time —though maybe that was just the Adele album he put on in the background playing tricks on my mind. Whatever it was, the passion and intensity were definitely still there.

Later, sex would become less appealing to both of us. The muggy New York City heat and my swollen aching feet made me feel considerably less sexy after awhile, and Irving confessed that he found it distracting to have “another man’s baby” present in my body during sex. (Frankly, I thought we should keep at it anyway, but he disagreed.) Eventually, we paused things until after my son was born. But even though it was brief, I look back on my third-trimester sex with fondness, and even a bit of pride. I’m proud that I kept living my life, even as my stomach approached outlandish proportions. I’m proud that I didn’t shut down my body’s capacity for pleasure.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}