The Comedy of Sex in the Third Trimester

The biggest surprise of my third trimester so far? I still want to have sex with my husband!

During my last pregnancy, I was on pelvic rest, so sex was off the table. (I replaced it with chocolate, at least until I flunked the gestational diabetes test.  Ah, pregnancy and its many delights.)  This time, we’re free to form the beast with two (three?) backs, and despite my enormous girth and aggravating symptoms, I occasionally do feel like getting it on. Maybe it’s the hormones, maybe it’s the blood flow, or maybe it was watching the married couple on HBO’s “Togetherness” bumble hopelessly in sexual dysfunction. I actually thought to myself, we can do better than that!  But could we?

It’s one thing to desire sex at 32 weeks and quite another to successfully achieve it. The seemingly obvious position was woman on top; I’ve always been a fan, and I knew my belly wouldn’t get crushed. But given my size and poor balance, climbing aboard proved challenging. I also felt like I might be smothering my husband. He was too nice to say anything. Actually, he couldn’t say anything, because I was smothering him.

Next, I tried laying on my back while he sat up, in a sort of non-smushy variation on missionary (picture Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl doing it in Knocked Up — or don’t, because gross). That position could have worked in theory, except I soon felt dizzy and short of breath, and not from passion. I’m really excited for my giant uterus to stop cutting off all my circulation after the baby is born. Also, I think we can cross auto-erotic asphyxiation off my list of “sex things to try.”

Undettered, I got on all fours, but not before shutting off the lights. I couldn’t have felt more like a cow than if I’d started lactating, which was a distinct possibility. Doggie style was working all right until suddenly, “LEG CRAMP!”  Not the sexiest thing I’ve ever screamed out during sex, I assure you. My husband started laughing and gently suggested that tonight wasn’t our night. I refused to give up. I wanted full credit for the attempt, especially since a sexual rain check wasn’t sounding too appealing at this point.

Finally, we tried spooning. I suppose this should have been obvious from the start. Pregnant women, after all, are supposed to lay down on their sides. And if I got really tired, I could doze off. Kidding! Mostly.

I’m glad we persevered, though at this point sex is more about emotional intimacy than eroticism. Let’s just say we’d be hard-pressed to find a buyer for our sex tape. (Kidding again. We did not make a sex tape. Just some still photos.)

I admire those couples who can keep it going all the way through the pregnancy, and especially those who are willing to use sex as a technique for inducing labor. Because when I get to 40 weeks, the only spooning I’m going to be doing involves a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.


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