A Baby And The Sack

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Dear, Gang.

I hope this missive finds you well. (When you wrote to a chick in high school back in the hey days you always started your letter like that. The word “missive” was such a big word then, bigger than “quagmire.”) I’ve been in the middle of some exhaustive safaris; drives through barren land, early morning flights, late nights (I will tell you what happened to me in Baobab Diani at 2am) etc. Last night – in my unfailing wisdom- I went to this bar called the San Deck in Sandton and chapad three and a half doubles of whisky, the plan was to come back to my room and get some writing done but I was so knackered I dozed off in the car to the hotel. I staggered through my room with sleep and exhaustion grabbing my throat.  A little voice in my head whispered, “Chocolate Man, let it go, sleep.” So I slept.

Suffice it to say, this week I won’t write. So I asked our very able foodie turned mother – Sophie Gitonga – to bang something to run something in place, and she did. Always showing up with tight copy, this one.

I will still be in safari pretty much whole of this week, but I’m doing mini-blogs (like those mini-burgers) on my Instagram and Facebook (check out bikozulu), so you can plug in there if you find a loose moment you aren’t filling with sensible stuff.

Otherwise how’s Nai? Where has the Standard Gauge Railway Project fikad? Er, I heard it rained jana. I step out for a minute and the bloody rain comes, ey? I love when it rains and the tarmack smells of  earthy-steamy things. I could put my face on tarmac and ask for a pillow.

It’s 4:23am. I  have to shower (it’s always advisable) and catch another flight out of here.

Si we speak on IG and Facebook? Kwenye mtandao, ama?

Happy days.

Yours, (not like literally, gents).

Chocolate Man.

 

***

 

By Mama Pendo

Our kid at six months is fun…sometimes.

She’s an early riser, a trait I find perplexing since she doesn’t have a job she’s going to. She doesn’t have to be anywhere for the next 5 years but she’s already prepping for when she’ll need to be waking up at 6am.  She lies in her crib for a while, kicking out her legs while talking or singing or communicating to the unseen world. Waiting for one of us to stir and come get her.  She owns us. We lie in bed in complete denial, each of us feigning deep sleep. I nudge the good husband with my foot:

-It’s your turn to get her; I need 10 more minutes of sleep

-I can’t babe (his groggy reply, notice how he subtly uses the word ‘babe’, it’s a ploy and I fall for it every time). A mosquito kept me up last night.

-A bloody mosquito?! Your baby kept me up last night (I use this tactic of making the baby his and therefore his fault and therefore guilt-inducing)

-OK how about a coin toss, heads you get her, tails I get her?

I consider his proposal for a moment…this is bad, right? Resolving who will pick up the baby by a coin toss is tantamount to sin, isn’t it?

-No we can’t do that (I come to my senses) but if you get her, I’ll let you have your way with me. This time I promise!

There’s a story there.

No one tells you that sex after children might not measure up to sex before children. They are afraid that if they told you the truth that you’d opt out of the kid thing. And then the whole world would be like Japan – facing population decline and a high number of pensioners having to work until they practically die on the job. So I’ll do the selfless thing and tell you all about it.

Sex before kids is spontaneous, can happen anywhere, anytime. It takes a wink, a suggestive glance, and a sext to get you hot under the collar.  It’s naughty and fun and obnoxiously loud. It’s careless and fearless and works really well when you’ve both agreed that you are not trying to have a kid and have taken the necessary precautions. At the end of it you feel rejuvenated, you could go speed walking; you have so much energy.

Sex after having children, particularly infants, goes a little like this:

-Hi babe (him with the magic word), I was thinking maybe tonight we could…

I know what he’s about to say so I cut him off

-I’m soooooo tired though. The kid has been cranky all day, she didn’t nap, she didn’t eat, she didn’t even poop, she wants to be held, I haven’t bathed, we have no bread, did you pay the elec bill, your mum called, also on Thursday I’d like you to take me to the mall (I’m a master deflector)

-Oh, it’s just that, you know it’s been six weeks since (he comes in with a sympathy rejoinder)

-I know sweetie so why don’t we plan it? How about tomorrow?

-I have that thing with my boys on tomorrow

-Ok let me see, how about Friday? My calendar is wide-open Friday

-Friday what time? I have that proposal I have to turn in

-No I mean Friday next week. This Friday I have that thing I’m doing that I haven’t yet told you about.  We’ll make it quick

-Yeah, OK, that could work. Can you set a reminder on your phone?

And so Friday next week rolls around and it’s so mechanical. Before you’d rip your clothes off and let them fall where they please. But now you undress quietly and fold your clothes into neat piles. It looks like you are going in for a medical exam. You tiptoe around and make muffled screams because whoever’s screaming wakes the baby is responsible for soothing the baby.  And when you are done you shake hands and say thank you. You check it off your list like another one of your chores:

Fuel the car, call Aunt Betty, pick up birthday cake, have sex, go to the salon

I commend the good husband for being supremely patient. It’s frustrating for a lot of guys navigating postpartum intimacy. You’ve just had the baby and while they are stitching you up and the embers from the congratulatory cigars are still smoldering, he’s probably thinking he’ll get you home, prop up your feet, get you a nice cup of tea and some take out and by the time his mother is leaving to go back to shags after her visit, you two could hit the sheets for a rematch.

What follows however is an unmitigated sex drought that could only be equaled if your partner had gone off to war and never returned. The reality is I’m tired a lot of the time and I want to cuddle only. And if he wants more than that I want to say to him, ‘go ahead without me, wake me when you are done’. I have the sexual enthusiasm of a wet fish. When it’s not fatigue it’s how I feel about my body. I used to look good naked, I prided myself in that. I could put it on my CV if it was socially acceptable to do that.

I’m a go-getter and team player, have great presentation skills and look good naked. Enclosed is a letter from my doctor confirming that last part.

I don’t feel that way present day. Yes I know a lot of it is in my head and I should be self-accepting and besides I just had a freaking baby. No small feat. But when my neighbour’s son came up to me and asked me when I was having my ‘next’ baby because I was still spotting a postpartum paunch, I wanted to slap him into next Tuesday.

I have these garish stretch marks snaking my body where once I had skin as elegant as Cleopatra’s.  And what about my thighs? There’s so much friction between them I could start a bush fire, like one of those that burns for 75 days in Australia, devastating the whole place.  Don’t get me started on the boobs.

So this one night I slept particularly hard and woke up in the middle of the night to find the bed wet. I had been slowly drip irrigating it with breast milk! I was mortified. I woke the good husband up to show him what had happened and I thought for sure he’d be divorcing me by sunrise. Instead he said not to worry, we could share his side of the bed. I learned two things that night: One, this my guy is the best in the world and Two, it pays not to have a fat husband because it makes bed sharing difficult when you do. So no, I don’t feel sexy and my libido is in the basement.

It’s not an easy fix and the subject is taboo. I don’t talk it over with my girlfriends because according to our social media posts, our sex lives are ravishing and would take quite a bit of alcohol for us to be honest about it.

In this economy, booze is not a priority. And I can’t talk about this with my mother because though I birthed a child, she should not know that I’m capable of, enjoy or even think about such carnal acts. She should imagine that the good husband and I hold hands while in bed and sing kumbaya until we fall asleep, like good Christians. I can’t use sex as a bargaining chip or a reward for good behavior either because it’s belittling and I’m pretty sure of this one, it’s tantamount to sin.

I turn to Google and lady magazines for tips, ideas or outright sorcery on how to rekindle the passion. One lady mag lists no fewer than ten tips on how to ‘reawaken the temptress’, TEN! Another states quite boldly and without shame “Top 40 sex positions for couples”. The sheer ridiculousness of that number.  Half of these require an indemnity form because injury or death is assured if you attempt them. In the end, you only need to do two things, make yourself available to your partner and perch yourself seductively on the bed.  And then do this frequently enough so that you are more than roommates who share meals, split the bills and mind the baby.

If this doesn’t work then there’s always the mganga kutoka Tanga who can help you with shida ya mapenzi

 


 

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146 Comments
    1. This is the postpartum ‘sack’ demystified indeed…the shit we only deliberate on under the influence of some cold cognac. Stop talking about me Bro!!

  1. Nice read from Gitonga! I like the part where you shake hands after sex and say ‘thank you’…@Biko now m sure it’s you I saw on my flight…just never been sure how big that forehead is.

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  2. chocolate man cares enough not to leave us in a literature drought. Nice read by mama pendo there, sorry for the stretch marks

  3. Yeah, motherhood is hard. But a untold pleasure or so I’ve heard. Keep the struggle going. N say hi to the kid from the Gang.

  4. I have been laughing like a mad woman at the office. As funny as this is I appreciate the honesty of it and I feel you Mama Pendo, I feel you.

    1. That indemnity against injuries/death line killed me. But so true. These positions if they are to be believed can only be performed by gymnasts otherwise chukua insurance policy.
      Candid humorous piece mama Pendo. Enjoyed it.

  5. Everything I read about having babies scares the shit out of me!Aaarrgghhh!Kwani no one in the world had a simple easy pregnancy,simple easy birth and bounced back nice and easy?No one??Okay…maybe not.

    1. No one Kendi, and if someone tells you they had it easy, you must know they are liars.But believe you me, it’s all worth it in the end.

    2. I had an easy pregnancy, a 24 hour labor then ended up in theater for a cs,had an easy baby (compared to the stories I hear)my libido was back after six weeks. Everyone is different…everyone has a different story

    3. well mine too wasn’t smooth coz my boobs all went like…ooopps, but the sex part remained the same.hehehe i went back to it after just a month

  6. Be glad you get to experience that part of life. There are people who will are yearning to experience post-baby, let alone pre-baby, sex. Or just knowing there’s a permanent human willing to share either forever.

  7. Aki i always thought that sex is the same all through! Aki mama pendo, you write so well. Does your good husband read this blog?

  8. I have to admit when Biko doesn’t write I normally scan through the post and get on my way but this one I read through..all of it. Mama Pendo you’ve become one of the people of words. You’re good. This part “She should imagine that the good husband and I hold hands while in bed and sing kumbaya until we fall asleep” had me on the floor 🙂 🙂 🙂 .
    Good week Gang.

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    1. I always wonder why people think sex is so sacred to their parents. How exactly do you think they got you and your siblings. You’ll be surprised at maybe how loud they were. Considering their marriages last like forever. Its not glue that got them there.

    2. I swear that part of singing kumbaya was just the one. I have laughed myself silly. I want to tell everyone about it but i know i wont sound as funny.

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  9. “Half of these require an indemnity form because injury or death is assured”.Kumbe jamaaz go through s*** like this. Entertaining article

  10. “Half of these require an indemnity form because injury or death is assured”.Kumbe jamaaz go through s*** like this. Entertaining article

  11. wow wooow you’re not just a great mommy but a great writer too Sophie.I commend you but seriously you put a reminder on a sex date!!Damn you need that mganga kutoka Tanga plus one from Kitui lol you’ll regain all that though.Btw after you stop breastfeeding that is after let’s say two years, your body will bounce back and you can attach your pic to the CV or we can even rent a billboard for you hehe..love you mummy.kiss that munchkin for us the Gang

  12. ‘She should imagine that the good husband and I hold hands while in bed and sing kumbaya until we fall asleep, like good Christians. ‘ The sheer honesty lmao. Mama Pendo you win!

  13. ‘She should imagine that the good husband and I hold hands while in bed and sing kumbaya until we fall asleep, like good Christians. ‘ Isn’t this the picture we are constantly trying to paint to our mothers?

  14. This is the whole truth. Men suffer in silence during this period. but one trick that might work is if he volunteers to offer massage after the baby sleeps, you never how it ends up.

  15. I read your blog some time back, shit si i got bored! When i saw wairimu wa chege i thought i would get good reads like those of njoki wa chege but wapi! Anyway, i hope you now write captivating things like mama pendo.. I hope you are through reading the comments.

  16. So this one night I slept particularly hard and woke up in the middle of the night to find the bed wet. I had been slowly drip irrigating it with breast milk! I was mortified. >>> that cracked me up big time! Great read.

  17. Great read.I’m pregnant with my first child and already scared of the post baby experiences leave alone the labour part!Thank God my husband is not fat.

  18. Awesome read, i should expect this too in a few months since am also going to be a dad. Should i start reading the “Top 40 sex positions for couples”?

  19. Awesome read!!Ooohh and the lessons that come with motherhood!!
    The part of “singing Kumbaya” has totally left me in stitches!!

  20. Nice read Mama Pendo that part of planning for something that before was spontaneous is so true….after our first baby madams libido just vanished and I was left alone to figure out how I will manage on my own.Its true child birth changes alot of things but the joy of holding baby makes up for all that is lost. Kudos to you and hubby

  21. Hehehehehee Mama Pendo. You’ve made my day. That’s called hitting the nail on the head. Thank you for the sincerity. But relax, in due course, your libido is going to soar!! Great read

  22. Awesome piece just had to come out of hiding…I get your struggle try and let the good husband Steal from the drip irrigation system if he is up to it works wonders for the libido and keeping the bed dry speaking from experience

  23. just thinking..what happens after the 8th kid, how casual does sex became. Did our grandfather/mother spice anything!!!
    Enyewe bringing up a child is the ultimate sacrifice.
    Nice read,mum Pendo.

  24. This piece is all kinds of amazing. Btw I did not get an email notification this Tuesday so I got worried and had to come check if all was well. Thankfully it was! Anyone else had the same issue, gang?

  25. Beautiful writing. Beautiful story. I love the honesty. It’s really good to hear the truth…kind of like a take it or leave it situation, but that it’s all good even if you have to pencil I’m having sex!

  26. Thanks Mama Pendo for airing out my very own experience with my good husband. Kudos. For now just enjoy every moment….when she’s two years which is always called”Terrible Two” come back and share your experience

  27. At least now I know. Thanks Mama Pendo.
    I think the Japan…or ‘Win a Green-card to Kenya’ doesn’t sound that bad.
    Have mercy Lord!

  28. As a mother of two, who after the 1st swore and believed that life without sex would be completely fine and dandy, here is my tip.
    Just do it. As boring and as mechanical as it is in the begining, doing it after a schedule or plan, is the only way to get back in the flow of things.
    Do it, start of slow but make sure you do it, I promise libido will come back, especially after you stop breastfeeding. The hormones rebalance themselves, but you have to do it.
    With a good attitude, by the way… enjoy… I promise it gets better… even better than before babies… that I promise!

  29. Mama Pendo,
    Craziness does not even begin to describe you!! You’ve had my ribs cracking! The good husband is a blessings. Ican’t wait to get my own Pendo to toss coins for

  30. Loved this piece! Just read it while feeding my 3 month old at this time (yes,;it’s now 3.43am!). Still sporting a baby bump,the other day I approached one of those screening machines at the hospital and the female guard made sure I didn’t go through it.The struggle is real, even sex is planded in advance and sometimes never happens as my toddler demands time in our bed too!
    Oh, hubby is fast asleep as I type this with baby in my arms.
    The joys of parenting!

  31. I especially love part where she says she turns to Google, lady magazines or outright sorcery for tips ideas on how to rekindle the passion

  32. I like this part, “I turn to Google and lady magazines for tips, ideas or outright sorcery on how to rekindle the passion.”

  33. The good husband is truly good. Such a gift you have (your writing gift that is). Biko this the only guest writer you’re allowed to have:)

  34. You tiptoe around and make muffled screams because whoever’s screaming wakes the baby is responsible for soothing the baby. And when you are done you shake hands and say thank you. hAHAHAHAHAHA.I have literally lol-ed at that and everyone is in office is giving that are-you-nuts look. o

  35. hmmmmm…..I love people who write out of passion…. its such a gift …its a way of expression yet a funny way of lifting loads off your heart

  36. hahaha so is this what I am to expect once I get a toi? But it’s all worth it to see that you created a human being. People make cars, planes,ships and freakin robots. But the greatest one has to be creating a baby in your womb. And I am of the opinion that sex is overrated…..*hides face*

    abantugirl.wordpress.com

  37. Great read….still laughing at “Half of these require an indemnity form because injury or death is assured if you attempt
    them” and the part that says “She should imagine that the good husband and I hold hands while in bed and sing kumbaya until we fall
    asleep”…
    Hahaha

  38. OH MY GOODNESS!i felt like it was me writing!my baby is nine months old and chiq,i love you.at least im not alone.I should foward this to my hubby,he’ll laugh so hard.

  39. I remember my libido left at around week twelve or thirteen of my pregnancy… I just did not want anything sexual. That drought stayed on till lil man was 2 months. Still, it was not the same. The dryness was out of this world. You had fat in areas you had muscle or so you thought. The sexy ass became like a zebras rump, those stretchmarks grew where none existed before. I now wear them with pride. My badge of honor for nurturing and bring forth life. It shall be well soon enough.