Chapter 216: Ten Centimeters
May 18th was the first of the childbirth classes.
And yeah, Tim feels kind of stupid standing there with Abby in front of the elevator at the hospital with two pillows, but it’s kind of obvious why they’re there, so it’s not like he’s some sort of weirdo who just likes sleeping in a hospital.
Privately, he’s feeling like this is probably not going to be a very useful way to spend every Thursday night for the next six weeks.
It’s just, since everyone and their cousin all said, basically: “Don’t worry about it, the placenta will probably scoot out of the way,” he’s got this bone deep feeling that that’s soothing bullshit designed to try and keep him and Abby from freaking out.
If placenta previa really is a problem in one out of three cases at mid-term, and down to one out of two hundred by seven months, and they’re still right next to the danger zone, he’s just feeling like it’s unlikely to suddenly get better when it didn’t before.
But Abby’s still really hoping this won’t be a c-section, so they’re in the hospital, waiting for an elevator that’ll take them up to their OB’s office where they offer Lamaze classes.
And, as Breena said to him, when he was being a bit of a dick about this being a waste of time, (Not in front of Abby. Jimmy and Breena were there, though.) that even if they don’t use it for actually getting the kid out, the calming, focusing, breathing stuff is all good for the very long time after the kid comes out when you’re so annoyed at her you’re ready to blow your top and you need to remind yourself that you love this tiny creature more than anything on earth, even if you don’t feel that way this particular second because you haven’t slept in a week and are wiping poop off of what was your last clean shirt two minutes before you need to leave the house.
Tim laughed for a second when she said that, and then realized she wasn’t kidding.
And so, Lamaze classes.
Abby had liked the idea of the Bradley ones, but they were a bit behind the eight ball on that, because they take twelve weeks, and Kelly’s due out in six.
The classes aren’t bad or anything.
Their instructor is very perky, and can say things like ‘mild discomfort’ and act like she means it.
And she’s not vehemently anti-pain meds which Tim appreciates. And, okay, maybe this isn’t cool, but he hates the idea of Abby in pain and knows he’ll be using pretty much every coping method he can think of to try and not push meds on her she might not want. (Maybe the Lamaze techniques will be good for that.)
So, they spend an hour talking about focusing techniques, working on centering, which he figures the yoga is good for, but mostly this is a more in-depth how the baby goes from being inside of your wife to outside of her kind of class, and well, he felt like he already had a pretty good handle on how that happened.
Though he did feel a little silly when they passed around a ten centimeter circle and he found himself suddenly realizing exactly how big that is. He knows what ten centimeters is, but somehow no tangible image of a ten centimeter circle had formed in his mind in relation to actually getting Kelly out. Though the fact that Abby also looked mildly horrified at that idea, like she’d also never managed to get that idea into her head made him feel a little better.
It’s a delicate question, and he’s sure Jimmy won’t mind, but… It is kind of personal…
They’re grabbing a quick coffee, killing a few minutes together during a paperwork day. “So… we’re in the Lamaze class and they were talking about after the baby comes…” Tim can feel himself blushing as he gets ready to ask this, which is kind of dumb, not like he and Jimmy haven’t talked about stuff like this before, but… yeah, really personal. “And… the instructor was saying that sex after is different… and I was wondering… how different is it?”
Jimmy laughs, which makes Tim feel a bit more comfortable. Then he shrugs. “Different. Like first time back at it different or lasting different?”
That there’d be levels to that question wasn’t something Tim had thought of. But he is now, so he says, “Both?”
Jimmy takes a sip of his coffee. “First time back... Okay, look, her body does not want to get pregnant while she’s nursing. So part of that is that nice, easy kiss her just right and she gets wet and eager, that vanishes. That’s evolution trying to make sure mama and baby have their best chance of survival. So, first time back, even with lots of lube, and slow, and gentle, you aren’t going to rock her world and the only reason she’s rocking yours is because you haven’t gotten laid in months.”
That’s not very encouraging. “How long did you two wait?” Maybe Jimmy and Breena just hopped back into it too fast. After all, Molly was born in February, and Breena was pregnant with Jon in late August.
“Two months, both times.” So much for that theory. “Everything heals up sooner than that, but… she’s still going to be dry, and it’s still going to hurt a little, and you’re both tired, and if she’s nursing you can’t really touch her breasts because they hurt, too, and honestly, if you’re like me and jerking off in the shower every morning you’ve gotten enough sleep to function, those’ll be better orgasms.”
Really not encouraging. “Wonderful.”
Jimmy shrugs. It is what it is, and not all that fabulous is what sex is the first few times back at it after a baby. “It gets better. Just first few times back, treat her like a virgin.”
That’s not helpful for Tim. “I’ve never had sex with a virgin.”
“Never?” Jimmy looked really surprised at that.
“Only virgin I’ve ever had sex with was me.”
Jimmy laughs. “Ah. Well, lots of foreplay, lots of attention, make sure she’s on top and in charge of speed and depth, and if you’ve got the time, and you probably don’t because babies eat every three hours and it takes them an hour to eat, get her off before you get into her.”
Sounds like a decent strategy. Tim makes a note to remember that. “What about looser?” Having held that stupid ten centimeter plastic circle in his hands, he’s now got a very concrete idea of what ten centimeters is and well… okay… yeah… that’s really pretty big.
Jimmy shrugs and then nods. “She’ll heal up. She’s not going to stay that wide open, but you’ll be able to feel the difference. It’s not bad. It’s still sex, you know, sex with her, but if you had hair trigger issues before, you won’t anymore.”
“Not a problem.”
“And likely won’t ever be then.” Jimmy thinks about it. “Look, you’ll get back to it, and you’ll ease into it, and after a few months you’ll catch back up on your sleep and it’ll go back to being great. And, she’ll feel different, but it’s not bad, just different. The biggest thing, the glowing-neon-sign, watch-the-hell-out, danger-ahead, steer-clear-of-the-rocks thing is how she thinks she looks after she has the baby. You look at her and think ‘Yay! Boobs! God, I wish I could touch them!’ Seriously, they’ll be bigger than Kelly’s head at first. It’s really impressive, and you get to see them all the time. That part’s great.
“But she looks at herself and sees droopy skin and stretch marks and spider veins and thinning hair and flab and black circles under her eyes and red-chapped nipples and if we’re been really frank, floppy vaginal lips and hemorrhoids, and wants to shoot herself in the head because she thinks she looks so bad. And do not tell her that her breasts are so incredible that you haven’t looked at any other part of her body because she will hit you, hard, for being an idiot!”
That made Tim laugh. “You did that, didn’t you?”
“I finally got Molly to sleep, and she was in the bathroom, and normally, she’s in there, I don’t go in, but I could hear her crying, so I knocked and poked my head in, and she was looking at herself naked, and she was absolutely appalled.”
“I know. And I told her that. In very graphic terms. And she hit me and called me a liar.”
“Yeah, I have no idea how to deal with that and not get hit. Because the one thing you absolutely do not want to do is go, ‘Yep, you look like you got hit by a truck. But it’ll get better, and even if it doesn’t you can get a tummy tuck.’ I mean, I may have some issues with finding the appropriate thing to say, but I sure as hell knew that wasn’t it.”
“Yeah.” Tim’s trying to think of strategy for this, and so far is coming up with a great big blank.
“I really think it’s an evolution thing. Her body does not want two kids in one year and does everything it can to avoid it. So for about four months she’s got no interest in sex, thinks she looks revolting, and even slow and gentle with a lot of lube is uncomfortable.”
For Tim this is a pretty easy formula, if her body’s not into it, wait. “So why not wait four months?”
Jimmy gives him a you’re kidding me, right? look.
“I’m serious. Not like I haven’t gone four months without sex before. Why not wait that long?”
Jimmy’s look has morphed from you’re kidding me to please tell me you aren’t this stupid. Tim’s still looking at him blankly, not getting it. “Just because you became a dad doesn’t mean you stop being a husband. It is your job to walk a tightrope of making her feel desirable, loved, and adored, without pushing too hard in the ‘I want to get laid’ direction. But I can tell you this, if you go four or six or however many months and don’t make a pass at her, she’s going to think you think she’s hideous, and you aren’t getting any husband-of-the-year awards for that.”
“Ah.” And Tim gets that, really gets that.
“Yeah, and guess what’s the easiest, clearest way to let her know you still want to have sex with her?”
“Yeah, I think I got that one figured out.”
Jimmy grins. “Nothing says I-want-you like an erection.”
Tony stops, stares at them looking pretty disturbed, shakes his head. “Please tell me that was just the worst possible moment I could have walked in on this conversation.”
Jimmy grins at him, too. “Just passing on the wisdom of the veteran dad. Two years, you and I’ll be having this conversation.”
“Well, I suppose you could have it with Gibbs,” Jimmy says.
Tony’s eyes go wide.
“Or your own dad,” Tim adds with a smile.
“No! I’m not even sure what you’re talking about, but I do not want to have a conversation about anything involving erections with my dad or Gibbs.”
That gets Tim and Jimmy laughing.