We called Sam ‘the practice baby’ because he was so easy compared to Sarah. Sam was the kind of baby that makes you want to have another. Sarah was the kind that makes you say, “Okay, I’m done. No more babies.” Not that we were aiming to have more after having a boy and a girl anyway.
Sarah was a preemie who was removed via C-section, so Carol was already dealing with the pain of recovering from that procedure. On top of that, Sarah was very fussy. She didn’t sleep well, didn’t feed well, and could not be calmed by a car ride.
When she was just 3 months old, we had to make the 2 hour drive to Doreen’s wedding. Sarah screamed and cried the whole way there and the whole way back. We sent Sam with his grandparents so only Carol and I would be subjected to that, though we were sure Sarah would calm down at some point during the drive. She didn’t. At all. Not even for a moment. At the wedding, Carol and I were like zombies, barely able to function.
I remember walking to a storage room off to the side of the reception hall, where I’d help Carol out of her dress to breast feed. As we were entering the room, a man saw us (and not the baby, apparently) and said, “Woo, sneaking off for a little fun, huh?” Fun? I thought, there’s no such thing anymore.
Of course, Carol and I had no time for each other anymore. My mother, who took Sam as much as possible since he was practically a newborn, wouldn’t dare watch Sarah. She’d still take Sam for sleepovers, leaving us with Sarah. She’d say she didn’t want him to feel ignored, which I understood, but she also said taking him was giving us a “break”, which made me nearly lose it at her. There was no break as long as we were with Sarah.
One day, when we finally got Sarah to sleep, in her car seat because she wouldn’t sleep anywhere else (as long as said car seat was not in the car), Carol and I had some beers. It had been nearly a year since we had any kind of sexual contact. I was surprised when we started to make out. She clearly wanted more, so I moved her panties to the side and began fingering, but she pushed me away and did something so out of character for her, especially since we’ve had kids. She opened my pants and began performing oral.
I can’t even begin to describe how devastated I was that I was not “up” to it. Like I said, we hadn’t had sex in a year. I had been losing my mind on that day in particular, and had taken care of myself twice already, and there was no chance I was going to function a third time. I had zero expectations that there would be sexual contact on that day, let alone the ultra rare oral experience.
It still kills me to this day. It feels like it was a turning point in her mind that sex wasn’t a fun, spontaneous experience anymore. I explained to her why I couldn’t perform, but I don’t know if it mattered. She did something for me, and I didn’t get hard. That was her experience.
Carol was away from her terrible job but she was dealing with a fussy baby, destroyed hopes about her birthing experience, no free time, no sleep, pain, body image issues, and to top it off, I fucked up her first sexual moment in a long time.
As much as I tried to be her support, she was having a really tough time. Everything was a source of suffering and disappointment. Including me, with my health issues which I was still trying to learn how to cope with. I was physically weak and only just beginning to really gain back some weight. I was still trying to figure out my diet and I still had many kidney stones left to deal with.
We were living in a shitty condo that had barely enough room for all of us, especially now that we were going to have to turn the office/storage area into another bedroom.
It was a rough patch, but things get better right? Sarah would grow and enter the fun baby phase with playing and laughter soon enough. Then Carol would get back to work where there would be a discussion about Rick’s behaviour. I would get my health issues under control at some point, I was sure.
Things would get better and we’d move onward and upward. But it wasn’t enough for Carol, apparently.