Shinui / Change (Part 1 of 2)

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A180 kincks

Written by Noa. Noa is an experienced Jewrotica writer.

Shinui / Change can be read as a prequel to Noa’s first story, In Total Darkness.

Rated R

01.THURSDAY

The baby is asleep.

She’s been asleep for the past two hours, and I’m praying silently to God that she’ll stay asleep for the next two hours, too.

I’m standing there in the living room, looking absently over the bookshelf, praying that the baby will stay asleep, when I hear the key turn in the door. I turn in that direction, automatically, my body alive and attuned to every sound and movement in the house.

I’m at the door before it opens, and as soon as she crosses the threshold, I’m kissing her, bringing her head towards mine with my right hand while closing the door with my left, then using the same hand for support and it’s almost embarrassing how desperate my kiss is. I’m devouring her mouth like I’m a hungry kid and she’s an ice cream cone, sucking and licking at the edges, savoring the flavor.
When we finally pull away, we’re both breathing hard. “You didn’t even ask if everything went okay,” she says.

I almost panic.

“Everything went fine,” she confirms, her eyes lighting up in laughter.

“Don’t tease a man like that, ” I say, but I’m smiling, and I give her a quick, chaste kiss on the lips.

We hurry to the bedroom and undress each other quickly. Our breathing is loud, heavy, aching. Laughing, I run my fingers through her damp hair, pull her in close, and warn her to keep her hands away from certain parts of my body so that it’s not all over before it starts. She gives me a wicked grin but complies, running her hands up my back and over my shoulders.

And… record scratch.

Two minutes later, and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I know it’s not my fault, I heard all about postpartum hormone shifts and how they can mess with your sex life, but I honestly didn’t think it would be a big deal. I had never had any doubts that I knew how to please my wife. Even on our wedding night, the two of us virgins but eager to learn, we still managed, and managed well. I’d heard all about how awkward and terrible it always was the first time, but it wasn’t. Granted, it wasn’t the highest combined orgasm count we’ve ever worked up, but she was warm and wet and moaning underneath me. And we’ve had no problems since.

As for the pregnancy… well, there is nothing physical in this world that is better than pregnancy sex, let’s leave it at that.

This is the opposite. I’m touching her between her legs just how she likes it. I know this is how she likes it because the last five hundred times I touched her exactly like this, she melted and writhed and made little noises and begged for more. But right now, all I can feel is skin and friction.

“I’m sorry,” she says, which makes me feel even worse. She carried my child inside her body for nine months, went through twelve hours of labor, pushed her out, uses her own body to nourish her, and now she’s apologizing for not being turned on.

I kiss her hair. “We’ll work it out. It’s going to be fine.”

“Maybe we should skip the foreplay and just…” Her voice trails off.

“You sure?” I ask.

She nods. “Yeah. The pieces will still fit.” She coughs out a shaky laugh. “I’ve been doing my kegels, just like they say. I could probably bench press a truck with my vaginal muscles.” She pauses. “Well, maybe not a truck. Maybe just a car. Like, a Mini Cooper.”

“Nervous?” I ask, once she finishes talking.

“Why would I be nervous?”

“Exactly.” I take her hands in mine as I settle above her, and she adjusts around my hips. I start to push in, slowly. She winces.

“Let’s stop,” I say.

She winces harder this time, and her eyes get a glassy look to them.

I disentangle myself, then put my arms around her. “I’m sorry,” I say, “but listen, the night’s not over, let’s try something else.”

She nods, so I kiss my way down her body. Her arms are crossed over her belly – what is that about? – so I nip at the inside of her wrist on the way. And then I reach my destination. I start to kiss her, very softly. She exhales. Tilts her hips, like a flower reaching for the sun.

This is good. This is right.

And yet, it’s still not the same. She likes it, obviously, but something is holding her back.

“Get over here,” she says, which is not something she’s ever said before so early in this situation, but I do, and she looks at me, all vulnerability, and we fit our hips together.

I ease myself inside, and it works – but just barely. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t done this in a month and a half and it feels –

It feels different, just slightly, like when you’ve put your favorite jeans through the wash, and it takes a few wears to get it back to normal.

Is that offensive? I don’t mean it to be.

“Slow down,” she says, but I’m barely moving at all.

She adjusts her hips slightly, and I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to hold out, and I’m watching her for signs that she’s enjoying this at all but I’m coming up blank.She shifts again, and again, and then she says,

“Maybe you should just fin –”

The baby wails, and I disengage and roll away like she’s on fire, eternally grateful that she didn’t get a chance to finish that sentence, because no, never, never.

As she moves to nurse the baby, I go wash my hands, I say Shema Al Hamita, I stare at the ceiling.

When the baby is done, she stumbles back half-asleep, her eyes already closed, and she collapses onto the bed. I’m still up, in more ways than one.

It takes me a long time to fall asleep Thursday night.




02. FRIDAY

The baby is decidedly not asleep.

She was asleep during dinner. She was asleep during the ten-minute walk home. The second we walked through the door, though, she was awake – and angry.

She was swaddled. She was rocked. She was nursed. Her diaper was changed, and then she was re-swaddled.

No dice.

Now she spits up her body weight all over the bed and then starts to scream.

I feel bad for her, to tell you the truth. It must be scary to have all that food just burst up out of you like that, and you have no idea what throwing up even is. I’d scream, too.

We change her again, and burp her again, and then we let her nurse for ten minutes and switch her to the pacifier.

Once she’s down, I change the sheets and I throw the old ones in the hamper and I join my wife on the bed.

“Take two, action?” I ask.

She gives me an apologetic smile. “I’m so tired, my eyes are crossing. Tomorrow?”

Tomorrow, I say.

It takes me a long time to fall asleep Friday night, too.




03. SHABBAT

I don’t sleep on Shabbos afternoon. We have guests for lunch, the kind who like to talk. And sing. Not that I don’t like talking and singing, but after the night I had, I could really use a nap.

We get off to a good start Saturday night, and I think we may be about to break the streak.
However, we’re still fully dressed when the baby starts to cry, and a few minutes into the nursing session, my eyelids start to droop.

“Wake me up when she falls back asleep,” I say, and I succumb to exhaustion.

The last thing I hear is a muttered, “Oh, that classic pick-up line, seducing young women since the dawn of time.”

I’m not surprised when the next time I wake up, it’s Sunday and the sun is shining.


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Noa believes in romance, friendship and justice. She doesn't, however, believe in the Oxford comma.
  • Ayo Oppenheimer

    This piece is very well-written. It flows beautifully, I like the point of view perspective and I appreciate the references to halacha and Orthodox culture.

    Granted, parts of this story made me wary about hitting baby season one day myself, but this was a fascinating look into a different world and – of course – our readers will have to stay tuned for more Shinui and some of the good stuff in Part II tomorrow! 🙂

    • Noa

      I’m debating whether or not to admit that when I was writing it, I thought people might criticize it as being overly optimistic.

      On second thought, I think I’ll keep that to myself. 🙂

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