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What to expect in your marriage when your baby arrives?(13 Posts)
Just that really. How does it change when you have a really practical dh and a really hormonal overprotective dw (me) who has just had a baby?
Anything anyone could share to help me prepare would be really appreciated.
Relationship you mean? <very chippy today>
Expect to be fundamentally exactly the same people but more tired & a lot busier than normal. Very easy for a new baby to take over completely if you let them, but if you can resist the temptation to be 'slave to the babe', make allowances for fatigue & take any opportunity to make time for yourself and each other, that's all there is to it.
My dd is 5 weeks, I'm lucky that my dh has only worked 2 days since she was born so we've spent a lot of time together as a family. The things that have changed:
everything revolves around the baby, and I mean everything!
both very tired.
tiredness sometimes leads to being short tempered (and we are a couple who can count our falling outs on 2 hands over 6 years)
By no means an expert but we have tried hard to make sure we have a cuddle while she's sleeping, keep being polite to each other, remind yourself to appreciate each others help (even if the action wasnt very helpful its the thought that counts), say sorry for snapping (after youve calmed down) try to do some non baby things. my dh has gone back to work today, I know i'm going to struggle a bit!
Well for one thing, DH has to understand that you'll be a hormonal mess right now. There is nothing less rational than a new mother. He may not be able to sort things out practically - how do you "solve" an emotion? - but a cup of tea and a hug is often all that is required.
With regards to intimacy, most women won't feel like it for at least weeks and probably months after the birth. It's perfectly natural - your mind and body are all wrapped up in giving the current baby what it needs, not in preparing to gestate another one. It's important both that DH does not pressure you to get back with it before you're ready, but also that you let him know he is still loved and wanted. It's also important, IMO, that he lets you know you're still attractive too, not the same thing as insisting on sex! You're likely to feel your body has been devastated - all those saggy bits! - and although it will improve massively, there will be changes for ever, mostly for the better IMO; so you may take a while to adjust your body image, and meanwhile feel shy/embarrassed about it. DH will probably think it's gorgeous but you might have trouble believing him.
You will also both be tired and grumpy, however placid your baby is. DH probably will too. Try not to get into "competitive tiredness syndrome" but recognise it's tiredness that's doing it, and that your spouse is not the most irritating man/woman in the world, they're just the nearest person to take it out on. Try to support each other as much as possible. Earlier on, it's you who will need much more of the support, even if he does work hard/long hours/unsocial shifts. This baby is both of yours and although at first the mother is usually best placed to do the majority of care, particularly if bf, it is not only a duty but a privilege for the father to participate as fully as your domestic situation allows. He won't always do everything the same way you would, but as long as it's not life-threatening it's best to let him get on with it.
One or both of you may not bond with the baby immediately (though by the sound of it, you have). Just give it time, it doesn't always magically happen, but as you look after that real live human being you made (isn't that just too amazing?) you'll gradually find it really is the centre of the universe, and rightly so.
I bet about a hundred people have cross posted with better advice by now, let's just hit send and hope it helps...
For us you become very selfish and irritated by the smallest things because you are so tired and things that you didn't notice about the other person before become huge... like his half hour faffing about on the x box / in the shower after he's been in there ages / randomly walking to Tesco will drive you mad even if he's doing just as much as you.
Sleep becomes a commodity to be bargained for.
And you'll both enter the tiredness Olympics on an almost daily basis.
In our case (7 weeks in) you get to see a whole new caring and patient side in each other (or at least you see a side that was always there, but in a new context), and you feel even more in love. (Feel free to vomit now).
Lack of sleep is a bugger, but you just have to act as a family and look after each other and the baby (and try to keep a sense of humour).
I think you find out more about the person your with. DH was so kind, caring, and thoughtful. He always told me how proud he was of me and how well I was doing. I agree with bluegrass. Obviously there were times when the lack of sleep got to us but I do think it made us stronger as a couple.
Just when you start thinking you have cracked it, they start teething and then walking and you realise the baby bit was actually easy.
One little tip i wish i had been given was to get you DP to read up a bit on the first week baby blues. Not talk PND but just the blues that often happen when your milk comes in. I cried for exactly an hour every night for 4 days when DD was about two days old - totally normal but DH found it quite worrying and hard to understand!
I was too shocked and down after DS was born and DH did everything for me/us (apart from when I was struggling to BF). He was an amazing rock. I used to scream at him that I didn't want DS any more (this was all in the first few weeks) and he took it all in his stride.
We're expecting our second and while I know now what to expect, thinking about how DH was last time has made me realise I probably didn't really thank him for what he did before. Not that he wasn't doing what any loving DH would do, but I didn't cope at all and there is no way we would have got through it (until I stopped trying to BF and went back on the pill at 8-9 weeks and felt human again)
If your DH is practical, that's great. Can you get him to do the practical things such as cooking, cleaning, nappy changes etc etc?
*Not that he wasn't doing anything other than what any loving DH would do
I second WingDefence on getting him to do the practical stuff (also, we're expecting our second too). DH and I decided together that when DD was born, he would do all the nappy changes when he was home. DD is almost 2 and he still does this.
It helped me with bfing which I am still doing and it helped him feel useful and connected with DD. We will take the same approach with DC2.
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