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New mum and neglected husband

(19 Posts)
bumperlicious Mon 10-Sep-07 09:07:20

Had a bit of a chat with DH last night. He is feeling neglected and like he is the "lodger". We are not tactile like we used to be.

He has a point, but he is worried that it is him, but I can't really explain why it is.

Our first baby is 12 weeks old and I am breastfeeding and looking after the baby all day. She just saps all my emotional and physical energy and at the end of the day I just need some personal space. As I pointed out to DH i spent 4 hours of my day just feeding DD, it really takes it out of me.

I am just so tired all the time. We tried having sex once after DD was born and it farking hurt so having tired it again because of that and the tiredness.

Also, I am just gone through the most physically traumatising things, pregnancy and childbirth, and I feel like my body is not my own anymore, I don't recognise it and I don't feel good about it.

Sorry for the long outpouring, I guess my point is I want to know:

1) is this really abnormal behaviour from me?
2) did any of you go through the same thing?
3) and how to I make it better without it seeming and feeling 'forced', i.e. I want to change how I feel not just how I am acting towards DH, but maybe if I change how I act the feelings will follow IYSWIM?

crokky Mon 10-Sep-07 09:10:12

I think this is normal, especially when breastfeeding and I went through the same thing. What is needed is more time. Hopefully, someone will come along and write something more helpful!

LilRedWG Mon 10-Sep-07 09:13:32

I think we have all felt like this (and some of us still do), but your DH has got to be a little more patient and understandling. It is a tough time for both of you and your relationship will have changed massively - you just have to work with it.

1 - It is not abnormal behaviour from you. Your body is not your own at all. DD makes massive demands on you physicaly and emotionally - you need to rest. Maybe DH could run you a bath when he gets in of an evening and take over DD for a while.

2 - My DD is almost 16 months old and not breastfed and I still need my space on an evening.

3 - Be patient and keep talking to DH.

I'm sure someone will be along with better advice soon, but didn't want you to go unanswered.

HappyWoman Mon 10-Sep-07 09:15:38

It all sounds normal to me.
12 weeks is not very long to get over everything your body has been through and you are still feeding so it wont get back for some while yet.

But it is hard for your h too - does he help with the baby at all? it can be hard for men to bond in the same way especially if you are not 'willing' to share the chores.

My h used to do the bath when he came home which gave me some time to get myself feeling 'normalish' agian. And would also give him a taste of how exhausting hving the baby all day is (which would also dampen his sex drive!!!!).

It is hard but how about leaving him with the baby while you popped out to the shop or something. The baby will be fine and give everyone a chance to bond and hopefully he can share in what you are doing. If you feel shelfish doing this make it a trip to buy something for H.

Just some thoughts - hope you feel more normal soon but give yourself time.

maveta Mon 10-Sep-07 09:19:41

I agree that it all sounds pretty normal, my first baby is 4.5 months old and it´s not been long that we´ve started being more tactile with each other again, and it´s still not like it was before ds came along. We had sex within a couple of weeks of the birth and that was more or less fine although it is hard to find the energy, it´s more the general kisses, cuddles and non sexual touching that fell by the wayside. As far as sex goes, if I´m really tired and grouchy then I just can´t but if I just kind of feel like I can´t be arsed I try to think "you´ll enjoy it once you get started" LOL grin and that is always true! In fact it´s a great way for us to break any tension that´s been building, we do get more grouchy with each other the longer it´s been and it always feels like the air has been cleared afterwards. It also helped me feel better about myself physically, to feel like dh still fancied me etc.

Especially at the start I found it hard to find any left over emotional energy for dh. I was feeding only every 3 or 4 hours but it was a big battle everytime and took about 40mins-1hour! So yes, I felt like you that at the end of the day I didn´t want to be touched/mauled by anyone else, I just wanted to be left alone.

You are normal! Is the upshot of all of this. It will get better but yes I think you have to try and make an effort so you don´t fall out of the habit. i.e. try and make a point of grabbing your dh for a hug or giving him a kiss etc. see if you can kick start some of your old behaviours. Obviously he just needs to be really understanding too.. but if you can try and reassure him it will be better for you in the long run too.. just my opinion/ experience but I hope it helps smile

LilRedWG Mon 10-Sep-07 09:20:33

Just a thought. Does your baby take expressed milk from a bottle at all? If so, maybe whilst you are soaking in the bath (o otherwise relaxing) DH could give her a feed and get her settled for bed.

Sometimes, DH brings DD up to me and plonks her in the bath with me. DD loves it and DH loves it - they gang up on me and splash me, then DH takes DD to have her milk and puts her to bed, whilst I finish my soak. It's lovely bonding time for them both and nice for us as a family.

bumperlicious Mon 10-Sep-07 09:20:47

Oh no, the problem is not with DD and DH, he is fantastic with her, and takes her off me when he gets in, and gives me time to myself. It's just the two of us have become just parents and don't seem to be DH and DW any more... I want to make it better but just don't feel like I have the energy. I don't feel remotely sexual which is perhaps putting me off being tactile.

maveta Mon 10-Sep-07 09:21:32

Do you have anyone that can take the baby for an hour or two so you guys can nip out for a walk together or to go and have a coffee? If you do, try and take advantage to get out and have some time together, even if it´s only an hour, it´s something..

LilRedWG Mon 10-Sep-07 09:23:26

It's just time then. Just make sure you keep giving each other little affectionate cuddles and kisses throughout the day and then it's time. I was reading this thread earlier - it certainly struck a chord with me and has a few helpful tips in.

Chickhick Mon 10-Sep-07 09:32:28

It is very normal, tbh I am still feeling like this 3 years on! As someone has already said can you get someone to babysit whilst you go out for lunch together? I didn't always have the energy or money for an evening out but MIL would often have ds for a couple of hours on a Sunday to give us time to go out for lunch or a glass of wine in the local pub.

Beetroot Mon 10-Sep-07 09:37:42

you really need to make yourself make more effort, even if it is just cuddling up on the sofa to watch a film, touching his hand when youtalk ot him.

remember why you married him, and you may find that you will enjoy the more intimate times again(and I am not talkinmg sex)

Organise to go for a walk together, sit int he pub, dinner. Just for an hour. If you do this every few weeks it will be coem the norm agian.

It is hard - very hard but once you do it - I have found that you remember it is wonderuful ot spend relaxed time with the man you love

bumperlicious Mon 10-Sep-07 09:46:21

Thanks girls, I didn't think of that. I will see if some friends can take DD for an hour or so this week so we have some time to ourselves.

LilRedWG Mon 10-Sep-07 09:48:02

Good for yu. Just take a stroll, hand in hand, to your local and have a glass of wine. Have a lovely time!

daisyandbabybootoo Mon 10-Sep-07 10:22:12

Bumper, this is perfectly normal, and remember you are still ironing out your BF difficulties and then there's the thyroid thing to think about as well. That will be sapping all your energy as well as the usual first time parent issues.

It will get better, although given DH and I didn't live together till DS was three and we've only had sex twice since DD was born I'm not much of an authority on the subject.

I feel that I need to make an effort when he comes home at the weekends, but after four days of being on my own with the DCs I need some space. I find it difficult to even concentrate on what he's saying to me half the time...for all I know he's been saying he's having an affair with a russian shotputter through the week and he only comes home at weekends to see the DCs and cos he likes my cooking, LOL.

We have chatted about it though and he appreciates that after those few days on my own I'm completely rubber-ducked. I think the key is to keep talking to each other and to make sure that if nothing else you at least have a bit of a sleepy cuddle before you go to sleep or in the morning before you get DD up to maintain that connection.

And remember, she will start to sleep better soon and you will master the art of the speed shag grin

Charlie999 Mon 10-Sep-07 10:24:09

grin @ Daisy......yep, agree with that one!

dizietsma Mon 10-Sep-07 10:30:57

1) NO! I felt very much like you did.

2) Absolutely. DH was pretty understanding, but I felt very much like you. We didn't even attempt sex until 4 months post, I only had a minor 2nd degree tear and it still hurt tons.

3) It's early days, don't panic. See if you and DH can get a couple of hours away to go see a film or have a meal to reconnect. Remind your DH that this age doesn't last forever. In a few months time your little one will be on solids, you wont be feeding so much and you'll start getting your body back, and can he patient with you until then? It sounds like textbook baby jealousy, he'll get over it.

bumperlicious Tue 11-Sep-07 08:54:33

Ok, last night the 3 of us went out for dessert and a glass of wine and sat outside a restaurant at the bottom of our road. And I have arranged a babysitter so we can go out for dinner on Thursday.

DH is very chuffed with the effort I am making, I'm a Good Wife again!

Thanks for the advice. I've realised it the little things that make a difference to DH so it won't hurt to make a bit more of an effort to pay attention to him

LilRedWG Tue 11-Sep-07 08:56:06

Bumper! I'm glad you had a nice evening and have your babysitter booked for Thursday! Have a lovely time.

HappyWoman Tue 11-Sep-07 09:16:34

Well done - yes it is the little things that matter most. You feel good about doing it and he feels good that you think about him and that makes you feel even better.

Good on you - hopefully it will continue and you can find some new things to keep that spark going.

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