When two becomes three, it’s not just the living room full of baby toys, or the safety locks on all the cabinets, everything is transformed, including your relationship.
When I had my first baby, I knew that things would change, but it was still jolting stepping into that uncharted territory. I remember the doctor telling me I could have sex six weeks after the baby was born. “You have got to be kidding me,” I thought. That was absolutely the last thing on my mind. I was overwhelmed with being a new mom, I was exhausted and terrified, and everything I had to give was being given to my son. The first time my husband and I had sex after the baby was born was disappointing. It felt different, sometimes painful, and I was completely terrified that this was it, that things would never get back to where they were. I was so traumatized by that first experience, that it took another couple months before I tried again. (My husband is seriously the most patient and compassionate person ever...points for life!) But guess what? Eventually my body healed, my hormones calmed down, I got a handle on the whole being a mom thing, and things did get back to normal, even better than they were before. We even managed to make another baby (and things were way less traumatic the second time!)
If I could go back and give myself (and my husband) some words of wisdom, this is what I’d say:
- You are amazing! You grew a baby and then you gave birth like a warrior. Your body is fabulous, and just did something incredible. So don’t be too hard on it. You need time to heal, physically and emotionally.
- Be honest with your partner. Tell them what you are feeling.
- If you are not ready to go all in yet, show your love in other ways. I know you are completely consumed with this amazing little bundle, but your husband helped make that happen, so make sure to let him know that you love and appreciate him.
- It will be different at first, but it will get better. Don't spend time feeling guilty or worrying, just take it one day at a time.
- I know you are sleep deprived and going a little crazy because your wife is super hormonal. It will pass. Right now, she needs extra compassion and love. Trust me, she will make it up to you eventually.
- Your wife loves you, please don’t feel rejected, it’s not about you. She’s just exhausted, and it’s hard to feel sexy when you spend the day with spit up all over your shirt.
- Her boobs belong to the baby right now. You’ll get them back, but you just have to wait your turn. Sorry.
- Don’t forget the first Valentine’s Day after baby (psst. She wants a bubble bath, chocolate, and a nice long nap!)
Most of all, never forget that you are in this together. When things get rocky, remember to turn towards each other and not away. That sweet little baby wouldn’t exist without both of you. Also, he won't be traumatized for life if you let him cry for an extra five minutes while you make up for lost time, enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day!