Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Do I know you from somewhere?

Liam is such a little man.  He's clocking in just shy of 10 lbs now, and a bunch of his clothing finally fits him.  So that's just such an incredible feeling.  Of course I dress him in little man clothing- shoes and all.

After the baby is born, there comes a moment where you realize you were not alone in all of this.  And I'm not talking about something supernatural or something religious, I'm talking about the realization that you do in fact have a husband.  Where is he?  You don't remember him leaving for any reason.  He must be here somewhere...
The last memories you have of your husband are the one where he was holding your left leg up so you could push your child out.  And even THAT is fuzzy.
You consider a missing persons report, but then you find him in your parent's kitchen on a Sunday afternoon.  And you reach up to hug him, and you realize...hey, I can touch you again.  As in, all your parts line up again.  There's no baby there anymore.  And you both share a laugh because it occurs to you simultaneously that you haven't felt this in a long time.
There also comes a point, after your six week post partum check up, that you realize it's been a REALLY long time since you've enjoyed the activity that got you into this in the first place.  And your husband has missed it as well- most likely MORE than you have missed it. 
The moment the baby leaves the snuggle nest between "his side" and "her side," and graduates to the bassinet, you bridge the gap the baby occupied.  And you find your husband there.  And his arm slips around you like old times, and everything is FAMILIAR.  And then you start to cry, because you're 1) a HUGE sap now that all your hormones are slowly going back to normal, 2) there is something very nostalgic about the three of you sharing a room- like THIS is what family is like.  And 3) you come to the realization that you love your husband very, very much. 
Then the baby starts to cry.  Your magic moment is now snapped back into reality.
However, you can't refuse your husbands advances forever.  If you have a husband who is normally tender and gentle, you should be fine.  IF not.  You need to do some talking.  Serious talking.  He needs to understand that this is not going to be a walk in the park for you, and it's going to need to be low and slow.  Without disclosing too many of the aspects of my personal experience (because many of you need to continue to be able to look me and my husband in the eyes when you see us...) I'll let you know what you need to know.
First off, you need to know you're more fertile now than ever.  And unless you want your children 12 months apart, you need to use extra protection.  For those of us who got pregnant on the first try, this is especially important.  Talk to your doctor at your 6 week appointment about what's best for you.  I'm not allowed to do birth control pills yet because of my low milk supply.  Instead, we've invested in condoms and spermicide to make double sure we don't have any surprises.
Next let's talk about that breast feeding stuff while we're talking milk supply.  While you breast feed, you will most likely NOT get a period.  This is NOT birth control.  This is a luxury, so enjoy it.  But if you're used to "doing the math" for birth control, it's not going to work because there's nowhere to start.  No period?  Can't tell if you're really pregnant.  It's not a cool feeling, so I suggest you do what it takes to be safe.
Lube it up, girlfriends.  Invest some money in something you can both use, and then use it.  Don't be shy.  You are naturally a little drier after giving birth, so this is totally normal.  Especially if you're using condoms- they can be irritating.  So please take my advice and astro-glide yourself up.
Don't expect to "arrive"...if you catch my drift.  Either one of you.  You need to build up to something that's comfortable to both of you.  Let the process be the experience.  Speak your mind before hand, and do not be afraid to say STOP if it's not working for you.  Things will be back to normal at some point, and believe it or not, your husband will survive.
This is all I have to say on this topic at this time.  Because I'm still living it.  Because I'm not talking in past tense, I'm talking currently.  I'm told by women who have had their children four to eight months ago tell me it gets better.  That you will be better than ever as a couple if you lay low and wait it out.  I'm looking forward to this.  Not that my Handsome Husband and I are super struggling, but I am still looking for normal.  New normal.  How can I be a wife and a mother at the same time?  I'll fill you in when I figure it out.