I'm 33 weeks pregnant with my first and I've spent the past 8 months beyond excited to have this little baby, and still am! But it hit me a couple of days ago for the first time how much our world is about to change. I've known this but hadn't thought much about how it would impact my relationship with DH. I love him so much, he is my absolute best friend and we have been together for 10 years! Just us two. We met when I was 20. And I'm turning 30 at the end of this week. So my big birthday combined with these pregnancy hormones is making me all emotional and crazy. I'm excited to become a mama but nervous about becoming too wrapped up in being a parent that I forget I am his wife. I know our family is about to get a huge upgrade, but I guess I'm just mourning the loss of our relationship up until this point. Just wondering from other mamas, how did your relationship change after having a baby? Or did it? Do you have any advice about how to keep the two of you at the center of things? I almost feel like I am about to lose part of him.
clementine / 903 posts
No advice. But my story is similar to yours (I'm 30 weeks and just turned 30), and I feel the same way!
cherry / 234 posts
Hi! So, I had the same worries you are expressing, I actually cried a lot about how much our lives were about to change. My DH was so reassuring that we were going to be fine, and LO was going to make our relationship and bond stronger. My LO is only 10 days old, but, seeing DH be her daddy and take care of her and me has taken our relationship to a whole new level. I didn't know that my love for DH could grow that much in such a short time. It sounds so corny, but it's been great so far.
watermelon / 14467 posts
In a way, our relationship has changed, but at the same time, it hasn't. We're a team. Watching my husband become a father has been amazing, but I won't say that there weren't bumps in the road. He's had a hard time with having to give things up (money, time, the things he wants to buy), and I've had a hard time with that too, but I think we are stronger for it.
GOLD / wonderful pea / 17697 posts
It's taken more work than it used to, but I think it's a better/stronger relationship now. It's hard not to just be "mom"...it took a conscious effort to remember to be a wife as well. We don't get out much with our schedules, but we try to spend time together after E goes to bed (even just watching a movie or show together), and try to get out of the house alone. It's easier as he's gotten older, but I'm nervous about how it's going to be after #2 gets here.
ETA: Even in the middle of the night when you want to stab him in the eye if he sleeps through the baby crying again that you're on the same team, and try not to be a mommy martyr afraid or unwilling to ask for help. It's his baby too, he's not an occasional babysitter, he's dad.
persimmon / 1281 posts
Great post! This is one of the reasons I was afraid of getting pregnant in the first place. There is a book our premarital counselor recommended to us called "And baby makes three". We got about 1/2 way through and it was pretty good...talked about working through issues after baby comes and keeping communication up. I'm still scared of the changes...its one of my biggest fears in terms of having this baby!
wonderful grape / 20453 posts
We felt like ships on the night for a little bit, but it got better after about 6 months, when E started STTN. I also started feeling more like myself. We kept doing things we enjoyed-bike rides, softball. Etc. We don't wholly succumb to parenthood, so we always feel like "us" underneath it all. Time for ourselves and time together. When I feel like I'm drowning, I ask for help and I receive it. And vice versa. We aren't at odds, we're on the same side
pomegranate / 3565 posts
Life changes after baby. You can't completely prepare for it or even know how you'll react.
I'll be honest here and this is just my experience. In the beginning, your husband may truly get on your nerves. He will not be as attuned to the baby as you. He will not hear the baby crying like you do. Everything may drive you crazy that will pass!
You will be amazed at seeing your husband become a father. You will be amazed that you've created a family. Priorities will change. For my husband and I, we both realize our kids are #1 right now. We don't ignore each other but their needs come first. Every family is different. This works for us. We're a team taking care of them.
GOLD / wonderful pomegranate / 28905 posts
@buttermilk: hi! So DH and I had been together for 10 years when we got married. Shortly after we started TTC and that took a while. I'm not going to lie, that first year was really tough on us. It was probably the hardest year of our 12 year relationship. Our communication was lacking, our sex life was pretty non existent. Our first was a very difficult and high needs baby. She cried a ton the first few months of her life. She was a crap sleeper and napped. I was breastfeeding and since she was a cluster feeder I felt like she was constantly attached to my boob. We had no family nearby so that meant no help, no breaks, no date nights etc.
Butttt like others have said. It's incredible to see just how much he loves our girls. How amazing of a father he is. We have come out on the other side even stronger as a unit than we were before. Things were SO much better the second time around.
My best advice is to communicate. Try to make time for each other even if you're not getting sleep. If you have family nearby - use them for date nights!
cherry / 229 posts
My so and I were together for about 10 years and we had lo just before turning 30! Our relationship definitely changed some. It was very hard for me to relax at all in the beginning and DH found that very hard to handle. It was stressful because we didn't get much time together at first and we had expected the baby to make us much closer. All this lasted a few months things started to get better from there. It was really essential that we keep the lines of communication very open and take time to tell each other how we are feeling. It was also important for me to remember that there is more to me and to life then the baby, sometimes she's allllll I talk about.
wonderful pear / 26210 posts
A lot of things changed for me when my son was born, so naturally, it affected my relationship with my husband. It is a challenge to sum up exactly what changed and when, but I feel like relationships are always changing in that your needs change, your partner's needs change, your needs as a couple change, you add children, you lose family members, etc.
It has brought us together in some aspects, but it has also widened some divides. Not in a getting separated kind of way, but in a how we handle things kind of way.
nectarine / 2086 posts
@MamaB: I've been crying about it for 3 days hahaha.
grapefruit / 4988 posts
I was worried about this too but DH and I are a team and it helps to remind myself of that. The first 6 months were really hard (mostly due to sleep deprivation, it's hard to be kind when you are exhausted), but it gets easier. Now I feel like DH and I have an extra dimension to our relationship because he is an excellent father and I love seeing him with LO. It takes work to balance family time vs. couple time (we probably don't do enough date nights), but I feel like overall so far, having a child had strengthened our relationship. I can see how it could go the other way though. I am lucky to have a husband who really tries to be an equal parent and I think that can play a major role in how women perceive their relationships post-children.
honeydew / 7622 posts
@buttermilk: hi! Your story sounds similar to ours. We have been married for almost 9 years, our daughter was born a couple months before my 31st birthday. She 16 weeks now.
Honestly, a lot will depend on your baby and how the big stuff like breastfeeding (if you are going to) and sleep. The first 6 or so weeks were hard- we had big feeding challenges and all of us were sleep deprived. The first few days for me were a total honeymoon then it set in that it was going to be hard for awhile. M felt like a familiar stranger. Someone I love so much but saying and doing things that were not part of our normal yet, we had to get accused to the baby language and see eachother as parents. None of this is bad just my experience.
We have been really fortunate with our daughter, she eats and sleeps well, is healthy (besides a short stay in the PICU shortly after birth), is social, smiles and is thriving. All we really have to do is find our groove as a family while she changes and work together on future challenges. We are happy and things are as good as before, just different.
My advice is to be patient with everyone & have as few expectations as possible. Also do your research and have the number for a lactation consultant and therapist handy in case you need either.
pomegranate / 3127 posts
Yeah, it's hard. No matter how long you've been together, and even if you agree on all the big things, there's no way to prepare for how to deal with all the little things. And of course life happens, and sometimes you have to make tough choices that neither of you saw coming because of work situations or family situations or whatever. And you often have to do it on not enough sleep. I guess it helps to get really good at forgiving each other and remembering that you're still a team.
blogger / watermelon / 14218 posts
We were married for 4 years when our first was born. It has of course been up and down in the past 5 years of being parents together, but our relationship is absolutely a million times more solid than before kids. We used to be two individuals working side by side to go through life together, and now we are working together as a team 100% to make our family's life go smoothly. Our biggest fights used to be about things that divided us... and now our biggest fights are when we're not on the same page or communicating enough. There is so little that divides us now, now that we have this new, huge focus that our lives are centered around.
pomelo / 5678 posts
@Mamasig: for sure!
apricot / 347 posts
I have to say, I have never felt so much appreciation for my husband. He's not just my love now, but the father of my children. Watching him love and nurture DD and support me makes my heart swell. I love my family more than I ever thought possible.
Sleep deprivation, the adjustment and hormones definitely brought some challenges in the first year but we're so much stronger for it. We've really hit our stride.
nectarine / 2086 posts
@mrs. wagon: that's amazing!
Love hearing all this positivity. I'm probably just scared of the unknown. Idk how I didn't realize before now that this last month will be the last time it's just the two of us! We gotta snuggle and take walks and go out and really cherish it.
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
The effort now is tripled! But We've been parents for 6.5 months and while the hard times are really hard, I feel like we have a deeper level of love, trust & partnership between us from raising a lil girl together and really having to work together as a team. It also makes us more aware of the need to really find time to work on us, and making that time count b/c it's so rare!
pomelo / 5628 posts
Our relationship was probably not as strong as yours to start and it was tough dealing with two years of infertility. Then we had a traumatic pregnancy and birth which brought us closer together. We had a honeymoon period for a few months after birth but the year after was really hard. Now 2.5 years in, watching my husband be a dad makes me love him a million times more than before and we are in a really great groove and happy place. It's not perfect because there are so many new things to disagree about, but it's special and overall way better.
nectarine / 2806 posts
@buttermilk: You are very right! Your relationship will definitely change. Your attention will be primarily on baby. Your time together will revolve around baby's schedule, not yours or his. So, be sure to make dates a priority, if you have someone to watch your baby. Our first date night was at 3 weeks. I went through some very difficult moments, mourning the loss of the freedom and time the two of us had for so long (we've been together 14 years and he's my best friend, too). Even now at 5 months, I'm still getting used to the changes. It's hard. Very hard. I'm sorry to be honest, but it is! And nobody told me that. It gets easier as my daughter gets a little older, but the loss of freedom doesn't change. I just adapt to it a little more each day. Find new ways to enjoy your hubby. When you see him with your baby, you will love him like you never knew possible. Your love for him will grow and change. The good moments far outweigh the difficult. But, be prepared for a shift.
eggplant / 11824 posts
I don’t think there is any way to truly prepare for the changes that take place after you have a child, because you won’t know what they will be until you are there, in that space.
After I had LO, my love for my husband definitely evolved. In many ways, I love him so much more now, and feel a deeper connection because we made a human being together and we will always be strongly tied together, no matter what happens to our relationship. On the flip-side of that, that’s also a sort of scary thought – before, if things didn’t work out, each of us could move on and now, while we certainly could still move on and people get divorced every day, the stakes are SO MUCH HIGHER.
Having a kid just changes everything – it impacts everything. From future plans to day-to-day plans, this little person needs you to give 100% all the time (especially in the beginning) and that’s really hard.
My husband and I don’t fight more than we did pre-kids and we still are very close and love each other fiercely, but things have definitely changed. Some for the better, but in some ways, for quite a while after LO was born it was more like we were roommates than married people. We've also been together for 8 years, so I think some of the "rut" is just natural based on length of our relationship. There was a long time after LO was born that we were just keeping our heads above water and there wasn’t time or energy to really tend to our marriage.
I would strongly suggest making it a point to get time for just the two of you on a regular basis after your LO is born. If we didn’t have regular date nights away from LO, and overnights with just us, I know we would be in a very rocky place. It’s important to remember that you’re working on the same team, but that each of you is important too, and that you’ll need to work at getting time together.