I absolutely love sleeping with my son at night. I can hear every move and am able to intervene quickly if he wakes up and fusses (sometimes he's cold and kicked his blanket off and goes right back to sleep (so it never progresses into "crying" and I'm able to meet his needs right away. My husband has been sleeping on the couch and I've been sleeping in the bed with baby. We do have a co-sleeper unit for baby if we want him to sleep in between us, but that hasn't worked the best because my husband snores and I get even less sleep and then I end up waking my husband up when I tend to baby. My husband is upset that we don't sleep together anymore and thinks that it is time for baby to sleep in his crib (baby is 3 months now). The thought of not sleeping with my baby seems so strange. I feel like I need to be there for him to meet his needs. It feels unnatural to not sleep with him. I tell my husband this and he gets even more upset, feels like I don't care about him, feels left out. He's also upset because we're not DTD hardly ever, which makes him feel even more left out. I'm taking Domperidone to increase my milk production and the increased prolactin levels kill my sex drive. It is literally non-existent. I'm not sure what to do. I feel like I have to choose and that makes me upset. Any advice?
Ah, the first baby. Completely different method than my first & it goes w/out saying that you can take or leave the advice. I start Leora off in the bassinet, cuddle w/ Husband (not that he wants it, I'm the toucher) & bring her to bed at first fussings, usually 3 or 4 hours after I'm in bed. There's a new baby, someone is going to wake up at night, it's a fact. We're teething this week, so that schedules out of the window. If I didn't have the bassinet, or crib in your room, I would make a bed in the laundry basket for the baby to sleep in besides the bed. Your husband will be appreciative of the gesture & Easton mightn't even mind the switch. Your husband needs sleep training too & he's not getting it on the couch. If my husband can't sleep, then he goes to another bed but at this point it's his own fault for having caffeine before bed, he can generally sleep through baby.
Sex at this point will probably feel like a sacrificial gift because... it is. BUT it's an easy gift to give, & can really serve to refocus on the point of your marriage. It probably won't take more than 5 min. out of you day if it's been awhile too. I don't know if you plan to have more children but the frequency of having them w/ your husband will depend a lot on the memories you're making now.
First, hughs to you! It's a hard transition. I agree with Voondrop, sex might be a sacrifice for you right now, but it is a sacrifice for your husband to go without it. Make a compromise if you dont want to sleep without your babe, hire a sitter for a few hours during the day and spend some quality time with your husband.
I just want to say that what you are going through is completely normal. And your DH should understand that and be sympathetic to your new role. It is a transition for everyone, for sure. There are plenty of us who were not interested intimacy after a baby - it's your body wanting to not get pregnant right away. Things that helped me were explaining to my husband that this new arrangement is normal. That sex might be on the back burner for a LONG time. That is is really important that if you want to have any chance at feeling intimate, sleep is a huge part of that. If there are things that can help you feel better let him know. DH had to change his approach in terms of getting me in the mood. Instead of his usual childish antics, he needed to remember that I have been touched and sucked on all day long, and the best way to make me feel relaxed was do offer me a shower by myself and hold the baby, or do the dishes or some other task that is on my plate. Then, by making those kinds of efforts, it's amazing how that relief of pressure on you will allow you to relax and be more interested in intimacy with him. My DH was a little skeptical of bed sharing at first too, and I just told him that if he wanted DS in the crib, then it was his job to get up and change the baby and bring him to me in bed for feedings. But for as long as I was taking care of night time feeds, etc, that I was keeping the baby with me because it was easier and everyone gets more sleep.
In terms of sex, I wouldn't do anything that you are uncomfortable doing, but showing an effort to accommodate your DH's needs will make him feel appreciated. I think being aware of and talking about everyone's new roles will help the situation. I was not interested in sex for a long time after DS, I would make an effort (but it was hard because DS would not let me put him down ever!), but sex was rare for a long time. That can happen with kids in the house, regardless of where you are sleeping.
Babysmurf, I really appreciate your reply! We've been struggling with the same issues here and it's so reassuring to hear from those who've been through it. I know I feel the OPPOSITE of sexy when I'm tired, covered in drool, eye boogers, leaked milk, spit up, and my nipples are sore from a nursing spree. Then my sweet husband wants to cuddle up to me and I'm just like...ugggghhh now you want something from me too? I know that his needs and our sex life are important, so I really like your idea about having husband take baby to allow some alone time for mama to recharge and even consider getting "in the mood." Today, he's going to take baby for a while while I go out for a walk with the dog. I'm really looking forward to the fresh air and alone time!
Getting time to recharge yourself is absolutely essential, and it can be hard to learn how to achieve that balance. But life will be happier if you can figure out how to swing it. Also, I think a discussion on the changing roles of a family is important because while sex and intimacy and connection are obviously important in a relationship, I think a lot of insecurities about changing relationships and roles are projected onto sex. If you don't talk about those things, then you won't get to the root cause of the issues, and just making time for sex won't fix it. Having a baby *does* require that you spend less time/attention on your partner, but it does not mean that his/her role is any less important. And finding ways to show our partners that is what I think is key.
When I try to explain this to DH, he thinks that I'm just making up excuses to avoid him. He's reacting rather childishly to it all. I'm back to work so it's been hard trying to adjust to working again and getting a routine down. A part of why I have zero desire to DTD is because of the Domperidone, but it's so worth it because I'm able to pump about 24 oz a day (may not seem like much to those with good supply- but for me, it's almost doubled my supply). So, I know that once I wean baby, my drive will come back, but perhaps never the same as it was before baby....
Our bedroom is so small that we can only fit our king size bed and a dresser in it, no room for a bassinet or pack-n-play, and he's too big for a laundry basket (he's already 17 1/2 lbs at 3 mo). I guess that I can compromise by starting baby out in his crib and after he wakes up for the middle of the night feeding, I can then go out on the couch with him or something.... :/
Hmm, I think that sounds like he's insecure in his new role as Daddy, and if we are honest, we do put our partners on the back burner for a while. Is there any way that you can show him literature/books about this stuff being normal? And I think it's important that you address the underlying insecurities around the lack of intimacy. Can you do other little things to make him still feel important? Make sure that you acknowledge his efforts to help you out? And are there things that he could be doing to help you feel more relaxed and open to being intimate (sometimes a road map is helpful - if you can make it seem like it was his idea, even better)? I know that your drive is being killed, but is there another way that you could connect with him? I think it's important that you really want the connection from him, and sometimes even though I didn't have an initial drive, if we were intimate in other ways, once the endorphins picked up a bit, I was much more open to sex.
When DS was little, in order for DH and I to find a little time to DTD (or sometimes it would just be to take care of his needs), we used to put him (DS) in the exersaucer. Lol. It was the only place he was content long enough for us to take care of business. I think you said that you don't have family near by, but maybe there are some like minded mom's around and you can trade babysitting for a date night for you and your DH? My MIL lives close, so we would always tell her we were going out to dinner, but go home to have sex - DS also wouldn't take a bottle, so we only had as long as he would go between nursing sessions. But he was a bit older before I was comfortable with that.
There are probably a lot of threads on this topic, if you search there may be some other good ideas. And FWIW, if he is having trouble sleeping with the two of you, then he should be the one to move - co sleeping on a couch isn't safe. And you need your sleep!!
Checkin in on you Jnajla. How are things going with co-sleeping and your husband?
I was going to write something helpful but these fabulous ladies already covered most everything I was going to write about!
My dh and I go through a tough period after birth. We're both elated about the baby but with me having no moooood because I feel like a cow, it's kind of tough sometimes. co-sleeping has never been an issue for us, we just made the bed bigger as years went by. (currently sleeping in it are 5 kiddos, my eldest finally got tired of being kicked in the face by a brother or two.)
It's even harder this time around for some reason things are taking longer to 'heal' then last time for me and I've had a few UTI's and bladder irritation and diagnosed kidney stones still in there.
PLUS this being our last baby, DH got the big V and now we're in the 'waiting' period of threeish months before it's safe to have unprotected again.
Sooooo now we throw THAT into the mix of trying to coordinate alone time with 5 olders under 11, one 4 month old, his work schedule, aligning the stars, my -er...moods.......
You get the picture.
Somehow we'll make it work, have for 12 years.