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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, the good news is that my wife's pregnancy is as healthy as can be and we are both very happy for it.

As we near the due date, whenever we meet friends the conversation turns more and more towards pregnancy, child birth and parenting. This is all well and good as everyone has a story to tell and these are topics everyone is interested in.

However as these discussions unfold I notice there is a place we stop and probe no further. The curious questions we do not ask each other because they are too personal, they are uncomfortable and they may reveal unpleasant truths.

Cultural taboos abound around us restricting our sharing of valuable information that I suspect we all are very curious to know.

The questions we do not usually ask are around:

- How is your intimacy like and how did it change throughout pregnancy and after? Yes I am curious about your sex life but also about affection. Not just the quantity and the mechanics but also the quality.

- What are the conflicts that arose in your relationship during pregnancy and after? How did you solve them and what lessons you learned? I am interested in both success and sad stories. I want to know so I can learn your lessons and your wisdom.

These are the questions I would like to ask my friends but I dare not to. Instead I politely concede and stifle my curiosity.

I would like to ask you guys these questions though. We are mostly anonymous and it is amazing how much we can share and how valuable it is.

So, dear anonymous friends. How was your intimacy and your conflicts during pregnancy and after birth? How did it change? What did you learn?
 

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Well, the good news is that my wife's pregnancy is as healthy as can be and we are both very happy for it.

As we near the due date, whenever we meet friends the conversation turns more and more towards pregnancy, child birth and parenting. This is all well and good as everyone has a story to tell and these are topics everyone is interested in.

However as these discussions unfold I notice there is a place we stop and probe no further. The curious questions we do not ask each other because they are too personal, they are uncomfortable and they may reveal unpleasant truths.

Cultural taboos abound around us restricting our sharing of valuable information that I suspect we all are very curious to know.

The questions we do not usually ask are around:

- How is your intimacy like and how did it change throughout pregnancy and after? Yes I am curious about your sex life but also about affection. Not just the quantity and the mechanics but also the quality.

- What are the conflicts that arose in your relationship during pregnancy and after? How did you solve them and what lessons you learned? I am interested in both success and sad stories. I want to know so I can learn your lessons and your wisdom.

These are the questions I would like to ask my friends but I dare not to. Instead I politely concede and stifle my curiosity.

I would like to ask you guys these questions though. We are mostly anonymous and it is amazing how much we can share and how valuable it is.

So, dear anonymous friends. How was your intimacy and your conflicts during pregnancy and after birth? How did it change? What did you learn?
From my bitter experience :) :

How is your intimacy like: married 17 years, but remember what it was like. Things went down hill for Mrs and I. Intimacy was good during pregnancy, but after birth was not good. I was young and did not spend as much time in the hospital as the Mrs would have liked. She was angry with me for not "being there" during all of the visiting hours. Comparing me to other men who there.

Looking back, I should have been more attentive to the Mrs during child birth and after. I was irresponsible. I went off of to trips with my friends when I should have been with her. This caused problems later in married life as she still mentions these things 15 years later :scratchhead:

Maybe she's using these cases as points against me, but I could have been more attunded post child birth.
 

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In my personal experience, nothing much has changed during/after my pregnancies. Our sex life was essentially the same (with the exception of a few weeks before/after birth where we toned it down, and by "toned it down" I just mean less penetrative sex). General affection ramped up, if anything, especially with my first pregnancy (super stressful and confusing time, I needed a lot of attention).

There wasn't really any increase in conflict, either. Being a hormonal mess I snapped a bit but I always apologized and my husband knows not to take it personally, or even seriously when I complain about... I don't know, the TV not smelling right or the grass being the wrong color. Stupid things. But there's a lot less conflict in our relationship than I think is probably the average amount anyway (I'm pretty sure we've never even had a serious fight in our 20ish years).

But other people's experiences are never going to be completely reflective of you own. You know your relationship better than anyone here. Just try to be patient if things aren't so fantastic all the time - it'll pass.
 

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In the first year and a half after having my daughter, sex was like this: Let's hurry up before the baby wakes up! :p

Now that my daughter will be 4 in April, sex is like this: Whew, she's in bed now. *a romp in the bed* OK, time to sleep. :D

I was lucky that I had a baby that was sleeping through the night starting at 3 months old. Not everyone is that lucky. If your baby is still waking a lot, you may be doing the hurry up sex for a bit longer. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@knightRider

Lesson learned: be available, present and help.

With my wife I get the realization that when pregnant she is at a very vulnerable time in her life. Men by reputation sometimes get involved with children sometimes not so this is definitely the time to be there for comfort and assurance.

I think she would be very sensitive to any hint that she would not have my full help and support.
 

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@knightRider

Lesson learned: be available, present and help.

With my wife I get the realization that when pregnant she is at a very vulnerable time in her life. Men by reputation sometimes get involved with children sometimes not so this is definitely the time to be there for comfort and assurance.

I think she would be very sensitive to any hint that she would not have my full help and support.
Yes. Learn from my experience :)
Be there for her. That way she cannot use it as a stick to beat you with later. Support her, especially in the 1st year. I'm not saying be a doormat, but be nice and compromise on your time. Once the kid is more independant, you can be more assertive
:smthumbup:
 

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I think a lot of people's experience is that the new mother falls in love with the newborn. If the husband is lucky he will continue to get some attention but the new mother's time, attention and energy will not be available to him in the same degree.

It is best if the husband takes to the newborn as well (I did), otherwise I suspect things can get problematical.

Though desirable in many ways, I have my doubts whether a couple can share childcare 50/50 , at least if the mother is breastfeeding (which is generally to the baby's advantage).

My children are now full grown but when they were small, my employers made it clear they expected no change to the amount of (many) hours I was expected to put in at the office, whereas my wife was given leave of absence, so maybe that colours my outlook. It would be nice to think things have changed but somehow I have my doubts.

Good luck. I hope the above is not too downbeat. Being a father is great. It changes your outlook (or should do).
 

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We have a three-year-old and a second child on the way, and so far our sex life hasn't suffered that much. Obviously there are periods of time where there's less sex (e.g. no sex for a little while after the c-section, little sex in the newborn days when you're exhausted all the time). There are little adjustments you have to learn to make, e.g. finding time to have sex during the baby's nap. But on the whole we've maintained a decent and pretty average sex life (about 1x per week). Even with her pregnant again now, still about 1x per week.

As far as broader questions about life changes, that's just such a big topic that I could write you a book. You just have to learn as you go and roll with the punches, nothing I can tell you will completely prepare you, but you'll be alright as long as you're prepared for your life to change.
 

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Our oldest daughter only got night feelings for a week. After that we decided to just leave her sleep, she'd wake up and let us know when she was hungry. We would put her down for the night at 11:00pm she would sleep until 6:30-7:00am.

Within a month, she was in her crib in her own room. Only a small night light on. We also never made it a point to be extra quiet when she slept.
Within a couple of months we could vacuum her room while she slept and she would rarely wake up.

My best advice for having a newborn?? Go with your gut instincts. They are more powerful that one can imagine.
 

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The questions we do not usually ask are around:

- How is your intimacy like and how did it change throughout pregnancy and after? Yes I am curious about your sex life but also about affection. Not just the quantity and the mechanics but also the quality.

- What are the conflicts that arose in your relationship during pregnancy and after? How did you solve them and what lessons you learned? I am interested in both success and sad stories. I want to know so I can learn your lessons and your wisdom.
Intimacy? My wife and I had sex during the pregnancy. Just about up to the day of delivery. The quality was there. The rough housing we do sometimes was not done. After all...my W was pregnant! As for the mechanics...to be blunt...doggie style.:D

I do not believe we had many conflicts. My W was pregnant. Stress free living was the order of the day. I did most of the worry with finances, etc.

After baby was born the intimacy was there but I was very lazy in that respect. Not until later did I realize I was lacking in the intimacy department with my W. She stayed the course hoping I would figure it out. I did in a big way. We are...well...very hands on intimate now!

My advise...always spend at least 15 hours per week with your W doing things together. It is very easy to become custodial room mates watching your kids. Always make the time for each other...happy homes have happy kids following along doing well. Keep yourselves happy with each other and never lose sight of what got you together in the first place. Keep dating each other.
 

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Communicate, communicate, communicate. This is a huge change in your life. Make sure you are on the same page with your wife at least once a week.

Make time for date nights, even if you think you cannot afford a babysitter.

Nip sexual abstinence in the bud, after the initial 6 weeks has past. If she is tired and overwhelmed, ask what you can to do help out. Remind her about the importance of a loving, sexual connection.

Do not let the baby sleep with you. You need adult time together. The best thing you can do for your child is to keep your marriage strong. A few marriages can survive this, but they are in the minority.

Some women get very territorial about babies. Don't let your wife tell you how to diaper, feed, or play with the baby (assuming you are not doing anything truly dangerous.) Remind her that children need both masculine and feminine energy to grow into emotionally healthy people.

Expect differences about discipline. Talk this out calmly.

Good luck! Parenthood is a great adventure. You will learn things about yourself and your family that will surprise, delight, and horrify you. Embark on this adventure together. Did I mention the importance of communication?
 

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The "empathy" point raised by badsanta is a good one -- even if you're going to be working 60 hour weeks and she's going to be a stay-at-home mom, you should get the full experience of changing blown-out diapers, sleep-deprivation, long hours of highly attentive and stressful boredom, trying to dress a toddler (i.e. trying to put tights on a garter snake), getting vomited on, getting food thrown at you, etc., because you have to learn what she goes through in order to understand and respect it, for the sake of your marriage. To be clear, I believe in sharing the duties as much as possible, but I think everyone should at least get some practice with these things no matter who the primary parent is.
 

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For the record, when our first child was born, I had just started a new job and relocated while my wife was a SAHM. I felt because I was working 50 hours a week that it was only fair for her to take care of our child. Things in our relationship were VERY rough during these times, but I chalked it up to life being tough for both of us.

Then when our second child was born we were both working full time jobs (self employed at the time) and I agreed to help carry half the responsibilities of raising the child. It was not until then that I realized what I had done to her by not helping with the first child. I also realized I was completely unable to empathize with her when we had had our first child which ended up causing sever communication problems at that time! By sharing responsibilities we completely understood each other and got along much better!!!!

So having tried it both ways with raising a child, you definitely want to SHARE RESPONSIBILITIES!
A nice bonus is that, even in this day in age, I often get cred points for it. I get to hear ladies at the office say, "wow, my husband doesn't do that!" and it's totally G-rated :smthumbup:
 

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I was much more horny DURING pregnancy over not...must have been all that testosterone in my body....when I had these babies, it's the one thing I complained I couldn't wait for... SEX!

Though we went through a spell of over 6 yrs trying to conceive after our 1st son.... this was the hardest time.. as I was so focused on conception...not his pleasure.. and timing was everything..... which took a hit on my husband... not our best years in the sex department.

I was happier and hornier when pregnant.. not the common story.. so many things can vary from one woman to the next !
 

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What I would say to new parents:

Your baby is not going to break. Babies will take their cues from their parents. If the parents are calm and ok about something so will the baby be, eventually. IMO one of the biggest mistakes that new parents make is that their babies are these massively fragile things that are going to grow up to be serial killers if they are "allowed" to cry for more than a millisecond. It is not so.

To wives. Your husband may not be jazzed about the baby stage. Remember that HE was the center of your universe until recently. And for men, babies are not all that much fun. When they are a wee bit bigger, can hold their heads and trunks up and can engage, Dad will get in the game.

To wives. Pay attention to your husbands. Do not drop him like a hot rock because you have this new baby. Reach back to the first paragraph and realize that one of the best things you can give to your child is a super healthy marriage. And make it so. Put the baby down in the bouncy seat or whatever to make him a cup of tea or a drink.

To wives: Get back into sexy time as soon as you can even if you have to completely fake it until you can make it.

To husbands: Hands on with that baby. If she can do it, so can you. Change diapers. Feed the baby if not exclusively nursing. After maternity leave, I went back to work full time. DH got DS for one of the middle of the night feedings, gave him to me to feed, and put him back. Hell yah.

To husbands: This is a tricky one. There is a balance to be struck between recognizing that your wife is exhausted and emotional and setting a trend toward being Mr Nice Guy. When your baby is little, there really is no such thing as doing to much to help. But look out for if it turns into covert contracts.

To husbands: You know your wife better than anyone else. But don't be afraid to be assertive. The baby is BOTH of yours not just hers. She does not have the entire say.

All of this is in the context of an already healthy and loving marriage. None of this applies to marriages with one person not pulling their weight.... If stuff was broken before kids, they are not going to be unbroken after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I very much like what I am reading and giving it all careful consideration.

Thank you to all that contributed and if you are reading this and have not shared your story please do :)
 

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I've had three great kids. Pregnancy #1 & 2 were blissful. I had that glow and my man was always proud to be seen with me. We had sex a lot, more so during the second trimester. I'd say about 4-5 times a week.)

My favorite advice is this: the best thing you can do for your child is to love his mother. Show by example and put your wife first. We were lucky to have easy babies (well, the first two) and my parents took them every weekend. If you don't get alone time, your marriage will suffer- at least it did with everyone we know.

Also, change diapers, feed, bathe, and ask for advice from your wife if you are unsure what to do.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS!
 
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We've got 4 great kids that are now adults/teens but I do remember those days. Things were different but not in a bad way. I was fairly sick during all the pregnancies but made a rule to not turn Hubby's advances down. We did things differently to make it work -- variations of spooning worked best for our situation. Also just lots of cuddling and making a point to stay connected. Showers together worked good for us too -- whatever keeps you connected as a couple. The mood was not always there for me at first but would always get there once we were in action.

Hubby was -- still is -- an awesome dad and very involved with the kids. Seeing him as a dad and taking an active role made my heart swell with pride and made me love him so much more.

Enjoy these years. Treasure them. Just remember that it goes by so fast and every age has its beautiful moments.
 

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I actually had to show my wife how to change diapers. I had babysat my nephews and niece. At times I could do a wick change in under 30 seconds. I knew how to hold a newborn, rock them to sleep and feed them.
Maybe I can be a new Marvel Comics super hero.....Captain Beta🍼
 

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We had very good sex back then after our first girl. Never mind it took her 5 years to sleep thru the night... Our younger slept the night at 2 months :D and was born while we were both working part time and going to grad school full time. Fun times.

Conflict? None. Not back then. It was a wild adventure taking two kids under five to the college library decked out in school spiritwear... Only conflict was who did better in our tests or projects in the few classes we took together.
 
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