Do you mind me asking what religion it is that dictates that month long separation? I know there are lots of cultures around the world that put mom on strict bedrest after a baby is born- in some places for up to a month. Here in Lao, I recently learned, that moms have to lay on a bed until their bleeding stops (which is interpreted as until they are "cleansed"). The only horrible thing is that they lay on a bed above hot coals- it is a family member's job (often the mother's) to stay with the new mom and make sure the coals stay hot! But because of this, they don't keep the baby with them. Yikes! I mean... all that rest seems like a great idea... "sweating it out" post baby WITHOUT the baby...not so much!
Anyway, if it's any consolation, I think it's a bit ridiculous how quickly men (or western society?) expect any kind of sexual interaction after a baby. I mean, if it's a mutual desire, fair enough... but otherwise... nope. I love my husband, and I really want to spend time with him- it is REALLY important to me to feel emotionally connected to him again- but I don't feel like I owe him anything sexually at this point- and he's an adult- I'm glad he's mature enough to understand the situation. Worrying about that stuff is not the added stress factor I need right now! (And yes, I'm already 3 mos PP today!)
Mara & Joel, 2009
I've forgotten the exact number of days (and I'm not going to look it up right now), but the first week or two is considered to be like a woman's period (if she and her husband dtd, they are "cut off" from their people). After that, it is a simpler separation where the man just becomes unclean for the rest of the day if he sleeps with her.
And yes, I do think that it's ridiculous how men's expectations can be. Dh and I actually talked during our last separation about how nice it was that the decision was, to a certain degree, out of our hands. It was one less thing for me to worry about, and he didn't have to worry about whether I felt pressured. And like I said earlier, having the bed to myself made it much easier for me to get into a good routine with ds. By the time the separation was over, dh and I were both quite ready, and dh was focused on making it "special" for both of us. He feels that it helps remind men (especially if the man is not present for the birth) that birth is physically difficult, and expecting women to be back to normal quickly is irrational.
Last edited by harper35; 09-06-2012 at 12:15 AM.
DS 1 b. 1/19/09, DS 2 b. 1/12/11, DS 3 b. 3/3/13
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.
Also, sorry if my response offended anyone. I'm in a mood this morning, and while I stand by what I said, I'm sorry if I didn't say it in the nicest way possible.
Mara & Joel, 2009
Kimia - I'm so glad things are getting better with DH and that you guys are getting some quality time together. I'm sure he's more then thrilled to be getting any sort of "bedroom attention" at this point. I think your point about wanting little reaffirmations of his love are fantastic. It's things like that that can make all the difference.
Sarah - I am sorry DH said that. They have such foot in mouth syndrome sometimes even when they know that going to work is a break compared to being at home with a baby. I hope you get a break soon.
Harper thanks for sharing that! I love learning about other cultures and almost went for a masters in theology as I love the subject so much. Mara, I don't think your question/comment was offensive. It's a good thing to be curious and ask questions.
Glad you and DH have been feeling more connected. I remember going thru a disconnected phase with my DH after my DS was born. I felt so close to him right before the birth and then I felt like we were completely disconnected after the birth. I could tell he felt slightly jealous of my relationship with our DS and all the attention DS was getting. I remember thinking it was odd that NOBODY ever told me it was normal for us to have these emotions, but once I brought it all up to other women, they had all experienced basically the same thing in one way or the other. That made me feel better and of course things got back to normal. Gosh, I was just apologizing to my DH yesterday for being such a prude lately. I just don't enjoy DTD when I am pregnant at all. It seems to hurt in almost all positions form the get go for some reason and therefore I avoid it like the plague. I normally like it and I feel like I have a pretty healhty sex drive when I am not pregnant, but UGH it totally leaves me in pregnancy. Having kids is such a joyous thing, but it can totally strip the romance from even the greatest of marriages.
As for the cosleeping thing. I totally understand your fears. I have the exact same ones since I had the same issues as you were describing with my DS. It was soooo hard to get him to sleep in his crib(or anywhere besides next to me) that I never did make him sleep away from me. He slept with us until he was 13 months old and then he still slept in a Pack N Play in our room until he moved to a toddler bed. We never even used his crib as a crib. I really don't feel like doing that again and having no privacy for me and DH. BUT I guess we'll work it out when we get there. Sounds like you got lots of great advice from the ladies on here.
Thank you so much for your replies ladies. I really appreciate it and its good to know that I am not alone when it comes to having issues with DH after a baby is born. I am going to attempt to finally type up my birth story right now so I will post that in a bit.
Jacob Olivier Mutahi __________
August 17, 2012
Born at 1:49pm
8 lbs 13 oz. 19 1/2 inches
The birth of Jacob was my hardest labor to date. I think it was one of my hardest pregnancies near the end also...it all had to do with baby flipping when I was 37 weeks and causing me quite a bit of worry and stress for those last few weeks. When I managed to finally get him to flip back at 38 weeks I was pretty ready to go into labor for fear of him flipping again and causing me to have to have a c section. At my 39 week appointment when my midwife checked me and saw that he was head down for sure, we were so happy and excited. I knew that I could relax and just hope that labor would start within the next week...all my previous babies have been 6, 8, and 7 days early so I had a feeling this baby would come a little early also.
I had a feeling that Thursday August 16th, only one day after my 39 week appt...would maybe be the day. Well, nothing happened all day and I felt fine. DS, who is 8, predicted that it would all happen on Friday August 17th. He said he thought I would go into labor in the middle of the night and have to go into the hospital on Friday. Well, he ended up being right.
DH and I fooled around that evening not knowing that would be it for a while. DH likes to think that is what started my labor and he is pretty smug about it. We had a lot of fun...hehehe...
Anyway, we went to bed about 11pm and I woke up at 1:45am with a painful contraction. My first real and painful contraction...so that definitely put me on guard. I got up and went to the bathroom and then lay down again. Less than 10 minutes later I had another one...and after that went on for a few contractions in a row without stopping I thought this may be the start of something. I got my phone and downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing them in the dark as I lay there. I didn't want to wake up DH until I knew for sure and they were more intense.
Each contraction required me to breath through them and they hurt a lot but I could handle it. I timed them for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours and they were 7-10 minutes apart the whole time...more often 7 minutes apart and sometimes even 4-5 min apart. I finally got up around 3:45ish and started walking around...I was also feeling nauseated so I forced myself to have a homemade banana muffin and a glass of juice as I didn't want to throw up from an empty stomach. I eventually wound up on my exercise/pregnancy ball in the baby's room and was rocking/bouncing on that trying to get through each contraction. At about 4:30am, DH must have heard me cause he woke up and came out and saw me on the ball and he asked me what was wrong...I said "I think I am in labor." And he got so excited...he couldn't believe it. He sat with me through a few and was pretty sure I was right so we both decided we should probably start getting ready.
We both took showers and got dressed and I put a few last minute things in my bag and DH straightened up the upstairs in preparation for my sister coming over with her two kids as she was going to be the one to watch them. I texted my sister around 5:30am and let her know that I was pretty sure this was it, but said not to rush over as I didn't want to go to the hospital until thing were more intense and closer together. I said to just let her kids wake up when they normally do and then plan to come over when they can get ready. I continued to labor and I noticed that when I was sitting or lying down my contractions were 7-10 min apart. but whenever I was standing or walking they were much more intense and right on top of each other. Our kids started waking up between 7:30-8am and they got pretty excited when we told them this was it. They all got dressed and ate with the help of DH and I was moaning through my contractions at this point and they were concerned but excited.
It was interesting that this time around I was way more vocal when each contraction hit and had to moan through them just to handle them. I dreaded walking as they were way more painful and closer together but I knew that if I wanted to get things moving that I needed to stand up and walk. So I went in the backyard and started walking and it was bad...finally about 8:15am I called the labor and delivery to ask them what I should do. I explained that they weren't regularly close enough to make me feel like going in but that when I walked they were right on top of each other and really painful. So they told me to come in so they could check me. I couldn't get a hold of my sister to tell her to come right then, so I called my other sister who lived closer and asked her if she could come until my other sister got here. We headed out shortly after 9am, got there about 9:35...an example of how weird my contractions were being...on the car ride over I only had 2 contractions..but when walking from the car to my room I had 5-6. They had me change and finally checked me at about 10am. The nurse said I was almost an 8 already which was shocking to me since they weren't very close together unless I was standing/walking. She was pretty sure I would have the baby within the next 30-45 minutes based on how far along I was.
She basically 911'd my midwife and she came running thinking I was within minutes of delivering. My poor midwife was 32 weeks pregnant and came running. My water had not broken yet at this point and they checked me again a while later and there was no change. My contractions were so random and sporadic but each one was very painful. My midwife eventually broke my water so we could see if that would help things along. We expected a lot to come out as I had so much extra fluid but not a lot came out so we think the baby's head just corked it.
Around 11am my midwife checked me again and there was still no change. She was due to assist in a c section with another of her patients at noon so she was concerned about being there for that. She checked me again right before noon and no change...so she said she would go do that and then come back right after. She sent a partner midwife in to be with me and that is when things began to fall apart for me.
The pain was becoming unbearable for me and I was asking for some type of relief...right before my midwife left she said she could give me something to help but if I did that it would require the nursery to be there to check my baby after he was born because it could potentially cause him to be a little affected by it...so she suggested we do the jacuzzi as she felt that would give me some relief. So they started filling the tub and I was desperate to get in as I thought that would help. At this point the other midwife came in to try and help me and when I got in the tub I thought it would help but my contractions were still as painful. I was really starting to freak out at this point. I remember looking into DH's with panic and saying "PLEASE help me!! I can't do this!" I kept saying it over and over. I couldn't believe it was hurting this badly. I was feeling the contractions in my stomach and back and all my other labors I only had contractions in my stomach...never in my back like this.
I finally had to get out of the water and was sitting on the stool when my nurse came in with a shot of Fentanyl to put into my I.V. because I was losing it. She said this would take the edge off but I don't feel like it helped at all. It took me forever just to get back to my bed cause the contractions were so intense and close. By the time I got back in bed it was even worse and my nurse said "I really think the baby is posterior and that is why you are having back labor and the baby is not coming down to fully dilate cause of the position of the head." I was really losing it and finally said "Is it too late to get an epidural??!!" I never dreamed I would ever hear myself ask for an epidural since I have done all my other labors completely natural and swore I would never get an epidural but here I was asking for one. The nurse told me that the anesthesiologist was in the c section at the moment and couldn't make it in yet but they would page him. I just kept asking..."When will he be here? Please help me!" This was all happening from about 11:45am until 1pm. That was when everything became so unbearable for me and every time they checked me there was no change. I was still an 8. So I was getting discouraged and feeling like if there was no progress I couldn't handle the pain this long.
Finally the guy came in with his table/tray and started explaining everything to me...he told me that he could certainly give me an epidural but that it would take 10 or so minutes to put it in and then another 15-20 minutes for it to take effect and it may not work in time. Right at this moment, my midwife FINALLY came back in...right before 1pm. She said "What are you doing?" She was like "Come on...you are almost there, you CAN do this!" So she said she would check me and see if there was any progress and when she checked me I was finally 9 1/2. So she told the anesthesiologist to leave and reassured me that I COULD do it and that I was almost there. Having her come back and be there and reassure me and ground me and calm me down is what I needed and I resolved myself to just suck it up and handle it. I finally had some courage to finish this out since I knew I had finally progressed!
She suggested that I get on my hands and knees to help the baby's head turn to the right position...so I did that on the bed for the next 20 minutes and it was awful. The pain was so unbearable. My DH was probably exhausted by the end of this also because he had to do counter pressure on my back and knees depending on the position I was laboring in and I would shout out "Knees, knees!" As soon as a contraction would start and that pressure on my knees and back is the only thing that helped me through the contractions...that and me vocalizing through them. When I tried to breathe through them they were more painful, but for some reason...me moaning through them helped lessen the pain a little bit. Then my midwife pulled up a bar for me to lean on and try to help get the baby down that way...she checked me again and finally said "You are ALMOST there. Just a little bit of lip left that I want you to push past and I will help." So I finally got to push and pushed the baby's head past the lip and she said..."You can start pushing when you are ready."
I remember looking at the clock when I first started pushing and it was 1:40pm. She quickly prepped herself and got everything ready and I started pushing. I remember her telling me to just push when I had a contraction and not to in between, but I crowned him very quickly and as soon as he crowned and I felt the pain of his head stretching me I knew that I couldn't sit there in between contractions feeling that pain so I kept pushing in between also. I remember feeling immense relief that I could finally push and once I started pushing the pain of my contractions went away a lot...it was still there, but rather my pain shifted to the baby getting pushed out and I was focused on that pain more so the contraction pains weren't as bad.
I think it was only about 3 contractions that it took me to push him out, with some pushing in between. I was looking up at the mirror and could see his head and black hair, and knew that he was coming. At this point I still did not know that he was a boy as we were being surprised on the gender. I finally pushed his head out, and then my midwife said "Give me one more big push!" And then I got his shoulders out, and then the rest of his body slipped out...as he was coming she said to me "Do you want to grab him...hurry catch him!" We hadn't talked about that at all but it was really cool that she told me to do that and I got to do it. I reached down and caught my own baby! I felt him come out into my hands and I pulled him up onto my chest/stomach...and my midwife said "Okay Dad..." Cause we wanted him to announce the gender of the baby so she was telling him to do it...
I reached out and opened the baby's legs and DH and I both saw at the same time and DH shouted "IT'S A BOY!!!!!" And he started cheering cause he was so happy. I couldn't believe that we finally had our sweet baby that we had been waiting for and crying over and stressing over. This sweet baby boy who gave us so much trouble near the end with him going breech and me saying prayer after prayer that he would turn, and me talking and singing to him in hopes that it would help him turn, and just everything we had been through the last month was finally over and he was here safe and sound and perfect and healthy. They didn't call the nursery to check him right away and he was just fine. He started crying pretty fast and he was the perfect color. His Apgar scores were 8 and 9 and he was just fine!
I started crying cause I was so relieved and so happy that it was finally over. He was indeed posterior initially and that is why I had such awful back labor and it was so much worse than anything I had handled before. I just cuddled with my boy and I couldn't believe it was a boy and we could say...He, and him, and our son! After not knowing for over 9 months and finally knowing, it was so surreal. We had wanted a boy all along but didn't want to get our hopes up and we got exactly what we wanted.
The whole labor experience was so much harder than my past labors but in the end I am SO glad that I didn't get the epidural. So glad that the anesthesiologist was not available right away so it prevented me from getting it at the time, and so glad that my midwife came back in when she did so she could talk me out of it and help me through the last little bit. My DH was so supportive throughout the whole thing and I know it was very difficult for him to see me like that and not be able to take away my pain. It was so nice to be able to stand up and take a shower after and not worry about any after effects other than the regular pain from pushing out an almost 9 lb baby.
Jacob was born at 1:49pm so it only took me 9 minutes to push him out. He was 8.13 and 19 1/2 in. long. His head was 35 centimeters so he was a big boy! Much bigger than my other three babies who were 6.15, 7.7, and 7.8. He has tons of long black hair, and he latched on great and started nursing without any problems.
After they did all the newborn care in my room, we both moved up to my recovery room and DH gave him a bath and then they brought him to me. Our 3 kids came and got to see him first. The nurse joked that we should put a bow in his hair just to fake them out, but we didn't. They were SO excited when they saw that they had a baby brother and they love him so much.
I posted some pics a few days after I had him but I will post some more in the next few days so you can see him now. He is almost 1 month old and I can't believe this last month has gone by so fast. I am sorry it took me so long to type this up and post this...for those of you who got through the whole thing, thanks for reading it. Sorry its so long! I am glad I typed everything out though cause I want to have this for my future records and I want to be able to remember everything. We recorded the birth also and so that is really cool that we can watch it.
Overall, I am so glad that everything turned out well. The labor was incredibly difficult for the last couple hours but in the end we got our beautiful, healthy baby boy and I did it natural and did it all on my own without any interventions...just the help of my wonderful DH, midwife, and nurse. It was a great experience!
What a wonderful birth story!
DS 1 b. 1/19/09, DS 2 b. 1/12/11, DS 3 b. 3/3/13
Well done Mama!!!
Leo (3 1/2) with Malcolm the cat
Great story! Everything fell into place just perfectly and I think it's really invigorating to catch your own baby.