~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 2 home births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 4 weeks PP
I am 4 weeks to the day PP with my second pregnancy. And like with my first pregnancy I don’t have much to show for it. During the course of my first pregnancy, I gained 18 pounds (although, when asked I lie and tell people I gained 20). And why for God’s sake is anyone asking what a woman gained during her pregnancy anyway? She gained a baby! Anyways..
I was cognizant of my weight gain, or lack there of. Comments from my friends or strangers pointing out how skinny I was only made me feel worse. I even had a few people tell me that I was going to have a tiny 5 lb baby. I bit my tongue and thought I (we) will prove them wrong. I was determined to gain weight. I wanted to have a home birth and so I knew how important it was to maintain a healthy and low risk pregnancy. I kept a record of what I ate, I ate every few hours, whether I had an appetite or not and I made a goal to eat at least 80 grams of protein a day. In the end, my son was 5 days over and I gave birth (at home) to a beautiful and healthy 8.0 lb 22 inch baby boy.
My second pregnancy was along those similar lines. I gained 25 lbs. I wore my regular clothes until I was 7 months pregnant. No retaining water, no stretch marks, no vaginal tear during delivery, blah blah blah. You are hating my right now. But please let me take this time and space to get this off my chest, because I can’t talk about this with my sister-who gained nearly 90 lbs with my nephew and has stretch marks covering her hips. And I can’t explain my feelings of dismay about my body with my best friend-who just had her first baby and gained 70 lbs and looks like Freddy Kruger tried to claw his way through her stomach.
This is my husband’s first child. At 5 months pregnant, he started to lose interest in sex and by 8 months it was completely gone. For me it was the exact opposite. If I had been a sexual creature before being pregnant, I had become a sexual MONSTER during pregnancy. So when he finally told me he wasn’t comfortable having sex until after the baby was born, I was… sad, mad, disappointed, confused.. etc. He blamed it on my huge belly (which really wasn’t that huge). Finally he admitted that he just wasn’t attracted to me. Ouch.. I tried being empathetic while at the same time I was completely enraged. ‘ I have needs God Damnit! I don’t care if you are not attracted to me!’ But instead I told myself to be patient. And even though I was told by strangers constantly that I was such a cute pregnant woman or that I looked great being 9 months pregnant or getting whistled at (twice) while getting into my car, the only person I wanted to find my attractive didn’t, so none if it really mattered.
I stopped being comfortable being naked around him and would wear my towel from the bathroom to the bedroom. I got dressed standing behind the closet door. I started sleeping in his t-shirt and boxers instead of just my underpants. I had the sense that he was completely repulsed by me. I tried explaining to him how this was affecting me and that I needed to feel desired by him. But my pleas didn’t hold any water. I was worried about how this tension between us would affect our planned home birth. If I am this uncomfortable around him now, would I feel comfortable laboring with him? Would it cause me to have complications during my labor?
And then the day came and we labored together just fine and it was the happiest (along with the day my son was born) day of my life. And for the next few weeks I contentedly set about fulfilling the task of 24/7 care of my daughter. Then last week I stopped bleeding. Hurray! I cautiously talked to my husband about the cessation and opened the discussing with him about when he would feel comfortable having sex again. He didn’t seem so thrilled. But the next day we tried. It was OK. Probably pretty average for the first time you try to have sex after baby. But that was a week ago and even though it’s been two months since we have had sex (except for our first “try” last week) he is showing no interest at all. And my self esteem is plummeting. He blames it on, ‘I am a mother now’ and he sees me in this “motherly light” and our daughter is always nursing and she is in bed with us and blah blah blah.
Just because I am a mother doesn’t mean I handed over my right to being sexy and that I no longer want to be desired by my husband.
So SOAM, here I am 4 weeks PP with my body in great shape for just having had a baby and…. I HATE it! I want my husband to desire me and he doesn’t. Fat or skinny, it does not matter what you look like if the man you are madly in love with has no interest in being intimate with you.