Labor and Delivery: When Your Relationship Really Changes

So labor and delivery is something I get asked about all the time now that it’s happened. It’s definitely a surreal experience. There were some things I definitely expected. Contractions, epidural, the actual delivery. But what I didn’t expect is how all of it would change the way I look at my marriage.

You see how having a baby is portrayed in movies and tv shows. Your husband stands next to you and holds your hand and coaches you while you go through the delivery. I’m sure there are people who this happens with. But my experience was a little different.

We get into our marriage and still have some things we don’t share with the other person. We try to at least have a nicely maintained image in front of our significant other. Obviously, we let our guards down with them more than with other people. But pregnancy and actual labor and delivery changes those boundaries more than you can ever imagine.

I honestly believe that we had a pretty open relationship anyways. Both of us are the type where we don’t really hold anything back from each other. We share almost everything. But I didn’t realize how much more of a connection we were missing until we went through this pregnancy together and the birth of our child together.

Let’s just say going through labor is tough. There’s pain involved. There are tough decisions involved. There are fears of something going wrong involved. Then, there’s the delivery. When you give birth, there’s nothing you can even hide from your husband. He’s there, seeing you go through even more than you ever could think of.

Then, there’s after you have the baby. When I got home, there was still a lot I couldn’t do. My husband had to help me shower because I was still in pain. Can you imagine needing someone that much? And that’s just where I’m involved. We aren’t even going to get into how many times he has taken the night feeding so I could sleep or tried to calm our baby when she’s up crying.

After having a child, this became a true partnership. Like I’ve told him, we are now permanently linked in our life. Everything we go through, everything we feel is now more important than it ever was before. It’s not just about us anymore. It’s about the family we created together.

Like everything else, this takes work. Who we were as a couple before is no longer completely true. Obviously, the foundation is there but the way we grow from there changes. We aren’t just husband and wife anymore. We are mom and dad.

And that distinction becomes the most important thing that changes about your relationship.

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