Before you read this post I want to point out that those of you who have had kids can probably relate. Those of you who haven’t are probably going to feel so bad for me. And while you sit here reading, let it sink in that I have to go through this again very, very soon…
40 days. That’s all you get. You are pregnant for roughly 40 weeks (if you’re lucky you don’t make it quite that far) and then you get just 40 days before you have to do it. And I say have to instead of want to because, you know, you just had a baby and nothing is fun anymore.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve gone to cut my hair and Santiago doesn’t notice. He rarely remembers which day of the week it is. We will be in the car and he’ll drive past the exit we need to take. Santiago doesn’t remember anything. Well, almost anything.
He does, however, remember la cuarentena. That day is engraved in his brain from the moment my water breaks and we are on our way to the hospital. Fun fact: when you’re pregnant you go to the doctor every month. In the end, you go every week. Once you have the baby, however, you don’t see the doctor again for forty days. How does that make sense? In any case, that first doctors visit after just having had a child is like a ticking time bomb in my marriage.
Now, I’ve only met one person in my entire life who was looking forward to this day. One. I can never look at her the same again. Every other person I’ve spoken to about this, regardless of a vaginal delivery or c-section, is not just horrified by this looming day, but has also noticed their husbands awareness of its presence.
First of all, have you had a baby? Carrying a baby is hard, pushing a baby out is hard (I haven’t had a c-section but I imagine it’s hard) because guess what?? Everything about motherhood is hard! It’s a lot of work. It’s exhausting. And 40 days in, you’re somewhere between baby bliss and misery. You officially haven’t slept in over a month, everyone is in a bad mood and you’re still carrying baby weight. If you still have a big belly, you may not have even had the chance to look at yourself down there, let alone wrap your head around having to be intimate with anyone.
With a vaginal delivery, there is almost always soreness or stitches. Even though your doc may give you the OK, you still question it.
A: Like are you sure I’m ok?
Dr: Yeah, you’re perfect. Healed great!
A: I couldn’t sit for an entire week Dr. Molina
Dr: You wanted a baby!
A: Ok but like, is it going to hurt?
Dr:…just drink a glass or two of wine, you’ll be fine.
Now, exactly what your husband wants to do to you… THAT is what got you pregnant in the first place. The thought of maybe having that happen again in such a short period of time is like PTSD for the vagina. You do bounce back, but not that quickly.
If you’re breastfeeding, there’s the whole thing with milk. Timing it out perfectly, making sure you fed or pumped. If you’re not breastfeeding, there’s the whole “I don’t want you to touch me” thing. It’s very complex.
I’m married to a guy who helps, ladies. He helps with diaper changes, baths and middle of the night feedings. He’s the best. Since he’s so hands on, I literally don’t understand how he has the time or stamina to do anything that isn’t passing out on our bed face down. How in the hell are you in the mood or think you can survive this?
When Santi was born, Santiago wasn’t subtle. He called me 15 times to see how my doctors visit had gone. He didn’t ask how I was, he asked for a play by play.
S: What did the doctor say?
A: She said the baby looks like you! Not fair.
S: Ok but what else did she say?
A: What else is she going to say? The baby is perfect.
S: Not about the baby, Adriana. What did she say about you?
Like we get it, calm down.
When Joaquin was born, the stars aligned. I got to my appointment and waited and waited. Dr. Molina had been called into a delivery. I’ve never been more proud to be her patient in my entire life. She unknowingly took one for the team. She didn’t have another appointment for 2 weeks. And guess what guys, no OK from doc means the cuarentena turns into whenever they’re available.
I ran into a friend once at the OBGYN. She told me she was there for her 40 day check up, I said something along the lines of “ugh” and she just looked at me and said “I know…and it’s my anniversary.” We just sat there in silence until it was her turn to go in.
This is Santi at 40 days of age. Doesn’t this hysteria get you in the mood?
This is Joaquín at 40 days of age. Don’t Santiago and I look so well rested?