Childbirth is an intensely moving experience. For parents, it feels like the climax of pregnancy and labor but it’s really just the beginning. Any couple will tell you having a baby really changes things. Where there was a partnership of two, now there is a third party. Loved, yes. Wanted, yes. Cute, absolutely!
But whichever way you look at it, having a baby means bringing a third person into your relationship and that is bound to be one of its greatest tests. It can be a complete disruption or an opportunity to rediscover each other — emotionally and sexually. Fran said, ‘Greg and I were together for seven years before we had Amy. I thought I knew everything about him but seeing him as a father showed me a whole new side to his character. I used to love to just watch him hold her and talk to her, and the way she responded to him. I fell in love with him all over again.’ Now while this may be the ideal outcome, having a new baby does force both partners to reassess their sexuality in the context of their whole relationship. It is a major landmark.
Just how much a relationship is affected will depend on the state of the relationship before the pregnancy. It’s not unusual to hear of couples having a baby to try to patch up a shaky relationship. These ‘Bandaid babies’ do no more than hide the damage for a while, distracting them from the real issues. Unless the underlying problems in the relationship are dealt with, this solution is doomed to be temporary and ultimately unsuccessful.