5 months ago I was 32 weeks pregnant and had been 3cm dialated for weeks, had been on bed rest since 30, and was in and out of the hospital for bleeding and early labor. Thankfully my baby girl came into the world safely at the beginning of 37 weeks weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces – that’s the 96th percentile.. she was one big pumpkin.
Leading up to her birth was very difficult and was putting stress on our marriage. There was no way around it. I was having real contractions all day, every day for weeks which was making me a “joy” to be around and even getting out of bed was a five minute production. Rob knew that a huge change was looming and he was obviously a stressed out, cranky mess. Combine those two situations and we were struggling. If I am honest, I was scared to bring this baby into such a tension filled situation.
Then on a sweet Wednesday night, November entered the world. I couldn’t have asked for a better birth coach. The 6 hours labouring at home he was amazing helping me through back labor. He was my rock through that 24 hours of labor. With 9 people in the room, I was only aware of him. The times I would say, “I can’t do it” he would remind me every woman feels that and that my body was designed for it. He encouraged me to push through the pain. I wouldn’t have gotten that baby out so fast if I didn’t have his support. Welcome back my sweet, happy, loving husband.
The next four months I have watched him be the most amazing father and an even better husband. As any exclusively pumping woman knows, they need a little bit of extra help because they are attached to a pump 3 hours a day.
Rob changes diapers, he feeds, he does bedtime. He not only dotes on his little girl but makes sure that I am doing well, eating, and taking care of myself (PPA and PPD SUCKS). Once November is in bed, he always makes time for me and our marriage.
After thinking deeply about it, hearing about others experiences, and reading marriage books there are 3 things that can happen when you add a baby into a relationship – or a million but I’ll just mention these three:
1. It Magnifies Problems: Someone wise told me that both getting married and having a baby will magnify any problems you have! If we are dealing with selfishness, selfishness will be magnified. If we are dealing with jealousy, it will all be magnified.
2. Daddy Becomes #2: it is so easy to become consumed as “Mommy”. 24-7 could be about my child. I could have her strapped to me from sunrise to sunset and then co sleep and never have a sense of autonomy. Also my poor Rob would be neglected in all of his emotional, psychological, and physical needs. I have to remember I am a wife first and a mommy second. Rob chose me and I chose him and then we were blessed with our sweet baby girl. He is the reason I have my sweet gal and I’m forever grateful to him for that. One day, it will just be the two of us again. I want those years to be filled with nothing but bliss!
3. It Brings You Closer Together: One thing as noticed within the first two weeks of Novee being home is we felt like a team! We took care of her needs together, I would take her so Rob could rest and rejuvenate, and he would take Novee so I could catch up on some sleep. I remember when she was waking up multiple times a night, he would wake me up by gently holding my hand to wake me. To me that tenderness was the ultimate sign of love. Now our sweet November only wakes once in a 12 hour period and he gets up with her when she wakes up once so I can get some sleep. Plus let me add watching your partner look after your child is the sexiest thing EVER!
In the last four month we have been a combination of them all. I would love to say we live #3 and always rock parenting but we have #1 and #2 moments. What is important is that we survive the bumps and that our goal continues to always make each other feel loved and respected as the loves of each other’s lives. In the end, it’s just going to be me and him swinging on a porch swing talking about those sweet days when our babes were such a big part of our world!