One Week Postpartum--How our Marriage has Changed

by Boon and Boys

A week ago yesterday, everything was just starting to go down.   We were at the hospital, my water had broken, and I didn't know how much more amazing my life was about to get.  I knew Henry, but I hadn't met him yet, and, while I thought I loved him, I had no idea how much that love would grow the instant he was born and placed in my arms for the first time.

Sometimes I forget he is ours.  How am I lucky enough to be his mom?  As I sit here breastfeeding him, I cannot believe it's been a week.  My days all run together and I can't really tell you left from right at this point.  But, I don't need to.  He is mine, I am his, we are each other's.  My little family is all that matters.  My world has shifted this past week, and, even with all the pain I am in, the fear we encountered yesterday at Henry's first ER visit, and the roller coaster of emotions that I have been on, I wouldn't change it for anything.  I never knew that part of me was missing until I met my son.

Last night when we got home from the ER, I was talking to my husband and told him how I can completely understand how marital satisfaction goes down with the entrance of a child to a couple's relationship.  Adding a baby changes everything.  The stress and pressure goes up, the amount of sleep and normalcy goes down, and emotions are running wild.  However, bringing Henry into our world has only strengthened our marriage and made me love Derek even more. I have so much that I want to write about and will hopefully get to at least most of it, but right now I want to focus on how our couple relationship has changed this past week.

My husband was incredibly strong, loving, and helpful throughout the end of my pregnancy when I was in a lot of pain and very limited.  He pushed me in a wheelchair at Disneyland each week so we could keep our regular date, worked on the apartment for us, and took on tasks that I normally do.  He showed such love and compassion and those qualities magnified to levels I cannot even describe as I went into labor.

He was there for me every step of the way.  Seeing the most vulnerable and outright gross parts of me.  Supporting me and encouraging me and being a source of love and strength.  He was incredible.  I hate that the memory of that is already starting to fade.  The other night I wrote a note to myself to remember how wonderful Derek is.  He woke up in a panic and tried to catch me from falling off the bed.  I never was actually falling, but he thought I was and the fear and love in his eyes and the quickness in which he went to rescue me even in his sleep was phenomenal.  Each day he's had less anxious awakenings, but they happened frequently after we first brought Henry home.  Even in his sleep he feels an urge and desire to protect Henry and me, and for that I am incredibly thankful.

On top of how much he was there for me during labor, he has been here for Henry, Max, and me since birth.  I am still severely limited and in a lot of pain.  Derek has stepped up in a huge way.  He does all the diaper changes (ALL of them!), he cuddles Max so Max doesn't feel neglected, he cleans the apartment when he is not at work, he goes shopping for us, he sets up my pumping and cleans all the bottles and paraphernalia, he drives me everywhere, he allows me to bond with and love Henry and lets me hog Henry to myself.  He is a phenomenal dad and caretaker.

Moreover, he gave me Henry.  Henry is part Derek.  Derek and I, together, made this baby.  He is us.  He was born because of our love for each other.  How could I love my little baby so much and not love the man who helped me create him?  I see so much of Derek in Henry.  Their expressions, the way they sleep, their desire to be loved on and seeking of my attention.  They are both so beautiful and I adore Derek for giving me Henry.  Together they are my world.

And most recently, last night.  Henry had been more lethargic than normal all day.  Derek got home from work and sent me to try and nap after not having slept all night and then all day. During my nap, Derek noticed a decrease in Henry's responsiveness so he called the urgent after hours line for our pediatrician.  The pediatrician told Derek to go to the ER at the hospital where we delivered Henry.  Derek woke me up and we left.  I have never been so scared.  I hope to write about the ER experience later because it was incredible.  They ushered us in immediately and took phenomenal care of our baby.  They made such a terrifying experience as positive as possible.  Henry and I also shared an incredible bonding experience that I will write about in the later post.  In terms of Derek's and my relationship, this ER visit made me so grateful that he is Henry's father.  He took action when he sensed a problem and together we ensured our son's safety.  

Overall, my husband and I have functioned as a team in ways I am eternally grateful for.  Henry has rocked our world and Derek and I have drawn closer together.  Our twosome has become a threesome, and the threesome didn't weaken the twosome like I feared, but rather, it strengthened each bond within that threesome (Max is in the middle of our little threesome, don't worry he's not forgotten).  I love Derek.  I love Henry.  I love Max.  I am blessed to be Derek's wife, I am blessed to be Henry's mother, and I am blessed to be Max's boon mommy.  I am blessed.