“Look at the new baby!”
“Isn’t he the sweetest thing on the planet?”
“What an adorable baby!”
The rave of our new son has been blissful! If getting pampered during pregnancy wasn’t enough, the positive attention and love that a newborn brings is heart warming. Seeing the sweet, gentle face of the tiny human that we created and being able to call him our own- ahhhh! Life has just been perfect….right? I mean, look at all of these pictures of my cute baby- we have it all together..right?!! [Wrong!]
Everyone told me about the sleepless nights, the constant spitting up and all of the baby involved exhaustion, but why didn’t anyone warn me about the strain that the baby puts on your marriage?
Cruz is four months old this week, and while we are not totally in the clear, my husband and I are starting to be nice to each other again! I was blown away by what sleep deprivation did to our delusional conversations, intimacy and overall enjoyment of one another.
Not intentionally bragging here, but I do consider our marriage to be one of the happiest and most solid unions. ( I’m sure every newlywed says that their first year, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)
Still being in our first year of marriage when Cruz was born, we were still honeymoon vibing…well, we were…until the stress came! There were nights that I wanted to rip his face off and he would look at me with the “go jump off of a bridge” glare! Whoah- where did that come from? What happened to all of the smooches and love notes scattered around? Who wants to kiss when you have had 4 hours of sleep in 3 days, no shower, a crying baby is hanging off of your nipple because you are too tired to keep fighting him for the “proper latch” and your own breath is daunting?!
Did I make that sound bad? Let me rephrase it- the first 2 months of raising Cruz was freaking awful!! I literally felt like I couldn’t get anything right, unless daddy walked in trying to use his own technique, and then NO WAY BUDDY, you are the wrong one!
My mood swings were back and with a vengeance. I would be smiling and happy one minute, and a sobbing nut job the next. I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to feel about this new phase.
I knew that I wasn’t in post-partum depression, but just felt out of whack! I kept a running tally of all tasks around the house and became very petty. Even when I didn’t want to, I was comparing how many hours of sleep I got and how many Darrance got..if they didn’t add up, I would have an attitude with him all day. “What’s wrong babe?” Guess what my answer was- “I’m fine!” ugghhh- why do we do that?
As loving and understanding as Darrance is, the lack of sleep and my new cranky vibes were throwing him off. One day I said- “ I didn’t expect it to be like this!” That bothered him like crazy. “Well, what did you expect then- everything to be perfect? If you’re not happy with us, just say it!”
That was our climax…that was our tipping point and I knew I had to change! I felt terrible. Look what I was doing to my husband!
I came clean with my feelings of resentment. Being honest was hard because the things I was feeling were embarrassing to say out loud, but he just hugged me and loved me harder.
We made a schedule for sleep shifts once I went back to work. This changed my attitude so much! I no longer felt like I was carrying the larger load and running on fumes, I felt rejuvenated and less irritable. Cruz started sleeping through the night and only waking up for 2 feedings, hallelujah!!
We don’t have it all figured out, but I know this- newborns are hard on marriage! I don’t know how we would have made it through the first few months without love..and that’s why I questioned my marriage.
Do I deserve someone so patient and so kind? How can this man want to stay married to me? Did we do the right thing at the right time?
I am relieved and in love with the answers to my own questions. Yes, I deserve this magical love. Yes, he wants me…now and forever, for better days or my worst days…and yes, we did everything right…at the perfect time!
Until the next tough phase…cheers, baby!