See, aren't we so cute!
Just about everything about the process of bringing our sweet girl into this world did not go as planned.
(this was after she was born and after they had stitched me up and all that jazz. I was in so much pain I could not even move my arms to hold her. It's not a pretty picture, but reality isn't always pretty people!)
I had a very difficult pregnancy, a traumatic delivery, and postpartum recovery wasn't so hot either. I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression at my six week check up with my doctor. In addition to all of that stress, I had a family emergency going on and Clint was in his last semester of school; he was trying to balance work, school, internship, senior design project (he's an engineer), church responsibilities, family responsibilities, etc.
As a result, he wasn't around as much as we both would have liked.
I grew to resent him, maybe in part because in the midst of all those sleepless nights I could hear him snoring!
With everything going on, I felt so alone.
Borderline: Having our first baby didn't strengthen our marriage.
It made it a lot, a lot, a lot harder!
I don't tell you this to scare you, but to prepare what reality is for so many people! Not a lot of people talk about things like this because they're difficult, but that's why it's so important to talk about them. Don't you find so much comfort knowing you're not the only one who struggles with something? It's very typical to have some turmoil between spouses, especially in those first few months following the birth of a child. But it's normal. It happens. It's part of life. I have a friend who says that her and her husband are both prepared that the first three-ish months post-baby will probably not be harmonious between them. I think it's so smart to plan. When you're prepared for that, you approach the situation differently because you know it can be temporary.
Hormones were a huge contributor to the difficulty in my marriage. Another big thing that's important to recognize is that the kind love for your child and love for your husband aren't the same. They don't come in the same way. It's a whole different package. The love you have for your child is instant and comes naturally. They are a piece of you. I remember just staring at my daughter and sobbing because I didn't know what to do with such strong feelings of love! You have instincts to love and protect your children. It's easy to shift our love to our child, or focus more on our child than on our marriage.
However, I've learned in these last eighteen months of being a mother that loving my husband and being quick to forgive him is one of the best things I can do for my child. She deserves to be brought up in a kind, loving home with parents who show her a good example of the blessing of marriage. I want her to feel that her home is a sanctuary and not a place of tension. It's hard, but it's attainable.
Having our first baby didn't make our marriage into a fairy tale. It made it a whole lot more work; but you know what? We made it! And we are all better because of it. Our relationship is stronger, our love is deeper.
So, if you have your first baby and you think your marriage is going to hell in a hand basket, hang in there. With the appropriate amount of love, respect, and forgiveness, it can be all kinds of amazing.