My husband and I have been together for a total of almost 16 years (this June) and we honestly kept going back and forth on the idea of having children for many years. At first, we knew we definitely wanted kids and thought it would be best to have them young, as we hit our mid 20s we had a list of a million reasons why not to have kids and come 30 we knew there was nothing we wanted more than to bring a little addition to our family to share the immense love we have for one another with!
I found out I was pregnant shortly after turning 30 and we were ecstatic, nervous but ecstatic! I loved every phase of my pregnancy as this little person who came from so much love was growing inside of me. Come delivery time I was so anxious to meet our daughter and start making memories with her! Yet, the reality wasn’t as simple in the beginning. Given the amount of years my husband and I had spent together alone, and the amount of freedom that we were accustomed to, it honestly came as a bit of a shock and it was pretty difficult to come to terms with the sudden loss of freedom when our daughter was first born! The first few weeks were filled with an endless amount of time spent at home breastfeeding, changing diapers, cleaning spit up, washing poop stained clothes and hours of trying to soothe a crying baby. So much hard work and baby would not show any form of love or gratitude for these acts (now we know this is normal for a newborn lol).
My husband and I were exhausted, stressed and felt trapped… some days we felt like we had lost ourselves and even came to doubt our decision, yet neither of us knew how the other was feeling. As a new mother, I felt guilty and certainly didn’t want to share my feelings with my husband. After a couple of weeks, I came across an article which mentioned that men also suffer from postpartum blues or depression and this usually goes unnoted. After this, I decided to ask my husband how he was feeling to make sure that he was fine, and to my surprise he confessed to me that he was also feeling this way. We both admitted that we were utterly in love with our daughter and wouldn’t change this new life for anything in the world but we did find the change a lot tougher than we had expected. Letting this out and discussing our feelings with each other definitely helped us feel sane and better about the transition. We knew we could get through it together.
If there is one thing we have learned after so many years of being together is that through communication and each other’s support we can climb any mountain and surpass any obstacle. Communicating our feelings to each other made us feel human and understand that it wasn’t unusual for us to have these thoughts. We discussed how even though we now had a baby in our lives who we were responsible for our relationship was still important and we vowed to dedicate time to each other one way or another. We also came to the realization that this time would be transient and that we had to enjoy every minute of it even the difficult moments (better said than done, huh?). We would one day have plenty of time to spend alone again and we will more than surely miss these moments. Instantly we felt better, I’m not going to say that it hasn’t been a rough road and that everything has been perfect since but we knew that as long as we were open and honest about our feelings and needs life as parents would be easier and our relationship would grow stronger.