Hi all! So it’s been a few weeks and I’m happy to say our papicitos was born and is home healthy and happy. I spend my days trying to keep the house tidy, keep up on the needs of the older kids who are AMAZING helpers, hopefully make dinner, and mostly carry him in my arms all day and night lol. That being said it hasn’t been all “rainbows and unicorns” as my 7 year old says. It’s been difficult. I don’t want or try to gloss over the fact that children, as loved and wanted as they are, can be incredibly tough on a relationship. Notice how I didn’t mention my husband at all in my “spend my days” list? No “and take long walks on the beach with my husband”, or “watch my favorite show with my husband”(though that’s one of the few things we do still do pretty often, just with more interruption), or “and make sure I have hot make-out sessions with my husband”-you get the picture. The truth is once you have a kid (or 5 like us) you really have to work to get in that time together, and you have to be patient and understanding to the tenth power. You often see your partner at their worst. It’s embarrassing when my husband tries to remind me to shower because I’m in complete zombie mode and he often feels unappreciated and patronized when I complain about how he cares for the children. To make it work you have to dig deep to discontinue habits that could be destructive to your relationship. Nothing brings about the better or worse quite like kid having. And so this last pregnancy, when I was about 40 weeks pregnant, while laying together in bed I said to my husband, “I’m afraid a 5th child is going to tear our marriage apart”. His response?
So not what I was hoping for but at least it was honest. We didn’t say anything after that and it left me curious to see how we would fare this time around. After delivering a ten pound baby (yes TEN pounds) things went from worried to reality real quick. I slept exactly ONE hour after delivering our baby before my husband whisked me from the birthing center back to our home where, for me, things felt chaotic and I couldn’t sleep well. I found myself longing for the two day hospital stays I detested with my other births. My husband could tell something was off but what to do? This is just life right now. Then things went from bad to worse when my child cried often and any time he was put down. I was exhausted and I needed my mom more than I had with my other children and asked her to stay. Our house is small and having another person staying with us was hard on my husband who is very introverted. Turns out I wasn’t making nearly enough milk ( a whole other blog post about nursing issues), so my baby was actually just starving which was why he was such a crier. Also I had developed an infection in my breast because my son wasn’t latching on correctly. I’ll spare you the gory details but it was bad enough that I now need to see a breast surgeon every week for the next month or so until it heals properly. Imagine feeling like you’re being stabbed in the breast with a hot metal rod any time someone even brushes against you. So now here I was mourning the fact that I couldn’t breastfeed my infant and I was actually afraid for my husband to touch me. Gone were the illusions of us cuddling blissfully together with our new born like we’d done with the last baby.
I knew it would be hard adding yet another child while renovating the house along with various projects like trying to rent out a guest house, and caring for the animals, and of course the other children, but I didn’t know it would be this hard. Oh the naivte. And where does romance come into this? Sex is something that’s important to any marriage but the thought of our first time after having the baby was starting to feel like realizing that your morning latte used to be a good pick me up, but now you’re broke, and just like everything else it’s just draining your resources. I can see the difference in both of us compared to the last few times we brought home a new baby. Those days full of wonder and excitement and frustration with the other kids, gave way to a calm maturity while both of us just try to keep it together and hold each other down. Maybe that’s what happens in your thirties. Through it all I’ve done my best to remain honest with my husband, telling him when I need more help and when I’m too frustrated to talk, but most of all remembering to tell him how much I appreciate not having to do it all by myself, how much those little candy bars he brings me mean after an exhausting night, and to please be patient with me. Even though he’s the 4th baby I’ve pushed from the womb, he’s still new to me and I need time to get to know him, so yes our marriage will be on the back burner for awhile and I need reassurance that we can handle that. But something about the way my husband still holds my hand while we sneak away to grab ice cream and a movie at the grocery store, tells me I never should have doubted us.