First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby, and then what?

As my husband and I approach our second wedding anniversary, I find myself reflecting on how much our marriage has changed since becoming parents. Bringing Beau into the world has simultaneously been the biggest blessing and challenge of our lives.

One day you’re going out for drinks on a work night discussing your next vacation and the next your taking turns holding a crying infant so you can finish your EasyMac.

Brandon and I were ready to have kids and start a family and if I’m being completely honest, our lifestyle hasn’t changed much. We have always been the happy hour, home by 8 o’clock kind of people and would rather stay home on New Year’s Eve than be at the bar. But that doesn’t mean that bringing a baby into our marriage didn’t require a lot of adapting.

I knew having a baby was going to ignite a fire in our marriage. It was going to make me love Brandon in a way I’ve never loved before. We created life together. There is no deeper bond than that. And when we first heard Beau cry, I will tell you there has never been a more intimate moment with my husband in my life. We locked eyes and our souls entangled and our spirits connected so deeply. I have never loved him more than that moment.

24 hours later and I could’ve killed him. I know there was a lot of hormones and the lack of sleep involved, but this was just basic infuriation I was experiencing. I was laying in the hospital bed, dosing in and out of sleep, and I hear the baby crying. I was eager to tend to my son’s needs, but because I had a c-section, I needed assistance. Brandon was snoring on the cot six feet in front of me. I must have shouted his name 5 times before he finally woke up and handed the baby to me. He was tired and I get that. But how could he possibly sleep through the sound of his delicate little offspring wailing for help. It was at that moment that everything become glaringly real. I was so numb with love and excitement for my beautiful little boy, that I didn’t expect the euphoria to be dismissed so abruptly. Yes, Beau was a true blessing and he evoked a love for my husband I’ve never felt before, but he also quickly presented new challenges for us to overcome in our marriage.

Becoming parents makes me wonder what Brandon and I fought about before we were married. Diaper changes are like currency in our house now, and you’re only as good as the last blow out you changed. Beau can be very demanding of our attention at times and the dishes don’t get done and laundry piles up. Sometimes the only thing we get accomplished during the day is keeping the baby alive.

Brandon and I are both guilty of accusing the other of not getting enough done around the house. We would always blame Beau as to why we couldn’t do any chores. I think in a way, we started to resent each other and possibly even Beau a little bit. The house never got this messy before he was around and neither of us were ever this “lazy.” As time goes on, we have developed an understanding. Our priorities have changed and our son is so much more important than a clean house. We are reminded that we are a team and it’s no one’s sole responsibility to complete a task.

Since having Beau, there is less time to tinker in the garage and fewer opportunities to go the gym. During the first few months of becoming parents, I would get so angry with Brandon for going out to the garage and doing whatever he wanted to do. It wasn’t fair that he could continue to pursue his hobbies and I was stuck with a baby on my boob. Truthfully, Brandon doesn’t spend half as much time in the garage as he used to, but I still resented him for the short periods of time he got to go out there and be who he was before becoming a dad. More recently, I’ve realized how important is it for Brandon to have his alone time. He is a better person and a more patient, loving father after he’s had his “me time.” We’ve also used this as time to spend together as a family. If you can’t beat em, join em.

I don’t think there’s enough discussion of your sex life after having a baby. The only thing anyone will ever tell you, is that there is none. Before discharging us from the hospital, the doctor firmly reminded us…mostly Brandon, that there should be no vaginal intercourse for the next six weeks. Brandon muttered under his breath that she said nothing about “butt stuff or blowjobs.” Normally it would’ve annoyed me that Brandon kept bringing that up, “she said nothing about anal!” But secretly I was happy that he was still sexually attracted to me after witnessing the birth process. Brandon can’t remember a date night, but he surely knew the day that I was six weeks postpartum! At first I thought he was joking. I still felt so fragile and unsure of myself. Although I had a c section, I still underwent the initial birthing process, which required healing just about everywhere. I’ll put it this way, after you have a baby, it’s going to feel like your first time having sex every time you have sex for at least the next couple of months. And then when you finally enjoy sex again, you’re only going to get to do it when the baby is sleeping or when he is sitting on the floor outside of the shower.

Beau has created distance between Brandon and I, but he has also brought us closer together. When we find ourselves arguing about who changed the last diaper, Beau will do something so adorable to capture our hearts and redirect our attention. He reminds us to celebrate the simple things and that the dishes can wait. He made us realize that we are a team, but most importantly, a family.

I love you Brandon. You are an amazing husband and an even better dad.

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