Well, we've made it to Friday! Does anyone else feel like the past week just whizzed by? Anyway, it's time again for weekly confessionals. This week, at the risk of getting a phone call in two hours from my husband, I'm confessing that... my marriage isn't perfect.
*Gasp!* Shocker, I know, because aren't every bloggers' marriages all 1950's housewife? At least, that's what blogging makes them out to be. But honestly, our marriage is a real marriage. With a lot of happy times but also a lot, a lot, of struggles.
There are indeed days that I get the house cleaned up, dinner prepped and made, and the baby cleaned and ready for her father's homecoming. But more often, there are days when my husband comes home to the baby screaming, she's covered in apple sauce, the dogs are whining, the TV is blaring, the kitchen is still trashed from lunch and I may or may not have showered. It's not pretty, but it's reality.
I think more importantly, I want to let other Preemie Parents know that having a premature baby really, really challenges your marital bond. At least, for us it did.
We went from being a super excited, happy couple; gingerly anticipating the start of our family to two new parents who couldn't hold, touch or feed their child. We got all the side effects of being new parents (sleepless nights, worry and concern) without any of the benefits!
On the outside looking in, I think everyone around us marveled at our ability to "keep it together" and more than once, we were told "how strong we were". But that's because no one saw our darkest moments; of shouting and blaming each other for starting fights, sobbing during the car rides home from the hospital over stupid stuff like who forgot to make the bed, and the general deep pit of Postpartum Depression.
Neither Casey or I knew how to tell the other one what we were feeling or experiencing about our situation. I imagine that having a sick child is jarring to anyone; but having our first baby, our first entry into parenthood marred by something like a NICU stay, rocked us.
Eighteen months later, our marriage is so far from perfect; but it's SO MUCH better. Most of that is because I saw a therapist for months to battle my PPD. And later this year, we're going to start marriage counseling. Not because we're in any danger of The D-Word; but because we never want to be.
Having a premature baby changed who we are, as individuals and as a couple, and we need help to figure out how to be married to these new people. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of admitting that we need an outside party to sort through it all.
I feel like it's also important for me to say that having a preemie also made me fall in love with my husband all over again, too. Overnight, he went from my college sweetheart to the most fervently loving father I have ever seen. The joy and love that he has for Beatrice Kate is heart-melting. And the love and joy that he has for me; well, it's pretty incredible too.
This week's confession is more than just a regular Friday Confessional. I want to make it clear to other NICU Parents that yes, have a preemie is Hell on a marriage; but it also lays the building blocks to have a rock solid foundation for a family.
So there you have it: We are not Ward and June Cleaver. Our house is sometimes dirty, we eat cereal for dinner at least once a week and our marriage is an ever-evolving work in processes.
What's your confessional this week? Now it's your turn to come clean with just one measly way that your life is perfectly imperfect...
There are only two rules to this link-up:
1) Please don't go confessing to anything majorly serious (like, oh, I don't know; a felony)
2) Be sure to link back to our blog and include the handy-dandy blog button at the top of the page (Just highlight the code, press Ctl+C, and copy into you "Edit HTML" tab)
**If you don't have a blog, but still want to participate, leave your confession in the Comments section below! And, even if you're not a mom or a homemaker, I'm sure there are still a few ways which your life isn't always hot dates and fancy dinners, right? Oh, please tell me that's the truth!