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My husband and I have an unconventional love story. We met 10 years ago for a five minutes on a cruise boat in the Bahamas, exchanged email addresses, and didn’t see each other in person again until a chance meeting in the middle of a snow storm. That was January 2010. A month later, we were engaged and seven months later, we were married. Because our courtship was so short, we wanted to spend the first three years of our marriage like most newlyweds: in bed. (smile)
Life had other plans, however, and a two months into our marriage, we found out we had a little one coming. It was shocking for us and shocking for our families and friends, who were still reeling from our whirlwind romance. We were both scared about how this change would affect our still very new relationship. We no longer had the luxury of the “honeymoon period”; we were now parents.
We took advantage of what time we had. When I wasn’t exhausted, nauseated, eating fried chicken, or swollen, we had a ball. We went on a “babymoon” in Mexico, spent hours laughing and telling stories about our childhoods, walked in the park together as often as possible, went dancing, had dinners at resturants that we knew we wouldn’t be able to visit or afford once the baby was here; in other words, we dated.
It wasn’t all sunshine. though. Due to extenuating circumstances, we had a lot of stressing factors that most married couples don’t deal with that came to a head during the first few months of our marriage. We did some shouting, even walked away from each other but always came back together. We spent the first nine months of our marriage building a strong, if quick, foundation. We became real best friends, war buddies. The day that I gave birth to our daughter, I felt closer to my husband than I had ever felt to anyone. By our first anniversary, we had survived a very eventful year of marriage and were now parents.
Parenthood is a job in every sense of the word but in the very best way. We were exhausted for six months straight. The sex that I was excited about and couldn’t get enough of in the beginning wasn’t popping off at that point. I can’t speak for my husband, but the only fantasy I had was five hours of uninterrupted sleep! However, we made a pact that no matter how deep we were in the trenches, we would always make time for each other. I thought that would be something I had to actively do, but the more I saw my husband holding our daughter, changing diapers, getting up and feeding her at 3am, watching him become a father, I fell in love all over again. He says that he felt the same.
We made it a point to have a date night where we would just focus on each other. Sometimes we just lit candles and laid in our bed quietly holding each other as lullabies played in the background…because the baby was in her bassinet next to the bed. We would check in with each other often, making sure that the other felt supported and like their needs were being recognized and met. We also decided to make sure that even if we didn’t make love, we at least kissed good night. It sounds so simple but it means so much. It’s a gentle, sweet reminder of the days when a kiss was all we had to share.
These days, sleep is a little easier to come by, now that we have a full-fledged toddler. We now set aside the hours between 8 and 10 as “us time”. We play Scrabble, watch our shows, talk, whatever, as long as its together. We have our date nights and have definitely gotten our groove back. It’s not a perfect marriage, nothing is, but it’s the only place I want to be. We may have lost sleep and time, but we had gained what so many couples don’t have: intimacy. I used to read Song of Solomon 6:3 when I was single and long for that type of love; I now get to live it everyday.