Marriage After Baby: What's Been The Hardest & Most Joyful Moments So Far
I started writing the Marriage After Baby series to document the good, the bad and the raw bits of marriage. I think it is so important to be transparent about relationships because it is definitely not like the a romantic movie may depict it, as marriage is no walk in the park!
Perry and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary by going to our old stomping grounds and eating dinner in the neighborhood where we first lived together in downtown Denver. I took you all on a walk down memory lane when I posted our engagement photos (here). I also posted our wedding video and some photos in a blog post last summer (here). While these highlights are so fun for us to relive, I wanted to also touch briefly on what I have learned during the last three years of marriage, because it hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies around here.
I thought the best way to delineate my thoughts would to break this up into two sections including the top 3 most joyful parts of our relationship and the top 3 hardest parts of our relationship that have challenged us and made us grow as a couple.
Top 3 Joyful Moments
- Our Honeymoon: We spent 6 weeks in Southeast Asia touring Thailand and Cambodia. Some days we were able to splurge and stay in very romantic hotels, complete with a pool and an on-site spa, but most the time, we stayed in little holes in the wall where we too scared to shower without our flip flops on. Honestly, it didn't matter what type of place we stayed in, we were so swept up in each other that the scenery around us was all that mattered.
- The First Night in Our First Home: We bought a tiny bungalow in April 2012. It was small, but by golly, it was ours. When we moved out of the row house that we were renting, we pretty much purged the hodge podge that we called furniture and moved in with only one bed and some personal belongings. The first night in our home, we used our bed as a couch, ordered pizza and binge watched Netflix. Neither of us could stop smiling and it was definitely a highlight in our marriage.
- Having Perry Tell Me The Gender of Our Child at Birth: We waited to find out the gender of our baby until birth. I will never, ever forget that moment when Perry placed our child into my arms, while saying, "Terra, meet your daughter. We have a daughter." It’s a moment I know is etched deeply within my soul.
The 3 Hardest Moments
- Living On One Income While in Graduate School & While Planning a Wedding: During my last year of graduate school was when we were also planning a wedding. We had just moved in together and we were living off Perry's income alone. I was in the midst of a really stressful internship year and for a bit, I wondered if it was even the right thing to do to get married. I had chronic migraines and we almost postponed the wedding because it got so bad. We were hemorrhaging so much money on alternative medicine like acupuncture, naturopathic doctors and massages that it was really difficult to also spend more money preparing for the big day (luckily our parents chipped in and saved the day!). Thankfully, my migraines lifted about a month before the wedding and we didn't have to postpone.
- When My Depression Was at Its Worst: Perry and I fought frequently and with great intensity during the first year of Winter's life. It was awful. I could cry thinking about how nasty we were to each other. When my depression was at its worst, I was so angry all the time and Perry suffered from compassion fatigue and had a hard time being empathetic. I am so grateful we are past this time in our marriage. As happy as we were as new parents, we truly were so off kilter as a couple.
- Breath Holding Spells: Winter's breath holding spells (you can read what they are, here) have been another challenging bit in our marriage. When they first began, we were so worried that something was seriously wrong with our child. Those first few weeks when they would happen, we would yell at each other, because I would be so panicked and it would escalate really quickly. It was a really stressful time for us. Luckily, we both know how to stay calm now when they happen. We have also done a lot of work practicing how we want to communicate and what each of us needs during and after the spells so we don't end up fighting.
What have been some highs and lows in your marriage?
Photography by Brittany Renee