Marriage: Why We Are Going to Counseling Before Baby #2 Comes
Next week, Perry and I will begin couple's counseling. From a communication standpoint, our marriage is stronger than ever. We are both really happy, but we feel like we need some extra support in our life as we move towards life with two kids.
I found a really fantastic practice that specializes in pregnancy, postpartum depression therapy, and new parenthood. I wish I had known about this place with my first child. Not only do they provide a range of services for families, couples, and individuals, but they have a $5 drop in for a women's group that I plan to attend on my own.
I've written about this before in my marriage posts, but you see, our relationship unraveled when my depression was at its worst. We were both so tired. Perry suffered from compassion fatigue while I was in the midst of the fight for my life. We yelled, we embarrassingly threw things to the floor, we were unkind, and it was just flat out awful.
The immense amount of stress that a new baby brings coupled with all of the complications surrounding my mental health challenged us in ways we could have never imagined and... I NEVER WANT TO GO BACK THERE!
I love our marriage, our love, and our life together and we have fought too hard to climb out of that darkness. So when I asked Perry if he would come to counseling with me for a few sessions before the baby came, he was a bit hesitant but agreed. I get it, counseling is expensive. But just like we invest in so many things in our life, our marriage and overall well-being is worth investing in too.
I want us to be as strong as possible going into this next chapter of our life. I want our line of communication to be a well-oiled machine. I want to trust that we have the tools to be empathetic and kind when we are both exhausted and that we keep our marriage at the forefront of our priorities.
I also want to come up with a crisis plan in the event my depression/OCD returns. We need to be on the same page about exactly what our action plan will be.
Will I stop nursing? Will I up my meds? Will Perry help me get seek help right away? Who will he call? What signs are we going to be looking for? Will we hire a night nurse to help me so I can sleep? Or if the baby is on formula, will Perry take nights? How can I support him in the transition from one child to two? How will he support me?
Eek! There are a million other questions I have and want to sort out before this baby comes. I am hopeful that a counselor can help us flush this all out.
I wanted to write this blog post because I want you to know that even though our marriage is good, it could always be better. I think it's important to talk about all facets of marriage with each other because, let's face it, it's not a walk in the park.
Marriage is a choice, and I choose Perry every single day. I want to be the best spouse for him and in my gut I know I need some guidance on how to get there.
Let me know if you think it would be helpful to document our journey. While some topics will be private and between us, I am happy to share our overall experience and some of the tools we have learned.
Oh, and I plan to put together a "how to" on developing a crisis plan for anyone worried about suffering from a mental health issue during pregnancy or after baby comes.
All my love. Thank you for reading.
Photography by Kyla Fear