My husband has a lot of virtues- he’s kind, he’s fairly patient, he’s a better friend to pretty much everyone than they are to him, and he’s shaping up to be a pretty good dad. But man does he get stir crazy!
I like to spend my time off of work relaxing. I’ll watch some TV, read a book, snuggle my dogs, and most recently just hold and talk to my baby while we hang out on the couch. Adam is my total opposite. On the weekend he wants to have plans, we need to go somewhere or do something or he just about goes crazy or drives me crazy telling me repeatedly how bored he is. So I was a little concerned over how he’d handle his time off after the baby was born.
We both get a fair amount of vacation from our jobs (slightly more than 4 weeks a year) and we only took 2 days off during my entire pregnancy, one due to doctor’s appointments and another around the Thanksgiving holiday. So we each had close to 4 weeks of vacation to use after the baby was born. I knew before I was even pregnant that I would take the full 12 weeks of FMLA I was allowed because 1) with Adam’s salary and what we’ve saved for the baby/our family we could afford for me to take 3 months off and 2) we’ve worked so hard for this baby I definitely wanted to drink in all the baby time I could get. The amount of time Adam was going to take off was up in the air however.
I was really hoping he’d take the 4 weeks off so that he could bond with the baby (and so I wouldn’t have to care for him all by myself 90% of the day). But I decided rather than push him to make the decision I want (which granted, happens often) it really needed to be his decision since he doesn’t enjoy “down” time as much as I do. The plan was I was to be induced on a Tuesday so he decided to take 9 days off but my blood pressure started to rise later in pregnancy and there was some concern about me developing preeclampsia so my doctors wanted me to be induced a week earlier (38 weeks) then we originally thought, so he decided to take an extra week off to be with us.
And then life got interesting…I’ll share the full story later but between the baby’s NICU stay, a second surgery for me, and very large blood clot that developed in Adam’s leg during this time he ended up taking off 8 weeks. He’ll go back to work on Monday and while I’ve had MUCH more time with him than I ever thought we would I’m still a little sad to be finishing out this leave myself. It’s been so nice having his companionship this last 8 weeks.
I expected with spending this much solid time together we might be at each other’s throats but it has actually been really nice. We’ve had a couple moments that we could have been more patient with one another than we were but we’re operating on a minimum amount of sleep so that is to be expected I guess.
Overall, this experience has brought us so much closer than we were before, which I always thought was really close compared to most couples I know. We’ve had to come together and each be strong for the other person when needed during these very trying couple of months. No doubt we were a family long before little Theodore came along but the past weeks weeks have solidified the concept that we are a TEAM, we’re going through this life TOGETHER, no matter how many obstacles the universe decides to throw at us.