As I mentioned yesterday, one of the best things about feeling like myself in my body again is the ability to snuggle with the hubby again.
This really can't be overstated. When you're pregnant, you're only supposed to sleep on your left side. I would sleep on my right side at least a third of the time, though, because various body parts on my left side would fall asleep (and not in the way I intended/hoped to fall asleep). Plus, sleeping on my left side meant I was always facing away from the hubby. You can't sleep on your stomach while pregnant (obviously) and you can't sleep on your back. Eventually, sleeping on my side was uncomfortable, but my friend Tracy gave me her body pillow:
It helped me sleep SO much . . . but as you can imagine, it pretty much created a boundary between me and the hubby. I tried to go without the body pillow one weekend, but got such terrible sleep that I had to go back to using it. In the scheme of things, it was more important - both for me and The Force - to be rested. The lack of snuggling didn't take an obvious toll on us, but we both missed it and spoke about it often.
When I came home from the hospital, one of the first things I did was take the body pillow off the bed and shove it in the closet. However, after the c-section, I could only sleep on my back. Ironically, after months of being so sick and tired of sleeping on my side, all I wanted to do was sleep on my side - but I couldn't sleep on my sides because it felt like my insides were sliding and everything was pushing and pulling on my scar. And even now, two and a half weeks later, I can't yet sleep on my stomach.
But at least I could lay up against the hubby without the body pillow acting like a moat between us. And now, I can sleep on my side and we can snuggle up together. There's an amazing depth of feeling to this simple physicality.
The love we have in our marriage has definitely shifted and grown since Nate's arrival. There hasn't been a day that's gone by where one of us hasn't asked, "How did we create something so adorable/amazing/beautiful?"
I always thought it was remarkably cheesy when someone explained that babies come from "when a mommy and daddy love each other very much" because, honestly, plenty of people who don't love each other create beautiful children. But I can't think of that line as cheesy anymore because when I look at Nate, I am filled not just with the love I feel for him, but the love I feel for the hubby. I feel like the answer to how did we create something so beautiful is that Nate is the embodiment of the love we have for each other.
During my pregnancy, I read a lot about the first year of parenthood being one of the unhappiest times in many marriages and it's something I've feared quite a bit. And, obviously, only two and a half weeks into that first year, I can't make any assumptions about us avoiding that pitfall. I think it's easier now, while I'm still home and it's all still brand new, than it will be six months from now when we're both working and dealing with a child care schedule and fretting about baby proofing as Nate begins to be mobile - especially if we haven't moved and are still in our postage stamp-sized apartment.
But things right now are so amazing, so wonderful, so better than ever, that I'm no longer worried about that. From the very beginning of our relationship - from our very first date - I marveled at how the hubby and I physically fit together like two puzzle pieces. When I curl up in bed with him, it feels more natural than sleeping alone does - and that's something I never dreamed I would find with someone. I always thought I'd need separate beds when I got married because I could never sleep well with someone else in the bed. But the hubby and I have got comfortable nights' sleep on a twin bed - and once we fell asleep on my parents' sofa, entangled in a way that 1 - I can't even describe and 2 - makes me wonder just how incredibly tired we were to fall asleep that way.
So part of me feeling like myself again after having Nate involves feeling like a wife again - even better than the wife I was before I got pregnant, the wife I am in my heart - the half of the puzzle.