"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daddy the Great

I've always heard (probably more than most people due my insane amounts of parenting classes in college) that having a baby is the worst way to try to save a relationship. That's probably true, but I have no way to verify that. What I never heard was how much having a baby could make a good relationship better. However, I have to say our marriage has really really grown since Jude was born. One of God's many blessings obviously, but it's just been so amazing to watch Michael change from the guy I fell in love with in college to an amazing dad.

Most of you have probably read the accounts of my birth experience, and picked up on how supportive Michael was. He was really attentive during the whole experience. The amazing part was how he reacted to Jude. For those of you who know Michael, you know he has a sensitive side. That would be the musician in him I think. However, so much of his reactions floored even me. I never expected him to say that watching (literally) Jude come out was the most beautiful and natural thing. I never expected him to say that that experience alone proved to him that God absolutely exists. I remember the tears in his eyes as he watched the nursing crew clean Jude up right when he came out, and I remember the tears in his eyes when he simply described the experience to our friends. Even now, when we think back on it, Michael is so quick to talk about what a blessing it is to be able to experience childbirth. It still blows my mind. Jude was not a planned baby by any means. We both freaked out at the beginning, but especially Michael. I suppose having experienced his initial reaction and his current feelings really brings home the fact that God is a miracle worker. My mother always told me that women become mothers when they take the pregnancy test, but men don't become fathers until the baby is born. In some ways, I see that ringing true with Michael. It's been an amazing transformation, and I feel privaledged to have seen it and just be married to Michael.

From the get go, he just really jumped in to the whole thing. The guy who freaked out when asked to hold his nieces was the first to hold Jude. The guy who thought he was going to do everything he could to get out of changing diapers asked the nurse for a demo straight away. When we were getting Jude ready to go home, Michael insisted on dressing him without help so he would know how to do it himself.

His take on the world attitude has not changed over the past month since we've had Jude. For that, I'm quite thankful. We have quite the system worked out at the most stressful of times. During the night, when we are both exhausted, Michael gets up and gets Jude and brings him to me. I do half a feeding. Then Michael takes Jude, burps him, and changes his diaper. I take Jude back and finish feeding him. Michael does the rest of the burping and puts him back to bed. It's awesome to have help, and honestly, those 5-10 minutes in the middle of feeding him where I get to actually close my eyes are most treasured. In general, its just nice to know you aren't the only one losing sleep constantly, even if you are the only one that can feed him.

My favorite part of Michael the daddy though is just the hilarious and adorable ways Michael interacts with him. He has the silliest conversations with Jude about the most random things ever. The other day, however, I guess he ran out of things to talk about. I needed him to play with Jude because he was wide awake, and I needed to get my breakfast. I suggested that Michael read to Jude. I meant one of the baby board books we have. Michael just thought I meant read in general. He sat in the rocking chair and read 'The Hobbit' to Jude until he fell asleep. I don't think we'll need Baby Einstein in this house, because clearly Michael will make sure our little Jude is plenty advanced for his age, at least in the literature department.

Anyway, Michael has just been the most supportive and amazing husband and new daddy the past 4 weeks. Given the holidays and that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I just wanted to take this time to say Thanks Michael, and your help is very much appreciated. We love you!

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