If anyone had ever told me that a time would come, when my DH would ever wash my clothes, I would tell them to try in the next century, but you know what, it happened and it was not just my every day clothes. They were clothes stained with blood from the birth of our older twins.
He took the clothes home with him, after we had the babies and in my mind, I had thought, most likely, he would help me put it in the dirty laundry bag and I will get to it once we were home, if my mom or sisters did not get to it before me. The least I expected was to hear was, my husband was the one washing them, from my landlord’s wife. I was surprised! Washing was just not his thing. He did other things well.
And since, we were not ready to have our babies that day, we were lacking quite a few things, which he had to go and get, stuffs like sanitary pads, and disposable underwear, which he even helped me to put on, later in the evening, when he brought me something to eat, as I was quite weak and shaken.
This experience brought a new side to our relationship. We were into each other but there was also a division of duty along conventional lines, he doesn’t buy sanitary pads, he never changed nor disposed one off before and he does not wash. All of which have changed since we became parents…the honeymoon is over.
I’m not the only one who felt her partner would not be able to step up to the plate, when push comes to shove. One of my former colleagues, Sherry, once told me the story of how her husband, a medical doctor had literally hovered around her for the next six weeks after she had her first child via c-section.
The first few nights after the catheter was removed, he helped her to the toilet, held her as she gingerly sat on the seat, he waited for her to do her business, and then helped her out back. She said, when she told him to get out, he had bluntly told her, “What is there again to hide?”
Since that time, she had just accepted her fate in the hands of her husband. He checked her wound every day, monitored that she slept, and there was a working routine for both mom and daughter. Truly, there was nothing to hide again. All those moves to maintain some mystery about her body was completely removed after the birth of their first baby. And that had been the trend for the rest of their childbirths. Sherry even said, there were times, she felt, he merely saw her as his patient at those times, given the clinical look on his face. But no, that was just a man knowing the workings of his wife’s body but then, what is there again to hide from a medical doctor.
However, when you have a man as interested in pregnancy, childbirth and post natal period, like my cousin’s husband, you surely know that you have got a keeper. When, she used to say, “My husband likes to know everything about me.” in the days before they became parents. We used to dismiss it as case of fresh romance, but it turned out to be more than that. He really was interested in both her mind and the workings of her body.
When she had gotten pregnant with their first child, they were literally both pregnant, she called him about, every twinge, pinch, kick she got. They both suffered the morning sickness, as in one person actually threw up each day and the other was there to tend to her.
They attended ante natal classes together, which the other pregnant women found odd, but he could, because his work schedule permitted and he wanted to. He only stopped, when he realised he was making the other moms uncomfortable. If my cousin had a craving, you can bet, that her husband would have similar craving, thus that craving was adequately fed.
When she went into labour, he drove her to the hospital, as though the baby was out already. It was later, my cousin told us, how scared her husband was, that she was in labour. It was as though, he was expecting the baby to pop out, immediately, she started feeling some pain.
He made it worse by insisting he wanted to be with his wife during the birth. That was the biggest mistake, he could have made; he’s yet to live down the aftermath of that decision. He started throwing up at the same time as the baby was coming out causing distraction for the medical team. One of the nurses had shooed him outside to go vomit his gut, if need be.
When he was feeling fine again, his wife had already delivered their baby. He was ashamed that he had missed such an important part of the whole experience and tried to make up for it by becoming a ministering angel to his wife. There was nothing that his wife wanted done that he did not do and even more, expect bathe the baby.
He practically did everything. And then, because she suffered serious constipation, she needed medications to get her bowel movement in tip top shape. And that was where the problems started. They medicines made her emit some serious gas, that not many people could withstand.
When it had first happened, she had stiffen and felt his surprise, they lived in each other’s pocket, but they never passed gas in the other’s presence. That was their second year of marriage. Fortunately or unfortunately, she couldn’t control her bowels, because it just kept coming and they ended up bursting into laughter together. And that was how their honeymoon phase was over, nothing else to hide.
Oftentimes, women are advised to maintain a level of mystery while dating, to keep the man interested and that can spill into their married lives, where they don’t feel comfortable doing certain things in the presence of their husbands. However, becoming parents can remove a lot of veils and test the boundaries of your professed love for each other. The knowledge that, one day, the honeymoon phase would be over is enough reason for one to choose well one’s partner in life. It will definitely not be a bad thing to have a man, who helps you into the bathroom or wash blood stained clothes.
While these things might seem simple and actually is taken as given in some relationships, it’s not so for all, it has its own value.
Sisters, when the baby comes, the honeymoon is over, new reality sets in and all you’ve got is your love.
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