As of Saturday, Rose is 7 weeks old. During those 7 weeks, Vitaliy and I have only had little mini dates here and there while Rose was asleep. They’ve been less than ideal and have often been interrupted when Rose has woken up hungry. Now that we have a little one, we feel there is an even stronger need for regular date nights for us to check in with each other and continue to invest in our relationship.
I am currently breastfeeding exclusively for Rose which has posed a real threat to date night. I’m unable to be away from Rose for more than 1 – 2 hours. While even a 10 minute window of opportunity for us to be alone would be good, it’s not ideal for me to be worrying during my time with Vitaliy about Rose. I need to learn to pump my milk so that I can give someone the gift of taking care of her for an evening. It will be good for her and for us.
So, last Thursday (Thursday has been and will continue to be our designated date night.) we spent trying to learn to pump. Yes, I said “we” because this is something that affects both of us and I needed some moral support. The truth is I would prefer not pumping. Rose and I have a good thing going on and I don’t want anything to mess that up. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m comfortable. It’s easier for me to do what has already worked and avoid having to learn something new. On top of that, I’m afraid. Fear of the unknown and fear of ruining the sweet bond Rose and I have developed through our feeding time together.
But my marriage is more important than all of this. Yes, even more important than Rose. So, I laid all my fears and concerns to the side and plunged forward with learning to pump, the key to my freedom. And let’s just say, date night ended in tears, silence, and about a tablespoon of pumped milk. I climbed into bed with dried up tears on my cheeks and Vitaliy leaned over and whispered, “We’ll figure this out. It’s going to be ok.” I tried to breathe in his hope as I fell asleep. Rose would need to be fed soon.
By God’s grace (I rely on it even more these days), I woke determined not to give up so easily. On the recommendation of a good friend, we made an appointment with a lactation consultant for that day. I don’t want to go another week without investing some quality time with my husband. No, it can’t wait. I need it, Vitaliy needs it, and Rose depends on it too.
I hope I’m not boring you with the talk of breast milk and pumping. I felt the urge to share this experience with you in hopes of encouraging someone out there and to hold myself accountable. Are you avoiding the hard work to make date night happen? I know I felt the temptation. If so, join me in doing the hard work and making an investment in your relationship.
Update: Since writing this post, Rose is now 9 weeks old and takes a bottle. Woohoo! We did it! We have since had two date nights and are so thankful for the time alone, just the two of us. Go, do the hard work! Do whatever is necessary to make your marriage happen.
Photo: Vitaliy and I having a mini-date in the hospital while Rose sleeps. We toasted to date night and never giving up on “us”.