The last eleven days seem like forever. At this point, my body has started to heal. My C-section wound doesn’t hurt as much. My bleeding is significantly less, just like the last days of my period. My breasts, too, are becoming more accustomed to normal engorgement, which, to me, signifies that it is time to pump.
Mentally, though, the last two weeks has been taxing. Francis and I, but more so Francis, are sleep-deprived. I do the pumping and occasional breastfeeding – breastfeeding is a torture both for me and baby – but Francis has been doing pretty much everything: burping, changing nappies, bathing baby, rocking baby to sleep, cooking for me, feeding me, washing our bottles and pumps, putting baby out for morning sunshine, doing our groceries, holding me while feeding or pumping (because both hurt and to check that I don’t fall asleep), and working. On top of that, he has to deal with my anxiety. I sometimes take a painkiller when the pain is unbearable, but that also means I’m knocked out for hours, and Francis has to handle all of baby’s needs.
Our days are fully occupied with baby now that we barely have time for ourselves or each other. Not that we ever had, to be honest. We have been married for barely a month when we learned that we were pregnant, which changed everything. Though largely uneventful, our first trimester was a torture for me. I can’t function because we had to make sure na kumapit si baby, so Francis had to do everything. He had to do all my chores. He had to think of what to feed me because I can’t eat. He had to bear the burden of being my one and only sounding board for all my insecurities and self-loathing. He had to suffer my hormones.
On the last few days of our pregnancy, I stressed him a lot, and all my anxieties led him to lose sleep. In fact, when I was worried that our baby wasn’t moving in my womb, he did not sleep at all, monitoring baby’s movements with his hand on my belly. Then, he had to bring me to the OB, to the hospital, do all errands, make sure our hospital bags are ready.
When we got out of the hospital, aside from all the errands and chores, he has to help me manage my anxiety and budding depression. He has to make me feel beautiful with my scar and my size, and he has to cheer me on at each drop of my pathetic breastmilk.
All these and he still thinks that I’m the one who deserves to rest, that he’s not doing enough for me and our daughter.
I don’t even know the extent of his personal anxieties. The only time he lets me see how he feels is when he gets frustrated when baby won’t burp, when baby is fussy, when baby spits out her milk. Then he would pretend like he’s okay… because, he says, I suffered so much already.
I don’t know why I’m writing this. He’s probably going to ask me to delete this. But I want him to know how much I appreciate him. I want him to know just how much I feel undeserving of him. I want him to know that I will make sure our little girl knows about all of his sacrifices.
And I want everyone to know that he is already a good husband and a good father.