Last weekend one of my new friends here in Korea, K, had her baby. I didn’t know her story until this week when I got to visit with her while I made her some dinners for the week. She and her husband,J, had met 20 years ago when they were both in the Army, he was her superior, and she was new to the Army. He would write her letters, walk her home and even risked his job by sneaking her onto post to practice the obstacle courses after hours. He was clearly in love with her, but she was oblivious. They eventually both got stationed at different parts of the world, married other people and lost touch.
Fast forward to 3 years ago, and both K and J are single and looking for each other on the web, with no success until J finds an article with an interview with K and contacts her through her work. They reconnect and marry. They are both 40, and would like to have children together. They try for 6 months, with no success and are then referred to an RE, who recommends IVF as their best chance since each month their chances go down. Since J has to deploy for six months, they decide to freeze his sperm. The month before their IVF is scheduled, they decide to try naturally just one more time, and a month later they find out they are miraculously pregnant!
When I saw K and J this weekend after their baby was born, their glow and happiness was contagious! Grins from ear to ear and nothing but kind words of love and affirmation were spoken between the two. It was a beautiful scene to behold. I’ve observed that couples, after their baby is born, have this “glow” and its so sweet. K really does bask in seeing her husband hold their baby, and gets teary-eyed when she talks about how much she wanted to make him a Father because she knew he would make a great Dad and how special she felt that she was able to share the job of parenting with him.
I’ve heard that after a child is born, 80% of couples report that their marriage relationship gets worse, while only 20% report their marriage as improving. I think the late night feedings, and lack of sleep and time spent together take a toll on marriages, but then there’s the 20% that I think K and J belong to. Their little bundle of love increases their closeness and relationship. They work as a team and their tenderness and care for each other are as evident as their tenderness towards their newborn.
As I learned their story, 20 years in the making, I just was so happy for them. Their love for their little one was clearly worth every bit of the wait they endured. They are in this parenting job together. For so many, the job of being a parent is a surprise, (or a shock) and is thrust upon them, For others, like those of us who have had to plot and discuss endlessly our plan of action to become parents, I think we have already established our team, and work together towards accomplishing our goal. We have our plans of action, our back-up plans, our united faith and petitions of prayers for children. I think its setting the stage for when we finally receive the prize we’ve been fighting for together. Our time in the wait (whether its 2 months or 20 years) can be used to prepare our relationships to grow stronger so that when it is our time, we can have that “glow” as well!