On the day our son was born, we had already been married for nine years. In that near decade, we had grown up from silly teenagers into real live adults. We had been dirt poor, and had everything we could ever need. We had been incandescently happy, and so angry we could scream. We had cried, laughed, fought, traveled, had adventures, and became each other’s very best friend. We have had countless storybook romantic moments, from the airport proposal to five course dinners in a castle to sunsets from from the bow of a ship, but that day, that sweltering, stormy June day, I fell in love with you. Again.

From the moment my contractions started at 2:00 a.m., you leapt from the bed with impossible enthusiasm for that time of night, and stayed right by my side. You made me smoothies and rubbed my shoulders and made sure every last detail was in order before we welcomed our son into the world. At the hospital, you held my hand through cervical checks and pressed on my back as I paced the halls between contractions. And when things got ugly, there you remained.

You sat next to me, steadfast as a river stone, as I cried on the toilet, couldn’t catch my breath in the shower, and yelled at you for breathing too close to my face. When blood and meconium and amniotic fluid erupted from my body, you only leaned in closer. And when the time came for our son to arrive earth-side, it was your hands that delivered him and laid him on my chest. When you cried and held us both in your arms, you had never been more beautiful to me. Later, after being awake for nearly 24 hours, you helped me into the shower. And when I left bloody footprints across the bathroom floor, you knelt down and cleaned them up.

When we arrived back home, dazed and exhausted and overwhelmed with the new weight of parenthood, you pulled the bassinet over to your side of the bed so you could be first to get up with our little man and sit up with me through every single feeding. And when breastfeeding didn’t work, you were the one who held the tube steady for the “supplemental nursing system” every frustrating two hours around the clock. During those sleepless days, you never once lost your patience. You never once let frustration or exhaustion overcome your kindness toward us. Your selfless love, even now, 21 months later, still takes my breath away.

Our son was, is, so beautiful and perfect. Those days of getting to know him and falling in love with him were extraordinary. But honestly, I fell in love with you even more.

Kimberly Poovey

Kimberly Poovey is a writer, speaker, wife, and over-caffeinated new(ish) mom. She runs a teen pregnancy prevention program for a nonprofit and is a founder of Pearls, an organization that serves women in the sex industry and fights human trafficking. You can find her over on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mighty, https://kimberlypoovey.wordpress.com/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kimberlysandelpoovey