Can I make a confession? I have felt like I have been in a bit of a mourning period this past week or so. Not a word you usually associate with having a baby, but it is the word that best describes what I have been experiencing. At first I thought I was just feeling anxious about going into labor (which don't be mistaken, I very much am). But even that didn't seem to define what I have been feeling. I thought maybe it was a mix of nerves about becoming a parent and the unknown of when our baby will be arriving, and all the planning I try to do but realize is pretty pointless. But still, even all that wasn't putting into words what was nagging at me. Then I noticed something:
Ronnie and I have been hanging onto each hug a little longer and giving each other an extra kiss when we can. The words "I love you" have been repeated more times than usual and morning snuggles are quickly coming becoming a part of our routine. What is our problem? Neither one of is going anywhere, yet we are clinging onto each other like one of us is leaving for a long trip.
Then as I was reading my book "Baby Makes 3", it dawned on me that we both are realizing our relationship is about to experience a major change. Is it a bad one? Not in the least! It is a pretty miraculous one, but a very stressful one from what everything and everyone says. All the statistics point to the birth of a baby as a major shift in most marriages and the transition to parenthood causes a moderate to severe crisis in many relationships. As I have been reading and preparing, the thought kept sneaking into my mind, "Why are we doing this? I am perfectly happy with what we have now!"
As I have given it more thought, and allowed myself to feel those feelings, I think I am coming to a realization:
That doesn't have to be us.
When we first got married, we would hear about how hard the first year of marriage is and how hard adjusting to living with your spouse can be. I know for many couples that is the case, but it was the opposite of the truth for us. The past year and a half have been absolute bliss. I never knew I could be so content spending so much time with one person, working through any disagreements as rare as they may be, stretching my own comfort levels to make someone else happy, and gauging my own happiness by the happiness I bring to him. Nothing has been more rewarding than the friendship I share with my husband and my marriage to him. I am continually amazed he would choose me for his wife. When we do encounter stress or a disagreement, we always come out of it feeling more love towards each other and in the end, more happiness than I ever knew possible.
Just this morning Ronnie went to the doctor with me. I was so looking forward to having him there with me and taking part in what my life has been for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, because of slick roads, always feeling like a failure if I am 1 minute late, and constantly being pestered about my blood pressure (thanks for passing that genetic prize on Dad), I was less than patient and not very considerate of what it might be like for Ronnie to be in a hospital environment again. We went to breakfast afterwards and I ended up letting my hormones take control. Never try and shove hash browns in your mouth while trying to control tears running down your face. Such a waste of deliciousness. It felt like what I was going through right then was the worst thing in the whole wide world. Ronnie and I talked through it calmly and with love, and in the end my tears switched from "Whoa is me!" to tears of absolute appreciation for my loving husband. Our poor waitress deserves a much bigger tip than we left her for pretending not to see the crying Goodyear blimp as she faithfully refilled my water glass.
So why does parenting have to be any different? Will we be exhausted from long nights, poopy diapers, piles of laundry, and spit-up soaked clothes? You betcha. But I think it is those moments of selflessness towards someone else that make you love them so darn much. I trust that Ronnie and I have the communication skills to let the other know when we need something from them. We could keep sailing along at a comfortable pace, just me and him, but then I wouldn't get the satisfaction of loving him more than I do now. While it is hard to imagine bringing another man into my life that I could possibly love as much as his daddy, I am so excited to give it a whirl and fall head over heels for what will surely become my greatest treasure on Earth.