How Pregnancy Changes Love
The truth about how having a baby will affect your relationship
No turning back
"I'm nervous about having a boy, too," he said. He confessed that he questioned whether he would know how to be a good father to a boy, since he'd had a difficult relationship with his dad.
We confided to each other moments of thinking "This is it -- there's no turning back" that were utterly terrifying. For me, the phrase "the end of life as we know it" would come to mind in times of panic about the baby's well-being. What if something was horribly wrong? Alex, normally a world-class worrier (he was raised by a woman who routinely says "See you tomorrow, hopefully"), was oddly relaxed about the baby's health. This drove me a little crazy, as if I had to do the worrying for both of us. When I expressed my frustration over being the only one fretting, Alex assured me that the moment our son popped out, he would start obsessing over the day the kid would get behind the wheel of a car. It seemed like a fair deal.
We also quickly agreed on a name. This was reassuring. Although I knew rationally that liking the same name didn't guarantee that we'd agree on bedtimes or sugar intake, there was something comforting about starting off parenting without a big fight. When my water broke at 3 a.m. on my due date, we were nervous and elated, much like on our wedding day. We drove to the hospital holding hands. We were a team -- invincible. Of course, the labor and delivery, not to mention the first ten months of our baby's life, showed us that we were far from invincible, and we sometimes wondered whether we were up to it all. Looking back, it's as if life has a strange way of preparing you for the things ahead. If we hadn't spent those nine months becoming best friends again, the challenges of our baby's first year might have felt impossible. But on that July morning, with not a cloud in the sky, we forged ahead into the great unknown, hoping it would be all right, and confident that, no matter what, we'd get through it together.
Sarah Trillin is a clinical social worker and mother who lives in rural New Jersey.