Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Pre-Baby Nerves

I had a scary thought this morning - What if this is as good as it get for Andino and I? What if we've reached the peak of our marriage happiness?

We were still in the infatuation stage when we got married. I wasn't stupid enough to marry him because of infatuation though. I married him because I knew exactly what I was looking for in a husband, so it was easy to know when I'd found it. It wasn't long after the flames of infatuation had turned into the steady embers that are true love, when infertility staked her claim in our love story. Those were hard years, made harder by the fact that I was homesick during most of them. Infertility can make even the nicest, calmest, positive people into hormonal, jealous & depleted versions of ourselves, which is obviously hard on a marriage.

Andino says that I am "such a happy pregnant lady!" but I keep telling him it's not that. It's that I am finally back to my real self. I know it's probably hard for him to remember the old Gypsy Mama, before infertility. In fact, maybe he never knew her! Because the infatuated lovey-dovey version of myself that I was in the beginning of our relationship wasn't the real me and we didn't have much time together before infertility made her mark on my personality. But I feel like this version of me, the one who loves him so much that I am a bit smothering is the real me. How am I smothering you ask? Well, for example, I had gotten in the habit of calling him twice a day at work to ask him how his day was going, even though I knew he was too busy to talk. And I completely annoyed him when I acquired the habit of saying "where are you going? or what are you doing now?" whenever he left the room. I have mostly stopped doing those things now, but I still ask him all the time if he wants to hang out in the evenings. He usually responds by saying "We live together, we hang out every day." Sometimes he jokes that I should be more like my Mom, who hangs out with my Dad every night too, but also lets him jam on his guitar or do whatever he wants to do without bothering him with questions. It's enough that they are together.

For the past 9 months, I have slowly been letting go of all the baggage I had accumulated during the years we tried to figure out how we were going to build our family. I had baggage full of adoption research, covering every aspect of what could go wrong and what could go right. I had baggage full of IVF research, including statistics and every possible supplement I could take to increase my chances of success and of course I had baggage full of budget plans for how we could afford it all. Not to mention the baggage of envisioning what my family would look like. I was so sure that we would adopt, that when I became pregnant it threw me for a loop and it took me a few weeks to let go of the old image of my family and embrace the new one.

For the past few months, we have been so happy together. We are excited about our baby who is on her way (14 days until my due date!) and we are still able to go on date nights and spend lots of time together. I have the energy to smother Andino with love and affection because I am no longer in a constant state of worry. We are not yet sleep-deprived parents who have nothing else to talk about other than the baby's bowel movements & how much she ate. There are so many articles on the internet that talk about how having a baby changes your marriage and give advice on how to baby-proof your marriage. The unknown of it all is a little scary for this first-time Mom. I am still enjoying a solid-night's sleep and I know that in a few weeks it will be a long time before I have a solid night's sleep again. With scary articles like Sleepless Nights with Screaming Babies Can Ruin Your Marriage and Your Health  what's a mom-to-be to think?

So sometimes I worry that things will be tough for Andino and I soon. I don't want them to be, because I feel like we just got happy again. But when I start to worry, I tell myself that we've been through tougher situations before and we made it through. We have learned that rough patches in the road eventually lead to smooth stretches and most importantly, we've shown each other that we are willing to be there for each other. I know that having a baby will change our relationship, but I think we are both going into this with realistic expectations and a solid foundation. The baby could make her appearance any day now, so I think I just have a lot on my mind. There is no way to anticipate what the future will bring, but judging from past experiences together, I think Andino and I will make out just fine as parents :)

6 comments:

  1. My god, 14 days!!!! I'm soooo beyond excited for you! Please don't have the baby and dissapear! At least throw us a one liner that says "she's here, we're good!"

    Its so hard to know how a baby will change the relationship. I keep thinking we already have been coparenting for 11.5 years when we got our first pup! Obviously it will be different but we do already have the experience of nurturing and caring for live beings that we love with all our hearts... Kinda similar right? There's the tough medical decisions and responsibility. We already have conversations revolving around the dogs' bowel movements! I think in the end if you have a rock solid relationship then bringing a baby into the mix will just cement things further. Not to say there won't be moments at 3am when you snarl at each other but I think you will look up one day and realize how you are actually 100X happier than you've ever been before! <3

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    1. I promise not to have the baby and disappear. I PROMISE! I know I get so disappointed when my favourite bloggers do that. Plus, this is one of the main ways I keep my family which is spread out across the country updated on my pregnancy/baby.

      And you are so right about the dogs changing the relationship, they totally did for us too! I think before any big change it's normal to feel a bit apprehensive, but I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end :)

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  2. I worry about this now, and we can't even get pregnant! I would totally be worried about this two weeks before birth. (Side note: TWO WEEKS?? Where did the time go??) Anyway, everyone I know says that yeah, you may fight a bit more because you're tired and dealing with a crazy new situation, but that you just need some time to settle into your new normal. I know you guys are going to be just fine!

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  3. I will start by saying that I am sure and certain that you and Andino will be great parents. You have been through tough stuff together, you love each other, you care for each other and you know how to communicate.
    I think saying " Sleepless Nights with Screaming Babies Can Ruin Your Marriage and Your Health" is a bit of a scandalous headline. However, while I researched and prepared and read all kinds of stuff on birth, and breastfeeding, and development, and all the science / medical things I like, I remember on those early days wondering why I never read something along the lines of: "how breastfeeding / being sleep deprived will affect your relationship". Of course that stuff is all over the place but I never bothered to look at it? I guess because I am not into self-esteem / psychology stuff? I really don't know how I managed to bypass scary articles like the one you linked. What I do know is that those scary, early weeks were the most tired that I have ever been. The only thing I can compare it to is jet lag (of 10 time zones), but then, make it a jet lag from which you don't recover and you just keep pulling through . (Eventually you get used to it, and you just function on the new rythm, you learn to sleep, you learn a new routine, and it is still hard but you get by, and you enjoy). But.. I did not expect at all that Mark and I would be fighting like we never fought before in our relationship because we are both stubborn, we have strong opinions, and tiredness make us snappy and irritable. Navigating that was hard. Infertility was, sometimes hell, and yes, there was crying, and discussions because the monster took out the worst in me. But fighting, fighting, screaming at each other? That was something we pretty much had never done. It is very hard, and the key is to keep communicating, to put each other first, the little things. Exactly like calling him to see how he is doing.

    You know how to do it, but whatever your differences are, tiredness will maybe exacerbate them. Keep the kindness at hand, and just... remember that you are a team.

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  4. I cannot believe you're down to the final couple of weeks! The time has seriously flown by.

    I know I've blogged before about my own issues with how the anticipation of the event is often more exciting than the event itself (talking mostly about vacations and parties and stuff) - that sounds a little like what you're talking about? But I think in this case the event itself... you know, PARENTHOOD...is actually going to be better than the lead-up! I'm really excited. For all of us. Because we can imagine what it's going to be like, but at the same time I don't think we can fathom it. And maybe I'm being naive, but I have high expectations for Eric. I think this will deepen our bond because only us two understand the love we share for our child. I also think it will make him step up and be less selfish, more giving, more attentive. At least... I'm hoping those feeling last for the first few weeks, haha. I also hope it does all those things for me. This comparison may be a stretch, but when we got our dogs I think the shared responsibility brought us closer, not to mention how we are always turning to each other saying things like, "What the heck did we do before we had them?!" With a baby it's going to be like that, except exponentially more extreme.

    Sorry that was rambling. I think what I'm trying to say is "the best is yet to come!"

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  5. I would be worried about the same thing. But everything will work out...just like it did with infertility. Life is a mixed bag of highs and lows for everyone. But you will have the perspective to know that the alternative to a crying baby is silence and no baby at all. Great post and good luck!!!

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