Parenting

9 Ways Your Marriage Changes When a Baby is on the Way

Everything about our life together changed the minute we learned we were pregnant. The obvious changes were welcome ones. Loads of much-needed gifts, the rearranging of rooms, the changing of jobs so I could be the work-from-home mom I always wanted to be. Those weren’t the issue. It was all the seemingly mundane unexpected changes that seemed to carve us into being parents instead of just husband and wife.

9. The Sleepless Nights Start Now.

Around 5:45 one morning my husband dragged himself out of bed and got dressed for work. “Did you need to go in early?” I mumbled, half incoherent after yet another night of on-again, off-again, my-leg-is-numb-again sleep. No, he didn’t. He just couldn’t sleep, either. We were less than four weeks out from our due date and he’s busting a move at work to get things done in anticipation of his upcoming “vacation.” Because this is what you spend your vacation time on when you get pregnant: The baby that’s due any day.

8. Mommy-to-Be Builds Her First Nest in Bed.

Besides, 2 feet of bed space to move around in didn’t exactly bode him a good night’s sleep, either. It was easier to get up and go to work than to wrestle with the pillow fortress that had become my pregnant body’s nest during these last, huge months. We called it practice for dealing with a newborn’s sleep schedule.

7. You’ve Gone from Budget-Conscious to Budget-Paranoid.

Conversations about possible vacation locales now ended with, “It’ll be great to take the baby there when they get older.” Suddenly money was not meant to be wasted on fun. Food shopping becomes an adventure in coupon clipping. By month 5 we decided to avoid browsing the baby aisle, since price comparing diapers left us both in a bit of a panic.

6. Friends Are a Distant Memory.

We began seeing less and less of our friends. It started out with having to somehow get out of a dinner party invite thanks to my all-day-sickness. We weren’t ready to make the big announcement, so I had to claim a virus. Later on, rejections came in the form of, “I’m sorry, but my feet won’t allow me to stand on them for more than 10 minutes at a time,” or “I don’t think my body will fit into your apartment for that massive reunion.”

 

5. So Is Your Night Life.

Are you one of those women who wore heels and worked until you popped? Mazel tov. I’m not you. Our “night life” became me getting up at 2 a.m. and downing a bowl of cereal to my husband’s drowsy shout of, “Are you okay?” Wild stuff, indeed.

4. And Speaking of Sex…

Speaking of wild, sex reached new heights of fantastic …at first. That was followed by awkward which slowly gave way to nearly impossible. Let’s just say that pregnancy is a great test of what kind of friendship the two of you truly have and how good your sense of humor is as well.

3. Mom’s Body Is a New Kind of Wonderland.

In your husband’s eyes, your body’s main source of interest is now your growing bump. One night my hubs gave me a back massage and I realized it was the first time in a week he had focused exclusively on me and not our child. Ladies, whether he likes it or not, invest in some form of cocoa butter. If the baby doesn’t stretch you out, your loving husband and father-to-be will quickly rub your bump raw in an enthusiastic attempt to play with his child.

2. …That Is Meant to be Poked and Prodded at Every Turn…

If you’re the pregnant mom, life has become one endless stream of doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds and bloodwork. Once a month until 30 weeks, then every other week until 36, at which time you go once a week to your healthcare provider until you pop. Having left my day job at 20 weeks, I can’t imagine how working women swing so many appointments without taking grief from their supervisors.

1. …And Bloody Well Worn Out.

When you aren’t being doctored you’re popping prenatal vitamins and various supplements, along with stool softeners to counteract the “benefits” of said vitamins and supplements. And drinking. Water. All the time. You’ve never bonded so well with a bathroom in your life, which is a good thing because when you are in a public restroom you can finally justify using the big stall, if only to study how exactly those Koala Care changing tables actually work.

Sure, the two of you have rearranged your sex life, your social life, and your home life for this new little life that’s just about to arrive. The nice thing is that you’re free of all that daft cynicism you’re plagued with whenever you do a little parent-reading on the Internet to stay awake. Because the two of you, already exhausted and bereft of romantic notions, whose memories of life before pregnancy are already fading into distant memory, are too damned excited to let all this change get you down.