I knew having a baby would affect our marriage. But I had no idea that pregnancy–let alone the first trimester–would have such an impact on it.
When you find out you’re pregnant, it’s kind of a big deal. There are lots of emotions. And you might not react the same as your spouse. I think we kind of did–we were first and foremost shocked (as you can tell in the video), but we also knew the excitement and realization of the situation would come.
We found out at six weeks. As a female, it immediately affected my life; my every breath. (No, I don’t think I am being dramatic.) I began to feel the effects of pregnancy the very next day: I could hardly make it through eight hours of work, Eric cooked meatloaf for supper and I almost lost it, and I couldn’t stay up past 10 p.m. even though we had nothing going on the next day.
My body was working overtime. I was tired and bloated. I had lost my appetite. I felt like I had the flu.
I was no fun to be around.
Because I had been pregnant for a month before we found out, it was so strange that I felt so different the very next day. Eric was confused. Heck, I was confused. (Later we would find out that this is normal and most symptoms set in at six weeks.)
Naturally, I kicked into survival mode. It was clear that my morning routine and our beloved bedtime routine needed to change. (And you know my love of sleep was already a recurring discussion in our marriage.)
I hardly understood what was going on…there was no way Eric could.
What Did We Do About It?
- I felt like I had to remind Eric often how I was feeling and what was going on, since his life had been unaffected thus far. He took this as me complaining about the situation and having a negative attitude.
- Most food sounded terrible to me, so I became very picky and craved eating out. This hurt our budget and was kind of scary to Eric that I was reverting to my old financial ways.
- I felt guilty for getting into bed at 7:45 p.m., but it honestly felt like there were no other options. I needed rest, and although it seemed to Eric that I was choosing the baby over him, I just felt like I was taking care of myself and choosing myself and my health over him (which is actually in line with our priorities).
- Eric thought I was lazy and that if I was in better physical shape that I would be able to handle the pregnancy better. I’ll admit I don’t deal well with sickness. I don’t take care of myself very well (drinking fluids, eating well), I hate taking medicine and I also have a terrible immune system. Bad combination.
- Eric had to absorb all my chores because if I wasn’t at work, I was at home on the couch. He took care of my half of the dishes, made dinner by himself every night and also stepped in with the laundry. And of course, he still had to take care of the yard, write most of our blog posts and complete all his usual chores. Taking care of a sick spouse is exhausting for 24 hours, let alone five weeks. Many times I was so thankful that we work together so he could drive me to work. I really was that tired and weak. It was tough to work eight-hour days through the first trimester and still feel like I had energy left for him.
- We were both selfish about our needs not being met and not feeling loved. We both turned inward and were frustrated that pregnancy wasn’t blissful or complete happiness. And that made me feel guilty, because it was something we wanted and prayed for.
We struggled with it individually for a couple weeks. We would have little disagreements but never talked it out (I didn’t have the energy!). But then one weekend while driving home, we opened up and had a good conversation. And then we had another great talk on a walk the next evening. It has also helped to get our family’s and friends’ opinions on our situation as well.
We realized we were both anxious about how our marriage was already affected, about what our financial situation would look like when the baby gets here, about where we would be living, etc.
We were scared.
After spilling our guts, we realized that we were on the same page. It was such a relief. It is still hard, but I feel that our marriage is better than ever. I feel so in love with Eric right now. I’m so thankful for him, and feel so blessed that we were given such a gift from God.