Well, we may as well make the news official...April is expecting! Yes, that is child number three for us, due in June.
It's an exciting time and we're looking forward to welcoming another little one into our home.
Pregnancy is one of those natural things that follows a period of time after the wedding bells have quieted. The birds and the bees do their thing. Whether you have children now, or you hope to in the future, those nine months are filled with anticipation, and change, and they can certainly impact your marriage and teach you a thing or two.
So, what impact will this exciting new development have on your marriage? Well honestly, far more than we could ever discuss in a simple article! Pregnancy, labor and welcoming a new child into your life is life changing, just like your wedding day was! It's hard, it's taxing, it's challenging, and it's totally worth it.
So, for those husbands who haven't yet become fathers and experienced pregnancy first hand (or, I guess second hand) here are a few things to expect when she's expecting, and a few tips that might benefit your marriage through the process.
She'll be tired... very tired.
What else would you expect when your wife is growing another human being - it's hard work! She'll likely have less energy than normal, want to stick around the house a little more, and even hit the pillow a bit earlier. Can you blame her?
Since your wife is working extra hard to grow that little baby, do her a favor and help out a little more. Give her a break from whatever her normal duties may be. Pamper her a little and treat her extra special. Trust us, she deserves it! Your love and support throughout these nine months can sustain her physically and bring you closer together.
Also, be mindful of how tired she is and how much energy she has to make love. She probably still wants to make love (unless she is living in the bathroom, due to morning sickness), but the late night thing just isn't going to happen for awhile. Talk to her about how she feels about it (physically and emotionally) and make a new early-evening love ritual. It will bless your marriage. And let your wife get the sleep she so desperately needs.
Her body will change... obviously.
There are some obvious changes that happen in a woman's body during pregnancy. Because of these changes, your wife will no doubt feel a little uncomfortable in her own skin, and may even lose a little confidence in herself. Your job as her husband is to build her up and constantly let her know how beautiful she truly is!
Never miss an opportunity to compliment how she looks. The fact that she may not always feel like she's at her best only increases the importance of you reaffirming your love and commitment to her. By doing this, you'll not only put a smile on her face, boost her confidence, and warm her heart, but you'll also remind her that you're in this together - side by side and hand in hand - and that you'll always be there for her.
Her emotions may ebb and flow.
It's true, pregnancy can put your wife (and therefore you) through a bit of an emotional roller coaster. There will be good days, and there will be not-so-good days. Just expect it, and don't be surprised when the not-so-good days happen. Rather, take it in stride, one day at a time.
Remember that a little extra kindness goes a long way. Try to remember all the changes your wife is experiencing and be sure to give her the benefit of the doubt. Be a little more understanding and patient, and a little less critical and judgmental. And don't forget that a late night trip to the grocery store to pick up her latest craving might be the best move you make all day!
Your love for her will grow exponentially.
It's an amazing sacrifice for any woman to go through pregnancy and give birth to a child. As you watch your wife experience the aches and pains of pregnancy, and ultimately give birth to the child that will call her "Mom," and you "Dad," your love and appreciation for her will grow tenfold.
There will be quiet moments when you simply sit back and ponder in amazement the incredible person she is. You'll consider yourself so stinking lucky that she chose you, and you'll love her more than you thought possible. Express those feelings to her. It doesn't have to be elegant or flashy, it just has to be sincere. When you do, it will mean far more to her than she'll be able to express, and it will nurture your marriage.
Finally, let's also note that not all couples are blessed with the ability to give birth to their own children. Some of our mentors and very good friends have found themselves in this situation. These circumstances can be incredibly challenging - both physically and emotionally. If that's the situation you find yourselves in, know that you're not alone, although it may seem so at times. Most importantly, remember that you have each other. Be there to strengthen each other and come through the challenge better together.
Photo Credit: Caitlinn Mahar-Daniels
“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.”
- Fawn Weaver
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