I've been with my husband for almost 13 years. In that time, we've faced just about every possible scenario a couple could possible face. I'm talking births, deaths, near-divorce, and so much laughter and joy it's hard to imagine going through life differently. But (because there's always a but), there are some ways my pregnancy almost ended my relationship. Turns out, growing another human being in my body was a true test of our devotion to one another, and at a time we weren't sure what we wanted out of life (or love).
Back then, when I first found out I was pregnant with our now 10-year-old daughter, we looked at life through a naive fog. Where optimism lacked, it was replaced with a profound hope that love was all we needed to get through anything. As dreamy as it sounds, relationships take a lot more effort than wishful thinking and, well, our relationship was no different. Once I became (unexpectedly) pregnant, it was clear how unprepared each of us were — not only for parenthood, but for the responsibility of co-parenting through a mature, realistic lens.
Now that we're about to celebrate 10 years of marriage, I can say, without a doubt, we've grown up both together and as individuals. I'm pretty proud of us for sticking it out to be sure, but all this reflecting also reminds me of the times pregnancy almost ended our very beautiful thing.
We Weren't Ready To Be Parents
There's nothing like a "surprise" pregnancy (while on birth control) to shake up a relationship, especially when we'd only been together just over a year. While neither one of us were technically too young to parent, mentally, and emotionally we weren't near the levels we should've been to take on such an awesome responsibility.
I hadn't been around many pregnant women before, so I had nothing to compare my pregnancy to. All I knew was the initial conversations where I told my partner I was pregnant, and the conversations that followed with family members were painful and difficult to get through. The "aftermath" of my pregnancy announcement, as it where, definitely put a strain on my personal relationship with my partner.
We Disagreed On The Fate Of Our Relationship
Many times throughout those nine months, our differences were so obvious they nearly broke us up. I wanted to get married (because it's how I was raised), and I'd already been married and divorced once before. When we talked about this type of commitment, however, it was clear my partner wasn't in the same headspace at the time.
It was a constant battle of "where do we go from here?" It wasn't until long after the birth of our daughter, did we finally land on the same page. However, by then, some of the damage had already been done.
I Planned To Stay Home With Our Baby
The biggest hot topic within the first few months of my pregnancy had to do with my decision to be a stay-at-home mother once the baby was born. I knew it wouldn't be forever, but due to experiences I had with faulty babysitters and childcare as a kid, I preferred to be the one looking after my children.
My partner and I argued a lot about the soon-to-be family dynamics, because money was tight and it would definitely be a dramatic change. However, I was willing to make any sacrifice possible to ensure the safety of my babies (and peace of mind). It wasn't long before I took on freelance work from home, anyway, so all that infighting was pointless.
We Argued About Money
Again with the money, you guys. We never had enough of it, no matter how many hours he worked, or how many freelance jobs I took on. Planning for a baby proved to be stressful on so many levels, but none more than the financial. Going from two carefree young adults to thinking of a future child was harder than we anticipated, and created a lot of disagreements. Part of not being married at the time, and working freelance, also meant not having proper insurance. which created another universe of issues between us.
My Hormones Controlled My Moods
Yes, pregnancy comes with a complex list of symptoms, including hormonal fluctuations and rage. I admit it, there were times I lost control of my emotions, picking fights when there shouldn't have been any, and wallowing in despair for long periods of time. My husband has always been a laid back, good guy, but his ability to overlook my moods certainly didn't help when I needed to hash something out. If anything, the passiveness made me angrier and the possibility of raising our daughter separately crossed my mind, often.
His Work Schedule Controlled His Moods
Just as hormones perpetrated all the nice pieces of me, my partner's job often did the same to him and his moods. Early in the pregnancy, he had a taxing job installing glass. The hours were long and he was never not exhausted. Eventually he moved to selling cars, but while less physically draining, made the possibility of making any significant amount money a feat. When I look back now, I completely understand his stresses. At the time, though, I was too enveloped in my own misery to be as compassionate as I wish I'd been.
Some Family Members Weren't Supportive
One of the harder lessons of an unplanned pregnancy was learning who'd support us as a couple, and who wouldn't. At first, our families were nearly split into two: mine was all for it, while his thought he'd made a mistake in ever being with me. We had some difficult conversations about how to make things work but, in the end, decided we could be better together than a part.
I'm so thankful we didn't let any of these things come so far between us to the point that we wouldn't have the life we live now. I honestly can't imagine who I'd have become, or what I'd have done with my life, without him. In fact, I don't want to know.