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 :)