So, you're currently pregnant. Congratulations! If you think pregnancy is tough, you haven't seen anything yet. Swollen ankles, and nausea are about to be the least of your worries. This is an open letter not warning you of how difficult it is to care for a child. This is all about your relationship.
I'm not only a new mama, but a single one too. Whenever I head over to the baby store to grab formula or diapers, it's packed with expecting parents registering for their new bundle of joy. They all look so incredibly happy, filled with anticipation of what's to come. Maybe it's just me going through a rough time, but I find myself snickering on the inside. They have no idea how difficult it gets once the baby arrives. The baby is in no way, the reason for many, many splits that happen after birth. That bouncing baby is a test. It will test the patience, fight, and love you have for one another.
The first big test comes in the hospital. The three of you confined to one small room. Dad is most likely sleeping on that awful pull out loveseat, and mama you won't be sleeping at all. The moment you think you'll get some shut eye the baby starts to cry, and then it's time to eat, and then a nurse is coming to check vitals, and another to clean you up, and yet another to press on your stomach. The two and a half days I was in the hospital I slept probably a total of three hours. Be prepared for the exhaustion to bring out a different side of you. You start snapping at one another, and the eyes start rolling.
You come home, still exhausted but at least thankful to be in a familiar place and the tests just continue. If you decide to breastfeed, you will start to stare at your husband/boyfriend/fiance while he sleeps and envy him. Trust me, as much as you'll love the bonding of breastfeeding you can't help but want to kick him out of the bed just for the simple fact that it's you up all night, and not him.
And then there's two types of fathers. Ones that do nothing, and ones that smother you. You're trying to dress the baby, and he's on the side of you trying to shove the left arm in the onesie while you are putting the right arm in. Some of you may think that anything is better than a man that does nothing, but you're wrong. Both are tough. You'll never find the perfect blend of nothing and smothering.
So now that you're exhausted, and you can't get the baby to sleep, and you haven't showered in a couple days, enter the hormone blowout. Your body is attempting to adjust to your newly baby free body, and your hormones are going haywire. You're crying whether you're happy, sad, or mad. I was overcome with absolute love and devotion for Langston, but that doesn't mean I didn't cry over everything. I couldn't help it. I cried when it took hours to get him to sleep, I cried if he smiled, I cried because I was in pain. You're just one big cry baby, and those hormones are going to cause fights.
These may seem like extremely petty things, but you will understand one day. Exhaustion can get the best of you, and the first few weeks will be tough. A friend told me if my relationship could make it a year, then I would know it would work forever. Well, mine didn't. Prepare yourself going into it that it will be tough, and without a doubt you are absolutely going to argue. Your life is about to change forever, and the first few weeks after your baby is born is going to decide whether you raise he/she together, or separately. You aren't a bad person if it doesn't work out. It doesn't mean you don't love them. It doesn't mean you want them out of your life. It's just another lesson learned.