My husband and I recently enjoyed a night out together, and I cried into a paper napkin thinking of how it won’t be just the two of us for very much longer. I cried again later when he held my hand and told me about a dream he’d had shortly after we found out I was pregnant. A bodiless voice had warned him I could never be his wife again, only the mother to his child. Excited as we are about being parents, we’re afraid of the same things.
For all of my thrills over cloth diapers covered in cheerful monsters and a shelf overflowing with library-loaned books on pregnancy and parenting, I have no delusions about what starting a family really means. At least for us.
I might never have been anyone’s mother, but I do know about relationships. I’ve been a friend, an enemy, a conspirator. Having a baby means inviting another person to share what we share. We’re introducing their likes and dislikes, intellect, sense of humor and wants and needs (beyond feeding, changing and sleeping, of course) into the cozy routines we’ve shared for nearly 10 years.
Maybe baby and I won’t be recommending books to each other for a few years, but babies are people, too. My husband and I will be meeting someone new. We’ll be a family.
I told my husband that I can’t imagine loving anyone as much as I love him. We’re sitting outside of a coffee house where I’ve already imagined myself wearing my baby in a cozy wrap across my chest; the light music of laptop keys and espresso steam familiar, comforting sounds for us both.
“It’s not like that,” my husband says, and he doesn’t have to elaborate. I squeeze his fingers. Love is love. It grows. And the best kind is never in competition.