Expecting baby: Sweet anticipation

Increase Islands of Togetherness
For reasons that can’t be adequately explained, expecting a baby is a very sentimental thing, perhaps because it’s not a singular event but rather a joint undertaking. You and the man you love have embarked on a nine-month journey that gives you a chance to know each other in a deeper way. You’re interdependent now, and a synchronicity is arising between the two of you and your unborn child.

When Marla was about one month pregnant, she packed a big picnic and took Jake to the park. Jake was already the father of two children from a previous marriage, and, although they had frequently talked about having children together, she wanted to talk it over one more time before she shared her suspicion. “Would you like to have more children?” she asked. His response melted her heart. “I’ve prayed that God would give me a third chance.” He acknowledged that he hadn’t been there when his two children were babies and wanted the chance to be a better father to an infant and a better husband for his wife. For that afternoon, that bench became an island where she listened to Jake’s anguish at not being there for his first wife and their sons. Difficult though it was to hear his pain, she listened as he poured out his heart. Her listening was a healing force, and provided the impetus, too, for him to face his responsibilities and take steps to make things right.

An island of togetherness is full of possibilities for healing, for closeness, for understanding, for romance -- especially romance, because amid all the baby preparation, sometimes the romance and the love between the two of you gets forgotten. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Expanding your family can have a romantic aspect, especially when you’re willing to talk to each other like you did when you were courting. You have new experiences to share. Ask your partner how his life has changed since your pregnancy. Tell him what you’re looking forward to. Listen carefully to each other. You’ll renew your relationship as you share the events of the day. You may not be able to solve each other’s problems, but you can be one another’s sounding boards.

It’s such a pleasure coming home at the end of the day to see the face of your beloved. Spending time together ignites some of the spark that brought you first together. Quality time doesn’t need to be elaborate. The most tender moments are often the simplest: sitting on the step while your husband washes the car, reading the newspaper over breakfast, taking a walk. Sometimes you don’t need words to feel the loving energy between you; other times you want to express what you’re thinking and feeling.

Lauren said, “As my husband worked at his computer, I’d slip up quietly and put my hand on his back and kiss his cheek, or I’d sit beside him and read. Sometimes we wouldn’t say a word, but he’d look over at me with such tenderness that for a brief moment we were on our own island of togetherness.”

Snuggling, hugging, holding hands, laughing, smiling and listening will transport you to your own island -- you can go there for brief intervals several times each day. Healing moments of togetherness are the invisible glue that holds a couple and a family together. They are the reason you came together in the first place.

To the mother alone it has been given, that her soul during the nine months should touch the soul of the child.
--Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

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