I received a note from a young wife expecting her first baby; she told me that people say to her having a child has led many couples to divorce, because of the hardships of life with a little one. I wrote about this when I was pregnant with Shira, and I feel even more strongly now about what I said back then.
Please don't let anyone discourage you while you anticipate such a wonderful, beautiful, precious blessing. As a new mother I can tell you that yes, bringing a child into this world and adjusting to a new little one in your home is a challenge, but it's so worth it.
I think it's all about one's attitude towards marriage and family. In a marriage where each spouse only thinks of personal gain, and what they can get from the other, any circumstance that requires to put one's needs aside might easily result in unbearable strain on the marriage relationship. I believe it applies not only to welcoming a child, but also to changes such as illness, loss of employment, moving and so on.
To put it simply, children don't ruin marriages - but they definitely test our capability to stick together through thick and thin, which is impossible without a giving heart and a great deal of sacrificial love.
My husband's generous heart shone beautifully throughout my pregnancy. He displayed love, patience and devotion, constantly. When I struggled with morning sickness, he told me to let go of everything and just rest. When I fainted one Friday, he took care of all the preparations for Shabbat. He accompanied me to all the important check-ups, often having to make complicated arrangements at work for that. He was there throughout my labor, supporting and loving me every minute.
Now that we have a baby, I get to see and appreciate my husband's caring and giving heart even more. Every day when he goes to work, he tells me to rest and sleep; he never complains about lack of proper dinner, or about the floors not being mopped for weeks. He works hard, long hours, but instead of grumbling or bickering about who has the heavier load, he only thinks about how he can help.
Our little one started having colic recently, and sometimes she cries for hours, day and night. When my husband comes home, he doesn't say, "my shift is done"; he holds and soothes and comforts her, sometimes until late at night, so I can get some rest - even though he is the one who has to get up and go to work the next day. It warms my heart to see the patience and love flowing from him to our baby girl.
All this makes me feel even stronger that we are a team. The way my husband takes upon the joys and responsibilities of fatherhood makes me see him in a new angle, and love him deeply in the way of a new and very special bond. I thought I was in love with my husband when I married him, but it's nothing compared to how I love him now.
Having a child has blessed our marriage; I'm certain it will bless any marriage built on strong foundations of giving, caring, generous love. I hope you, too, fall even deeper in love with your dear husband in the upcoming months of your pregnancy and the birth of your precious baby.