First-Time Expectant Parents

By Suzanne Gosselin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
If you and your spouse are expecting your first baby, you will face a lot of challenges. But it will all be worth it.

“Everything’s going to change.”

People seemed delighted to tell us this when they found out we were expecting for the first time. To my husband, Kevin, and me, these words seemed more like an ominous warning than a wondrous prediction The idea of such life-altering change stirred up resistance in my spirit. I knew things would change a little, of course, but certainly everything wouldn’t change.

One thing I was confident would not change was my relationship with Kevin. He and I met in a fairy-tale fashion one Sunday evening (as he made my latte at Starbucks), and our courtship and marriage swiftly followed suit.

We both love children and were hoping to have a family, so six months into marriage, when we learned a baby would be joining us, we were overjoyed. We were also still solidly in the honeymoon phase. Though we had heard stories about how a baby changes things, I stubbornly refused to believe that pregnancy and the birth of a child would disturb our “perfect” marriage.

While not every couple starts a family as soon after marriage as we did, every couple will face their own relational adjustments as they negotiate the season of pregnancy and the one following the baby’s arrival. Although God’s plan for each couple and family is different, my belief that absolutely nothing would change in our marriage was . . . well, mistaken.

Not only were others intent on telling us that everything would change, but they also were fond of telling us their parental “horror stories.” For example, they would recount the chilling tale of their 38-hour labor experience or Junior’s epic blowout on the airplane.

Sleep in, they would tell us. Go to the late movie. Look deeply into one another’s eyes, because those days are coming to an end . . . forever (or at least the next 18 years). Soon the most interesting thing in your life is going to be the bodily fluids emerging from your newborn. And before you know it, your greatest desire won’t be for a tropical vacation or a new car but for an hour of uninterrupted sleep . . . or even just a shower.

Mercifully, those days will pass, they would continue, only to be replaced by years on end when you’ll completely lose your own identity (particularly in the eyes of the child’s grandparents, formerly known as your parents), your days will revolve around naptime (Baby’s, not yours, unfortunately), and all your worldly goods will be systematically destroyed by your little “blessing” and/or permeated by Cheerios, raisins, or unidentifiable crumbs.

It’s enough to panic any expectant couple. Like us, you may begin to wonder if all your former happiness as a couple is about to slip away.

What those well-meaning naysayers neglect to tell you is that it’s worth it.

Let that sink in for a minute. It’s worth it.

And as you follow the development of your little one inside the womb and plan for the joys of welcoming him or her, you are likely more in tune with the miraculous nature of parenthood than those in the throes of child rearing.

Ashley, a mother of two, says: “There is absolutely no way –zero– that you can understand how much you will love your child until you have a child.”

So while things are going to change, let me assure you that entering into the adventure of parenthood is not the end; it’s only the beginning. And it is so worth it.

Adapted from Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers Inc. Copyright © 2014 by Focus on the Family.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Suzanne Gosselin

Suzanne Hadley Gosselin is a regular writer and editor for Focus on the Family and former editor of Clubhouse Jr. magazine. She has written books for Zondervan, Harvest House, and Tyndale, and is the author of Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood. Suzanne is also the co-author of Grit and Grace: Devotions for Warrior Moms. She lives …

You May Also Like

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.

If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.