When Michael and I discovered, at the end of August, that we were pregnant with our first child, we found that we had already taken the first steps into a new covenant—not one made with words and vows, but made through the new life that God was forming within me. Marriage, we have learned, is its own type of covenant, one that requires initial promises fulfilled through daily choices. But parenthood is another type of covenant, one we are just stepping into, and in these months of preparation, a small but significant shift has started in our marriage. I know that once our daughter is out of my womb and in the world, the changes will only continue, in greater and more radical measure. But I am thankful for these months of preparation, for this time to prepare for what is ahead.
Michael and I have had a good amount of time to build rhythms and norms into our married life. For the last six-and-a-half years, it has been just the two of us. We have worked long hours, gone to multiple graduate schools, traveled long distances, and never had to think about hiring a babysitter when we went out for dinner. I have loved the pattern of our married life. I have enjoyed learning who Michael is more fully—and who I am more fully—as we have stepped with greater clarity into our adult years: our church, our careers, our community.
We married young and, as we have been told, have had the "luxury" of time on our hands for starting a family. When our daughter is born, I will be barely shy of 30 and will have been married for seven years. Several of my married friends have three-, four-, and five-year-old children.1