There is something odd, and yet beautiful in being a mother. It seems we always have so many different coats to wear: wife, mother, daughter, friend…Sometimes those coats seem to overlap, we slide from one thing to the other with little thought.
I went through a year of horrendous online dating before I met the man who became my husband. I wasn’t exactly a poster girl for the most eligible bachelorette, but none of my hold-ups were much excuse for the sort of men I met. I was 24 years old and a full time student. I worked part time, lived with my parents, was divorced, and had two children under the age of five. I’m not an unattractive woman, but men weren’t exactly beating down my door to date me. More so, I knew that I needed a companion, not just a boyfriend.
I couldn’t seem to even meet a normal, down to earth man. Things became enough of a joke around the house that my mother would sit up at night and wait for me to get home, collapse on her bed and giggle while sharing all the terrible details of my odd nights out.
Then there was the guy who asked me to hold his belt while in the mall so I wouldn’t get lost.
The man who took the menu out of my hand and ordered food for me like I was three.
The guy who took me to a movie and proceeded to move down to the front row where there was only one open seat to “see better,” leaving me alone.
The man who figured out where I worked and spent an hour walking around the store trying out different women’s lotions before finally admitting he was one of the men I had denied a date request from on an online site.
The guy who took me shopping and then proceeded to tell me how I should dress.
The gentleman who stripped naked in his parent’s living room while I used their restroom.
By the time I got around to talking to Mak, I was pretty wary of dates. A whole year of these kinds of dates will do that to a woman. I had a whole safety set-up – complete with emergency friend phone calls lined up and pepper spray.
Mak invited me over for dinner. I had such a good time that I ended up coming home and looking him up on Google and the case search program to see if he had some shady criminal past hiding. There had to be something wrong, considering my past history with online dating. He had a speeding ticket. That was it. Needless to say, I was impressed.
The next morning we had a quick conversation.
“I’m not really interested in playing around,” he said. “I like you. Let’s make this serious.”
If any other man I’d gone on a date with had said that to me I’d have gone running for the hills.
“Okay,” I said.
I don’t know why. I’d hate to chalk it up to some sort of fate thing, but maybe part of me knew he wasn’t a psycho killer. Maybe there was some deeper connection. Maybe I was just really brave.
Within a few weeks he had met my children and included them in our outings.
A few months later was Easter and I was scrawling ‘I love you’ onto an egg and hiding it in the fridge.
“Go get the orange egg out of the fridge,” I told him.
He got up and I heard the fridge door open. After a moment it closed again and he came back to the couch.
“Well…” I started.
“Well what?” He asked.
“What did you think?” I asked. It was the first time I’d attempted to tell the man I loved him and he was being completely stubborn about the whole thing.
“It’s cute,” he said.
“And…” I lead him.
“I love you, too,” he said. “You know that.”
By the end of the year he had moved in. We were blessed in our relationship. There hadn’t been many of the big challenging moments. His father passed a few weeks before our wedding, but it was expected, and while we mourned it hadn’t surprised us. Their relationship had been so strained, for so long. It was the first time though that I ever saw him cry – a moment that I think is imprinted in my memory. There is something about seeing a strong man mourn, something heartbreaking and frightening and so real it hurts that one simply doesn’t forget it.
I remember standing by his father’s bed. He sat in a chair across the room from me. I went to him, but he didn’t reach for me. I stepped back – gave him space. I didn’t know how to handle his grief. He took a few moments to himself and I watched him. I watched the years, the pain, the neglect from that relationship wash away. For those few moments there was love.
There hadn’t been many of those bring-you-to-your-knees moments. We didn’t even really fight or argue. We were thankful to have found a companion in one another that shared a similar sense of humor. Laughter got us through any time things seemed to be getting dark.
He stepped into the role of father as if it were all he’d ever known. It was never a look-at-me exercise, but came naturally. There was a gaping hole in our little family and he saw it, stepped into it, and never looked back. It was in the quiet way he made that transition that still never fails to amaze me.
He has a silent strength in him. A code of ethics that can’t be argued or even discussed. They simply are.
Perhaps it’s because of his quiet nature that people find him intimidating. Combining that with the sleeves of tattoos and long dark hair, it’s quite understandable. However, anyone watching him drink tea from a tiny porcelain cup with my daughter would realize how wrong they are.
Four years after that first date and I was talking to my brother in California, planning his trip home to visit.
“When is he coming home?” Mak asked.
“The end of June,” I said.
“Good,” he said. “We’ll get married then.”
Proposal. Date set. End of discussion.
I had a month to get everything planned and ready.
I love you, too. You know that.
After our wedding we decided to have a baby. A few short months later and I was excitedly waving those little pink lines around in the air. We were so excited we told everyone.
We were at his mother’s for a belated Thanksgiving dinner when I started miscarrying. My husband had the kids in the car while I stood white knuckled on the phone with the emergency room and watched my father-in-law toss the kids’ toys into their book bags. Hours and many tests later the doctor gave us the news.
“There’s no heartbeat.”
I’d known when I saw her face. I’d been crying since she came into the room. I looked across the room at my husband. I expected him to get up, to come to me. The doctor left and he still sat there for a few moments. In that space between us I watched him break, hit his emotional knees, mourn, and grieve. I watched him as he cared for himself and then he came to me. He put himself behind and cared for me.
For the following days he held me while I cried and found whatever ways he could to make me smile. We found laughter in the darkest moments. We suffered. We healed.
We spent months talking back and forth about whether or not to try again. The entire process had frightened him so badly. I learned to appreciate what pregnancy can do to a man. It’s a terrifying situation, especially for one who tends to like to be in control of things. There is no control with pregnancy.
He couldn’t see what was happening inside my body.
He couldn’t control what was happening.
He couldn’t stop me from being in pain, from hurting.
All he could do was be there and hope that I would heal.
“I’m not sure we should try again,” Mak said.
We were lying in bed, the lights off and waiting for one or both of us to become too tired to keep talking.
“We’ve got a girl and a boy,” he started. “You know? Maybe that’s enough.”
“You don’t want one of your own?” I asked.
“They are my own,” he said.
A few nights later we were repeating this whole thing again. It was like a record skipping, playing backwards, flinging all over the place. I never knew where we’d end up.
“We could try again,” he said.
“We’re not doing anything to stop it from happening,” I answered.
“If it does, it does,” he’d agree.
Three months of this back and forth indecision plagued us.
Finally he said, “I don’t think we should try again.”
“I’m pregnant,” I said.
We collapsed against one another laughing. For weeks we were quiet. We were so careful not to tell people too early. We went to each appointment with our heart in our throats. Every test was a negative, dangerous thing. Every symptom I had was cause to worry. We struggled to find joy.
Mak kept warning me not to get my hopes up.
I kept countering that he needed to not think so negatively.
We flew past each other, both of us on separate ends of our own emotional roller-coasters.
“Are you happy about the baby?” I finally asked him.
“Of course,” he said. “You know that.”
I love you, too. You know that.
I am five months pregnant today. A few weeks ago we went to the doctor and we got to hear the heartbeat. The tiny whomp whomp whomp sound filled the room. I was laid back on the bed watching my husband. He didn’t stand up and come to me. For a few moments, he sat there and smiled. I watched him in this moment of joy and excitement and relief. I watched him take that moment for himself and then he came to me.
He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work. He tells me he loves me before we fall asleep. He doesn’t have to say that he loves me. I know he does. All I need are those few moments, where there is space between us and I have the chance to really see my husband. It is in those moments that I get to watch him love.
By the end of it though, we got to see baby and find out that everything looks good. Baby is healthy and active and looking just right for 12 weeks.
I showed the husband the pictures and he laughed and said it still looks like a mutant. I told him that he wouldn’t be very pretty stuck in water for that long either.
In his defense, the 3D images of the baby were relatively frightening (hence why I am not posting them). Baby will be beautiful…in a few more months when it gets here and we can dry it off and dress it and such things.
You want me to be one of those women who “Ooo” and “Aahh” over little grey film of something I still need help deciphering as to what part is what of this amazingly ever-changing little being?
That’s not me.
I’m not even the happy pregnant type.
I’m the…give me my baby and let me get on with the mommy thing type.
It drives me nuts to keep saying “baby.”
I’m ready to say a name. And we’ve got names picked out. So let’s have some fun with this, since I can’t find out for six more weeks if this is a baby Lily or a baby Tommy.
I want you to guess!
Leave your guess in the comments below and in six more weeks all those who guessed right will win a free ebook copy of my newest book, Perjury.
I was sitting here thinking today about all the things I wanted to make sure I tell my daughter at some point. I’m not talking the ooie-gooey things like, “I love you” or “You’re beautiful”. I’m talking the real, down and dirty tricks that I’ve picked up over the years.
This post may be full of generalizations, profanity, and of course sex. We’ll rate it “R” for Ridiculously Awesome.
1. Ignore every commercial you see for those fancy women’s razors. Skip that department completely and go straight for the men’s. Regardless of what they say, men’s razors always work better.
Also, it is perfectly acceptable to go without shaving your legs, as long as you are wearing pants and/or the hair is short enough to not poke through your pantyhose.
2. Speaking of pantyhose…it will never be comfortable. Ever. You can save yourself a bit of pain and buy one size up from what the little box-from-hell says you need. Doing this will not, however, pull in nice and tight all the areas you may be wanting nice and tight. For that, you’re going to need Spanx.
No need to be afraid. Spanx are basically like packing your own sausage.
3. Oh yes, home-made sausage and fresh pasta and God only know what else his mother makes that you never quite manage to get right. Give up. Give up now. He will always compare your cooking to his mother’s, and she will win in almost every category. There is something inside a man’s head that makes him nostalgic for the meals he had growing up (even if his mother could barely manage Kraft in the blue box). There are ways to combat the feelings of anger this will cause you.
– Do not ask for your mother-in-law’s recipes, or to teach you how to make a certain dish. In fact, compliment her always on her food (Wine helps). This will do two things: irritate her and confuse the balance that she expects to be in place.
– Take comfort in knowing that if you have a son, somewhere out there is a woman who will feel exactly like you when your son says, “It’s not like my mother’s makes”.
– Offer to house-sit for your in-laws and have sex with your husband in their kitchen. Then when you are over for dinner, just think back on that experience and smile. (Pass the wine.)
4. Instead of worrying about his mother’s cooking, focus on learning one meal really well. I’m talking entree, at least two sides, salad, soup, bread, and desert. Master that meal. Work at it until it is perfect. This will be your go-to meal. Your company is coming over meal. Your his mother is visiting meal. Your time to give the husband the credit card statement meal.
5. Learn to walk in heels. Go out and buy six inch stiletto platform hooker shoes. Put them on and walk on them until you have nailed those monsters. This way you will be prepared for whenever the husband (or anyone else) gives you a pair of heels. If you can master those, you can handle any, and are therefore less likely to spend weeks walking around in your new gift like a drunken flamingo.
6. Your children will hit an age where they practically become a parrot. And like any wild animal, you either muzzle them or toss food bits at them until they shut up.
7. Your body is your own, guard it. Until you have children, then anything you might be delirious enough to believe is still yours, isn’t.
8. At some point, someone in your life is going to offer you drugs. There are certain steps I want you to take before you accept them.
– Look at the person giving them to you…very carefully. Pay attention to detail here.
– Imagine yourself having sex with them in the next hour.
– Imagine your having sex with them without protection.
– Imagine getting pregnant with them.
– Imagine them 50, balding, and changing the diaper of your sixth child on the ripped couch in your trailer, while the rest of your kids are in the backyard shooting BB guns and attempting to tie each other up with duct tape. Oh, and you’re in a floral moo-moo.
– Turn around and walk away very quickly.
* The same applies to alcohol in excess. Except when you grow up. Then flip the image and imagine all your housework. Drink wine until the image disappears.
9. Finally, before you ever consider some life-long venture with a man, consider these things:
– Sex sucks the first time.
– Sex sometimes sucks the first couple of times. There’s a reason one-night stands normally stay that way. It takes a bit of time to actually learn one another well enough to have amazing sex.
– That didn’t apply to your father and I…and yes, we were a one-night stand turned marriage.
– Your father and I are NOT the role model in this situation.
– All the sex stuff aside, if they aren’t the kind of man you’d want to introduce to your father…best to just let that one go.
– If they don’t treat you the way you see your father treat me, run.
– If they put their hands on you, experience tells me crock-pots can be dangerous as hell. Make your way to a kitchen and it’ll be like running into the Matrix armory.
– If they cheat on you, they will do it again. If you’re the girl they cheated on someone with, they’ll cheat on you, too.
– If their pants sag, I WILL make them a soprano for life. You’ve been warned.
– If you can’t laugh with them, lose them.
– If you can’t laugh at them, trip them 😀
And finally, let me just say…
You are not allowed to look at your body and say, “I don’t like -insert body part here-“.
A few months ago, the husband and I went through a terrible loss. After multiple trips to the doctor and finally getting the green light for some quality time of the midnight-everyone-is-sleeping-we-still-have-to-be-quiet variety, I took the doc’s advice and went out and bought spermicide.
Let me just interject here and say that we are obviously two people who are simply not meant to use any form of contraceptive except implanted birth controls. Truly, our brains are simply not wired for this stuff.
But the doc said no baby making for two months, so we wanted to get in some practice before we catch that next green light. It was sort of like a Christmas present. Insert spermicide.
I read the instructions and proceeded to remove the applicator and try to fill that thing with the gel stuff. It was like packing my own tampon. I finally called in the reinforcements, which is when we realized that the applicator doesn’t come together in the way it is supposed to be used. You have to take it apart. Switch it around.
After I’d already filled the plunger part halfway with gel.
Yay. Let’s make a mess.
Finally, between the two of us, we managed to get the thing filled and then I continued with my instruction reading:
It is best to lay on your back, with your knees bent to insert.
Of course I read this out loud. Which is about when I get laughter and this from the husband:
Head down. Arms in. Knees apart.
I mean, as if the romance wasn’t already flowing at this point, now we were collapsed into fits of laughter that made it impossible for me to even attempt to insert this thing. There’s nothing so hot as watching a chick on her back, knees apart, clutching a syringe-looking thing of spermicide while she is laughing uncontrollably, eyes-watering and make-up running.
Insert as far as is comfortable.
Gotcha. So I did, let out a loud ouch, and got:
That’s not comfortable. Back ‘er up.
At this point I was giving serious consideration to slapping him into the moment. I mean, as if this whole thing weren’t stressful hilarious enough, he has to jump in with his little comments. I kept thinking about my mother telling me her horror stories using this stuff. She and my father tried it one time…
By the way, these are the kinds of conversations that put your children in need of therapy. Just saying.
…and my father had some sort of reaction. He supposedly jumped up and ran off with his necessary love-making parts on fire. They obviously didn’t use spermicide again, and we were left with an ungodly amount of fear.
Yes. Let’s add liquid fire in here. Not like it’s sensitive or anything. This should be fun.
So, we finally get everything in where it is supposed to be and I read the rest of the instructions.
Product is active immediately after use and for up to one hour.
Crap, we only got an hour! We gotta go! Hurry up! C’mon! -Me
That’s really romantic.
I won’t fill you in on the rest of the messy details…except to say that at the end of the this tale, we didn’t get our happily ever after.
We got towels and attempted to wipe clean every surface of our bodies.
The husband and I have been butting heads all Christmas season it seems. He wants to do more and more and more than I think is even necessary. So when my mother and I discussed whether we were going to do stockings for the adults this year (something the husband and I normally take care of), we figured we’d save some money and not bother with them. It isn’t as if they are full of things we all desperately need, or even that stockings are that important for the adults. It’s just something we normally do, and didn’t think we needed to continue to do.
I told the husband we were going to skip stockings for the adults this year.
And he flipped. Now, when I say “flipped” for the husband’s reactions, it means he gave me Eyebrow of Doom, growled a bit, and informed me that the foot was down and the stockings were happening.
Fine. The stockings are happening.
And then I spoke to a friend, who informed me in the nicest way possible that I was basically being an inconsiderate biatch.
You took a man with none of this. No real family life. No traditions. None of it, and you gave him all of that. You don’t get to take it back.
It made me stop and think. All these little things we do during the holidays that have become just a thing to me, mean something to him. They mean something, because we took him in. We made him part of our family. We drug him through our little traditions, and now he is defending them. He’s defending them because he’s got the caveman personality. This is his family, his Christmas. He’s the defender on the wall of our little one-story castle.
And here I’ve been, poking holes at it with my dull little javelin.
We didn’t make him part of this.
No. The gift my husband gave me is that he made all this something that was finally whole.
It may be hard to tell here, but you can almost see the Eyebrow of Doom.
Now, I get the raised eyebrow a lot. Normally it means one of three things:
1. I’m getting ready to get scolded. -In my best the husband voice-
The foot is down.
2. I did something stupid, which means the eyebrow raises only long enough for him to let me know I did something stupid. It’s like the warning shot before the laughter and endless teasing follows.
or 3. I was wrong.
I don’t like that last one.
See, I can handle when “the foot is down”, because this white chick and her lack of rhythm can pull off some fancy dance moves to get around that one. Hence why the daughter is getting the One Direction bed set she asked for…regardless of the many “foot downs” that took place.
And I can handle doing something stupid, because…it’s me. I’ve gotten used to that about myself.
I don’t like that last one. I don’t like to be wrong. I like it even less, because when I finally have to admit it the eyebrow goes up, as does the corner of the mouth in that little I-knew-it smirk, and I get the silent, twinkling of the eye that is the equivalent of some Greek grandmother wagging a finger in my face and yelling “I told you so!” It’s the cone of shame, dammit.
So, when we went to Walmart and I see a lady standing at the end of the row where the cash registers are looking all friendly and helpful like the Walmart people do standing there when they have no costumers and are ready to wait on someone…
Me: Oooh, look there’s a lady open down there.
The husband: I think that’s self-checkout.
Me: No it’s not. C’mon. -To the Walmart lady.- Are you open?
Oh! And that’s AFTER he found the shirts that I swore they were sold out of, because I couldn’t find them anywhere, except I neglected to look in the main aisle where there were stacks of the neon horrors.
Or when we argued the whole way home about this video for Adrenalize by In This Moment. We both might have a bit of a girl crush on the lead singer…
And so I swore that in the beginning of the video she was walking out in her nurse outfit with a rabbit mask on. He said no, it was some almost faceless, nude colored mask.
I pulled up the video on my phone, but the screen is so small (not small enough that I couldn’t tell it wasn’t a rabbit mask, but small enough that I shoved it back into my pocket and thought to delay until we got home)…
So he pulled it up on his bigger, fancier phone.
Yeah. But there are rabbit masks…later in that video. If you watch the whole thing.
And then tonight happened. You see, while we were at Walmart I grabbed The Dark Knight out of a $5 bin thinking the kids would love to see it. It’s Batman. Of course they’d love it.
The husband: That’s a little old for them.
Me: It’s Batman! It’s fine.
The husband: It’s violent, and the Joker is a little intense in that one.
Me: Oh, pfft. They’ll be fine.
The Dark Knight came on TV today, and so I let the son sit down and watch it with me.
The son: The Joker is killing a lot of people.
The son: He said son of a…
Which is when I slapped a hand over his mouth, shook my head no repeatedly, and turned on SpongeBob.
I forgot how scary that guy was.
And then my mother…my traitorous mother (I say that with love and affection) TOLD THE HUSBAND about the Batman catastrophe…
Today sucked. I mean, in most aspects…it completely sucked.
After a trip to the doctor’s, we found out that the natural route we opted for has not finished and we are not yet over the physical part with the miscarriage.
So…when I believed at least the pain was behind me, I realize it hasn’t even truly begun. It’s like walking around with a time bomb ticking away inside me and having to wait and see.
Will it happen today?
Will the husband be home or will I be alone?
I can’t go to the store. What if it happens while I am there?
Here, let me move that couch. Maybe heavy lifting will get it started tonight?
I should sit down. I don’t want it to start now.
So, it is ups and downs as I feel like Mother Nature is winging me around on her own personal yo-yo. It’s a pathetic Miley Cyrus on the wrecking ball imitation and I needed something to shift this pendulum in a new direction.
The dress came in. It looks this good in person. Better even, because it didn’t fit.
I ordered the same size, from the same company that I got my wedding dress back in June.
And this dress was a full size too big. I admit. Part of me was extremely happy to push it back into the plastic bag and prepare to ship it off for an exchange from Amazon. Oh pendulum push.
And then these came. It was like package heaven here.
And they fit.
And I smiled as I handed them to the husband and told him he could wrap them and stick them under the tree.
Because tomorrow there will be no party for me to go to. I will stay home for the hours, the days, the weeks this may take.
I will bake cookies.
I will wrap presents.
I will cook dinner for my children.
I will pack lunch for my husband.
I will fold laundry and do dishes.
And in a few weeks I will open a package with a kick ass pair of shoes in it and I will wear them for my husband.
And I will love him.
And everything will go up and down, because that’s how it goes.
So, I’ll lift my chin, square my shoulders and give the pendulum a little push with my gold toned stilettos.
This whole transition to staying home/not working outside of the house, and then becoming pregnant and being SO sick…I’ve gotten lazy.
I didn’t want to say it.
I didn’t want to admit it.
But I have.
I can’t remember the last time I put on make-up, just because. Or that I thought, ‘Hmmm…let’s wear jeans.’ Nope. I’ve been rocking the husband’s sweatpants and sleepy pants for a solid couple of months.
I wear them to the doctor’s.
To the kid’s school.
To the store.
I might as well have been wearing a big neon sign saying, “I GIVE UP” or these. I could have worn these:
I knew it was bad, when we got invited to the husband’s aunt’s annual Christmas party. It’s one of the few excuses we have to get dressed up during the holiday season, since we’re more stay-at-home-ers than travel-all-over-ers. (Oh my grammar this morning…-facedesk-)
The husband doesn’t like to get dressed up, but he will if I do. So when I told him I ordered something to wear for the party, he gave me the one eyebrow raised, oh-shit-she’s-snapped-finally look.
I may or may not have stomped my feet and attempted to defend my case, in which he finally agreed with me in some effort to probably get me to shut up.
The point is…I ordered a dress. And because he loves me, he is giving me an early present and ordered me a pair of kick ass shoes to go along with said dress.
Then I went out and bought hair dye. And I’m going to paint my nails.
I’m going for epic transformation here.
And I figure…
So fingers are crossed as the dress and shoes arrive in the mail today, for the party tomorrow…
What about you? Ever feel like giving yourself a total transformation? Ever slide into habits of laziness and have to kick that crap to the curb? Have boobs like Jessica Rabbit and aren’t sharing? Tell me about it!
My son has a fascination with numbers. He hasn’t quite figured out how they work yet, but I’m hoping that this inclination towards math continues for him. It’s never been my strong suit, and I dread the years coming when he asks for help with his homework and I realize it is a math I couldn’t pass in college.
Numbers like six thousand four seven eighty nine nine and five two hundred ninety seven five three are the normal way of describing things around my house.
The alligator was ninety eleven thousand pounds old.
I weigh seventy nine two and three years.
It’s two thousand million six ways that way.
So tonight we had this…
Dude: Can you get a new baby tomorrow?
Me: No. Not tomorrow. Daddy and I are going to wait for a little bit before we try to make another baby.
Dude: Like eleven seventy-five bits.
Me: Like sixty to ninety bits.
Dude: That’s like next this week.
And since we live in a home where everything always happened “yesterday” and everything is happening “tomorrow”, I realized for him, next week is forever. So I didn’t argue the point, or try to explain days and weeks and months. I didn’t mess with his little realm of reality and the small ‘bits’ of it he gets right now. I’m glad he asks me questions. I’m glad he knows he can.
Maybe he got it from the husband. I have to say, as bad as things got yesterday for me, the husband was his normal, dependable self…though inquisitive, to say the least.
I started having contractions yesterday, so we knew what the doctor referred to as the “big event” (terrible choice of words, doc) was on its way, and we hoped to soon be finished with the physical aspects of this loss so we could go back to dealing with the emotional parts of it.
Before I continue, the husband and I share an amazing quality: we laugh.
We laugh about everything.
We laugh about nothing.
We laugh about inappropriate things.
We laugh to deal with the crap around us.
We laugh to deal with each other.
We laugh when we are angry, or sad, or frustrated.
We laugh when we are in pain.
We laugh, because that’s how we deal and that’s who we are.
So yesterday, while I was curled up in the bed in the middle of increasingly intense contractions, I looked over and saw…basically this:
Once I was done yelling curses into my fluffy pillow, I began to laugh. I had forgotten that this would have been the husband’s first baby…It was the first pregnancy he’d been through.
He’d never seen a woman in labor.
So seeing me, having contractions and crying out in pain was not a good moment for him. He was literally pulling the blanket over his head every time a wave rolled around and would only peek over the edge when I got quiet again.
Which meant every time a contraction passed, I would fall onto the bed laughing helplessly at the big, strong man hiding and looking about as helpless as a kitten.
Eventually, the laughter stopped though. The contractions got worse, I was told to go to the E.R., I began hemorrhaging…The husband became less the frightened man and more the man growling in the waiting room every time someone’s name was called besides mine. He became the frightening man in the triage department when he found out there were no beds available for me, and they were going to have to give me morphine in some back room in a chair.
And twenty minutes later I’m in an actual bed, high as a kite, and fighting with the finger/pulse monitor thing they had on me, while he continued to get frustrated with me and say multiple times:
Put your hand down. Leave it alone. Stop it before you break it! Leave it alone!
And I laughed at him.
Because that’s what we do.
And as the night progressed and the doctor gave us a clean bill of health, and I was feeling better, safer, saner…I realized just one more reason to add to that long list of reasons I love the husband.
REASON NUMBER SIX THOUSAND FOUR SEVEN EIGHTY NINE NINE
The husband isn’t afraid to ask me questions. And so when he asked me to explain exactly what had been happening to my body and to the baby, I did. I walked him through the entire process, of what we thought could have happened to the baby, about how the body takes care of these things.
And there’s something almost comforting in that…in the breaking it down. I knew what had happened to my body, and while we’ll never know exactly what happened to our baby, talking it through was like lifting a weight. It let me step back for a second. It let me take the fear out of the situation (and made me wish I’d talked to him before the process had begun). It made me feel closer to him in those moments, when he wasn’t afraid to ask me questions.
And maybe he won’t want to talk about it any more, and that’s okay. I don’t much want to talk about it either. And maybe we’ll both laugh and poke fun at me high on morphine, or his hiding under the blanket technique. Hell, that’s not even a maybe. We will.
Because that’s what we do.
And that’s who we are.
And it’s just reason number six thousand four seven eighty nine nine why I love him.