How My Last Pregnancy Changed My Marriage
I’ve talked about my real marriage before, how it isn’t all roses and what Zach means to me. We’ve both been through our share of struggles in life, before we got together and since, but we’ve never been tested like we were the past year. Miscarriage is no joke; it takes its toll on everyone in the family but we don’t speak enough about how men suffer, beyond their own emotions, often through picking up the pieces of their broken wife and, therefore, life.
I spent a large part of that time completely codependent on Zach, which is a foreign feeling for me- and him. I’m a fairly solitary person and a very independent wife. In 11 years, I’ve called him maybe once at his office. I never call during the day, even on his cell (unless it’s for directions), which his friends, whose wives call their assistants half a dozen times marvel at, don’t ask or expect him to buy me gifts or flowers (I get my own) and prefer humor to sap.
When I’m pregnant, the ick factor escalates. I often find him annoying and intolerable so my independence heightens as well. But then the baby comes. And just like with Lilly, we became more bonded than ever once Oliver arrived. I don’t see how you can go through an experience like that- so trying, miraculous and beautiful- and not be.
In fact, we’ve been such a tight unit and in our own little bubble that I’m beside myself about him ending paternity leave next week and going back to work. It reminds me of the days we dated long-distance, at the beginning of our relationship. Every Sunday night, when he’d have to return to Texas (from NYC), I’d get depressed. It’d actually start in the morning, the clock would tick down, making it near impossible for me to enjoy the day. Yesterday, that same feeling started to creep in. We have this long, holiday weekend (which I’ll try my best to enjoy, knowing what’s looming) and then he’s back to work. He’ll miss morning movies, mid-afternoon outings, early evenings in our backyard, bath time and so much more. And we’ll miss him.
As much as I try to be tough, as much as he drives me nuts, the truth is, I don’t work without him. We don’t work without him. He makes sure my morning coffee is waiting in the fridge for when I wake, which is hours later than him, thanks to him (and my mom). Before I go anywhere, he runs out to fill up my tank so I don’t have to. This morning, he took his toothbrush and toothpaste (he is a loud sink spitter!) into the kids bathroom at 6am so he wouldn’t wake me after I finally fell asleep at 5:30 being awake with Ollie since 3. And he shoved me out of the house today to get a mani/pedi after I was housebound all day yesterday, tending to a gassy, irritable baby, causing a meltdown of my own, took Lilly to the pool so I could have a break and shopped for, cooked and cleaned up dinner tonight as he’s done most evenings.
It’s in the grocery runs, the security system he painstakingly put in place, the endless returns he makes on my behalf, the silly games he conjures up with Lilly, the little chats he already has with Ollie, the inside jokes he saves up for the exact, right, tension-breaking moment… He loves us in ways they don’t write about in romance novels or portray on the big screen. It’s subtle, silent and so much more meaningful. We are taken care of. We are supported. We are handled. We are LOVED. Deeply. Unconditionally. Endlessly. And we are lucky. So lucky for the man, husband, father and, most of all, friend he is and will continue to be, to all three of us, each in a unique, special way, none more than the other, none less. And he doesn’t get enough credit.
So, Zach, thank you. Thank you for being you. We love you.
The next time I’m being a pain in the A, you can re-read this post. 😉
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