3.26.2009

In Good Times and in Bad

No marriage is without its fair share of bumps in the road, and I won't pretend that we've been the exception. Ours hit a major pothole when I was 7 months along with Little Miss C. Both of us felt shaken, hurt and betrayed, but at the time I was blind to anything but my own pain. I sank into a sea of hopelessness and depression, emerging only to lash out in bitterness. Attempting to sooth the sting, I convinced myself that J had never really loved me. Our marriage was a sham. A mistake. Get out, I told myself. Cut your losses.

Only I couldn't. I was pregnant.

A fact which led me to turn my rage towards God. After all, He knew this would happen. He knew I didn't feel ready to have a child. He knew I would never leave a marriage once I became a parent. And yet there I was, toting around a monstrously swollen belly, because of promptings from Him

I won't ever let this happen again, I thought. I am NEVER having another child.

Then, one night in our weekly Bradley Method class, the instructor led us in an exercise designed to prepare us for birth. "Women often say horrible things when they're in labor, especially once they hit transition. Ladies, I want you to think of some of the things that you might possibly say. Husbands, listen and remember-- don't take it personally!" 

Even in a smooth relationship, I don't imagine that such a ludicrous exercise would be healthy. J and I sat across from each other, looking one another in the eyes for the first time in days. As we did so, I could see the resignation on his face. He knew that I had no shortage of hateful things to say. And he knew I would mean them to be taken personally. I took a moment to compose my remarks, arranging the sharpest barbs so that they would cut the deepest, and to my surprise, found my resolve fading. I couldn't help it. Even if he didn't love me-- had never loved me, I still loved him.

Voice trembling, I said simply, "I wish this wasn't so hard. I wish it didn't hurt so much."

Eyes shining, he squeezed my hand in reply.

Which marked the beginning of a lot of hard work on our road to recovery and understanding.

Three years {and countless hours of therapy} later, we were driving home after signing the papers to buy our first house. I looked at J, singing with the radio as he twined his fingers with mine. I looked in the back seat at Little Miss C, her face full of sunshine and trust. Completely devoted to her Daddy, she mouthed the words to Coldplay just to be that much closer to him. And I realized that I had been wrong. J had always loved me. God had known what he was doing. If He hadn't sent Little Miss C to me, I might have run away and missed out on a joy --a marriage-- greater than I could have ever imagined possible even months before.

My eyes welled up in gratitude and humility. Turning to J, I smiled and said, "Let's have another baby." He searched my face, my words as loaded as our wedding vows, and replied with equal gravity, "Alright."

And so we did.


13 comments:

aimee heff said...

I really love and appreciate the honesty of this post. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable.

Tiffany said...

Beautiful story. Beautiful writing. Truly

Chic Runner said...

I really like this post. Thanks for sharing such deep and intense things with us!

Shawn said...

What a great story---and that last picture is divine!

TheSpanishLady said...

Good thing too cause your kids are cute. I feel grateful to have you as an example, and a sister. love you.

Scottkids said...

Great writing. Thanks for being open and sharing something that deep and personal.

Jennifer said...

I really like this post. It's honest and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Creole Wisdom said...

beautiful entry.

LisAway said...

This is just lovely. I love the pictures. I love the writing. I love how you put so much feeling and emotion, not to mention story, into such a short post. It is just lovely. (Oh, I already said that). Thanks for sharing.

Spymommy said...

Thank you for sharing such personal emotions and situations with us. As I venture through this current pregnancy and deal with my own emotional state, it is helpful to hear and process with other's situations in mind.

h. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
h. said...

I've wanted to comment on a number of posts, but never thought I had the right words. I don't really have them now, but I do want you to know that I'm happy for you. On many levels. It's difficult to see you struggle through some of the challenges you've been through, and know that there is little more for me to do but watch. It's also very inspiring to see how you go through them, and though we're encouraged to find other words to use in place of 'pride,' I can't help but feel a surge of it when I read posts like this. Nice work. I'm glad we're related.

Miggy said...

MC--

Wow--great post. And I know where you're coming from. Did you read that short Ensign article a couple months ago that had a similar angle to it? Thanks for your honesty.

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