Friday, March 19, 2010

just grace.

R and I are still newlyweds. But when you factor in a pregnancy that happens in your newlywed time, you start counting things in dog years. So, while we are still new to this game, I can't really remember a time without him. And while I'm most always able to stop and feel gratitude for this person, some days I am more in tune than others to the true blessing that he is.

Pregnancy for me was an unexpected blessing. Not unexpected as in "surprise!" but unexpected as in, 'didn't think it would happen to me, and if it did, would take lots of work/medical help.' So any fear that we didn't wait long enough was quickly assuaged by excitement that infertility was not going to be our cross, at least for baby number one. What was a surprise was how much of a roller coaster this ride would be.

Now, no one has ever accused me of being mellow, even-keeled, relaxed, any of the words describing a non-crazy person. On a good day, I meet at least a few criteria for psych inpatient care. But throw in all the things that come with pregnancy and HOLY. COW. I could go over to and talk all day long about this process. But suffice it to say, this has been the most arduous, challenging blessing I've ever had. I would say that the most consistent challenge is the emotional pendulum. I do blame the poor babe and the hormones helping him/her bake in there. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when little bit is born and I can't blame her anymore. Maybe I'll move on to post-partum hormones as my scapegoat. Anyway, on any given day, my moods and emotions run all over the map. And who gets to try to keep up with that?  Yep. Him. The boy. The boy who I was smart enough to marry. If you have some extra prayer time...

Now I'm not minimizing how difficult this time can be for people. I will happily take my fair share of leeway and justification for my mercurial emotions. But my husband is the type of man who lives to make me happy. He lives to ensure that his home is well-cared for, from the yard to the gutters to the looney woman who lives inside. I just simply don't make it easy on him. Last night was no different. I was kind of heinous. It was one of those 'splinter' days where a number of small, seemingly mild issues stick in your side and by the end of the day, you feel like you've landed on a cactus. I will allow that I was justified in being frustrated about some of those things. Others, well, they didn't quite deserve the attention I gave them. Regardless, by evening, I was a cranky overweight pregnant woman.

Let me tell you how my husband handled that. First, he tried reason. (Then he realized who he was dealing with and smartened up.)  Then he tried avoidance, letting me stew and get over it. When I walked in to give a bad attempt at a mea culpa, he listened and tried to be supportive. But I was clearly not finished stewing so I stormed off to try to sleep away both my justified and unjustified anger. Then, sweet boy asked if I wanted to read scripture. And I yelled. The HORROR of my husband suggesting we get back to our Lenten practice of reading a chapter of the Bible each night. You would have thought he suggested taking a run or painting ourselves red, something totally ridiculous. I slammed a door and said I didn't need to read scritpure. (Yes, the picture of your two-year-old having a tantrum over "not being tired" is appropriate. )  Sweet boy proceeds to open the Bible and begin reading chapter 6 of Mark as I finally break down and sob because (... = breaths during sobs)  " ... am ... huge...and I don't want to spend any more money on maternity clothes and I feel huge and ugly and I just want to feel cute and look like the cute pregnant girl instead of the huge pregnant girl and I'm so thankful for this baby and when I think about the life inside me I feel beautiful but then I try on the work pants that fit last week and they don't fit this week and .... insert more breathless sobs. And he keeps reading. Calmly, soothingly, he read the sad story of John the Baptist's beheading and by the end of chapter 6, I was much less of a lunatic. I hugged/latched onto my husband and told him thank you and let the heavy crying eyes send me off to sleep.

As if this weren't enough, this morning I was leaving early to meet a friend for breakfast. I hugged him while he was sleeping and again, said how sorry I was that I was such a mess last night. His response. "Babe, we've talked about this. That's what grace means. You don't have to apologize again." He rolled over, told me my perfume smelled good, and was back in la la land. There was no drawn out drama, no held grudge, just grace.

The smartest decision I've ever made was to marry that boy.

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