Saturday, August 14, 2010

Loyal Sidekick

I think it must not be easy to be the husband of a pregnant woman.

When Mark drove me to the hospital to deliver Jesse, we got out of the car right at the curb. But before we could make it the few steps to the door, a contraction hit, and I sat down on a bench while it crashed over me. Two hospital personnel saw me and came over, asking, "Are you alright?" and "Do you need a wheelchair?" I totally ignored them. Didn't even lift my head to make eye contact. That's how you know you're in real labor: when you care not one itsy iota about manners or modesty or decorum or anything at all on heaven or earth beyond the drama within your own body.

In some ways the nine months of pregnancy is a progression to that moment of total self-absorption. The rest of the world matters less and less, as what's in your body grows. Resting and eating and tending to the body that houses the baby becomes ever more challenging and consuming. It's a self-absorption that's really not the same as selfishness, but still--it can't be fun to be the largely helpless sidekick of someone who becomes increasingly distant and grumpy.

Praise the heavens above, Mark has been a very, very supportive partner in Project Coda.

Exhibit A:
Today as I dragged my tired self out the door for yet more back-to-school errands, he said, "Honey, while you're out, why don't you get yourself a Diet Coke and an Arby's sandwich." Which happen to be two of my favorite self-medicating vices. (I'll admit there's a bit of his self-interest working here: he wants me to awake tonight long enough to go see Prince of Persia.)

Exhibit B:
Last night, after quietly watching me snap at yet another child, Mark gently took the kitchen broom out of my hand and said, "Why don't you go lie down while I finish this?"

Exhibit C:
Afternoon naps have become mandatory but elusive as my five kids and their two million friends cycle in and out of my house. Today I had the best nap ever, and it turned out to be thanks to this:
Mark, thank you for being my partner in all things. Especially this one.


  1. So sweet. And well put. I can;t imagine doing this without a supportive partner.

    ...And now I want an Arby's sandwich.

  2. What a cute husband an dI love the sign he made. That is so sweet and shows he really loves and cares about you!

  3. I am getting all emotional about the awesomeness of that sign. I get all emotional about everything right now, but that is really great. Alex helped me with the kids while I took two 1-1/2 hour naps a few days ago. It was SOOO nice. They are such good troopers.

  4. I bet it's easy for him. You are, after all, his dream wife. it's mutual luckiness:)