The other day my good friend C and I went antiquing together and we talked a lot about motherhood and marriage. I mentioned that I felt like parenting had actually strengthened my marriage with Chief. Becoming a mother has forced me to not sweat the small stuff so much-who has the energy? And Chief works so hard with the baby. I wish he worked a bit harder around the house, but you can’t win them all.
Monday night we had our third night in a row of grueling bedtime. For whatever reason Charlie decided that bedtime was THE WORST and she just wasn’t doing it. This led to lots of crying in arms, frustrations, and me and Chief switching back and forth trying to get the kid in bed. At one point I was so frustrated that I put her in her bed and just had to walk out of the room for a minute. Just a minute mind you, but Chief came back and looked at me like “What’s wrong with you? Your baby is crying and you’re just standing here?”
Then later we were talking about it and I said “you understand that sometimes I just don’t know what to do and I need a minute-that’s what was going on when you walked in.” and he said “I know, but we need to figure something out.”
And it set me off. I started crying about how “WE” basically means me, because I’m the one doing all the research trying to figure this out and get the kid to sleep. I was really, really upset, overly so I now realize, and I went to bed at 8:45 because I was exhausted. At 11:30 pm I woke up nauseated thinking it was from not eating any dinner, so I ate a granola bar. With breastfeeding when my blood sugar gets low sometimes I get sick to my stomach. Then it got worse and worse. Sometimes when I have bad nausea it’s actually acid reflux. So I took two zantac. Then around 2:00 am I started vomiting. Violently vomiting. And then diarrhea. And then more vomiting. And diarrhea. And on and on and on. At one point all I was vomiting up was water, and it was the water that had barely hit my stomach.
And despite the fact that my last words to Chief had been angry, hateful ones, he emptied my barf buckets, got up with the baby when I woke her up with my violent vomiting, and stayed up with me and her all night. And then he stayed home with me from work for the last two days, drove me to the doctor, went to the store to get things I would need (and took the baby with him so I could rest), made me dinner last night (which I ate three bites of and then vomited again) and basically just did everything he was supposed to.
And I mean, that’s the deal right? He is supposed to do these things. He’s my husband, for better or worse, sickness and in health. But let’s be honest, this was a super gross few days. I’m not sure I would have handled it with the same level of grace that he has. I’ve apologized probably 20 times for various disgusting things, and he just keeps saying “Stop apologizing-you can’t help it.” Last night he came back to the bedroom to find me vomiting, naked-not an attractive sight. I had desperately cried out for him over the baby monitor because my retching had woken up the baby and I knew she was probably scared about what she was hearing. He came running back, grabbed her up, and then rubbed my back until I was done. Then he tucked me into bed, refilled my water, and got the baby back in bed.
This is the sickest I’ve ever been, at least that I can remember. My body hurt all over with aches and chills, my fever was at 102 last night and with the baby sleeping on me I was burning up. I’ve been dried out like a raisin and am just now starting to finally rehydrate. I ate real food tonight for dinner that Chief went out and got for me and I actually gave the baby her bath tonight and got her in bed myself. Thank goodness she didn’t catch this. Thank goodness Chief didn’t.
And while I would never, ever wish for something like this, it certainly has helped me realize to not take my husband for granted. I often think that he takes me for granted, but I never turn the tables around on myself and realize that I do it too. So this was my harsh reminder that while neither of us are perfect, my husband is truly my partner, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.