I promise to always be faithful to you, honest with you, and understanding and accepting of you. I will strive to comfort you and support you through life's sorrows and joys, in good times and in bad, in plenty and in want, through illness and in health. I will forgive you as we have been forgiven. I will love you unconditionally, respect you, trust you, laugh with you and cry with you, learn with you and grow with you as together we build a home centered on Christ's love and compassion. I promise to always love, honor, and cherish you for as long as we both live.
On June 14, 2008, Robert and I stood before friends and family and read these vows we had written together. We would never have expected that less than three years later we’d be where we are now or just how much these vows would mean in light of what’s ahead of us. Most of this blog has been my ramblings, my worries and fears, my hopes and dreams and my updates. But there’s a remarkable unsung hero behind it all and he deserves a little recognition.
Robert has loved me so well through this pregnancy. I can’t even begin to imagine becoming a mother without him as the father. When we first found about Clara’s diaphragmatic hernia we were both devastated. It was the kind of news that could have driven a couple apart with fear and sadness and grief. But instead, we clung to each other with a tenaciousness and desperation that has just made me so terribly grateful for this man I married. When I feel overwhelmed or panicked or sad, he is the one who is strong for me. He allows me to cry, he holds me when I’m broken, he reassures me of our hope and faith without ever belittling or discounting what I might be feeling. He is a rock. His calm and peaceful spirit has sustained me and comforted me through the darkest of times. He is so patient and forgiving and understanding of me. (An email I got from him last week said, “Is there a reason that there’s a full jar of jelly in the sink?” Yes. It’s pregnancy brain. Thank you for putting it away.)
He has cooked meals so I could sleep on the couch and cleaned them up when I still couldn’t manage to get up. He has made runs to the drug store to buy medicine for me without complaint of the time of night. He has rubbed hydrocortisone cream all over my rash-covered body and covered me with ice packs to soothe the itching when I couldn’t sleep. He has listened to more vomiting than any one man should ever have to endure and brought me crackers and Sprite at all hours of the night. He has gone to sleep in the guest room so that I could have the whole bed to myself and my pillow fort. He has painted Clara’s room and assembled her furniture and endured hours in Babies R Us while I contemplated which carseat, stroller, highchair or pack n play would be best. He has offered his frustration and annoyance that parking lots rarely have “expectant mother parking” (even though I’ve told him I can still walk; I’m pregnant, not handicapped!). He has fussed at me for licking the bowl of raw brownie batter for fear that I’d give Clara salmonella poisoning. He has refilled my ice water ten thousand times. He has arranged his work schedule to be with me at doctor’s appointments, even when it hasn’t been necessary, but just because I seem to constantly carry fear of “bad news.” He has installed a new faucet in Clara’s bathtub so it will be easier to give her baths once she’s home. He has held me while I cry. He has rubbed my back when I cannot sleep. He has prayed for me and with me and over me. He continues to tell me I’m beautiful even when I know for a fact I’m not. He has extended grace to me countless times for things I have forgotten, broken, burned, or ruined. He has made me laugh when I just need to be distracted. He has let me watch USA shows when he really prefers FX. He has carried girly tote bags in public when he deemed them too heavy for me. He has checked the temperature of my bath because he worries that I take them too hot for baby. He has taken me out on dates. He always drives, even after he’s sometimes spent 6+ hours driving that day for his job, just because he knows I don’t like to. He’s stayed up late to finish chores around the house I didn’t get to. He’s woken up early just because he knows I don’t like leaving for work while he’s still sleeping. He went to birthing classes with me and watch horrific videos and still promises to stand by my side through labor and delivery. He has worked so hard to earn as much money as possible so we can save for Clara’s medical expenses. He has even quit drinking much beer, for the sake of the budget. He has run up and down the stairs to get things for me so I don’t have to. He has skipped out on opportunities to go kayaking or climbing to spend time with me instead. And a million other things. He has loved me well. He has lived in to those vows in a way I would never have dreamed would be necessary or possible. Clara doesn’t know how lucky she is to have him for a daddy. Because as much as he loves me, I’m sure he’ll love her even more. Just imagine what he’ll do for her….
|Baby Daddy, ready to hold Clara in his arms....|