Category: Marriage

Six Years

It’s wedding season! I am seeing so many couples getting married on my Facebook feed the past few weekends and it’s making my heart happy. Being married is so much fun – well, most the time if you did it right. It is hard to believe that tomorrow S. and I are celebrating SIX years of marriage!

This past year has been, by far, the hardest on us. It was about this time last year that S. starting having dizzy spells and chest pains leading us on this journey to a diagnosis of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and ultimately open heart surgery two weeks ago. If you had told us, standing in front of our family and friends, six years ago we would have been sitting in a hospital for a week scheduling pain medication, looking for a cardiac rehab and figuring out follow up appointments – we both would have laughed. No one plans for these huddles in a marriage, but this hurdle has changed us as a couple. We both have learned our true strength individually and together which I find so empowering. Our hardest year has been my favorite so far. But if we could keep our seventh year less … busy … I would be okay with that.

So as we celebrate six years of marriage, I leave you with this reading from our wedding:

“But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.” ― Madeleine L’Engle, The Irrational Season


Friday Five: Wedding Edition

As of today I have been married for FIVE YEARS! That doesn’t seem long considering we started dating 10 years ago. I usually spend our anniversary reading our wedding ceremony and flipping through pictures. The best part of the wedding (I mean, aside from getting married) was our ceremony. We are Unitarians and had it pretty free and easy with the ceremony structure. It was really a FUN day because it was what we wanted. So for today’s Friday Five, in no particular order, here are my five favorite memories from September 25, 2010.

{The Ceremony} Like I mentioned, we wrote our own ceremony and I truly love each aspect of it. We mixed in a few different traditions from different cultures like stomping the glass and a wine ceremony. We spent a lot of time talking about our reading and how to pull everything that was special to us into a quick ceremony.


{My Girls} I decided I didn’t want to be Bridezilla – it wasn’t my style, so I didn’t want any bridemaid drama either. Lucky for me my three closest girl friends were of the ‘drama free’ mentality too. My Maid of Honor was my sister-in-law and best friend who tells it like it is. My cousin and best friend from growing up were my bridesmaids who were equally fun and organized. They really made the process not only hilarious, but relatively stress free from start to finish.

PicMonkey Collage

{Yichud} When you tell people about your upcoming wedding they tend to mention not eating. Well I like to eat and we paid a lot of money for the amazing food (pasta and fajita bar) so I was going to eat. I also wanted to spend some solo time with my new husband. Enter the tradition of the Yichud. The term “yichud” also refers to a ritual during an Ashkenazi Jewish wedding in which the newly married couple spends a period secluded in a room by themselves. We are not orthodox, but liked the idea of 15 minutes alone. Since we got married in an opera house, we used a dressing room. We had a plate of food and let our amazing photographer, Laura Dye, in to snap a few candids and then we just talked about random stuff. We hadn’t seen each other in a few days and just had this huge life altering event. This might be my favorite memory of the day.


{The Candy Bar} So this wedding fad of having a candy bar for guests? I was 110% in. Since the vibe of the wedding was ‘vintage’ my sainted Mother scoured the internet for throwback candy.  It looked AWESOME and it was a hit as a thank you for our guests.


{My Brother} I have one brother who thought it was a good idea to follow in my dad’s footsteps and be a Seabee in the Navy. The Navy tends to dictate every bit of a military family’s life – even the extended family. My brother was in training and flew in at some ungodly hour the day of my wedding and flew out at some ungodly hour the morning after. Having him there meant so much to me, I couldn’t imagine him not standing up there.


It Doesn’t Matter

I belong to a few different Facebook groups for Moms – some with Moms I know, some with Moms I don’t know. One thing that happens a lot is complaining about husbands. I know private forums like that are intended to vent and get feedback, but I am always hesitant to provide my own thoughts because it makes me seem like a know-it-all and no one likes a know-it-all. Plus, I don’t really know it all. BUT I know enough to have a blog where I can act like a know-it-all!

Being married to me isn’t easy – I am the ‘whatever, it will work out,  I forget to replace the toilet paper’ one in the house.  I can easily blame that on my ADHD, but I won’t. S. and I were lucky to have dated for almost 5 years together before getting married and we had just celebrated our 2 year anniversary when we found out we were pregnant. That’s a good amount of time to find out what makes people tick. In that regard we are lucky.

S. and I tend to parent the same on the big concepts, but the day to day stuff we are a little different. And here’s the thing. THAT STUFF DOESN’T MATTER. If S. dresses Mike in a denim shirt, denim overalls and too small socks- it doesn’t matter. If S. washes Mike’s body first then his hair – it doesn’t matter. If S. gives Mike juice twice in one day – it doesn’t matter. If S. puts on a nighttime diaper during the day – it doesn’t matter. Just because your baby daddy isn’t doing it the way YOU do it, it doesn’t make it wrong.

Here’s what NOT saying anything about S.’s ‘daddying’ does.

It empowers him. I am not standing over S. telling him how to do things so he feels empowered to do more things. I realized early on if I was snarky about how S. dressed Mike, he would stop dressing him and it would be on me. If I got on S. about not cutting Mike’s food small enough, he would stop doing it and I would be doing it. Every. Single. Time. Eventually I would get resentful because I am doing everything and life would get hard. For everyone!

If I was a good blogger, I would stop right there and let you think you are a failure as a wife. But as always, I’ll be honest –  I sometimes suck at this. For example, I am neurotic about cutting teeny tiny pieces of food for Mike. When S. cuts Mike’s food, it is twice the size I would cut, but does S. want Mike to choke? Of course not. He is going to cut the food to a safe size so I need to just back off and let him do his thing. And sometimes that means literally biting my tongue.

When I feel a ‘nag’ or ‘exasperated sigh’ come on, I have to stop myself and ask DOES THIS MATTER. Most the time the answer is no.

If we have the same goal -to raise a happy, healthy, well adjusted kid, then we are going to do the absolute best we can. Even if it isn’t MY way. Dads aren’t dumb. They want to be involved so empower them to do so! It will make your life easier in the end.

Also, if someone buys you this onsie, toss it. Replace the word ‘dad’ with ‘mom’ and see how you feel. I am sure it would appear on Huffington Post or Jezebel and would go viral. Why can’t we respect Dads like we do Moms?


Dear Husband

Dear S –

It’s almost been a month since Mikey was born (!!!) and everyone warned me that I would see you in a different way when you are not only my husband, but my baby daddy. I knew this would be true, but I didn’t know the magnitude of new love I would have for you.  It kinda reminds me of the country song that goes, ‘and I thought I loved you then‘.

You were so worried about knowing how to change diapers, make bottles and figuring out how  to relax when you hold him – but when I was being rolled out of the OR and saw you holding our son I thought, ‘holy sh*t, he’s a natural!’ – and you are. While I was highly medicated in the hospital, you handled all the doctors, nurses and questions with ease. Not to mention handling Mikey like you had known him for years.

I wonder if other fathers get up in the middle of the night regardless of whose turn it is to feed, change diapers without being prompted or whisk the baby into the nursery for some calm rocking. I hope so, because it makes not only a difference to mama, but to baby as well. I am so thankful that you always keep the bottles cleaned and the house picked up.

And as I sit here writing this post, you are on the couch with our 3 week old, holding up a mirror to him and talking. How did Mikey and I get so lucky? And to think … I thought I loved you then.

What If God Was One of Us?

I’ve been muddling this for awhile, but I feel like I need to address it on my blog. I am a huge fan of Mayim Balik’s blog Kveller: A Jewish Twist on Parenting. They have great insights into the Jewish faith and the basics on raising good kids. Sure, Mayim has some interesting takes on child rearing – baby wearing, nursing until they ask otherwise, etc – but I take what I can and leave the rest.

Am I Jewish? Nope. Is S? Well, kinda. He was raised Jewish and I was raised Catholic. What do you get when a Jew and Catholic get hitched? A Unitarian. I won’t bore you with the principals of our new faith, you can check it out at UUA. But I assure you, we are not a cult full of unshaved pot smoking hippies worshiping blades of grass (or Satan). Okay, moving on.

So there was an interesting blog on Kveller a few days ago about a family who celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. At first I thought it was a nice story, and much like what our home does, but then I got to the comments and OH THE HUMANITY! Especially this gem:

<i>Both my husband and I are Jewish and somehow our children are quite respectful, understanding and appreciative of other people’s cultures. We are also quite multicultural in our approach to the world. Fancy that. What we have done is given our children a firm foundation in their own heritage and provided them with an underpinning that will last their entire lives. A child needs direction in this world no matter how much she is taught to respect both of her parents heritages.. The question for the author is what is she doing about that? A person cannot be both a Christian and a Jew, even if that Jew decides Christmas is OK because Jesus was a rabbi.</i>

Look, we joined the UU church because community and a sense of belonging was important to us. And we want our child to know that Bubbe and Pop-Pop are not wrong in what they believe and neither is Grandma and Grandpa. Hell, we might even throw in Diwali and Ramadan into the mix.  I feel like if we are giving our children SOMETHING to grasp in this world they will be okay. How would it be fair for me to ask Sam to compromise his beliefs so our child can have SOMETHING to believe in. That will breed resentment and that’s not good for a kid either, right?

We are all doing the best we can. Just wait until you meet my UU  kid – he will be respectful, appreciative of other’s cultures and have a firm grasp on right and wrong. Oh. And a hectic December with all the tree trimming and menorah lightings.

Lies We Tell

I lied to S the other night. Well, sorta lied. He found a pregnancy test in the trash and asked if I had been taking pregnancy tests. In truth, I was just cleaning out our baby makin’ stuff, but I also said I hadn’t been testing.

What a bold faced lie. I can’t help myself. I am having early pregnancy symptoms like cramping, increased smells, sexy dreams (HELLO!) … I know in my heart it’s too early to tell, but maybe, just maybe the test will read early. I don’t think I am pregnant, but I think that’s me preparing myself for a let down when we beta on Monday.

It’s just so hard to wait. Don’t judge me for testing before anything would show up anyway. I can’t be the only one who tests after knowing the answer, right?

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Phew! I was not a happy, infertile woman when Nurse Anne called me yesterday afternoon and said she wanted me to do an injection for the next 2 nights. Sure, we took the class where we stuck a notepad with some ‘fake skin’ that felt like raw chicken. An aside – if my skin feels like raw chicken skin, we have a whole new problem.


S got home and I was ready to rock and roll and get this over with. S filled the needle like a seasoned heroin addict … just kidding, of course. But he did a great job! Here’s how it went when I laid down:

J: Okay, I need you to just do it, don’t count or anything. And I can’t look. It’s not because it’s you, I have to do it with the nurses too. I have total faith in you.

S: Okay, 1, 2 …


And then he shot me up with the very important Gonal F. I didn’t feel it go in, but it burned a little bit. And, like a good infertile, hormonal wife, I demanded a present for each shot. Nothing big and flashy, but if I was 4 years old and getting a shot, I would get a sticker right? It feels like a valid request. This shot I got a lollipop bouquet in the shape of circus … things. Yay! Plus, he got some fun Angry Bird bandaids. Obviously I didn’t need them since the injection was so teeny tiny, but that wasn’t the point.

One more tomorrow, then Wednesday I head to get another ultrasound, then hopefully a trigger shot.

This Is My Confession

One of my favorite parts of the day is when I snuggle into bed with S and the beagle and I flip through Google Reader. Hey! You should add me to your Google Reader. Look down in the right hand corner. Anyway … I read all kinds of blogs, lately, I have been reading Shady Grove’s blog. And guess what smacked me right in the face Friday night? This little gem:

“Q Are there any risk factors associated with miscarriage?
A The risk of miscarriage increases with increasing age, especially in women over the age of 35. Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol increase your risk of miscarriage. Also, some medications, including those you can buy without a prescription, may increase your risk.”

I don’t smoke, never even tried it. I seldom drink alcohol. Caffeine …. that’s another story. My biggest fantasy is rolling over in the morning and having S. hand me a ice cold can of Diet Coke. I start my day with one, cap my mid-morning granola bar with one and enjoy dinner with an icy can of caffeine.  God help me if I am out and about during the day, 7-11 has nothing on my $2.29.

I posted on Facebook about quitting my beloved Diet Coke and many people chimed in about how wonderful their life has been since they quit their soda addiction. They are freaking pooping rainbows and riding unicorns. And not one, NOT ONE mentioned the initial side effects.

I went cold turkey. Saturday AM. Between then and now, I have tripped numerous times, lost my car in a parking garage and assumed it was towed, knocked over my chair, screwed up a website for work, sent an email with the cc emails in the subject line (twice), and almost went to the ER for a migraine so horrible I wanted to die last night. Today is a little better, but I still want to cry when I see a Diet Coke commercial on TV. I change the channel as fast as I do when Sarah McLaughlin’s ASPCA commercial comes on (and that’s fast). One day I hope to poop rainbows and ride unicorns too. But not today. Or tomorrow.

the first step is admitting you have a problem

Date Night – What to Expect

S. and I are socking money away for fertility treatments, but that doesn’t mean we can’t scrape some change together for a date night – from the Entertainment Guide.  What was on tap for date night? Dinner and a movie – What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

It’s a bit like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day with an all star cast who are intertwined, which I always think is cool. It followed a few women who were having babies in various ways. J-Lo adopting, Cameron Diaz  as a pregnant fitness guru, Elizabeth Banks (total show stealer) got pregnant after 2 years of trying, and Anna Kendrick was an unwed, young mama to be.  Despite the humor, like Elizabeth Banks ‘Mother in Law’, who is younger than her, having the easiest pregnancy ever, it was amazingly heart warming.  I doubt it will be up for an Oscar, but worth the discounted movie ticket. S. even liked it!

(updated 6/5) – a few infertility blogs are giving WTE some negative reviews for things like: not having a gay couple, not having a surrogate situation, dumb dads and the younger mother in law story line. Yes, these are valid points, but it’s a movie, not a documentary.

How are we doing? Still patiently waiting to ovulate. Still. I am in a major funk today, so I am laying low, wearing cozy clothes and reading while trying not to feel bad for ignoring this amazing weather we are having. Some days you do what you gotta do.

A Conversation with S.

I couldn’t have found a more understanding partner if I tried.  I am not being sarcastic, he really is understanding and tries to help and do what I need.  Today is the perfect example. I sent an SOS email to S this morning when I realized that I could be pregnant in the next few weeks. This is awesome, except I badly need to have my hair dyed since [the illusive] THEY don’t recommend having it done during the first trimester.

I find that idea pretty funny, as if the small amount of ammonia seeps into my brain, leaves no damage, but could hurt my unborn baby. You would think it would be a bigger deal if it was a real problem. But alas, I will follow what THEY say.  Which prompted me to email S., who called me laughing.

It went a little something like this.

Me: Hello?

S: I shouldn’t laugh, but I am.

Me: I know, it’s irrational.

S: Make a hair appointment for next week.

Me: It’s really stressful to think of the stuff I have to give up when I am pregnant. Of course, I will do so without complaining, the baby is more important, blah, blah, blah

S: I know, it will be an adjustment for me too. I’ll have to pick up the slack around the house, I am not going to have you …

Me (in my hormonal craziness): Oh really? Call me when you can’t have your daily Diet Cokes.

I am pretty sure there will be a post about what changes come when you are growing a person. Obviously worth it, but you know what I mean right?

PS – Today was, thankfully, my last day of Clomid. Tomorrow I start peeing on a stick! Hooray!