To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Hero: My Husband

It's time for my annual "Hey it's almost my anniversary, so let me brag on my husband a little bit" posts. Try to settle down, I know you can't wait to read them.

Four weeks ago, we had our third baby. Two and a half weeks prior to that, I was on bed rest and in and out of the hospital multiple times. For the previous seven/eight months, I was feeling sick, tired, and generally over-the-top hormonal. Who was there cleaning the house, cooking the meals, and caring for Little Miss, most especially by giving her baths once I could no longer bend? My husband. Prior to that, I was grieving Harlynn's death most intensely. Prior to that, I was pregnant with her, with about the same feelings of illness, bed rest, etc. So, for close to two years running, my husband has been the bread winner, housekeeper, chef, and parental control department in our home.

He's a little ready for a break. 

Too bad, though, he doesn't get one. Whabam!

Why not? Well, Monday I started feeling like total doo. I hurt all over and in one .... um, area .... in particular. I ended up with a ridiculous fever, knocked clean on my duff unable to move. Mastitis hit once again.

I say "once again" because with Little Miss, I had it nine - yes, you read that correctly - nine times. The problem blessed situation is, I produce so much stinkin' milk, that my pump and my babies can't keep up. So something somewhere gets plugged, ends up infected, and I get super sick. With Little Miss, however, I just had her to worry about. And for whatever reason, I almost always came down with it on a Friday and was better by Monday. So I was sick the whole weekend, but didn't have to miss much work because of it.

This time, though - oh my word. I don't remember feeling this sick any of the previous times. Now, I could not remember because it was over four years ago, or I could not remember because I never actually felt this sick, or I could not remember because my memory is terrible. Regardless, I was so sick Monday night and yesterday especially, I was ready to be done with breastfeeding altogether. Done. Formula, here I come! But then, I remembered how I somehow survived getting it so often with Little Miss. I was able to breastfeed her for 11 months, and then we had enough supply stored, she ate on it for another two months following. I remembered how Little Man spit up continuously in the hospital after his supplemental formula feedings to get his blood-sugar level back up to par. I remember how much I loathe incessant spit up. (Almost as much as any amount of drool.) On breastmilk, he has spit up all of three times, they've all been minimal amounts, and all - coincidentally - on my shoulder. So there's that. Mmmm, love the new perfume, Val. Why thank you - it's called 'What Once Was Within'.

Monday night as I silently sobbed while trying to work this infection out of my body, Brent came in to the bedroom and said, "I underestimated your level of pain. Is there anything I can do?" He's a no-nonsense, to-the-point romantic. Love him. I asked him through my tears if he would refill my water jug. Not only did he fill my water jug, but then sat next to me with his arm around me, trying to provide some sort of comfort. The next morning as he was getting ready for work, I was trying not to freak out. I didn't know how I was going to survive with him gone. I was so miserably sick and I could hardly move, let alone care for two littles flying solo. He asked me if there was anything he could do, and my reply was "stay home." If you saw how sick I was, you would think him staying home might be a no-brainer. Duh. Newborn, preschooler, bed-ridden mother - yes, Dad should stay home. However, Brent used all of his time off to accompany me to doctor appointments, hospital visits, and Little Man's actual delivery and first week at home. His time was burned up on account of me already. His staying home wasn't entirely an option. I asked him if he could just wash the bottles so that would be one thing I wouldn't have to do, and I would try to wing it from there. Several minutes later, Brent came back into the bedroom to tell me, "I'm not going to work until 1:00." Thank you, God. That would put us right at nap time and then I would really only be on my own for a couple of hours instead of all day. 

Not only is he a remarkable husband, but he is an absolute example of everything a Daddy should be. He is his daughter's prince. He wears stickers and necklaces so he can be her king when she plays queen. He colors with her. On the floor. He holds his infant son and looks at him with admiration only a Daddy could have. Even when he (thinks he) doesn't know what to do, he pulls it off. He rocks. What he is as a husband, he surpasses with what he is as a Daddy.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is another prime example of what sacrificial love is all about. Brent doesn't want to cook dinner every night. He doesn't want to be solely responsible for keeping the dishes done or the laundry washed. He doesn't want to be solely responsible for ensuring our children are properly cared for. But sometimes, he doesn't have a choice. Does he complain about it? No. He mans up, and he does it without mutterings. He even enjoys it sometimes. And at the end of the day, whether it's been a rough one or not, he can go to sleep knowing he did everything he could to provide for his family in every way they needed it.

He's a much better spouse than I am. He's a better husband than I ever bargained for. He's an amazing Daddy. I say "I love you" and he wants to know why. He wants to know why! As if there would be any reason I couldn't. 

So as I take more time yet to recover not only from sleep deprivation and surgery, but now a case of mastitis, my husband is here to take the reigns as doer-of-all for our home. God bless him. I stinkin' love this man.

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