Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Other Half

The day we found out we were pregnant with twins is as crystal clear as if it happened today. We were in love, unmarried, not trying, but pregnant. And two weeks after the shock of this unplanned path we found ourselves on started to wear off, I lay in our OB's office, with my now-husband by my side and semi-warm ultrasound goo on my belly.

"It looks like there's two"

I was ulterly confused. Two what? All I saw on the screen was black blurrs, nothing that looked like anything specific. How did she see two arms. Or legs. Or whatever she was looking at. And thank God there's two, that would be weird if there weren't. I heard my husband's hand hit the counter as he grabbed it for support. He knees had given out. And that's when it clicked in my head. TWO BABIES!

She marked on the screen baby A... and then baby B. I sat there barely breathing. My eyes fixated on the 40inch flat screen that had my baby A and baby B's heart beats flickering. All I could think was "What is Charlie thinking?"

The tech left to get the doctor, who found us sitting together bawling our eyes out. We were so scared. I can't tell you why Charlie was crying, but I was crying because I didn't know what he was thinking. I was crying because I thought he was going to be mad at me, that this was somehow my fault, that this was a very bad thing. That this was too much for us. Even as I sat on his lap, wrapped in his arms, I was afraid he was going to tell me he didn't want to be apart of this. I have never said that out loud before.

The day we found out Fiona had Down syndrome is burned just as clearly in my mind. I was at work when I got the call, with a client due in my chair in 10 minutes. The geneticist asked if this was a good time, and even though I knew it wasn't, I had to know. There was no way I could function the rest of the day at work knowing that they had the results of the amnio. Closed in my bosses office, the knife stabbed my heart as he confirmed "Your baby does have Down syndrome". I barely squeaked out an "Okay, thank you",  hung up the phone and then the tears uncontrollably poured down my face.

I will never forget calling to tell Charlie. And how strong he sounded. It was the only thing that allowed me to half way pull my self together to rinse out my client, before canceling the rest of the day. I walked out to my car to find my husband standing there and just melted into his arms. And we cried. But this time, I wasn't scared by his cry. I was completely comforted. I could feel it in his arms, that he was going to fight with me and that he was going to hold our family together through this. I felt him holding Fiona through holding me. His embrace was the first glimpse of hope that it would be okay.

Charlie has been blessed to have known, very well, people with special needs growing up. Where my heart was softened and my eyes were opened with Fiona's diagnosis, my husband already had a big part of his heart devoted to this community. Something God had set in motion so that on that day, in my work parking lot, I wouldn't be so scared.  My long process of healing started right there in his arms.

I think about these two moments a lot. Comparing the fears and the emotions and just keep coming back to how different I felt about Charlie in those moments. How it was so much easier for him to accept what I view as the harder of the two bits of news. I am so grateful for him, that we balance each other and seem to keep the other from completely falling. I am very aware that we have three big strikes against our marriage. The tops categories of couples who get divorced are couples who live together/procreate before they are married, couples who have a multiple birth, and couples of a special needs child. We definitely have some moments where it would be easy to let our struggles weigh one of us too far down. But I couldn't walk this journey without my other half. I am thankful for a husband who works just as hard as I do to keep us afloat.


  1. Such a touching post. Sounds like you have yourself an amazing husband.

  2. That post brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful tribute to your husband. Best of luck to your whole family as you continue to live, laugh, love together.

  3. I teared up reading this too...It was very touching and very beautiful. You guys have an amazing little family and there is no greater blessing than that in life.

  4. Such a beautiful post. :)

    (And I just emailed you regarding the Thursday themes for the 31 for 21 challenge. :) )


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