We take it with visions of being old and growing old with our spouse. Like sitting next to or in a hospital bed. And holding wrinkled hands with each other.
We don't take it believing that this vow will challenge us so early in our marriage.
John and I will be married 7 years in April. Seven. It doesn't seem possible. But we look at our girls, 4 and almost 2, and know we've done a lot in 7 years.
But I don't think that 7 years ago, John knew that this vow, was going to be the one that was the most challenging.
We had been married a little over a year when I got pregnant with Caitlin. Those first 4 months were killer with all day sickness. He would leave in the morning and return in the evening and I would still be in the same place. Bed. Still sick. Still complaining. Still mad at the world. Because I hate being sick.
Then close to 3 years later, I was pregnant again, this time with Mackenzie. The all day sickness was worse. My blood pressure was high, the leg cramps were worse, and I had zero cravings... I hated it all. I was mad that I wasn't indulging in ice cream. Depressed that I couldn't do all the things I wanted too without being exhausted. Frustrated that I wasn't enjoying my pregnancy. I really didn't enjoy either pregnancy.
So I'm sure he thought that when Mac was finally born, I'd be back to my old self. I'm sure he was not prepared in anyway for the post partum hemorrhage that followed. Neither was I. I'm sure it left him just as speechless as it left me. I'm sure he was completely unprepared for the frail and pale wife that met him in my post partum room, some 8 hours later.
I have continued to be sick since Mac was born. Slowly getting worse and worse. Slowing developing new symptoms. I'm sure there isn't a way to prepare your husband for the golf ball size hair balls that he removes from the drain. Or the $200 plus antibiotics, followed by the $100 anti-nausea to go with it. Or the bills that will begin arriving, from the new medical clinic that will be seeing me soon.
Recently, after an exhausting day, we were in bed, watching TV, something reality or sports perhaps. I said to him I guess you really didn't know that it really would be "in sickness and in health". To which he replied, "Seriously. Is it too late to rethink it?"
This is what he does. He makes it funny. He makes me laugh at myself and the situation. He changes the tone.
He looked at all the tests that came in the mail, and made a joke about each and every one. He looked at my modified elimination diet, and said, "What in God's name can you eat?". He looked at the vials, and cups, and taped arms and said, "did they leave anything?".
And sure sometimes I'm not in the mood to joke. Sometimes I want a pity party.
He won't let me.
I joked that I wanted to renew my vows this year. Since it's lucky number 7.
Perhaps we already are...
Adding this over here today.