Monday, December 27, 2010

A Very Important Lesson My Husband Taught Me the Night Before Blake was Born...

A year ago tonight, I was anxiously awaiting Blake's arrival. My c-section was scheduled for 8:30 the next morning, which left only 12 more hours of pregnancy. Part of me was ready for this baby to be out. To have my body back, to be able to see my feet, to be able to sleep without a body pillow, to be able to go longer than an hour without get the idea. But I also knew that I would miss this feeling. I would miss laying on the couch, rubbing my belly and feeling Blake kick. I would miss having him safe and protected inside me because once he was out...I wouldn't have him all to myself anymore. I would have to share him with the world and as I excited as I was for also made me a little scared. But I wasn't really scared for the reasons you might think.

That night, after we tucked Addie into bed, Eric and I had a talk about death. He didn't want to have this talk, but I needed to have this talk. I am someone who needs to verbalize my fears. I need to talk about them and plan for them. My big fear the night before Blake's birth was not about Blake. As much as I prayed for him to be healthy when he arrived, I was more worried about myself for some reason. I was scared something would go wrong during my surgery and Eric would be left to raise both of our children by himself. Whenever I had brought this subject up before, Eric would just roll his eyes and repeat, for the 50th time, that everything would be okay. But that night...he listened to my fears.

At first I just started listing all the things that scared me. Not being there to watch them grow, not being there to help raise them, not being there for Blake at his first baseball game, not being there for Addie when she walks down the isle, etc. He just held my hand and nodded as I went down my list.

I then told him that I was worried he wouldn't know where everything was. Yes...this was a huge worry for me. I asked him if he knew where I kept all the kid's keepsakes, where I kept their baby books, where I kept the extra wipes, how I organized their closets and dresser drawers...and instead of letting him answer...I decided to just tell him where everything was again. I reminded him where everything was in the kitchen (as if he didn't live there too). I reminded him that the hall closet is where I keep all of the extra diapers, wipes, etc. (as if he hadn't already seen them). I reminded him that I keep the kids keepsake boxes in my closet. I also told him about the pen I use for their baby books (so that it stays uniform throughout). I also reminded him about certain files on the computer and where all of our important documents are. He didn't say much while I went down this list, but when I was done, he got a huge smile on his face.

At first I wanted to yell at him. I mean, we were talking about my death here!!! Why wasn't he sad? Why wasn't he balling like a baby at just the THOUGHT of losing me? Wasn't he scared? And the thing is...he wasn't scared. He knew I would make it out of surgery safely. He knew that Blake would be happy and healthy. And more importantly, he knew where the damn wipes were, where I kept our blender, where the kid's play clothes were and where I kept the black pen for the baby books. He just knew everything was going to be okay because even if it wasn't...he knew there was nothing we could do to change things. That is just how Eric is. He thinks positive and doesn't worry because he knows that worrying and stressing about things that might happen won't change the outcome.

Oh how I wish that I could program my brain to think the same way. I do have to admit though...his way of thinking is what makes us soul mates. I need his positive, level-headed attitude to level out my crazy worry sometimes. Even today, as I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get Christmas decorations down, birthday decorations up, gifts put away, new gifts wrapped, etc...he reminded me that worrying and stressing about Blake's birthday party this weekend was not going to make it go more smoothly. I think I gave him the finger when he said that, but as I sit here tonight, I realize that he is right. YES are right. We can't live our lives stressing and worrying. We have to enjoy these moments because they come and go so quickly. I mean just look...the same baby I am talking about in this post turns ONE tomorrow!!!

Speaking of which, I promise to have a very happy birthday post for Blakey Boy up tomorrow, but tonight I just wanted to reminisce about the wonderful lesson that my husband tried to teach me the night before Blake was born...and every night since :-) We all need to enjoy every day we have with our families and not worry about what might be. A good friend of mine lost her father today. They had just finished celebrating a wonderful Christmas with lots of laughs and fun memories. And then he was gone. My heart is heavy tonight thinking of them and it just makes Eric's outlook on life more real...and more important.

So before I go and spend the next few hours looking at Blake's baby pictures with tears in my eyes, I ask that you say a little prayer for my friend Natalie, her Mom Lynne, and the rest of her family as they go through this difficult time. Pray that they find peace and comfort. Until tomorrow friends :-)


  1. Great post... All of the feelings that you're having are completely natural, I'd assume. A lot of us women just want things to be perfect all of the time! You know? This is exactly why I sent you that text today... :o) I hope you find the time to enjoy your 1yr old tomorrow and in a way it's kind of good that the party isn't until this weekend so you can enjoy his actual birthday with him all to yourself!!! :o) Love ya Mama Jen, keep pluggin'!

  2. Thank you, Jenny, but I don't totally agree with Eric here. Dan was the same way. If I tried to bring up what might happen if he wasn't always here with me, he would say things like, "Are you trying to get rid of me?" and blow me off with a joke.

    Today I had to answer a lot of tough questions and make some difficult decisions based on what I would want, not what he ever told me he wanted. Although I'm very confident that I knew him well enough to know what he'd want me to do, I wish I could have said, "He wanted to be cremated" or "He didn't want flowers", and things like that.

    I don't know yet how much insurance he had or other things like that. We never talked about it. He was a live day to day kind of guy and laughed at my need to plan and organize. I'm sure we will be fine, but I just think your instincts might not be overly dramatic.

  3. Thanks Chels :-) Love ya girl!

    And Lynne - I thought about you and Natalie all day yesterday. I just kept trying to wrap my head around everything because it doesn't make sense. It isn't fair. It isn't fair that you didn't have a change to talk to Dan again about all the things he would have wanted and it isn't fair that you had to make those hard decisions without him. But one thing I do know from talking to my mom is that you and Dan were soul mates. You both lived for each other and I am sure you made all the right decisions yesterday. If Dan was anything like Eric, then I know he is in heaven saying, "Lynne...don't make a big fuss. I trust you. I trust your instincts. And I love you". And I am sure he would end that with a joke :-)

    I will continue to think of you guys through this incredibly difficult time. Just know we all love you and are here for you in any way we can be :-)

  4. Jenny, terrible to have to think about those things, but we should. Not just the little parts, but the big parts also. It's not silly at all and your concerns are 'normal' I would think. I also think that Eric is 'normal' too. How to strike that balance? Well, you did the right thing! Guys aren't wired to think the way we are but that is what works for them I suppose. I don't think they lay awake at night thinking about "Gee we should get a Will." But ya know, with kids especially, you really should. Life is so short and we should always live each day to the fullest. And if to the fullest means without worry, then yes, you may have to watch a few eye rolls but I bet he will feel better knowing it's all taken care of too.

  5. I wonder if it's just the guy/girl thing here. Mike is the same way. He wouldn't know where I keep important papers. He doesn't know my passwords to do my bills online. I wouldn't know what he had for insurance or what he would want for his funeral either. I know that Jen and I always say we got the "worry" gene but the guys never seem to worry like we do. I like/need to know.

    Lynne, I think Dan's sudden death was a wake-up call to many of us who really don't know alot of things that are important in life...and unfortunately in death. I know that Mike and I have talked about having a will but have never done one. Now I know that, even in our mid 50s, it is important to get one drawn up. I woke up thinking about you today and pray that each passing day, as hard as they may be, will be better. You have a wonderful support group around you! Love you!

  6. Jen - Thanks so much to you and your mom for being good friends through this.

  7. You are all correct. A balance would be the answer. Right now I am sobbing too hard to see the monitor, so I will just say, yes, he was my whole world. And he still is. Thank you for the sweet words. They mean a lot.


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