I feel like I have to take a second to gush. Or maybe more than a second... a whole post. Throughout my pregnancy, I've talked a lot about my feelings, my experiences, and the baby. But before baby is actually HERE and I get swept up in all that comes with that, I have to take a second to reflect on and record my husband through this pregnancy, through my eyes of course.
First of all, starting the entire process towards growing our family was not easy for him. Steven had a lot of (very normal) fears and was willing to trust in something bigger than himself to work past it. He trusted me as we openly talked about both of our feelings on getting started, what the journey could look like, and he ultimately trusted God when he realized that we had no reason to continue postponing pregnancy, though he was still scared. I am so in awe of him for that because I don't know that I would have done the same. I'm bad about trusting, and instead waiting for when I feel ready for something or when something feels right. He was such a beautiful example of love and trust for me during the months we were discerning the call to start trying to conceive.
When we began trying to get pregnant, Steven was a rock. I was an emotional basket case due to the unknowns of dealing with infertility issues and due to how medicalized the process was. It was nothing like I'd imagined and, though I am eternally grateful for the help we received, I really struggled through it. Steven was uplifting for me, reassured me, held me when he didn't have words, and shared his sadness with me in a very honest way.
When we found out we were pregnant, I expected Steven to be excited but to freak out a little at first, especially given his reservations months before. What I didn't expect was him looking at me in the car on our way back from the doctor that day (we went the same day as the positive test), beaming, and saying "I just want to tell the whole world!". It is a moment that I will never forget. I was sitting there nervous, needing numbers from my blood work in order to trust (see a theme?), and he was about to burst with excitement. He had not one shred of fear about the adventure we were embarking on.
When my progesterone levels came back really low, and then a few times later dipped into dangerous territory, he was scared just like I was, but he comforted me and encouraged me to pray through my fear. He overcame his fear of needles, blood, and all things medical to give me two shots a week with one of the biggest needles we'd ever seen. And after the shots, he would thank me for doing this for our baby, hold me on the ones that made me cry, and tell me how brave I am and what a good mom I already am.
When my blood pressure began to cause issues, he took on extra around the house, physically, mentally, and emotionally. He has cooked so many dinners for us (usually my territory), does some of 'my' chores without me even asking for help, and frankly takes my crap when I'm emotional and taking it out on the man I love the most. He forgives me in a second and works on helping me to create a calm environment to help my blood pressure. Any time I start to move, he asks how he can help. After a long day at work, he tells me to put my feet up and let him take care of things.... after he's worked a 10 or 11 hour day. When I freaked out about the possible need for an induction, he helped me find evidence based studies to make our decision from so that I would feel empowered.
He has been to every prenatal appointment with me except 2, which is saying a lot since I'm going weekly. He gladly attended our birth class, our meetings with the doula, consignment store shopping for baby and maternity things, and meeting the pediatrician. He constantly works his work schedule around all these things so we can do it together. He not quite so gladly ;) did hours and hours of work on the nursery, and now will stand in there with me looking at items, imagining having a tiny baby in there to use them.
He has read every book I've given him or asked him read with me, watched countless videos on all kinds of topics, discussed so many important issues with me without complaint. He has listened to me, questioned about, researched, and embraced every single thing I've brought up to him... delayed and alternate vaccine schedules, babywearing, cosleeping, the possibility of donor milk if needed, the choice to not circumcise, my staying home, hiring a doula... I could go on! All of these things were so foreign to him, not only because he's new to the baby world, because often they are not 'mainstream'. Instead of just agreeing with whatever I decide, he has put in the work to learn about the issue, form an opinion, and decide as a family.
He loves this baby so, so much. I had read pre-pregnancy about how a lot of dads don't bond with the baby until the wife begins to show, because it doesn't become real to them until then. I would say that has definitely helped him, as has him being able to feel the baby move all the time, but he has kissed and rubbed my belly since before the bump existed. He has read to the baby almost every single night for months now. At church, he gives the baby the sign of peace. He prays each night for our baby to grow to be healthy and strong.
Watching his role as husband stretch and change, and watching him grow into fatherhood has been one of the most romantic, emotional, and special things I've ever experienced. I can't even imagine what it will be like after the baby is here. I suspect I will be a puddle of mush. This journey has been even more fun than I could have ever imagined, and we are only just beginning!