Be a Better Wife

A few weeks ago when I went to put my 8 month old down for her morning nap, I found my husband in bed unresponsive. We had woken up that morning, he had given Warrior Princess her bottle, then went to lay down.

I called 911 and all of the madness you think would ensue did ensue. As I stood in the living room feeling a panic attack close in around my lungs and heart, Warrior Princess brought me back to the present and I knew I couldn’t lose my sh*t because she needed me.

In the emergency room, as my husband’s bed was surrounded by nurses and doctors and he he cycled in and out of almost consciousness, I looked at his seemingly lifeless face and thought that I needed him to fight. I needed him to fight and come back to us. That’s when the question struck me: does he know how much I love him? Does he know, without a doubt how much I need him? Not us, not Warrior Princess and I – just me? Does he know how much I’d want him to be fighting to come back to me?


I couldn’t BS myself. He didn’t know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how much I loved him. Maybe I’d been a good friend, maybe I’d been really trying to be the best mom, but somewhere along the way, through life, pregnancy, motherhood, life, job, depression, did I mention life..?, being a good wife kind of feel out of focus.

I didn’t expect perfection of myself -I still don’t – but I forgot to try. I forgot to work at it. I forgot that love is a choice you make every single day. I forgot that those little relationship challenges you see on Facebook inspire you to continue working at your marriage. I forgot that my husband needed me as much as my Warrior Princes. I forgot that he needed me first. I forgot that I needed him.

The thing with getting married a little later in life is that you know what you want in a partner just a little bit sooner. Matt and I were engaged 6 months after dating and married 6 months after that. I had prayed about the man I wanted and then prayed about Matt when we started dating. I knew for sure he was it. But, the other thing about getting married a little later in life, is that you have a little more baggage, a few more hangups. The negative thoughts and bad coping mechanisms I’d developed over the years snuck into my marriage. I was harsh when I should have been warm. I was begrudging when I should have offered grace. I was closed off when I should have offered and open heart. Not that my feelings in those moments were invalid but I had forgotten to try.

The first night Matt was in the hospital, I sat on the edge of our bed, talking to God. I looked over at Matt’s empty side and resolved to be a better wife. If I should be so lucky as to be able to continue my life with Matt, I would remember to try.

My friend and sorority sister, Jennis, reminded me that when you get married, you pledge to work on those “for worse” times together, because you’ve made a commitment to each other. You mess up and you’re human together and you fix it, together.

There are so many people who don’t get the chance to check themselves. Would I have rather had a vivid enlightening dream instead of the terrifying reality of those five days to open my eyes to whom I had become? Absofreakinglutely. Will I forever cherish my second chance? Absofreakinglutely.

Matt came home five days later.

I get to be a better wife. Not a perfect wife. Not a fake wife. But a better wife to my husband who is deserving of my resolve to keep trying, “for better or worse.”


PostPartum Depression Hurts

It’s taken me a while to work up to writing this post. I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to 100% admit it, or I feel like in some way all of my reactions or feelings will be blamed on PPD, or it could be because I want to ignore it all. I don’t know.

When I first thought that I was perhaps suffering from/struggling through PPD, I figured that I’d write a post about it after I was all fixed. I’d write about how it felt and how I fixed it, post some links about getting help and some symptoms, and it would all be gathered up pretty succinctly in a magenta bow. However, a little part of me felt disingenuous about doing that. See, if I want to really be helpful (at least in my mind) sharing how I’m feeling in the midst of it, would be most helpful to someone in my position. Also, if I didn’t write about how I’m feeling now, it would be a lot easier to ignore it all. Which is the opposite of helping myself.

So, I compose this post a day after seeing my primary care doctor concerning my ever worsening symptoms. If you’ve given birth recently, as a mother, you are asked to fill out a survey about how you feel (at least in my hospital and at the pediatricians office). The first time I filled out the survey in the hospital, I was apparently too honest (I had an emergency c-section and my Warrior Princess was unexpectedly admitted to the NICU having experience fetal distress. It was such a rough time.) and the nurse said, “If you answer like this, it’s going to be alarming.” I though the whole point of the survey was to be honest. But..ya know. So, being scared into not being super honest, I met with a nice woman, who gave me pamphlets and told me that someone from the PPD network/help center/ would call me once a month and ask how I was. I told her I felt fine.

I really did. I’d say that for sure I’d seek assistance immediately if that ever changed. I felt fine.

All the literature I’d ever read about PPD or any short clip I’d seen on my Facebook feed, any Lifetime movie about some sad woman, made me feel like I would have to be thinking about hurting my child OR looking at her and feeling nothing at all. Looking at her like she was a blank piece of paper. I’ve never once felt like that. Not even a little bit.

What I have felt like is that my Warrior Princess is the only thing that truly brings me joy at the exclusion of everything else. I look at her like she is my world and everything else can kick rocks. This almost sounds idyllic, to be so besotted with your baby that you live in a wonderful world of coos, and baby blinks. But it isn’t.

Think about it, nothing else makes me happy. I feel disconnected from everything most days. I don’t want to talk to anyone, everything annoys me. People keep offering to give me a break from the duties of motherhood when all I really want to do is take my daughter and go. Go where? I don’t know. Somewhere where it’s just me and her. This hurts my other relationships. This hurts me.

How did it get to this? What are some signs that I missed? May is PPD awareness month (I saw a posting somewhere which inspired/forced me to write this entry). I will use this month to explain as much of my story and experience as I can.