This is my husband, Clay.
Isn’t he handsome?
Clay is 28, has two kids, and is married to me. Clay has had two kids in two years, and is getting ready to have a third (the third in three years).
Clay is tired. Clay is really, really tired.
And also an incredible dad and husband. I mean, in addition to being pretty easy on the eyes.
As a pregnant person, and likely due to some handiwork of Google analytics, I am bombarded by stories and ads and articles about birth. What types of birth people are having, ads for women centers, natural birth centers, water births, shows about doulas, midwives, the cost of birth. It’s dizzying.
Naturally, nor am I immune to the moms’ blogs about birthing: birth plans, birth rituals, birth triumphs, and birth traumas.
So today, as I was getting anxious thinking about having to switch doctors at 28 weeks (insurance issues), what the new hospital will be like, and my own birth plan…involving a hospital, epidural, and hopefully an SVU marathon, I started thinking about Clay. It took me two pregnancies to figure it out, but he too has his own birth ritual.
When we were pregnant with our first, I didn’t understand what was happening before our son’s arrival. But I was worried.
He’s not particularly emotive, so his birthing ritual all starts inside that head of his. He’s energetic, funny, and social during “ordinary” times (by that I mean the times we aren’t expecting a baby in the immediate future- “normal” for us means me pregnant, probably getting ready to move, and worrying about hospital bills). Then, about 4 weeks out from welcoming our new baby, it begins.
He stops talking. His early bedtimes and early wake-times to work out are replaced with re-watching the entire series of Mad Men for at least the fourth time, all night. If he’s really got a lot of feelings happening, I’ll catch him re-watching the season finale of The Office (the only time I’ve ever seen him cry) on repeat.
Then, the following:
- Ask Nickie every 30 seconds how she thinks her blood pressure is.
- Begin to repair, then accidentally destroy, a part of our home.
- Fight about some inane thing at least once a day (“the nuggets have been cooked too long!” Euphemism? Hmmm…), and then a final one on the way to the hospital for the delivery.
- Assist in the actual birth of a baby.
- Hold the baby, then get Nickie a snack.
- Keep getting Nickie snacks for the next 3 or 4 months.
Historically, step 7 is 3-6 months after birth of last baby, get Nickie pregnant again. BUT, in answer to “Would you like to go on birth control after this baby?” instead of having a bunch of questions and anxiety about birth control and breastfeeding, this time I answered, “I’LL TAKE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE.” But I digress.
To help ease the anxiety this year, I’ve scheduled a few things for him:
- A golf trip
- Ohio State game with his BFF
- We are going on a babymoon! Weeeeeeeee!
I read the sappy posts about the husbands and the love and the family, and I’m just going to go ahead and add to it. Even though I wrote about being the second wife and how I’m not totally sure what my place is here, every time I have a doubt about the “meant-to-be-ness” of this arrangement, I think about every ex-boyfriend I’ve ever had and realize…1) nope, now way. What a disaster, and 2) that 3 kids in 3 years would only work with this one. I love every laugh line on his face, every gained pound, every sleep-deprived fit of laughter over some stupid thing. And also every sleep-deprived argument about over-cooked nuggets.