Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Would you like a side of dis-ease with your pregnancy?

About three months after I learned I was pregnant my husband and I began spending a lot of time in hospitals. Not for me but for him. 

Though I am an open book when it comes to my own struggles forgive me if I am vague when discussing my husband's recent diagnosis. It is out of respect for his own privacy and journey. He doesn't mind talking about it but he's a man and Australian, which means he's more private when it comes to his own life.

That being said, I will share my own experiences of being pregnant and dealing with a husband who is 'sick'.  I put that word in quotations because through all of this he has never felt sick or looked sick (except after certain treatments). And we do not like to think of him as being sick, only that life has given us a wake-up call to live each moment to it's fullest and to make some changes so that we will both live a long, healthy life. 

As I re-read that last paragraph, Inner B* is rolling her eyes, thinking how sickeningly optimistic I sound but for once I need to bitch-slap her because this is truly how we both have approached this time in our lives. 

We've learned that the only way to live with genuine positivity is to stay in the moment and take it one step at a time. If we ever stop and think, "what if..." we are doomed. The "what ifs" will kill you before any disease.

And so, at three months pregnant, I sat in the family waiting room during my hubby's procedure that would confirm what we already feared. 

The saddest part about being in that waiting room was seeing the families. Because many of the families are waiting to hear news on their young child. I'm sitting there, my stomach just beginning to show signs of the life growing inside me, and I am surrounded by mothers and fathers living out their worst nightmare. And I was thankful. Thankful that it was my husband and not my child who was in the other room. Having this situation thrust upon my hubby and me is bad enough, but I know (without knowing) that a sick child is the scariest moment of a mother's life. And every subsequent moment that I have spent in that waiting room I have felt the same way.  

After the procedure we had to wait several long days before the results. 

The worst moment is the one you see depicted again and again in movies, books, and TV shows. It's the moment you sit in the little room and hear the diagnosis. It is surreal. And you never know how you'll react (I cried, hubby began to sweat profusely) but it wasn't the worst diagnosis it could have been and there were lots of relatively painless options to stop it in its tracks. The worst part is being told the "what ifs...". We listened and then put those damned "what ifs" in our subconscious, and stayed focused on the good news. It is treatable.

Several weeks later, I stood next to my hubby as he received a round of treatment. I was repeating to him like a mantra "breath... relax... wiggle your toes... breath... relax... wiggle your toes..." and we began laughing, because we knew the tables would turn in a few months, and he'll be the one standing by my head saying these same words. And I hope I remember how helpless I felt next to him, watching his face squish in pain but knowing there was nothing I could do but be there for him. 

God help him if I don't remember! But I have a feeling he'll be happy to remind me.

*Inner B is my subconscious- she's not shy to say how it is, good or bad, right or wrong.

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