Monday, June 2, 2008

He Whistles

Sometimes, in the depths of my own despair regarding our infertility, I forgot about how it all must have made my husband feel. We talked about it sometimes, but my husband is not nearly as vocal or expressive as I am. I know that the loss of our sweet angels made him very sad, but I also know that he felt the need to be strong for me.

I know that, on rare occasions, I would catch him looking at a baby with an expression that could only be described as envious and sad. I would have to look away, because to see his pain magnified my own. I already felt like an incredible failure and that I was letting him down.

One of the worst fights of our marriage was five days after the D&C with Gummy Bear. I was still experiencing the hormone crash and made the mistake of drinking wine for the first time in months. Not only was my tolerance lower, but seeing that I was already depressed, consuming alcohol was probably the worst thing that I could have done. I was by no means drunk, but I was uninhibited and started saying things that I normally kept in my head.

Finally, I just said it, "I think that we should get a divorce and you should find a real woman who can give you babies."

He was beyond angry with me. His response? "If you think that's all that I want you for, then you don't know me at all."

But I meant it. That night, and many others before and since, I couldn't see why anyone would want a broken woman. I couldn't see how anyone could love me when I hated myself so very much. In my heart and mind, I was preparing to leave my husband and give him the gift of freedom, to find that "real" woman.

We found a way through the darkness, but I sometimes think I was so obsessed with my own pain that I avoided thinking about his. Looking back on it, I was pretty selfish. I was depressed, I was in mourning, I had a right to be sad, but I know that I leaned on him far more than he leaned on me. I was lucky to have him as my rock throughout everything, but he wasn't as fortunate. Looking back on it, I think that this has been just as hard on him, in some cases, more so because he never felt that he could reach out to others as I did. Instead, he kind of shut down. He was still there, but there was an unhappiness beneath the surface.

This morning, as I was putting away laundry, I heard a sound coming from the shower that I hadn't even realized was missing. My husband was whistling. He used to do this every morning, and I loved hearing it. I didn't realize that he had stopped until just now, when I heard it again. It brought back a time that I thought was gone forever, where pure happiness just grabs you and opens up your heart.

He is whistling again. I am so grateful for that sound.

13 comments:

In Search of Morning Sickness said...

This story just breaks my heart. And yet at the end, when you said "where pure happiness just grabs you and opens up your heart" I just welled up with tears. Such a description brought such a vivid reminder of that place... After s much pain your heart sort-of shuts down certain limitations of happiness. You sort of set limits on how much you're allowed to enjoy, because you're scared if you're too happy, it'll get taken from you (again). I am beyond happy for you to have read that he is whistling like this. Thank you for sharing something so specail.

Casey said...

I just started reading your blog a few days ago. I said the same thing to my husband about getting a divorce so he could find someone to give him babies. After miscarrying twins and 20 months of trying, we're still not pregnant, but I know that he loves me. He has assured me that that is not what he wants me for. We are so blessed even if we never have children. I'm sure your hubby feels the same way!

gracechild said...

I know that I have had the sames thoughts and in my post-failed IVF depression, I too asked my husband to go look to starting a family elsewhere. Thanks for sharing.

Chas said...

It's amazing how differently men handle these emotional times. My husband is the same.

Tracy said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad your husband is whistling again!

I've been at that same place...where I was sure my husband was better off without me. But he assured me he'd rather be childless and with me, than have children with somebody else. I'm sure your husband feels the same way.

But now we'll never need to test that theory, will we? Yay, us!

Jen said...

It is so easy to forget about a husband's feelings when your deep in the middle of infertility and treatments. It's the woman whose poked and prodded, and few men are vocal about their thoughts when faced with this struggle.

I'm glad your husband's spirits have been uplifted by your sweet little boy. As for me, I have to say that the past few months have been among the happiest of our 10 year marriage.

Fertilized said...

Katie - My husband and I have had a very similiar conversation about the yelling, saddness, depression, divorce topics.. We have had bad bad times. I found it to be so hard to forgive yourself more than any other person on the planet. THe more i read your blog- the more healing I receive in knowing that I was not the only one - even when i felt I was. Thank you for your honesty and for that - you are being blessed and rewarded .. whistling - just as simple as that

Jen said...

I am glad that you two made it through and he can whistle again. :) Many couples don't.

Samantha said...

I remember saying something similar to my husband at one time. It also made him angry that I would have so little faith in him and appreciation of our love. I had never really thought of it that way until he said it. I was just in sackcloth-and-ashes mode, and feeling sorry for myself. So it is good to remind ourselves that our husbands are not only here for us, but also have gone through a lot of pain of their own. Hopefully we can all support each other.

I'm glad he is whistling again.

Adriane said...

I loved this post, Katie. I am so glad he's whistling again.

Joy said...

I, too, feel the tears stinging my eyes! I am so glad that your husband finally feels safe and secure enough to whistle again!!! And may he whistle every day of his life from here on out!

Men definitely deal with loss very different from us. And what a humble, sweet man to say he doesn't love you just for ability or inability to have children. THAT, my friend, is a TRUE MAN!

waitinginline said...

What a beautiful sound that must have been to your ears. Congratulations on the healing and the whistling. May they both continue!!

Freyja said...

I lean on my husband too much in some ways. But he leans on me too much in others. I'm not sure if we're both right or both wrong. Whatever the case, I'm envious of cause of wistling. But glad you are enjoying it just the same.