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.