Four years ago today, I woke up in a fabulous bed and breakfast in San Francisco (seriously, stay at the Union Street Inn if you're going, it's a wonderful place) next to my newly minted husband.
We'd been together for a little shy of three years at this point, and I though I knew everything I needed to know. I knew he had an incredibly compassionate and kind heart. I knew he could make me laugh, and that I wanted to be with him even when I didn't like him very much. Our engagement period was difficult, and I knew we could form a loyal unit even when everything seemed to be conspiring against us.
But what I think about everything that we've been through since that sunny crisp morning on the other side of the country, I realize I knew almost nothing. I didn't know then that my parents would divorce and he would get me through it, that I would suffer a crippling depression, that we both would undergo massive changes in our careers and aspirations. I didn't know he possesed strength to be there for me in the ways he was, that his love for me was so deep, that he would become my home base and my sense of safety in this world. And I certainly didn't anticipate that our journey through infertility would take so long and be so heartbreaking. I had no idea we would share so many tears each month when my period started, that we would fight so bitterly over how seriously we needed to take things, and that ultimately, we would somehow find our way to each other again, more strong and loving than we were before.
I thought back a lot, on our anniversary this past Thursday, about where we were last year. I remember enjoying the day, even taking some pleasure in the fact we could go out and have adult beverages with our meals and not worry about rushing home to a sitter. I think because so many other occasions had been ruined by the elephant in the living room that infertility creates in your life, I decided I would try to enjoy what we could do instead of what we weren't able to.
But the fact that at that point we'd been trying for two solid years, and that everyone we knew was home with their babies while we were out on the town, did lay a pall over that day. I know it was on both of our minds. What if every year is like this? Can being able to take trips and go for nice dinners and buy a good bottle of wine to share compensate for our lack of a family?
And you know what? It couldn't. This year, as I am great with child, looking awful, with no wine, no sex and in bed by 11, it's better. We're both overwhelmed by the knowledge that God willing, we're welcoming home a baby girl in six weeks. That this will be the last special occasion before everything changes, forever.
My wedding was an occasion of stress, and I never really felt that googly-eyed love they tell you you're supposed to on my wedding day. I remember the look on Paul's face as I walked down the aisle, and I remember saying our vows and really meaning them. But now, today, after all the trials we have endured, I can't imagine life without him. He's my strength, my joy, my happy place after a bad day. And I finally get to have his baby.