If you're all caught up on our Holy Week and Easter Sunday then you already know that our little Gabriel battled his first stomach virus...and then passed it to us a couple of days later.
I thought battling a mere cold during pregnancy was miserable, but in case you weren't sure I'll go ahead and tell you that dealing with a stomach virus while pregnant is far worse. Every time I got sick my thoughts immediately went to all of the women of this world that deal with morning sickness for weeks (sometimes months on end) during pregnancy. How insanely blessed am I not to have had those firsthand experiences?
Long story short, stomach viruses are miserable.
Oddly enough, though, there were some beautiful things that came from all of this that were just too good not to write down.
When Michael first got sick I was already feeling very queasy so I stayed in the other room out of fear that I may start to gag, too. However, the first time I got sick my husband immediately ran into the bathroom behind me and stayed by my side (fortunately we had already gotten our toddler to bed). He asked if there was anything he could do and at one point he even gently brushed my hair back to make sure it was out of my face. In that moment I realized that my husband is an amazing caregiver. And he continued to prove this to me time and time again over the course of the next couple days as we both recuperated.
|Just a cute photo of my husband being adorable & loving back before we were even engaged|
It might sound ridiculous for me not to have known this about my husband sooner, but I think that's a personality trait that you can't fully know about unless you've had reason to experience your spouse taking care of you. Michael and I are both pretty healthy individuals which means that in our 2.5 years of marriage we honestly haven't had too many opportunities to care for one another through illnesses or injuries beyond the common cold. I'm overwhelmingly blessed to have experienced two healthy, smooth-sailing pregnancies (thus far - 33 weeks and counting!) without morning sickness or the need for something like bed-rest. I am apparently weird and have never even experienced pregnancy "cravings" to the point of requesting my husband go out of his way to pick up a special food for me.
I'd be lying if I said I hadn't secretly wondered what kind of caregiver my husband would be if the need ever arose for him to seriously take care of me...and now I know. I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit surprised (in a good way!) at how great he was at caring for me. It's not that I doubted his love for me or anything of the sort, but I'd simply never seen that side of him before and he rose to the occasion in ways I didn't expect.
It sounds a bit twisted, but experiencing this brief illness and witnessing my husband doing his best to care for me gave me a sense of confidence that (God forbid) should the need arise for him to take care of me in a more serious capacity as we age he will do a fabulous, loving job. And it inspired and reminded me to care for him better, too.
Sometimes pregnancy requires us women to focus on our health and our needs because it also impacts our growing baby...but that doesn't mean I should ignore opportunities to take care of others if I'm well enough to do so. After all, it's impossible to show my husband too much love. So why not do my best every opportunity I can? That's the kind of wife I want to be.
So here's to being reminded that I can always strive to do better at living my promise of a lifetime loving and honoring this man. In sickness and in health.
"I (name) take you (name) to be my wife/husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life."
-the Catholic wedding vows we promised on our wedding day