Saturday, October 16, 2010

Back by Popular Demand: My Feelings

On Wednesday night Mindy and I had sex for the fourth time since the middle of February. That's right, 8 months. It's not really any of your business, but I thought you should know, so I could show you how rough that whole preemie baby thing was.

Monday, October 18, will be our 2 year wedding anniversary (we've been together 5 years and some change). Last year we went to Oktoberfest in Hermann and speculated about Mindy being pregnant while I drank red wine. We can't make it to Oktoberfest this year (or any other types of fests, really) because of Cyrus. He's not really supposed to leave the house very much until March because of RSV season.

I love October. And I just realized it's already halfway over. I love October because of the crumbly leaves, apple butter, the way the wind feels, the way the sun sets, the equal amount of light and dark; it's a perfectly balanced season. I love pumpkins, and Halloween is really the only holiday I care about. This are all reasons I wanted to get married in October.

Something about the balance makes sense.

People like to say that marriage has its ups and downs, "You'll go through hard times and good times" All of those damn things people say.

As far as our love for each other, our trust and laughter, Mindy and I have never trembled. But Cyrus, our symbol of love, has been the hardest on our relationship:

Besides our sex life crumbling the minute Mindy went into the hospital in March (who feels like having sex when your wife's cervix can't contain the amniotic sac?). And then, who feel sexy after seeing a tiny baby in a plastic cage? Sex was the last thing on my mind after hours spent staring at our 2 pound baby with tubes running out of him. And after he came home, there was really no time for it...though we did it once while he was sleeping beside us. I know you've all done it.

Wednesday night was awkward. We made sure Cyrus was in another room, though, while the baby monitor was on. We had planned it, you see; we had to. We kinda sat there a while, waiting for something to happen. Like a first date without all the questions, but still the nervousness. There wasn't much foreplay since it was so late. I had papers to grade and a midterm to proctor. I finally said we should just get naked. So, we got naked.

You know, it was only a week ago last year that Mindy was inseminated, that I wrote that there are risks to having a baby, that I wasn't sure if parenthood was for me. I never thought she'd get pregnant on the first try. I thought I had a year, at least, to reconsider. But Cy-guy was ready. He was so ready to meet us, he came way too soon. But he is beautiful. Besides eating from a bottle, he seems to do everything other babies do. He head's flat on one side, but the helmet should fix that.

In the past few weeks I've started to feel normal again. I mean, our son is home and safe; we've established our routine. Though we actually get about 8 hours of sleep a night, we're still always exhausted. I've learned to write while he's sleeping (right now).

The only fights Mindy and I have had have to do with Cyrus, but only indirectly. We're exhausted; we say things in a tired voice that the other misinterprets. It's nothing horrible. I wonder though, if this is one of those downs that the old folk speak of. We've been through an experience that I can only described as "totally fucked up," but we've made it out alive. All of us. We've even made it out still in love.

Right now my wife is at work. Our son is snoozing on the floor under his gym; he's wearing a glow-in-the-dark skeleton outfit that my mom bought him. I have more papers to grade. I'm always busy. But this is our life now.

I've learned to ignore things, too. Petty things that might have bothered me last year. I don't have time for your bullshit because my son was born 15 weeks prematurely Oh, I know, some day I won't be a victim. Some day I will have forgotten, the day I'm trying to tell Cyrus what happened, why he's so special. Why his torso has a huge scar. Why why why...

If you know me, or you've read anything I've written before, you know I don't believe in true love. I think every person out there is capable of falling in love with millions of people, of loving that person completely. I still think marriage is a choice. Two years ago I chose one of the many that I've loved. Together we chose to have a baby. We choose every day to love each other, despite our exhaustion and trauma. I know it's cheesy, but our love is. Sometimes I want to barf when I think of how we love each other. See, I can't even write about how and how much I love Mindy because you'd throw up. I have to stop here.

We work because we are different in the right ways: she is tired when I'm peppy. I'm exhausted and drunk when she wants to cuddle Cyrus. In the same respect, we are alike in the right ways, always knowing what the other wants for dinner, what she's feeling. While one is hating on the world, the other listens. When one is too tired to make the first move, the other steps up to the plate. We're a good balance, the light and the dark.


  1. The last paragraph. That is why I love being around you and Mindy.

  2. I vastly prefer your feelings to my own. Not too long from now (ten or twenty years) we'll sit around with a bottle of wine and laugh but not about this.

  3. "See, I can't even write about how and how much I love Mindy because you'd throw up. I have to stop here."

    Hold up. You share with us the last time you had sex with your wife along with other intimate details of your life, but have difficulty writing about your love for Mindy?

    Surely ye jest.

  4. You do seem to have a good balance.
    This is so beautifully honest.

    Even people with typical childbirths and children without challenges go through this. The first year is tough, sleep deprivation, stress, etc...takes its toll. But you've been through even more. With effort, it will get easier.

    I have a severely disabled child who is growing and life is getting harder, but my husband and I learned to put one another first and everything else follows. We are on the same team. We went from hardly having sex when our boy was little but it seemed like the more we didn't do it, the more distant we'd become and less likely to have sex. I know that putting sex on a schedule doesn't sound romantic- but DO IT. The more you do it, the more you'll want to (from my experience.)

  5. Hearing this makes my heart soar. I am so happy for you guys, that your little family is as beautiful and complete as you deserve for it to be. Very glad to hear that he is doing well at home. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to update us. I've never met you but I love you all.

    Here's to more of the same (and better)!