I could easily write a book about my husband and his awesomeness. We have known each other for a little over six years, having dated for four of them and been married for almost two. We met in college, studied together, partied together, loved together, fought together, lived together, cooked together, ran together (literally ran, to try and get fit, it only lasted for a few weeks), wrote together, traveled together, experienced four power outages together, conceived a child together, parented together and committed our lives to each other together. We had lots of ups and a few downs, even taking a break in our relationship at one point to reset (which was actually the best decision ever), but our love was, and is, truly enduring, and not a day goes buy that I don’t thank the powers that be for putting Ryan in my life.
I believe that Ryan was my missing piece (the sane part of me that was always out of reach). He is my second half. He is what completes me in every sense of the word. I can’t imagine life without him, and I don’t even want to try. I often wish that I had known him my entire life, though I’m glad I met him when I had a better idea of what kind of person I wanted to be and what I needed in a partner. But I still feel like every year spent without him was a year wasted.
The best thing about having Ryan as my husband is that he not only supports me when I need help physically (being pregnant can be challenging), but also when I need help emotionally. I made some of the biggest decisions of my life over the past two years, and he supported me through them all. He scratched my back when I cried myself to sleep with stress and worry, and he listened to me think out loud about whether or not to quit my job to find something better and spend more time with our daughter. I felt confident in every decision I made because I knew he was there for me, and there is nothing more comforting than a husband who cares about every aspect of your life.
And then there's our regular day-to-day life. Before I became pregnant for the second time, Ryan and I were pretty good about splitting household duties evenly. We rarely felt that one was doing more work around the house than the other (and if we ever did feel that way we spoke up) and I’ve never felt alone on my motherhood journey and all that it requires. Now that I’m almost six months pregnant, I can’t do as much as I used to, but that’s okay, because I have Ryan.
Ryan gives me the good spot on the couch so I can stretch my legs out.
He does the dishes way more often than I do because unloading and loading the dishwasher hurts my back and irritates my uterus.
He bathes Lorelei for the same reasons, even though doing so irritates his eczema-ridden hands.
He makes delicious breakfast burritos every weekend.
He cleans the litter box so that our little unborn baby girl and I don’t get toxoplasmosis.
He carries all of the groceries into the house by himself.
He vacuums both levels of the house without me needing to ask (though Lorelei shaking a salt shaker all over the living room is a pretty good prompt).
He moves furniture around for me over and over again during my nesting moments until the setup is just perfect, and he doesn’t complain once.
He gets my car washed and takes it to get an oil change so I don’t have to.
He makes lunch for me most days of the week.
He carries my multiple, giant bags of potting soil up to our third-level balcony when I feel like pretending I know how to plant things.
He takes Lorelei for a dip in the ocean when I just need a minute to soak up the sun.
He plays music for the baby in utero, and lies next to me with his hands on my belly, hoping the songs he’s chosen for her will make her dance.
He makes pregnancy so much more bearable, and for that I am forever grateful. Like, forever and ever grateful.
I often wonder, how did I get so lucky? How did our children get so lucky to have such a cool, fun, loving, helpful, strong dad? Maybe it’s all of the cool crystals I’ve been buying (maybe the energy they transmit is the real deal). Maybe it’s because soul mates aren’t an unattainable myth and Ryan and I truly were meant for each other, as evidenced in the way we balance each other perfectly. Maybe it’s because I’ve said bedtime prayers ever since I memorized the “Our Father” at the age of six. Or maybe it's because I decided to be an optimist when I became pregnant with Lorelei a few years ago, and as a result I've attracted happy things to my life.
Whatever it was, I’m grateful for it. Life is so much more peaceful and enjoyable these days thanks to the part of myself I call “my loving and supportive husband.”
Photography by Jenna Bechtholt.