Cody didn't get to panic when we found out that we were going to be parents. Perhaps he wanted to, but that just wasn't possible.... because I had already claimed that role. Instead he got stuck in the supporter, comforter, encourager role...a far less appealing role at a time of such crisis as realizing there was a tiny hearbeat growing inside of me that would present itself to the world as a BABY that I would have to take care of. A CHILD I could handle, but a BABY, a non verbal, non mobile, non funny BABY.....
It was a Friday, and it's just one of those days that I remember pieces of very vividly. I remember leaving school just to go back in and ask the teacher across the hall where exactly I needed to go to get a pregnancy test.
I remember looking at the tests in the drugstore, and scoffing at the idea of paying more to get a test that said "Pregnant or Not Pregnant." (I went back that night and purchased two of those :)
I remember NOT EVEN waking Cody up when I took the test because I was SO sure that I would just tell him after it was negative.
I remember calling a friend and asking what a very, very faint line means. I remember opening the unused test to see if the test line was already a little pink.
Then I remember Cody walking sleepily into the bathroom, hugging me close, and after my listening to my serious questioning of the pink line validity, saying "I think this means we're pregnant."
So then, of course, we went to doctor's appointments, and kept our little secret for the standard three months, and decided on sweet and cute ways to tell everyone. Oh, that all sounds so sweet...too bad none of it is true...we IMMEDIATELY called our parents, Joe and Jonie, and several friends and blurted out the unlikely news that a baby would be here to greet us all in about nine months.
We were going to celebrate our new heartbeat with some friends at Cracker Barrell, and we were driving past the Food Lion intersection, and I am still panicking, and Cody says,
"We'll get to hear his first words, and see his first steps, and tell him his first stories. It will be exciting to watch him grow and learn, and you're going to be a great mom...." And if I knew that I would be okay, because my baby sure did have an amazing daddy to take care of him (of course at that time, I was insisting that it was a her) and his mommy. When I think about the day we found out we were pregnant, it it this moment that I think of. I hear these words, and I feel the support and comfort and peace that it brought at that time. These are lasting words to me, and how beautiful they are!
About nine months later, we had some trouble with the delivery, and Cody was there to take care of both of us. He would give me ice, and sometimes, he would even get a little water in the spoon where the ice had melted, and I KNEW that I was the luckiest wife in the world.
When you get married, you vow to be together in sickness or health, but that is sure to mean when you are both old. Here we were, almost two years after our wedding date, and Cody is having to help me stand up, help me walk all bent over, help me wash my hair....help me everything. I couldn't even tell him or anyone else how grateful I was for all that he was doing without combusting into uncontrollable tears.
Even after we got home, Cody changed every diaper for almost a month. He gave Ryder his first bath, and he would hand him to me and help me sit up to feed him at night. He fixed me supper, and walked my very, very slow walk up and down the cul-de-sac to let me get out some. When he had to go back to work, I cried everyday for a week because I didn't know how I would take care of Ryder without him. He always told me "I know you can do it. I know you'll be okay." And then he would call again after he had been gone about ten minutes to tell me the same thing.
It's almost three years later, but thinking about those early days seems like a different life. Ryder was a great baby, and he is a most wonderful child. He is funny, and quirky, and sweet, and so smart, and very beautiful-He is his daddy's boy.
Cody plays kayaking with him in the clothes basket, or makes up stories, or plays the guitar while Ryder sings. He teaches him, and hugs him, and wrestles with him, and disciplines him, and loves him, and he takes care of Ryder and his momma. He works hard so that I can stay home with Ryder, and he's provided us a beautiful home, and everything we need, and more.
I am so blessed to share my life with such a wonderful man who promised me, before we even knew Ryder, how exciting it would be when we were waitingforRyder to take the next step in his life. He was right in ways that neither of us could have expected. Thank you, Cody, for being a wonderful husband and a wonderful father to our precious son.
*Pictures taken by Denise Skelton (www.skeltonphotography.com)