I heard something horrible the other day. I was talking to a group of friends about people in chemo and someone was saying how many spouses divorce or run around on one another while their battling cancer. The only words I have for that are swear words. Seriously, who does that?
But it got me to thinking about some pamphlets I was handed once. Pamphlets about cheating husbands, marital problems, divorce and support groups. I was handed those pamphlets from the hospital Chaplin, after my baby died.
I remember being confused by the pamphlets, probably because I was still in shock. And probably because suggesting my husband would leave me because our baby died is just as disgusting as the suggestion that someone would leave you when you’re fighting for your life. But for me, that’s not what happened. For me, because God gives me more than I’ll ever deserve, I have a clutch husband.
Before I ever got pregnant, my husband said he would not be in the delivery room. This kind of talk continued when we found out I was pregnant with our first child. So I was prepared to deliver with my women. If there’s one thing I’ve always known, it’s how strong my female tribe is. And as it turns out, I have delivered all 3 of my babies surrounded by these strong, brave and incredible women. What I did not know was how strong my husband is.
I was halfway through my pregnancy when we heard the worst words you can hear while pregnant, “no heartbeat”. Immediately I went numb, I literally blacked out. My husband had to carry me out of the doctor’s office through a back door. I have very little memory of this time. I do remember the car running off the road a few times on the way home and wondering if he was okay to drive.
My husband was very calm on the way to the hospital. I remember the shade of white his faced turned when we signed the scary forms about risks to my life. I remember my people showing up and wondering how they knew to come and I remember telling him to leave when I delivered. I told him I understood and that I wouldn’t be mad, to just go. And after a very long night in labor with him by my side, I remember the fear on his face when my water broke. I remember after he ran to get help, looking under the curtain and seeing his feet facing the wall. I imagined his face pressed against the wall wishing he was anywhere but there. I remember hoping, for his sake, he would just go. Run. RUN. But he didn’t. Because he is a clutch husband.
He walked back in the room, looked into my eyes, held my hand and sat beside me as I delivered our tiny son. Clutch husband.
I don’t remember any physical pain during delivery and there were no drugs. I do remember the screaming. I remember thinking how agonizing those screams sounded; the devastating, emotional kind of screams and I remember when I realized they were mine. There were tears running down every face in the room. And I remember at some point when my suffering became too much for him to bear, he pressed his face firmly into the mattress. But he never left and he never let go of my hand. Clutch husband.
He held my hand through every step afterwards and I still don’t know how he endured through his personal grief about the day he became a father, because he was too busy helping me survive. To this day, even when I know he’d rather not think about it, he never gets tired of listening to me. When I have a hard time, he never stops holding my hand. I have never had to use the pamphlets. Clutch husband.
My hope is that every person in crisis enduring unimaginable traumas have someone who comes through for them. I pray for you all a clutch husband; this is the story of mine.