November was when we both realized this was WAY more than a fling... we had really found someone that fit every facet of what we thought we could ever want... and we needed to make sure we didn't mess it up. We strengthened our friendship, we talked about our pasts and shared the parts of ourselves that we had nurtured and grown since our first marriages failed. Finding someone with the emotional intelligence to handle these kinds of introspective discussions made us really excited! PLUS! We both loved Star Wars!!!
Part of Matt's "hazing" into being in a relationship with a birth doula began in November. It was the month that I had agreed to be the doula at the home births of two very dear friends and both of those births threatened to fall on our planned getaway at the end of the month to see Bruce Springsteen in Portland. Both of those lovely mamas planned on naming their babies Adrian/Adrienne as well... and the babies are forever distinguished as boy-Adrian and girl-Adrienne. We booked the trip, crossed our fingers and daydreamed about what it would be like to be kid-free and far away for 36 hours.
Well, as luck would have it, Boy-Adrian decided to arrive on a Tuesday and Morgan labored hard and beautifully before calling us all in to help her with the delivery. I had sent all the girls off with their dad so I could be ready to go and I'd been checking in with Matt because he knew that this birth would be a strong one for me emotionally. My work is usually emotionally taxing but it is especially emotionally charged when you are assisting someone you love through the pains and endurance of labor. Though I know that labor is a normal process, seeing someone you love endure the emotional and physical pain of birthing is something that I like to plan a bit more self-care for. I was present when Morgan had her daughter 2 years before and she is my best friend and held my hand through two of my babies so the connection with her while she births is very strong.
Knowing that I was at boy-Adrian's birth and needing to focus on Morgan, when Matt woke on that fateful Tuesday with a severe gallbladder attack, he dropped Bean off at daycare and drove himself to the ER. As he lay in agony curled up on a couch in the waiting room, I was texting him giddy messages about the beautiful job my friend was doing and how gorgeous (and huge) her sweet baby boy was. Only as I was driving to get Bucket from preschool did he calmly text "can you talk?" so I called and just about threw the phone out the window when he told me what had happened, where he was and that they planned surgery that afternoon to remove his gallbladder. I replied with a simple, "I'll be there in an hour" and though he seemed surprised, I didn't flinch. I called my friend Matilda and being that she has endured gallbladder removal surgery herself, she was instantly on board with taking my kids. I scooted off to the hospital and parked by his side to distract him until they wheeled him into the OR. Hospitals can be scary places when you're a patient and I was able to utilize my doula skillz to help him stay calm. I think the funniest part was when the doctor came to update me and she explained how royally messed up his gallbladder was and then asked me if I wanted to see a picture of it! I balked and replied "I've only been with the guy for a few weeks, maybe I should ask him first?" HA!
November Part 2 was also interesting... so interesting that it gets it's own post...