In October 2014, me and my older man, Keegan, will have been married for four years, together for seven years, and known each other for nine years. During this entire time, Keegan has been a true, staunch believer in me and anything I have ever wanted to pursue. He has my pure and undivided trust, and I have his. If you would have told me ten years ago that this would be my life today, I would have laughed at you.
Keegan has been by my side for every illness and surgery—all 10 of them—without complaint. He’s my rock, my knight in shining armor, and my true best friend. He’s the only man in the world I would give my life for without a second thought, and I know he feels the same way about me.
We have faced a lot of challenges in our marriage. Immediately after the wedding, Keegan was promoted, and with his already heavy workload, we struggled a lot with communication and managing two full-time jobs, our first-born child, his meddling mother who cared for our firstborn while I worked, our dogs, and the household chores. A lot of it fell on my shoulders while he worked and climbed the corporate ladder.
I was OK with it at first, because I barely made a third of what he did, and we both enjoyed the windfall. But eventually, I grew to resent it (and him), because I wasn’t able to pursue my own career dreams. At the same time, I was also frustrated because I wasn’t able to spend time with our daughter, who was growing quickly. The only way to work things out was for me to quit work, or find another position that offered alternative hours, but no other position was available.
Despite the hitch in our marriage, we decided by that December that it was time to start trying for another baby. We wanted our kids spaced close together, because Keegan wasn’t getting any younger and I wanted to move past the wreckage of my body, despite enjoying pregnancy. We were so set on having a few more kids really quickly that we even traded in my SUV for a minivan. Sure, we only had 1 kid, but we planned to fill that van with a boatload of kids.
Just after the New Year, I was pregnant again. We were ecstatic, but cautiously waiting before telling anyone the news. My former co-worker, Jennifer, had come over to look at my taxes and she was the first person I told; however, looking back that was probably a mistake. Her response was udder shock and disgust. “How could you let that happen so soon after having a C-section?” she gawked. Jennifer was never married and had no children of her own.
I was absolutely taken aback by her kneejerk, judgmental response. She left the house somewhat quickly after that and we haven’t really spoken since. What she said really left me unsettled. If she reacted so poorly, surely a majority of people would react similarly, or so I thought. When I told my family, they were thrilled. My mom was over the moon to have another grandchild. Keegan’s family was also happy; they had all waited so long for him to start his family. For the first time in a long time, our marriage felt like it was back on track. Unfortunately, that happiness would be short-lived.