In November Gavin and I celebrated our 15 year anniversary. 15 years! Wow, that time went by so fast. I remember when Zoe was born I felt devastated. We had left her at the hospital for the first time and I couldn't stop crying. And after lying in bed for a while, Gavin fell asleep but I laid there wide awake. And I remember feeling devastated, not just for Zoe but also for my marriage. What was going to happen? I thought, "Will we make it?" Having a child with disabilities puts a tremendous strain on your marriage. In our first year of marriage we had gotten pregnant (something we were told could not happen because of Gavin's cancer history), found out my immigration paperwork had gone through, moved to Canada and started new jobs. There's a few major stressers right there! In the second year of our marriage, Zoe was born. Would Gavin be on the same page as me regarding Zoe? How long before he takes off like many dads have done?
Turns out that Gavin and I were definitely on the same page. We made important choices in those first few days without even speaking about many things. We just knew what Zoe needed and we knew that no matter the cost to us, we were going to give it to her. Gavin supported me 1000% (yes, that's 1,000) on breastfeeding Zoe even though it involved a lot of extra work for both of us. There were times when I was so tired from pumping and feeding Zoe that I could barely keep my eyes open. Gavin would spoon feed me while I nursed our beautiful, wonderful daughter. And he would take my pumped milk and put it down Zoe's feeding tube while I slept. There have been many times Gavin and I worked in sync without much comment. Many diaper changes on airplanes, appointments with doctors, taking care of each other and our children.
Of course there were times when we weren't in sync. Times that got really hard. Times when commitment felt like a commitment. But through all the years Gavin and I knew we could count on each other when it truly mattered. We are truly partners and that is why we are still together after all this time.
We are so grateful for all the people who have helped us take the time we need to take care of our relationship. We have been very lucky over the years to have amazing respite people and nurses. However, if we did not have Gavin's dad Alan, we would not be able to go away every year for our anniversary. Respite people and nurses come and go throughout the years but Alan's commitment to us, to our family and ensuring Gavin and I have time for eachother has never wavered.
This year we rented a cottage in one of the provincial parks to celebrate. We went away for three lovely nights. The cottage was perfect- we had a kitchen to make our own meals, a lovely fireplace and a big bed for sleeping. We did a lot of sleeping! We also had time to go hiking which was loads of fun, we haven't done that in a while.
I am so lucky that Gavin and I found eachother. Without him, I wouldn't have any of this. He is amazingly generous. We joke that if there is something I want, even if Gavin is not on the sage page initially, it will happen. (Like that camper he is going to buy me next year so we can camp and give Zoe privacy while doing her hour long MACE bowel flush...right? We are buying that right?) He takes care of all of us time and time again. Even after having his spinal cord tumour removed and getting meningitis not once, but twice (who does that?) he has gone back to work. He puts all his energy toward taking care of our family. And he is never boring- I have to say- that guy keeps me on my toes. I don't think I've been bored a single day since I met him!