I remember the day I took the pregnancy test. When I walked out of the bathroom, still in shock, and into Scott’s office and said, “hey, I think you should come and look at this.” Because, honestly, I couldn’t even believe it. In that moment, as we adjusted to the shock, and excitement, and fear, and joy–in that moment–we became parents.
Scott became a dad the moment we found out we were pregnant. And, not only that, but he became the best dad.
He took care of me relentlessly throughout my pregnancy. Even when he joked about taking selfies with me while I puked up everything I ate. He took over, literally, everything when I was too tired to move and too sick to function.
He made sacrifices. He moved his upstairs office with a view into the basement. He did not only his normal household chores, but mine too. He cooked and cleaned and fixed things around the house. He took me out on dates. He let me drive all the time so I wouldn’t get carsick riding shotgun. He went to every single doctor’s appointment. He laid his hand on my belly in the evenings and waited for Alexander to squirm and move and kick.
He put together furniture from IKEA and painted the nursery. He helped me sand and repaint a shelf that he and his dad had built together so that it would match the nursery. It was going to be the perfect gift for our son. He attended both baby showers and put up with all the “girly” pregnancy things.
When I got nervous about not feeling Alexander move as much, he drove me to the doctor. He sat with me in the waiting room and held my hand. He tried everything he could to help calm my nerves and to assure me that everything would be okay. When the world came crashing down around us, he wept with me, and he held me. And then he went to work doing what I couldn’t do. He called our parents and our pastors and our siblings.
He drove us to the hospital and stayed by my side every moment of every day until Alexander was born. He helped make all of the hard decisions. He kept our friends and family in the loop. He held my hand and looked me in the eye during the c-section, and even though he was so scared, he promised me that we would get through this and that we would be okay.
As soon as Alexander was out, and they weighed him and measured him, I could see the pride on his face. It was mixed with grief, but there was so much pride. “We made a really cute baby. He’s perfect.” was one of the very first things he said to me.
I watched him hold Alexander and tell him how precious he was. How loved he was. And how much we were going to miss him. He showed him off with pride to our parents and siblings as they came into the room to meet him. He talked with pride about Alexander’s huge feet and his long fingers.
The moment we stood in the bathroom staring at that pregnancy test, the second he knew Alexander was coming, Scott became the very best dad there is.
Even now. Even as we are making preparations for Alexander’s memorial service and as we process what it looks like to be parents to a child who isn’t here with us. Even without his son here on earth, this man that I am married to is the very best dad there is.
Last weekend we went out with some friends, and I watched as Scott played with our friends’ kids. He held A’s hand as she walked along the curbs like a balance beam. He snuck up behind E and tickled her. He gave them high fives and pats on the head. The dad in him just oozes out. And since Alexander isn’t here, all that dad energy has to go somewhere. It wrecked me. Because he won’t ever get to do those things with Alexander. And I know he would have been the best.
I can see it when he jumps in the back seat of the car with one of our friends’ kids and teaches him all about the latest robot battle game he is playing on his phone. I can see it when he runs around with middle schoolers shooting nerf guns at church. I can see it when he shares highs and lows and joins in the conversation with our high school Sunday School class. I can see it when he laughs and jokes around with the boys in youth group. And I can see it when he exchanges high fives and fist bumps with our friends’ kids.
The other night we stopped by Great Clips so Scott could get a haircut. While he was sitting in the chair, the girl cutting his hair asked him about his family. “So, are you married? Do you have any kids?” Without hesitation, and without apology for the awkwardness that it would cause, he proudly told her about Alexander. “Yes, I have a son, but he was stillborn this summer.”
A lot of times it can seem like because I’m the one blogging, and I’m the one who works at the church, and I’m the one who was pregnant, that I get a lot of the attention–a lot of the questions about how I’m doing, etc. But Scott is hurting too. He lost his son and his future and his plans, too.
He can’t help it. He is Alexander’s dad, and he is the very best dad there is. And, he’s grieving too.