Monday, December 29, 2014

A Wedding Night Story: Part One

***DISCLAIMER: If you don't want to know personal things about myself and my husband, or read words like "tampon", "period" or "sex" should just click that handy little "X" right now.  I am past the point of embarrassment, but completely understand that others may not be comfortable with this story. :-)***

How do you begin writing something that is so personal that the thought of others reading about it takes your breath away? 

I have thought about writing our story many times. I have discussed it at length with my husband. I've prayed about it. 

Why do I want to write about it if I am afraid? I think, sometimes, sharing your trials with others can be healing. I also want other women to know they aren't alone; there are many variations of my story. I have heard them, now that I am looking for them.

So with a deep breath, here it goes.

There was once a girl who was not very athletic (spoiler alert: that's me). This girl did not do much sports-ing. Her mother encouraged her, once she had reached a certain age, to use tampons so that life did not absolutely freeze during her period. The thought of it grossed her out, and when she tried, it hurt, so she decided that the pad-life was for her.

Fast forward to 2006. This was the summer that my life changed. I had a tick bite and began to have what I now know to be classic Lyme disease symptoms. 

Unfortunately, Lyme disease awareness was not what it is now, even just nine years later. My doctors did a blood test for a whole host of things, but nothing came back positive. I went from being a healthy, energetic 15-year-old to a weak, migraine-y 16-year-old in just a few short months.

I spent much of my next two years battling doctors, diagnoses, and my own denial. There were times that I should have pushed myself harder and times that I should have rested. 

In my senior year of high school, I took a short-term job with a company and moved to Montana for a month or so. I pushed myself very hard while I was there, but with some bad choices and failing health, God made sure that I made my way back home by the end of May, 2008. His Hand is always providential, and though I could not see it at the time, I quickly saw the benefit of His moving me back home.

In June 2008, I met Patrick. His family had started attending my church while I had been away.

Sure, we'd "met" before. I'm sure people are tired of us joking about it, but on the off chance that you're not – Our families both participated in Home School Day at the local skate rink. So, we literally skated in the same circles as kids, although he was part of the "cool kid" homeschool group, and - shocker - I was not. ;-)

I had a photograph of him from high school, when he was a host at Red Lobster and I went with friends, documenting all the while with a disposable camera (as one did, in 2004).

Those who know me know I am not shy. I recognized him, and brought a copy of the photograph the next week. I walked right up to him and introduced myself. We hit it off and spent the rest of the afternoon (a church picnic) getting to know each other. Within a few weeks, we had roped our siblings into spending the summer playing Frisbee golf, mini golf, and board games. 

By the end of the summer, our relationship was official. He asked my dad for permission to court me, and even though he left for college, our relationship rapidly progressed. I thought we were headed towards marriage in a year or two, but in November, he surprised me with a proposal! 

The college that Patrick was attending had a special apartment building reserved for married students. We were thrilled and began to make plans for our wedding the following June (2009). 

I was also formally diagnosed with Lyme disease in the Fall of 2008. Although no tests would come back 100 percent positive, the PA at my pediatrician's office gave me antibiotics in a last-ditch effort to diagnose by treatment. I saw results within a few weeks and he continued the treatment until I was no longer suffering weekly migraines and muscle weakness.

As we got closer to our wedding date, my mother suggested that I go see a gynecologist. I know I am a grown woman, but still, the word gynecologist gives me the heebie-jeebies. I protested - why would I need to go until after I was sexually active? My pediatrician confirmed that really, there was no need for me to go, and they could even supply me with birth control pills. With my anxieties at bay (for a least a few months), we filled the prescription for birth control pills and I began to take them.

I felt myself becoming an angry person. I yelled and cried a LOT. Maybe it was the stress of the wedding? I convinced myself that it was definitely not because of the pills. You couldn't have children in the married housing at the school, so we were not planning on having children until Patrick graduated. 

June 6, 2009. We were married. All of the barriers, all of the rules - gone. I can't describe it to you. It felt insane. We were exhausted by the preparation and the day. It took 45 minutes to get to our hotel, and another hour until the 40 bobby pins were out of my hair and we were both showered. We had to be up early, so we decided to relax and enjoy our first night as husband and wife with no pressure, just lots of snuggling and some blessed sleep.

This is where it gets difficult to write. Up until this point, my story could be anyone's story. A girl who waited to have sex 'til she's married. We were a nervous couple.

I don't remember very much from our honeymoon. If I'm being honest, I try to block a good portion of it out of my brain. We had fun, and we enjoyed the beautiful West Virginia mountains, the city of Charlottesville, and historical Williamsburg. But we did not consummate our marriage. 

We tried, and tried, and tried. And tried. I cried a lot. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom, praying and begging God to make me "more comfortable" and "less scared." I didn't feel afraid, but without bringing too much detail into an already detailed story - there was searing pain every time we tried. 

To Be Continued... 

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