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For Better or For Worse, in Sickness and in Health

This is such a popular phrase for couples about to be wed. They recite it in their giddy anticipation of being married, many in their late teens, early or mid twenties. Some, not knowing what future will await them. My husband and I are now married for 11 years. I know when we took our vows, we didn’t realize what was going to come, but we took our vows seriously and without hesitation. So, I figured I’d tell our story.

My husband and I met on a blind date. We were set up by a mutual friend. I knew many of the people in his office, so it was fun to hang out with him and in his group.

Our attraction was fast. We were very similar with a lot of things, and we hit it off instantly. Scott worked at an accounting firm during the week but was with the Army National Guard one weekend a month, two weeks a year. I was working with a small office that handled the juvenile court system, adult court, private psychological work and social security and disability patients.

The Proposal

Scott proposed to me via excel spreadsheet.

What? Yes, he did! The excel spreadsheet. Each cell had a question and I had to answer it. It revealed part of a picture. And on the picture it said “Will you marry me?” And, I said “Yes”

our first Christmas as an engaged couple

One of the things looming in our future was my future husbands possible deployment. While Scott was Army National Guard, it was 2008 and the US was deeply involved in Afghanistan and fighting the Taliban. One of my friends had her husband overseas many times and had told me about him getting sent over for 15 month and 18 month deployments.

Wedding

We were married on a very hot and humid day in August in Connecticut! Married by a riverbank, we had friends and family that came from around the world to see us exchange our promises to each other. We had an army chaplain perform the ceremony. At our rehearsal, my father realized that the army chaplain had worked for him as a teen! There are so many lovely pictures and memories from that night.

Gosh, we look young! 2008
Scott, Me, Our Dog Roxy and Steve

Our First Pregnancy

The pregnancy was awful. I went to UCONN (University of Connecticut) hospital and OBGYN and a high risk specialist. They saw a heart beat at 6 weeks. I started bleeding profusely at 8 weeks, and the doctor wouldn’t do an ultrasound. The doctor told me it was too late, and the baby was gone. I received a paper that the baby was miscarried.

Scott took me home. I remember sitting on the stairs, and I said that I refused to agree with the doctor. I wanted another opinion. So, we went to another hospital. Scott knew I had a stubborn streak, plus he also had hope that there was still a chance!

We arrived at the other hospital and they did the wand ultrasound. Little one was still thumping away with the heartbeat going strong. Dr. Rhee, a new obstetrician, came in and explained to me that some people have some bleeding, and they would keep an eye on me. Scott and I went home and took a deep breath.

baby

The Baby Scan

I had to go back to UCONN for the scan, which made me angry. I did not want to go back to the place that told me my baby was gone. But, Dr. Rhee promised me all was going to be ok. So, we had the scan.

But, everything was not ok. The scan showed the baby had Trisomy 18 and was a boy.

We did a lot of research. Scott and I again were in a fluster. All this was supposed to be happy news and we have another bang to our life. We decided we were going to see what was going to happen. The doctors gave us a lot of “options” that we put out of our mind. We planned a “baby moon” to Chicago in August, and we were going to enjoy life and try to just enjoy each other’s company and wait until the next scan.

Chicago Willis Tower 2009

Chicago was fun, but it is hard walking around a city when you are pregnant and have to pee every five minutes! I remember Scott helping me find (and coerce) people to let me use bathrooms a lot. Now, that’s a good husband.

Another scan came in September, and baby seemed great. Trisomy 18 markers had disappeared. Baby Boy was looking great.

The Waiting Game

Then, October came around. Scott and Steven, Scott’s younger brother, were set to start predeployment in November. Baby Boy was due in November. Great Timing, right? Scott and Steven were not in the same unit. Scott was in the Connecticut National Guard and Steven was in the Vermont National Guard, as Steven had gone to Norwich University and had joined earlier. However, they were part of the same brigade, which is a big group that is part of the same family.

Sick

In October, swine flu (H1N1) started going around the world. The flu shots were kind of hard to get, and I was indecisive on whether or not I should get one. Before I had the chance to decide, I ended up getting the swine flu. While I was 8 months Pregnant.

I started feeling awful while Scott was in predeployment drills. He had just headed back to his civilian job for a week, and my parents came over to help me out. I couldn’t even get out of bed, and my parents called the ambulance. Back to UCONN Hospital. In the ER, they told me to put on a face mask. I remember yelling to the doctor “I can barely breathe, you put on one!”

I’m a little snarky sometimes.

I know they had Scott running around like a wild man. This poor guy had a a job, military and a baby on the way. “In Sickness or Health” was coming to turn one year after marriage.

I was quickly escorted to ICU. I stayed in ICU for a few days where Dr. Rhee visited me every morning and every evening. Dr Rhee was truly an amazing doctor. The doctors were very close to pulling Munchie out of me, but they did not. A week later, I went home with Munchie still in my belly. A Miraculous recovery.

Three weeks later, Scott left for training. He was supposed to be able to come home for Christmas and New Years, which was amazing, but then it was off to Afghanistan. Whether he was going to be home for Munchie’s birth was uncertain. It was a waiting game.

The Birth

Scott made it to the hospital about an hour before I started having to push with Munchie. And, he had just started to fall asleep. The Nurses checked on me and said “Oh, gosh, the baby is crowning.”

Poor Scott and my mom had nodded off a bit. I had been sort of drugged with some pain meds and tired. I don’t do well with medications.

At this point, I yelled “FIRE DRILL”. Not sure why I decided to do this, but I did. My poor husband jerked awake and I saw the panic in his eyes. He had been awake most of the day and it was about 2 in the morning. He scanned the room and was assessing how to get his very pregnant wife out of the hospital as she was about to deliver a baby. This remains a sort of joke to this day. How far he is going to go for me, and how badly I tolerate medications.

We delivered a very healthy Munchie on November 29th, 2009.

Daddy and Munchie

Scott and Steven both were able to be home for Christmas and we had a baptism for Munchie. Then, they were off to Afghanistan in separate parts of the country. The deployment was very tough. Luckily, I had my parents and in-laws and Munchie and I spent time with both families. However, August 22nd came and we received devastating news that my brother in law Steven was killed in action in Afghanistan.

steven deluzio

Changes

Unfortunately for Scott, he knew about Steven before his parents, Steven’s Fiance or I did and he couldn’t call home. I found this out much later. Military protocol didn’t allow him to call home until everyone was notified through the proper channels. By the time Scott was able to call me, he was already on his way home. But, I was grateful that he was on his way home.

It took Scott a few days to get home, and our family met him in the airport. Unfortunately, news crews were also there. There were also people who wanted to shake my husbands’ hand and thank him for his service, but they really didn’t know why he was home. I handed Scott our baby in hopes that people wouldn’t want to reach out and try to shake his hand.

The first couple says Scott was home was a whirlwind. I have to say it was good to have him home, but such a sad reason. After the funeral, Scott had to go have a “debrief” . It was so hard to have him leave again, but luckily it was a short time. When he got back from that, we all had a lot to process.

My husband started a podcast about his service, what he went through with losing his brother and how he readjusted to civilian life called the “Drive On Podcast”.

While Scott was in Afghanistan, he injured his knee. One day Scott was on a helicopter and was told to get off. They were told they were on ground, but they weren’t. With all the gear Scott had on (his body weight), his knee became injured. Unfortunately, the VA system didn’t see anything wrong with Scott’s knee even though he could barely walk. Luckily, Scott had insurance through his civilian job and could get the knee surgery he needed so he could walk and run without constant pain. He also needed a hearing aid because he lost his hearing in his right ear.

More Love

Time rolled around and we had two more children, Giggles and Dimples! luckily, their pregnancies weren’t as complicated as Munchie’s. However. Giggles ultrasound did show up as a boy. We went to the hospital expecting to have a boy, and surprise! For a few minutes, people thought we were lying! Dimple’s pregnancy was a bit harder. Having kids back to back can be tough on the body, and I was on bedrest for a lot of his pregnancy. Scott was working at home and luckily we had a lot of help from friends and family who watched the kids.

Moving

In a few years, Connecticut got slammed with hurricanes, snow storms and crazy high taxes. Scott and I discussed what our future was looking like if we stayed where we were. Almost three years in a row, we lost power for over 2 weeks because of snow storms. The cost of moving snow is significant. If you think about it, it’s actually really silly too. It eventually melts! So, we listed what we wanted and we settled on a few different places. In November 2013, we flew out to Surprise, Arizona and we loved it.

January 1st, 2014 we started our trek across the United States. Two cars, Three kids and a dog. Our kids were 4 months, 1 1/2 and 4 at the time. We just beat another winter storm as we drove cross country. It took us six days to drive across, and it was tiring but very scenic. I probably could never drink that much caffeine again in my life!

My husband started his business and I started this blog! Munchie went to preschool and then I met people at a park one day who talked to me about homeschooling. After a few bad experiences at his preschool, we took him out and homeschooled for four years, until…

In sickness and in Health…Again

Many of you know that in 2018 I ended up in the hospital. I was training for a half marathon at the time. Scott was doing a bit of traveling for his work ( he owns a plugin company called Amplify Plugins). Scott had a cold on my birthday, so when I got a cold a few days later, I didn’t think much of it. A mom cold, right? Plug on and keep going!

Until, I couldn’t. September first, my brain was fizzling and I became paranoid. Scott couldn’t get me to make sense, and he was really worried, and decided I needed to go to the emergency room. I didn’t want to go down the stairs. I was scared I was scaring the kids.

By the time we got to the hospital, just a few miles away, I could barely walk on my own. When I sat down in the nurses chair for check in, I could no longer speak. I started the first of three grand mal seizures and was admitted to the hospital.

Unfortunately I don’t remember anything, but this was an excruciating time for my husband. His parents were traveling, but luckily my parents were here to help out with the kids. Being a business owner, a husband and a parent of three young kids and facing an issue with your partner is immensely hard. When I was put into a medical coma to stop the seizures, the doctors weren’t sure what my brain function would be if and when I woke up. Scott told me later that the nurses told him that many spouses often ask the procedures on how to collect on life insurance. It didn’t even cross his mind, and he was just hoping I’d wake up being the Vicki I was before.

After two weeks in the hospital, I was able to come home. The children went to public school since focusing on my health had to be a priority. The kids were excited to try something different, and they have fared well in school. My husband has done well with his business and I have maintained my blog and even spoke about how I was able to keep my blog and real estate business going, even when I was incapacitated

What makes us work

We talk a lot. We joke a lot, and we have fun with our kids. The most important thing is we try to make fun out of the worst situations. And Boy, do we make fun of our bad situations. If you can’t make fun of yourself, or even your spouse, then it’s not fun!

Scott and I have gone through a ton of rough times through our 11 years together. While many other couples have gone through a lot more, I have to say we have weathered our fare share. If I had to give advice to newlyweds embarking on marriage, my advice would be:

1.Always communicate, no matter how tough it is. And when you communicate to each other, try not to yell.

2.Try to find time for each other. It doesn’t have to be out of the home. Finding a babysitter can be hard, so waiting for the kids to go to bed is just fine too

3.Be there for each other, when the going gets tough. Remember your promises to each other.

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