Couples Q&A: The Abby's On Life-Changing Moments
Laura Leigh and Samantha Abby open up on Laura's accident, "just because gifts" and pregnancy troubles.
Bravotv.com: What is it like getting all the baby questions at family gatherings? Do you feel pressure to have a baby and does this affect your decision making?
Laura Leigh Abby: Our families are so excited for us to start a family, and so curious about all the steps we will take to make that happen, so they like to ask us questions and give us their ridiculous opinions. We know it all comes from a place of love and when they get to be too overwhelming we just ignore them. As we move forward and learn more about the process they get less persistent and give us the space to bring them news as it comes.
Samantha Abby: I think getting the baby questions is inevitable. We are a married couple, we’re both women and we eventually want a family. I think our families are curious. No matter how much we try and explain the process I don’t think any of them truly get it. I don’t feel pressure from our families, I think they’re excited for our future but they also understand there are other things we are working on right now.
Bravotv.com: Tells us about the difficult year of Laura’s accident and Sam’s mother’s passing –- how did you get through such trying times together?
LLA: There are events in life that will change a person in ways that don’t immediately reveal themselves. You can’t see tragedy coming, and I think that’s what shook us the most. We thought that as a couple we had faced adversity or experienced hard times, then our world came crashing down and we realized we were young and naïve and lucky, and to fight our way back to a place of happiness from that kind of blow is the hardest thing we have ever faced as individuals or as a couple.
After Penny died I knew it was my job to care of Sam. For a few months I did my best, then this accident happened and our lives shifted again. I thought I would be caring for her as she sorted out the grief of her mother’s death, and instead she was tending to my needs. I felt the weight of that so acutely. The aftermath of those events changed our relationship profoundly. There is never that sigh of relief, that feeling of, "Okay, we got through this." There is instead, a new way of living. We know that life is going to bring wonderful times, and we want to share in those moments together. But we know too that there are hardships ahead and whatever they may be, we face them together.
SA: In all honesty I don’t have an answer for this. I still don’t think I’m through it. I think you turn into the most human part of yourself and you wake up and get through your day. You surround yourself around the people you love and you just take one day at a time. I think you know life will never be the same again but you learn how to live that life the best you can and never take anything for granted.
I left the doctor’s office feeling angry because I wasn’t ready to feel sad.
Bravotv.com: "Just because gifts" are such an adorable idea! Can you tell us more about it? What was the book you got signed?
LLA: Sam got a favorite book of mine: Tiny, Beautiful Things, and had it signed by the author, Cheryl Strayed. It’s now a prized possession. "Just because gifts" are something special we do for each other occasionally, just because.
SA: My favorite thing about having a wife is spoiling her. I love getting her gifts just because.
Laura is amazing. She puts up with all my craziness and loves me anyway. So I try and come up with special gifts that remind her of that. One of her favorite books is, Tiny, Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I remember after she read it, she was forcing all her friends to read it so she kept buying copies. At one of my previous jobs I worked closely with the local bookstore where Cheryl does her readings. I called the woman who owned the shop and asked her if she could have Cheryl write her something inside her book. And she did!
Bravotv.com: How much do your careers come into play with your decision making when it comes to starting a family?
LLA: For me it comes in 100%. I do not have a reliable income and I hate the idea of starting a family without more security.
SA: Our careers are so important to both of us. We both work in creative fields and it isn’t easy, in fact, it feels like it gets harder and harder. The thought of having a child and not giving it all of us all the time terrifies us. We want to give our children everything we had and more and until we can do that, we feel like it’s unfair.
Bravotv.com: Tell us about getting the news in the doctor’s office. What were you each feeling after the appointment and how did this information affect your timelines for a family?
LLA: That was a really intense moment. It took me a long time to process what the doctors were telling me, and I’m still not convinced that I have processed the news entirely. Sam is better at understanding situations as they happen, while I immediately pull away and get defensive. I left the doctor’s office feeling angry because I wasn’t ready to feel sad, and I did not want Sam’s pity, which I knew she was inevitably feeling. It’s all so complicated and so emotional, but this is the reason we went to get the testing done, so that we could enter into family planning armed with knowledge.
SA: When I got my news I wasn’t shocked. I knew what I was getting into with my fibroids. I’ve been very educated on the subject. But getting the 180 with Laura was heart breaking. I’m the one that has the crappy body not her. I think I can just relate on so many levels that it made me feel so sad. We are very used to obstacles in this relationship and we will get around this one and start a family. It might just be a bit sooner than we were hoping.