I finally decided after years of begging, like 5 years of N asking for me to get pregnant, to get pregnant. I didn’t want to have children until we were financially stable enough for me to be a stay at home Mom, or at least work from home. It took awhile for the business to get started and running properly. In addition to that, I was diagnosed with celiac disease 2 years into my marriage. That was a downer for the N. I think he couldn’t stand the fact that I couldn’t run circles around him every day and do everything for him and serve him because I was sick a lot. That’s a story for another time. So to the point, I wanted to postpone getting pregnant after my diagnosis until I was able to get my illness under control. A couple years later, a lot of my symptoms seemed to subside and I felt strong enough.
Even so, I still had my reservations. I was really scared of not being able to physically take care of my little baby if for some reason I got suddenly sick. But I went along with it and concieved in the first month of trying. My first trimester was absolutely horrible. I was so exhausted. I frequently fell asleep on the couch at 5pm and didn’t wake up until the next morning, only to sit up and run straight to the sink. I threw up so much in the first trimester that I just put a water bottle next to my bed in the morning and before I got out of bed, I drank the entire water bottle so my throat wouldn’t be sore after throwing up. It seemed to work pretty good after I got the hang of it. The nausea was dehabilitating. I didn’t want to go anywhere, I just wanted to not be nauseated. Being outdoors helped, but I couldn’t have anything close to my neck or touching my neck or I would gag and I couldn’t stand the smell of eggs or chicken. Oddly enough, olives were my go-to. They took the place of pickles and the vinegar made my stomach feel better. The N didn’t really care and wasn’t present for my first trimester that I can remember. All I remember is sitting on the couch by myself endless nights while he was “out” doing who knows what. Oh, you know what? Yea I know what he was doing, going to salsa classes. Yea yea that’s what he was doing. He was inviting women to go out dancing with him. So fun.
My second trimester was better, except the fact that I found out that he was hiking and going swimming with another woman while I was at home fat and couldn’t walk-near the end. I was so upset about Laura-see other posts for details-that I almost lost my little one from the stress. I was so upset and devastated that I took all the pregnancy books that I was reading and I ripped every single page out of them crying.
I really like to make everything special. I wanted to make my marriage special. I wanted to make having my FIRST baby special. That’s what normal people do right? Having your FIRST baby, wow. Buying the clothes, and decorating, and imaginging what the baby will be like, loving feeling that little one grow inside. My FIRST baby experience turned into a horror story. So I ripped all the pages out of the books. He saw me do it. I was so mad and upset. Not an expression on his face. Like a rock. No emotion, no nothing. I left all the ripped up pages on the floor. N thought it would be fun to pick up all the pages and put them in my closet for me to clean up later. Oh and then tell me that I was crazy and that I need to chill. I remember crying myself to sleep asking myself why I wasn’t enough. I thought it would be enough to be someone’s wife and love them and have a baby with someone for them to want to be with you and you only. But for the N,S,SA it was not. I felt ugly and worthless, the stupid wife that was having a baby. The fool. I felt like a fool.
I reached out to try to cope with this and I came across an organization called NAME. National Association Marriage Enhancement. I found a teaching series called “Love When It Hurts.” It got me through. I kept part of myself in the denial that they were having a true affair and then told myself that they were just flirting and hanging out with each other and now she is gone and I have to just forgive him and make it through.
Anxiety was rampant by this time. There was a time where I started to only feel safe when he was right there with me, not on his phone. The only time I didn’t feel like I was being cheated on. The rest of the times, who knows. I had to mentally block it out just to survive the hurt and betrayal.
I was induced at 3am on a Friday morning and had my daughter at noon Friday. He was in the room with me until I gave birth, mostly on his phone texting while I went through contractions, yea none of that holding hand stuff you see in the movies. Then after she was born, he took some pictures with her and then I was moved into a recovery room. Before my pain medication wore off, he was gone. If it hadn’t been for a few good friends and my Mom, I would have been alone in the recovery room with my daughter until the next morning when he showed up at 3am. Darn work, it was so demanding that he couldn’t even get the day off his first child was born, and he was one of the owners. Silly me. Well first child in the United States.-that’s another story. (you gotta get used to a lot of stories, it’s just part of N,S and SA’s.)
N was around for the weekend but then I began my journey alone with my daughter. I took her to her first doctor’s appointment with my brother because N had to work. And the next with my Dad, because N was busy. Breastfeeding was a nightmare and very frustrating. I went to hospital classes to try to get my daughter to nurse, but it didn’t work. I would be up all night since the baby had to eat every 1.5 hours. She would take 45 minutes to get a full meal because she had trouble nursing in general. I had to keep the bottle at the exact angle and I couldn’t make a move. If I moved, then she might not be able to latch again until later. I was determined that she eat a full meal, so I was frozen and slightly stressed. Then I would rub her back until her little cry turned into a slumber and I would go sit on the couch and pump. It would take me forever to get 4oz of milk because I had already lost so much of my supply trying to figure out why me and baby weren’t clicking on the breast feeding thing. By the time that was over, I would sleep for maybe 30 minutes. This went on for about 2 weeks. One night I was sitting on the couch pumping my little ol 4 oz and I went to move it from the pump to a bottle and realized that I hadn’t tightened the bottom of the bottle and my liquid gold spilled all over the counter. I had pumped 2oz of liquid gold for 45 minutes. I went out of my mind that I had lost that milk. Gave a quick call to Mom and she said just give her formula, she will be fine and give yourself a break. I love you Mom. So I gave up the dream that most mother’s have to give their babies the best, which is breastmilk.
I did not get 30, 60 days to rest at home with baby. When baby went to sleep, I went into my home office, sitting on a pillow for a good month, working on the business. This went on and off all day depending on when baby was awake, needing milk, then a little wake time, then back to nap. Mom, back to the office. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Make dinner, repeat. Baby in bed for the night, back in the office and about 11pm finding time to clean the house. Then, maybe, sleep. Or not.
My daughter was always a good sleeper and for that I know she is my daughter. However she came with other challenges. Motherhood was so critical. I had no idea. All the mom’s are always asking each other, “well, how much does your baby weigh?” or “Oh, you don’t breastfeed, hmm” They are all trying to one up each other. I never gave a crap about that. As long as my baby was happy and healthy I wasn’t running a race.
I was really the only one that could care for my daughter in her entirety for a long time. I will make sure to give credit to where credit is due; N had the bottle feeding thing down when he was there. That was somewhat of a relief. But when N wasn’t around, which was a lot, it was just me. My Mom was pretty good at it, but I was so determined that that kid eat and that she eat a full meal, I just decided to do it myself most of the time. At least I knew she had been fed properly. She never held the bottle herself, I always had to hold it for her. Other than drinking, she seemed like a pretty normal baby. Except she slept a lot.
At 5 weeks old I started taking her to swim lessons. This was one of my first exposures as a mom with other mom’s that had babies my babie’s age. As time pressed on, I started to realize that my baby wasn’t doing what the other babies were doing. I didn’t really know what to think of it and thought I would give it a little time. Finally at 8 months I started looking more into milestones and trying to figure out what was going on. I found AZEIP and was able to get my daughter qualified for services after an evaluation. The physical therapist told me that she had low muscle tone and also that she might have something wrong with her vision. I immediately went to get her eyes checked and she ended up having 3 different eye conditions and was perscribed glasses. She didn’t sit up on her own until she was 7 months and didn’t start crawling on her belly until she was almost 1. I got rid of the people in my life that would say she was lazy. She wasn’t lazy, she was almost blind and had low muscle tone, my daugther and I were doing the best that we could, we didn’t need that around.
You might ask, well what about the N? Where is he in this picture? Well the N,S, SA was off with another girlfriend. The second one he was trying to hook up with while I was pregnant. Not Laura, another one. A month after I had my daughter I had found his second, secret cell phone in the house. Let’s just say he had a little “slip up”-story for another time. Anyway, she told me on a phone conversation that he was trying to date her all summer and told her that he was just staying with me until I had the baby then we were going to get divorced. He told her that he was staying with the “hard converstation friend” (see other blog post) but she thought that was weird because the room he said he was staying in didn’t have any of his clothes. PL right? We got in a huge blowout about it and he told me that he was going to divorce me. I remember crying and going into my daughter’s room and sleeping on the spare bed with her. She comforted me so much that night. To my luck the N’s mom persuaded him not to divorce me, yay. He changed his phone number and supposively didn’t talk to her anymore. But I found out that that was yet another lie when on her first birthday he left after the dinner festivities to “go to work.” Getting home at 2am his phone got a text message. I thought that odd, like what are people still doing up at 2am? Making trouble that’s what. I checked it and it was the same girl from a year ago. But she was declining him because she had said that she didn’t want to get in the way of him and his girlfriend that he had brought to the party. (That story is really for another time, another blog) I was of course crying and upset, like why would you do this, on your daughter’s birthday…or…at…all? Some how in his sick and twisted way, knowing how hurt and upset I was, manipulated me into sleeping with him that night. I think he got a thrill out of it.
So yea, all that was going on, on top of me trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with my daughter. Then feeling like an outcast to my friends because my daughter couldn’t do the things the other kids would do. And then they judge and ask all the questions that you don’t want to answer. And all the looks like you must not be that great of a mom because your kid isn’t hitting these milestones. Then I didn’t want to ever leave her with anyone other than my immediate family because it was too much to try to explain her needs. It’s been a journey, me and that little girl, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. But I am only human and there were a lot of fears revolved around finding out how to help her.
She had to wear these special shorts that would keep her from sitting in the “W” position. I had to do neck exercises with her because she had torticolis. I made baby food from scratch to make sure she had the best. I would spend all of her waking hours with her doing the physical therapy exercises. I would take her places and show her things. Doctors appointments, lots of them. Orthopetic, Pulmonary, Neuro, Geneticist, ENT, Pediatrician, Eye doctor, blood tests, therapies, x-rays. All me; N came to maybe 2 or 3 appointments in her entire life. Hey he had to work, wait…so did I. I needed support from N, but N was not there. It was a lot to take on all of this information and being worried about what this all meant for your little kid. Finally I found out that she had a partial chromosome deletion of CH17. That explained it.
I prayed a lot for my little one. That God would give her new eyes and that he would make her mind and body strong. He is answering my prayer. I had to get her special shoes to help support her legs. She had this weird popping in her hips, but eventually it went away. She could not feed herself. So I spoon/finger fed her from 5 months until she was 2.5 years old. Then she started eating with her fingers. She could not give herself something to drink until she was almost 3 years old. She didn’t walk until she was 13 months. But HUGE accomplishments for that little one. Everything became a therapy. I was constantly searching how she could grow and what I could do that day to help her. I made everything from scratch, except for our little outings and was always finding ways for her to get strong.
I got tired. Helping the little one, dealing with my post partum pain-another story, managing my celiac, taking care of a household, running a business and well, ya know, doing everything for N.
Like I said, N’s think they are kings in their own minds. We are there to serve them and do everything. And when we do everything, it’s…just…not enough. They suck the life right out of you. They are takers. I finally became bitter and angry and I couldn’t do it anymore. I prayed for God to give me “my black and white” sign that I could get out since I don’t just quit. I started to get frustrated at other things because of N, I knew I had to get away; I was turning into a person that I never knew. And God answered my prayer.
And us as mom’s, we don’t ask for anything in return. We mom’s do for our kids because we love them and it is our job, and we love our kids. We don’t need appreciation, we are ok with that, we don’t look for it, we don’t even think about it. What we DON’T need are N, S, SA’s that say that we didn’t do those things, like they never happened. Maybe they don’t think any of it happened because they are so focused on themselves that they couldn’t see past themselves to see what was going on around them.