I was in the middle of a custody battle for my daughter and my lawyer informed me on a Thursday that I had only 3 choices… Move out of the home I had just spent my savings getting into with my then fiance, give up custody of my daughter to her father, or get married before we went to court. My fiance was on an outage in West Virginia at the time, but with one phone call to inform him of the news I’d received the whirlwind began. That Sunday we were married in a small ceremony in my grandparents back yard for our family members that were able to attend on such short notice. That Monday he returned to work.
After receiving the devastating news that our first son had a heart tumor that had grown, my blood pressure was elevated, and I was low on amniotic fluid at a follow-up with our local high risk OBGYN’s we were admitted to the hospital. 48 Hours later our 6lb 8 oz baby boy came into this world tumor free! The next month my husband was sent out on another outage. Here I was, all alone with 2 kids. Postpartum set in, but I wouldn’t know that for months to come. My husband returned home to a wife he didn’t recognize. I had gained 60 lbs during my pregnancy and probably another 20 lbs following it. I had dropped out of college and was only doing the bare minimum around the house to get by. When he came home even that ceased. I spent the next month either sleeping, eating, crying, or furious. It took my husband leaving with the kids for me to seek help. I was placed on drugs, but not encouraged to seek therapy at that time. I became a smiling zombie. Numb to anything going on around me.
I finally graduate college after a hard-fought battle! I am the proud recipient of an Associate of Science degree in Business Management. My husband once again on an outage in Georgia, races home to make my ceremony. He beams with pride as I accept my diploma. Tears stream as I return to my seat. I finally accomplished something worthy! Oh, but just like everything else happiness is short-lived. My long-lost dead to me grandmother returns after a 12 year disappearance. Wreaking havoc like a tornado. Quick and deadly.
We lost my dear mother-in-law Ella after a lengthy battle with liver disease. Let me say that there is nothing that prepares you for that moment when someone you love dearly passes. I don’t care how grateful you want to pretend to be that they aren’t suffering or how long you have known it was coming. Death comes like a thief in the night stealing our happiness.
The next week we’d find out the news that even though we weren’t “trying” for a baby, we are pregnant. A glimmer of hope in a very dark time. However, we end up suffering an early miscarriage. Will I ever climb out of this pit? I’d like to just slip into the water and never surface again. I walk around and feel like my lungs are burning and I can’t breathe most days now anyway. I carry on spiraling further into the depression that consumes me daily.
Adding insult to injury we lost my husbands uncle John. He also happened to be the pastor at our church and one of the few who could make me believe in something more than ourselves. He baptized me and introduced me to a peace I’ve sought since his passing, but that has eluded me to this day. I spiral further. I’m not sure I know what happiness is anymore. I work, eat, and sleep. I don’t leave the house often. I don’t do much of anything anymore.
We are pregnant with our second son! I’m terrified to lose this baby. I’m stressed about going from 2-3 kids. I’m overjoyed to finally be pregnant after trying since the miscarriage even if some of our family isn’t happy for us. I am absolutely feeling blessed to finally have good news after months of horrible unending pain and depression. .The darkness isn’t far as we face the fact that our baby will never meet his grandmother. She’d love him fully with her whole heart and we know that.
My poor husband is turning 28. We are enjoying a quiet night at home eating snacks and watching a movie with our daughter. Our son is off spending the night with family. It has been a relatively good day. 11 pm the unthinkable happens. I stand up and feel the unmistakable gush of fluid down my legs. Panic sets in as tears run like tiny streams down my cheek and fall to the floor. I’m trying my best not to panic my young daughter and run for my bathroom. I’m changing my pants and praying as I try to clean up myself. She walks in and spots the blood before I do and runs screaming for my husband. With one frantic phone call we drop her off to my mom and race for the local ER. I waste several hours in severe pain, believing I am in preterm labor. They only do a check for a heartbeat they never find and a pelvic exam. My OB is never notified or even the OB on call. I am sent home and told I am suffering a miscarriage again to call my doctor on Monday. My heart breaks! What the hell have I done to deserve this again! I blame myself. I sob all the way back home, but something doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t feel like the last time. We try to go to sleep, but the pain keeps me awake . I wake my husband and at 2 am we head to a different nearby hospital. I am rushed to the women’s center and an on call OB begins running tests to make sure I am not in labor. My blood pressure is crazy high and I can’t stop crying and shaking. My poor husband whose birthday has been ruined sits stoic in his seat, unsure how to comfort me, and mostly terrified of the hospital until a phone call snaps him out of it. We get the call that his father has had a heart attack and its serious. He’s at the very incompetent hospital we had been too early. We must have missed him as we left. DEAR GOD you cannot do this to him. You cannot take our baby and his father on his birthday merely months after we lose two of the most important people to him. The OB on call decides not to put me through another pelvic since the bleeding is slowing down. He finally wheels an ultrasound in and shows me a perfectly happy baby floating around in my belly. I am able to hear his strong heartbeat and breathe my first sigh of relief. We are sent home on bed rest until I see my personal OB that Monday with no explanations on what has gone wrong. Monday brings news that Charley’s dad will be fine and while we had a small bleed from my placenta our baby appears fine too.
Here we go again! We are admitted to the hospital for an induction. My blood pressure is at stroke levels and they think it is safer to have the baby now. 12 hours later our 6lb 5oz baby boy enters the world with a scream. I cry tears of joy as my rainbow baby is finally here in my arms. My world is complete!
Came with its own set of heart breaks. I lost my job in March. My husband was laid off not long after that in June and sent out on a new job 12 hours away.
My best-friend ended her 8 year relationship with my brother not by choice and moves in with me. We struggle with the aftermath. I rat her out to the doctor about a mass we found in her pelvis 2 years ago at a visit for some pain she’s having in her side and we begin the whole cancer or not journey. In the meantime, she begins a new relationship and we grow closer than ever.
I enter another custody battle over my daughter. She begins therapy to help her cope with all the changes going on in her own little life and I start to think maybe I should be brave like my 8-year-old. Maybe I need help too? I lose the first battle in court and her father is given equal time. This war isn’t over though. I won’t watch my daughter be made to feel bad about her body or be alienated against me. I am not perfect, but I am her mother and I will fight to the death for her happiness and safety.
I decide to home-school, because even though I am already overwhelmed and struggling why not? My son deserves it and the school certainly isn’t helping passing him on grade after grade when he clearly isn’t ready.
I soon have a breakdown crying on the phone to my husband while laying in my best-friend’s lap. I cannot keep living life-like this. I am not happy. I feel alone. I feel either pain, anger, or numb. I am done! The next week I go to the doctor and I start taking my antidepressants and blood pressure medicine. I get results later saying my Vitamin D levels are low and that joins the daily regimen. I also begin attending therapy on a bi-weekly basis wading though the demons of the past.
Here we are… a brand new year and a brand new me. Just kidding. I’m still dealing with my issues, but at least now I can see the light. This is where the journey begins! Come along with me as I face the end of the custody battle, a husband still 12 hours away on an outage, a best-friend still living with me, the battle for my health and happiness, and all the crazy things that happen in between.