I got pregnant when Baby was almost 3 years old. I had been working at a sweet food store in the Mall. I had advanced to an Assistant manager and another store recruited me to be the Manager of a retail store that sold hair care products! I worked at this store for about a year and then left because I was expecting Baby 2. When I was expecting Baby 1, I did what a lot of women do. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and gained 75 pounds! Well Baby was only 8 pounds 8 ounces, so I had A LOT of weight to lose! I became pregnant with #2 when I was 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. So, I ate very healthy, drank gallons of water and skim milk instead of 2 %. I found a pregnancy exercise tape and did that 3 times a week. For all my efforts I still gained exactly 75 pounds! I guess my body needed the weight for Baby!? When Baby 1 was three and a half years old, I went into labor with Baby 2. At the hospital they hooked me up to a monitor and they said I was in very early labor. The monitor was not picking up the contractions. They kept saying that the contractions were not very strong. The nurses said they didn’t think I was in labor. They did a test to see if my water was leaking not completely broken and that convinced them reluctantly, that I was in labor. Suddenly my water broke! After a while, the nurses checked my dilation and it was only about 1/2 inch. In about 12 hours it still hadn’t budged. After 8 more hours they decided that they would start Pitocin, a medication to increase the strength of the contractions. To me they were plenty strong! That stupid monitor! What was wrong?? I was on it for quite a while, maybe 12 more hours. The doctor checked me and I was still only dilated 1/2 inch. He decided that they would discontinue the Pitocin, give me a sleeping pill, send Husband home and restart the medication in the morning. So, they administered the sleeping pill and a little while later checked my dilation (be I was NOT sleeping!!) and it was at 7 inches! You give birth at 10 inches! It was about 11:15 pm and after they wheeled me into the delivery room, there was not a doctor around to deliver my baby! They called the doctor and Husband to tell them to come immediately. The nurses were literally holding my baby in!! The nurses called the Resident-On-Call and she delivered my beautiful Baby Girl. Shortly after Husband came in the door and then the doctor arrived. I find it funny that the father got to the hospital before the doctor! The next morning they woke me early to sign a consent form. They needed my permission to insert an IV because she had gone septic because my water had been broken for 52 hours and they did not do a C-section. My beautiful Baby Girl was a very sick little girl. They gave her amoxicillin, gentamicin and vancomycin. There is a risk of deafness with the anibiotics. After a week of this treatment she was well enough to come home.
To be continued…
The last post, I was telling how it came to be that my son was born. After I had him, Husband got a lot more controlling in some ways. We couldn’t go to the park until we drove around it for quite a while and Husband decided it was ok for Son to go and play, with us near by, of course. There was a lot of other things like that. Clean laundry had to be put on the bottom of the pile under the other ones in the drawer or closet so that the towels or what have you, would wear evenly. First in, first out for everything. Husband had been severely abused as a child. His father would beat him and his brothers for no apparent reason. Many days there was no food in the ‘fridge but there was always a bottle for dad. I did not grow up in a home like that. I was so focused on doing everything right so he didn’t yell and scream at me and so that Son would be taken care of, all his needs met, I didn’t realize that I was being abused.
I worked really hard at losing the weight I had gained being pregnant. I gained a whopping 75 pounds and Baby was only 8 pounds 8 ounces so I had quite a bit to lose. I nursed Baby for one year. I had him fully weaned by 13 months. (Another requirement of Husband). I lost about 25 pounds right after I weaned him. I lost another 45 pounds over the next year and a half. Then I became pregnant again.
I am deeply grateful for those of you who are standing by and watching me unfold my life before you. Today is my birthday and I felt it important to chronicle the events that led me to seek healing.
…A short while later, I had to go back into the hospital. This was because I had to come off of the psychiatric medication I was on. It was unknown in 1991 if that medication would hurt my baby or not. The daddy and I found an apartment of our own in the same building as his brothers. This was on the “wrong side of the tracks” from where I was raised. WIC, bus tokens and a low income health clinic were the hallmarks of my life at this time. Nine months plus 7 days later, I was delivered of a bouncing baby boy. When he was born, he had to stay in the hospital under the lights because his bilirubin wouldn’t go down. After we went home I was contacted by his doctor who said tests showed he had a problem with his thyroid. Had to take Baby to the Big City to University Hospital when he was barely 6 weeks old. After pumping him full of radioactive iodine it was revealed that he did not have a functioning thyroid gland. What this meant was that he would have to take medicine for the rest of his life. The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T3 and T4 are then released into the blood stream and are transported throughout the body where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy). And in babies, growth and brain development. (Reference: www.endocrineweb.com/…/how-your-thyroid-works ; bold addition by me)
Now the real fun started! How in the world do you get a tiny baby to swallow a pill because, of course, it doesn’t come in a liquid? Literally, this is life and death! I was nursing so I couldn’t just put it in his bottle. So, creative problem solver that I am, I crushed the pill in between two spoons. Next, I expressed a small amount of breast milk into the spoon and mixed. I drew it up in an eyedropper and practically squirted it directly down his throat! As he grew and after he was weaned I had to get even more creative! Baby-Daddy and I were married in a small family only ceremony in the church Mom went to on holidays. Our “honeymoon” was a night in a hotel away from Baby.
Husband worked a menial job because he had never graduated from high school and a GED was out of his reach. I also picked up part-time work wherever I could find it to make ends meet. Fortunately Husband’s boss helped us get a car so long bus rides were a thing of the past. Amazingly, I did not have to go back on psychiatric meds after I had Baby. I am not sure if pregnancy and nursing straightened out the chemical imbalance or if I was so busy taking care of my little person that I didn’t have the luxury of being able to fall apart! During this period both Husband and I smoked “pot”. We never smoked it around Baby and I did not smoke it while I was nursing or when I was pregnant. We smoked in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on or in the basement with a window open. This was self-medication for my bipolar depression. It must have worked too because I didn’t have to be hospitalized again for many years.
I want to interject here that Husband didn’t have any parents that were still living. He grew up with an extremely abusive father so, he never had an adequate role model. Looking back, the first time he lost control of his anger, he punched a wall because I didn’t complete the list of tasks he had indicated for that day. This is when I was pregnant and having morning sickness. Things progressed to him waking me up at 3 or 4 in the morning to scream at me for a couple of hours. He would explode into a tirade for ridiculous reasons. He would threaten me with his hands but didn’t use them on me…at least not yet. Several hours or a day later, he would apologize and say that he didn’t know what came over him. That it wouldn’t happen again. The first few times I believed him, but after that I knew it would happen again. Most days it was okay but just when I was thinking things were going to be alright, the Rage Monster would attack.
Eventually I am going to tie this all in to crochet. So, just be patient as I bring into the light all of the machinations the Enemy used to try and destroy me. Thank you for reading.
To be continued…
I want to apologize for the brevity of yesterday’s excerpt. I just wasn’t “feeling it”! It is really draining and emotional to go back and remember all of the things that have happened to me in my life. I am choosing to write about it though, because I need to expose evil and I hope it helps someone.
After bouncing around from place to place in the Big City and searching for meaning in life by practicing a pseudo-Buddhism, I moved back to the suburbs near where I grew up. I was working 2 waitressing jobs. One in the morning for breakfast and one for dinner. One day after my shift at the dinner job, my roommate picked me up to give me a ride home. She started driving away from our apartment. I asked her, “Where are we going?”. I don’t remember exactly but I believe she said “You’ll see.” or something like that. She drove onto an expressway and I was getting very anxious because she is driving further and further from the suburb where we were living. An hour and 45 miles later we arrived. By this time I was in a state of near panic because I suffered (and still am suffering) with panic attacks. The street was pitch dark, in an obviously rough neighborhood, in a larger suburb of the Big City. All I saw was a neon cross with the words “Rescue Mission”. She disclosed that she was leaving me there. All I had was my purse and the clothes on my back. My stinky work clothes.
It was a requirement that after the evening meal everyone attended chapel. I went to church as a kid and my Grandparents were devoted Christians. This was comforting and familiar in a place that was so incredibly foreign to me. I became attached to one, specific person there. I fancied myself in love with him. We left the Mission together to sleep on the floor of his brother’s small apartment. I can not recall how long we stayed there. I encountered an attitude and a lifestyle that I had only read about. Food stamps, roaches, drugs, gangs and slapping the s*** out of someone just for fun. My anxiety was on high and I was so self conscious. I wondered what everyone thought of me. I knew I was different. I acted differently than the other people in the house and neighborhood.
A short while later I missed my period…
More of the story coming soon!