Wednesday, April 24, 2013

retaliation

yes, this is happening.

Let me take a moment and tell you my story.
I was called out for not feeling "lucky" to be pregnant.
Here is my extremely long and drab response, in a blog post.

If you have something to say about this, please don't tear me down. This topic is extremely raw and I really can't handle the vulnerability when it comes to this particular subject.
*I am apologizing in advance to family members who may feel exposed or offended by my telling of this story.

One year ago, I was a newlywed who was working an inconsistent job that varied between 2 and 58 hours each week. I was a home health CNA, and the company I worked for also provided back up childcare.

I was more often called for child care than CNA work. I was wary of the idea of babysitting for a complete stranger at first, but soon grew to love each of the little children I watched. It was always heart-wrenching to leave a week-long job, knowing I probably wouldn't be seeing those sweet children again any time soon. Still, with each job, I knew when it was ending and how attached I could let myself get.

Around this same time, my danish sister-in-law started going back to school. Her husband worked full-time, and there was a gap of about four to five hours a day where their two kids needed to be watched. My incredible mother-in-law took the kids for those hours in which their mother needed to be at school.

I had always gotten along with my niece, and felt bad that she had to be stuck in a house all day; my mother-in-law did not have access to any car seats. As a result, the kids spent most of the day playing inside.

I went to play with them any chance I got. I knew that mother-in-law needed time to do things, and wanted to help out any way I could. I also loved spending time with those sweet, sweet children.

I began visiting more and more often, and was soon spending what seemed like almost every day with my niece. We would dance in the front yard, build forts in the living room, and take walks to the gas station to get a slushy. This little 2 year old girl became my surrogate child, as did her younger brother. As I spent time with them, I envisioned myself spending time with my own kids, and my ever-present baby hunger became stronger.

Midway through the summer, things didn't quite work out marriage-wise with these children's parents. Their father moved back in with my in-laws as the mother stayed at the house with the children.

It was weird; everyone was stuck in a limbo of thoughts, as none of us knew exactly how things would pan out. Would he move back in? Would they make it work? Would she go back to Denmark? What about the kids?

Things took a strange turn when the brother-in-law took a job offer in Chicago. His wife was not going with him, and neither were the kids. I was confused. I didn't understand the situation, and didn't try to. It wasn't my marriage, and at the time it wasn't my business. Each person was doing what they thought was best for them.

Sister-in-law had a 3-week trip to Denmark, and would be leaving the last week in August. I dreaded her leaving. I wanted to see my niece and nephew again, and had doubts that she would come back.

To my utter joy and relief, three weeks later I got a text saying she was home. I couldn't wait. I wanted to see the kids, but gave them time to get their energy back and recover from jet-lag. A week later, I still hadn't seen them. I had sent a text, expressing my desire to see my sister-in-law and the kids, but two weeks later I still had not seen any of them.

I was so excited to hear she would be coming to a birthday party held for my other niece. It had been a month since I had seen her and I had really begun to miss her and the children. I ran in and hugged my niece the second I saw her. She was timid. I felt uncomfortable, as if she didn't remember anything from the summer.

We started playing with blocks, and she warmed up. Things started to feel almost back to normal. I made a mental note to go out and do something fun with her later that week. I knew time was short. Her mother had expressed that she would most likely be moving back to Denmark sometime in January.

Sitting in class on Monday, October first, I received a text from my husband.
-Call me as soon as you are out of class.

I called him as I walked to my car. He answered quietly.
I started the conversation.
"Hey… what's up?"
"Allie. She's gone."
"What? Who is gone? What are you talking about."
"Sister-in-law, she is gone. She left. She took the kids to Denmark and she's not coming back."

My heart stopped, my throat tightened, and my eyes watered.
What?

"No. No. She didn't."
"Yes, Allie. She did. She is gone. My mom is a mess. You need to come over here."

I tried to pull myself together. These weren't my kids, she wasn't my wife, so why did my heart feel so absolutely shattered? I got in the car and let out a sob. The loud kind. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't see. I wanted to scream. She left. I hated her.

I thought of my mother-in-law, and how she might be feeling. Worse than me, was all I could think. She had spent twice as much time as I had with those kids, and they were her grandchildren. There is a special bond between that woman and each of her grandchildren, and the thought that two of them were suddenly gone made me ache for her.

I wiped my eyes and drove to my in-laws house. Bracing myself for what I was about to walk into, I opened the door. Turning the corner I saw my husband. I saw my father-in-law. I saw my other niece. Then I saw my mother-in-law. She was broken.

This strong woman, who I thought was nearly invincible, was broken. I had never seen her like that. We made eye contact, and once again the tears came flooding. I couldn't stop. I felt like an entire section of my soul had just been torn away. I felt selfish. I was taking this so personal, but I felt entitled to my tears. I felt entitled to the anger and hatred I felt for the woman who took away those children and left her husband without so much as a goodbye. I didn't want to think about how he felt.

Each member of the family gathered together in one room. A prayer was said, though I felt little comfort. We decided being together was what everyone needed. It was late. Nobody had eaten. We decided to go to dinner.

Sitting at the table I had a hard time thinking of what to order. I didn't feel like eating. I couldn't look at any of the adults without crying. I decided to look at my niece, who was just 8 months old. She had a snack in her hand and put it in her mouth. Watching this sweet little girl gave me comfort that I didn't think I would find that night. She started chewing, and I instantly burst into laughter. I had forgotten how comical it is when someone without teeth tries to chew. I nudged my husband, and as he looked, a small smile passed his face. We made eye contact, and something changed.

That night we discussed our baby niece. We discussed the fact that she was the only thing that could bring us what little comfort we could find that night. We talked about a baby. I pushed the idea out of my mind. Husband wasn't ready, and I would need fertility help anyway. Still, the thought never left that the gaping hole that had been left in my heart would never be filled until another child came along.

Months passed, and still I felt that something was missing. I had an appointment with a new physician in the end of January. He was not an ob/gyn. He was an internal medicine specialist. Upon hearing my issue with becoming pregnant, he started asking me questions. I had been off of birth control for 3 months. We discussed the possibilities of pregnancy. My appointment ended with,
"I don't see any reason why you should have difficulty getting pregnant."

Music to my ears.

Two weeks later I took a pregnancy test (as a joke).
The positive sign had me shaking. Husband is going to be upset. He isn't ready, we hadn't officially decided. I was terrified.

I cried. He smiled. He admitted he had been budgeting for a baby for a month or so. I was relieved. I was terrified. I was finally going to have a small child of my own.

To respond to the original comment which inspired this post; Anonymous, you are right. I don't feel lucky. I'm not lucky. It wasn't luck that brought this baby into my life. It was the sweet tender mercies of God. I feel absolutely and overwhelmingly blessed. I feel that the Lord knew what it was that my husband and I needed, and waited until we were ready to give it to us.

I am thrilled and terrified at the idea of a new addition to our home. I also am thrilled about being pregnant. However, there are some aspects of pregnancy that aren't so thrilling. (Throwing up in your hair right after you showered, for instance.)

I do not take my pregnancy for granted.
I make snarky comments. I over-exaggerate small things like morning sickness, because I can. I plan on telling all sorts of embarrassing, unpleasant moments that I have experienced while being pregnant. No, I am not complaining (yet). I am providing a means of entertainment for those who wish to read it. If you can't handle my sense of humor, I understand. Not everybody can. But please don't make assumptions about someone, especially without knowing the whole story.

Anonymous, I hope this clears the air.
I hope you can forgive my insensitivity,
and I hope you realize that I'm not usually truly angry when blogging. I'm snarky. It's a bad habit.

If you finished this marathon, YOU ROCK!
-A

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous4/24/2013

    Lovely story. I can't wait to have little babies of my own. But as a nanny of three, my baby hunger is filled to the brim! Congratulations on your sweet miracle. That child will be so loved. You will be the best parents. I look forward to aaalll the prego/mommy stories.
    -Alysa Aeschbacher

    ReplyDelete
  2. You win at life.

    ReplyDelete