Awwww, yay! I have a lodge! For some reason I was thinking it started at 37 weeks? Anyway...I'm at work right now but I'll be back tonight to post my intro! Thanks everyone for the welcome! I'm so excited!
Wow, its been such a busy week. Now I finally have a chance to sit down and write an intro.
My name is Maggie, I am 20 years old. I have been with my boyfriend Carlos (22) for almost 2 1/2 years now. I have a 3 year old daughter named Juliana from a previous relationship, her father isn't involved in her life at all though and Carlos plans to adopt her when we get married.
I guess I should really start from the beginning, but I'm pretty long winded, just to warn you
I met my DD's father (let's just call him XH) when I was 15, in February of 2006. He was much older than I was (22) and really I never planned on becoming serious with him, since I was scheduled to go away to college 2 years early in about 6 months. He was from Mexico and spoke limited English, and since I was learning Spanish and planned to major in Spanish, I really started seeing him for a reason to practice my Spanish with a native speaker.
After only dating for about 4 months, I found out I was pregnant. I had just turned 16 3 months earlier. I tried to tell my mom and she pretty much told me that I would be having an abortion if I was. She got me a test and I dipped it in water so it would be negative. To me there was no question that I would keep my baby, I wouldn't be going away to school, etc. I have always been a planner and I knew I would figure things out. A few days after giving my mom the fake test, I "ran away" with XH. I was gone for a week before my mom was able to get in touch with me and convince me to come home. We decided that XH would come live with us since he was living about an hour away and working a lot and I thought it was important that he be involved in the pregnancy, etc. I was determined to make it work with him and threw everything I had into our relationship. I come from a broken home and I never wanted that for my children. My mom was generally devastated. She tried to talk me into an abortion, even all through my first tri. It was a very stressful time for everyone.
I ended up continuing highschool online (the accelerate college program would have had me get my GED) and I finished my last 2 years in one year while I was pregnant. XH found a job near us and moved in with me. We paid rent, bought our own food, etc. My parents stopped providing for me, we were living in the same house but really it was like renting an apartment. I would clean the house for my mom instead of paying utilities, and studied during the day. Things were okay with XH for a while, but after the first 2 months or so, I started to realize how little I really knew him. He would go out all the time with his friends and stay out all night drinking. Or just not come home from work. His best friend and some other friends of his moved into a house for rent walking distance from our house and that's when things got really bad. He essentially lived over there. I started getting very angry and resentful very fast.
One night he came home from work and had not even stepped through the door when his friend pulled into our driveway and wanted to "show him something really quick." So off he went - despite the fact that I had waited up for him (he worked the last shift and got off between 11 and 12 at night) and had his dinner cooked and ready. He didn't come back until 3 am, and wouldn't answer my phone calls. When he finally did show up, he was super drunk - to make a long story short, I went outside yelling at him, he got mad and ended up slapping me in the face and kicking me in the ribs. I was 4 months pregnant. I was just devastated. Over the following months it became clear to me that XH was an alcoholic. He was physically and emotionally abusive and very controlling. I was pretty much prisoner in my own home. I had no friends and stopped talking to everyone because everything I did made him angry and was "wrong." I tried to learn how to do things that he liked, that made him happy, like cooking mexican food, etc. (I couldn't cook at all when we met, seriously, I would burn EGGS. It was that bad). Nothing I did was ever good enough for him.
He was very distant in regards to the pregnancy. He never wanted to touch my stomach or feel baby move. He never wanted to talk about it at all. He didn't go to either of my baby showers and my dad helped me put all of her furniture together. He didn't even help me pick out her name.
My daughter was born on March 3, 2007, 4 days before my 17th birthday and after 2 days of horrible prodromal labor. I'll have to type up her birth story to post later, but basically I went into it wanting a natural birth and ended up with an epidural and pitocin I didn't need. XH was a horrible support person and threw up when I started pushing. Its a good thing my mom was there to help me or I would have been alone. I immediately loved being a mom, she was so perfect and now I couldn't imagine my life without her. She was always a very good baby, she slept through the night beginning at 2 weeks old and nursed very well. I like to think that she is so mellow because at that point in my life I would not have handled a difficult or fussy baby. I was torn between trying to be a good mom to her, finishing up school and making my relationship with XH work. After she was born he changed for a while, stopped going out, etc. He proposed and I said yes, and we got married on April 11, 2007. The only witness was my perfect baby girl, sitting in her bucket seat watching us with big huge eyes. Looking back on it, I know marrying him was a stupid decision but somehow I felt like it would make things better between us. I really did love him and more than that, I wanted to fix him, to fix our family and make it right for our little girl.
I think my plan essentially backfired. To him it seemed that being married meant I couldn't leave him. I was "stuck." He went right backto his old ways, but it was worse now because Juliana was here. It hurt me that he didn't want to spend time with her and I resented him for not helping me with her, ever. When she was 4 months old I got really sick and found out my gallbladder was blocked and infected, it was so bad that my kidneys and liver started to fail. I had emergency surgery to have it removed and was in the hospital for a few days. During this time, he only came to visit me once and my mom took care of Juliana for me. I really have no idea what he was even doing...? I was so upset because I wasn't able to nurse her or see her while I was int he hospital and I had to dump my milk because of the medicine I was on. Once I got home she had been on formula for about a week, and was having problems latching on. I eventually decided to pump and bottle feed her because she wasn't patient enough to latch anymore (my mom had used fast flow nipples ). I was able to exclusively pump for 2 more months before giving up and putting her on formula.
In the fall, I started full time at the community college through online classes to get my associates degree in paralegal studies. This was probably the worst time in my relationship with XH. He became much more abusive and would go out a lot more. I became so depressed. I remember crying one night because he kissed me and we were laying in bed watching a movie together and I seriously couldn't remember the last time he had given me a kiss just because he wanted to. I felt so unloved and alone. My daughter was the only thing that kept me going and I tried really hard in school so that I would be able to graduate ASAP and provide for her.
2 days before Christmas, 2007 my life drastically changed. XH told me at the last minute he wanted to have people over after work. I ran around like a maniac and cooked food, cleaned, etc. to have people over. I found out later he had never gone to work, he had been drinking at a friend's house all day long. At around 2 am or so XH started freaking out about my back showing (low cut pants plus shirt riding up - told you he was controlling) and completely freaked out. He punched me a few times in front of everyone and a friend of mine named Katie stood up for me - he attacked her, was throwing things, broke furniture...my mom heard and came running upstairs and he ended up fighting with her as well. I can specifically remember him dragging katie around my her hair and trying to throw her down the steps. At one point Juliana woke up so I picked her up and was trying to calm her down, he started throwing full glass beer bottles at me and came within a centimeter of hitting Juliana with one. It was at that moment that I realized he could have seriously hurt or killed her, or me. I hid under some stuff in the corner and called 911 while he continued to fight with my mom and friend. His friends did nothing to try to stop him just kind of stood there and looked dumb. Evetually the police showed up and took him away. This was the 5th time he had physically attacked me.
The hardest thing I ever did was not go back to him. My daughter's first Christmas was one of the saddest days of my life. I really don't know how I got through life. I lost a lot of weight from not eating and just made sure my daughter was taken care of every day. I got a restraining order and went to Court when Katie pressed charges. He served 3 months and was put on probabtion with partial time served. While he was in jail I slowly discovered the world again. suddenly, I was free. I could go out with my friends if I wanted. I could go to the store alone. I could do ANYTHING! I really felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and a lot of the time I was much happier than I had been in a long time. About 2 weeks after this incident Katie convinced me to go out with her and some of her friends. I was really reluctant to go, she and my mom pretty much dressed me and pushed me out the door. But I had a great time and made some new friends. I didn't know it then but the decision to go would also change my life forever.
(Just wanted to interject here that all of the going out that follows takes place at night after my daughter is asleep and my mom was always home sleeping too so she was "watching" her. My daughter always slept 12 hours a night and rarely woke up, so she never knew I was gone. Everyone was encouraging me to go out since I had been on "lock down" for the past year and a half.)
My new friends invited me to a party at their house around the end of January. Carlos was there, with his sister. I remember thinking he was really cute, and we were introduced, but he left pretty much as soon as I got there. 2 weeks later I was again invted out, this time to a dance club/bar kind of place. I had never been there before. While I was there, Carlos came up to me and asked if I remembered him. I didn't (at the time, after I thought about it really hard I did) but we ended up hanging out a lot of the night and dancing, etc. I really really liked him and thought he was adorable. He was very respectful of me and my body (which is not very common when you go out to a place like that, if you know what I mean) and was just genuinely nice and fun to be around. At the end of the night he asked me for my number but didn't give me his. I swear I dreamt about him that night.
The same friend I had been out with then wanted me to go with her to a different place the next day. I really didn't want to go out 2 days in a row, especially because she has been trying to set me up with her cousin who I did not like at all and I knew this was an attempt at that. I couldn't stop thinking about Carlos though, so being me, I called my friend who has the party where we met for the first time and asked him for his number. I called him - he was SHOCKED and pretty much answered the phone "how did you get my number?!" (I found out later he had a girlfriend at the time and was with her when I called him! ) He said he would call me back and let me know, and later that night he called and said he would go. I was so excited!
We had a great time and stayed up all night talking. I think I finally went home at like 5 am. We talked every day after that. He came clean that he had a girlfriend but swore it was nothing serious and borke up with her soon after. He knew about XH and what had happened to me, and always encouraged me to do what I thought was best - he was always terrified I would decide to go back to XH.
It was really hard for me when XH got out of jail. He would come to see Juliana supposedly, but spend the entire time trying to convince me to go back with him. I filed for divorce. I really beleive that if it wasn't for Carlos I would have gone bck with him. He showed me how happy I could be, what a healthy relationship was like. One morning, XH actually broke into the house and came up into my room at like 6 am with this huge stuffed animal, trying to get me back I guess. He was shocked to find Carlos sleeping in my bed with me. I find it quite funny now, but at the time I was terrified I was going to witness a fight. After that he pretty much became my enemy. He got a temporary card from the bank and drained our bank account ( stupid me didn't think to change it) even though I wasn't working and didn't have a car. He refused to provide anything for Juliana at all.
So anyway...I continued to go to school, I was able to get a family member to loan me money and I got a car and started looking for a job. I was blessed to find one right away and also blessed that an old family friend watched Juliana for me (she is AMAZING) and would never accept any money. It was a struggle, but I was slowly making my own way. Carlos had been having a lot of problems with his landlord, he had been laid off (this is when the economy pooped) and couldn't pay his rent. I felt so bad for him, I asked him to move in with me. He found a job where I lived (he lived over an hour away!) and moved in. It was hard for us at first because we moved so fast, but we slowly got used to each other. Within 6 months we had saved up enough money to get our own apartment, and that is what we did.
It was so much FUN to go look at apartments together, go pick out and buy furniture together. At this point even plates were exciting. We were SO happy once we moved and again were BLESSED to find a place on special which was very nice and very CHEAP.
I think I forgot to mention how great of a dad Carlos is. He didn't have any kids of his ownbut LOVES kids and had always been great with Juliana. When we were "dating" and he spent the night sometimes, he would always get up with us if she woke up crying. I can specifically remember asking him what he was doing, and he said he was helping me. I asked him why and he said "because I want to." It seemed so odd to me that he would actually want to help. Juliana has loved him to pieces since the first time he met her, and I'm sure she has no memory of XH. He has always treated her like she was his own daughter. They are my two crazy loves and sometimes even now I tear up watching him play with her because I am so thankful that she has a great dad and that this wonderful man essentially fell into our lives.
Moving was interesting. It took us about 3 days to get unpacked and organized I guess, due to my poor packing. We didn't have much so it really shouldn't have taken that long. I had been applying for new jobs the week before since things were going to be more expensive and was excited to find out during our move that I had gotten a job making about $5K more per year! However while we were moving Carlos got a call not to come to work. They said they would call and let him know when they needed him to come in. (This is in September of 08 ). A call never came. He was laid off again. There was no way we could afford everything on just my salary and we were sure no one would be hiring for the winter, since Carlos works in construction and landscaping... My daycare was also not free anymore, and that was one of our biggest expenses. So Carlos did a lot of side work until he couldn't work anymore (the ground was frozen) and then became a SAHD. I'm sure this was the most stressful time in our relatioship. He became very depressed sitting home all day and the role reversal was something he couldn't deal with. He did a wonderful job taking care of Juliana, and kept the house clean, cooked dinner a lot. But he was miserable and out relationship suffered. There were several times we considered separating, but really neither of us could have made it without the other. Through all of this I continued to go to school full time, now at night, so theren were days he was home with Juliana all day long and I never even saw her I know it was hard for both of us, we both made sacfirices, but somehow we made it through that dark winter.
In Spring of 2009, Carlos' brother was able to get him a job where he worked which is a big company around here, and they guaranteed him a year round position! We were ecstatic! The starting pay wasn't very good but we were sure that he would earn himself a raise soon, and some money year round is better than good money for half the year.
We were doing pretty well financially at this point and had heard about the tax credit for buying a house. I had baby fever pretty badly too and Carlos didn't want to try until we had our own home. We started looking at houses in August and found one we really loved. It is a gorgeous 4 bd 1 bath single family home with a nice yard. We were REALLY short on the down payment though, about $4K short, and we were worried we wouldn't be able to get the house. Again, we were BLESSED. My real estate agent who is a friend of my dads said I should ask my dad. My dad had just bought a house as well and I was sure he didnt have the money. I did ask him though and he agreed to loan it to me. I learned later that it wasn't his money - I don't know who loaned it to him to loan to me, but they don't want me to know. Maybe one day I'll find out...but someone loves us. We signed the contract in early September and were due to close on October 30.
Before I go I guess I should let you guys know how things are going pregnancy wise right?
I have an appointment with the Midwife tomorrow. Last time I went I was 35 weeks, I had the GBS test and shec checked me, I was at a 1, 50% effaced and "very soft". I'm really not expecting to have him early but it would be nice I suppose. I'm really uncomfortable now, he feels so big and I sit down all day at work since I'm a legal assistant so that squishes him in there and has him pressing on my ribs a lot. I'm guessing he'll be over 8 lbs, even though J was 6 lb 14 oz born at 39 and 6. I just don't know where else he can grow at this point, I'm bigger than I was last time (though I've gained less weight) and all my stretch marks from last time are getting bigger. Carlos apologizes to me for that all the time but I told him its okay, Wesley is worth it.
I finally got an MP3 player (yes Ive been stuck in the past with a CD player up until yesterday) and I put all my hypnobabies on there. It is so much nicer to have them all in one place and not have to change the CDs in and out. And I didn't want to look like a dork walking around the hospital with an old school WALKMAN during labor I'm sure the nurses would have really thought I was weird, huh? I've been slacking on the maintenance schedule lately so I really need to review the workbook and stay on top of my scripts until baby gets here.
Poor Carlos is sick, he came home last night and just passed out on the couch. I made Juliana some bed time shorts using a pair she has as a model. I am just learning to sew. She was so excited when I gave them to her this morning, it was cute. They turned out pretty nice.
Almost everything is ready for Wesley. I still need to wash some of his diapers and lanolize his wool covers, and Carlos needs to put the bassinette together. I hope he feels better because we had tons of plans for home improvement stuff this weekend and I really want to get it done. My nesting manifests itself in the form of home improvement.