Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How My Daughter Came To Be

I'm on a roll of storytelling today. I mentioned in my prior post that my pregnancy was another story for another post. Since I feel like writing and not working....here is that story.

I have always known I wanted to be a Mom. I was once pregnant in 1990. I was 20 years old; I was a disaster emotionally. My BF told me that I had to have an abortion and he would not support my decision to do anything else. I hated the idea. I wanted to give it up for adoption. Confused, unsure, scared to lose my BF....I made an appointment for an abortion. Fate intervened and I had a miscarriage 2 days before the appointment. March 6th was my due date and that child would have been 18 this month. I have no regret about this...it was the BEST thing that could have happened.

I've mentioned I was married from 1998-2003. In 2002, we decided since our marriage was so crappy, we should definitely try to have a baby! I had some fertility issues so I went through massive rounds of fertility drugs and IUI. There was no good reason why none of it worked. I remember my first meeting with the Reproductive Endocrinologist when he said he'd have me pregnant within 3 months; I was an ideal candidate. Well, we ran out of money pretty quickly and things really took a turn for the worst in our relationship. So we stopped trying. I was devastated that I would never have a child.

When I left him in June of 2003, I went on a dating rampage. I felt fantastic! I was so happy to be away from him. I'd lost 70 pounds at that point. I had all this new found self confidence. I realized that I actually was very attractive!! And I'd never really dated before. So, I hit the scene HARD. I was a serial dater, going out with several men every week. I actually first spoke to DD's father, who I will refer to as "A", before I'd left my XDH. We met on a chat board online. We talked every day and established a friendship. In August, we decided to meet. He lives 2 states away. He drove up here to a party and we met there. It was really a quick hello at that point as....well.....he was 2 hours late and, in the meantime, I'd become preoccupied with another man! JB - who has since turned out to be one of my best friends in the world!

Fast forward to December '03. A and I had still been talking almost every day. My dating spree was tapering off. I was starting to feel the desire to settle in with one person. I expressed this thought to him and he wanted the chance to be that person. He had similar feelings, wanting to settle down, hoping to get married and have a family. So we dated. A month or so later, the decision was made to be intimate. Protection? "No worries", I say...."I can't get pregnant."

Five weeks later, enter curious non-stop cramping. "Hello, Dr? Something is wrong with me....I have cramps but no period."
"Could you be pregnant?"
"You haven't been sexually active?"
"I have but I can't get pregnant"
"Do me a favor honey....I'll make you an appointment for day after tomorrow but pick up a test and do it in the morning."
(insert eyeroll on my part) Ridiculous. Isn't she listening to me? I can't get pregnant.
I had leftover pregnancy tests from when I was trying with XDH. Following morning, it was such a non-issue to me that I forgot to take the test. I grabbed one and took it to work with me where I did it in the bathroom before anyone else arrived. Positive. PPPhhhbbbbttttt! THAT test is clearly defective. In the garbage it went without another thought. Off I go to the internet....convinced I have some horrible disease. Just to prove the Dr wrong, though, I picked up 3 more tests on the way home from work. I'll show them! Well.....Positive. Positive. Positive. WHAT the hell is wrong with me??? Looking up causes of false positives.....none of them apply. I have something so rare, it's not even documented yet!!!

Off I go to the Dr the following day. I remember this was Friday the 13th, 2/13/04.
Nurse: "So, what seems to be the trouble?"
"Well, I have been having these cramps but no period."
"Okay....tell me more...."
"Well, I DID take 4 pregnancy tests and they all came out positive!"
Excited nurse says "So, you're pregnant!??!"
I furrow my brow at the clearly insane woman and snap "No."
(As nurse probably feverishly scribbles in my chart - "Early pregnancy dementia") Of course, it was verified and ultrasound backed it up. I left there in a total fog. I called my good friend JB first. I cried. Happy tears, scared tears, tears of disbelief. I called A and said we need to get together. He can tell something is wrong and finally I blurt it out. "I'm pregnant." You know it never bodes well when a father-to-be answers that announcement with "Oh Shit." I never saw him again. We continued to speak on & off. He said he would pay half the cost of an abortion but that's all he could do. He didn't feel he had anything else to offer to me or a child. Ratbastard. I told him I was having the baby anyway. We talked on and off through the pregnancy just trying to iron out details. We agreed on an amount of child support. Largely, he avoided me, my emails and my calls.

At 31 weeks gestation, I went to my birth class. Alone. I'd been feeling crampy all day but thought it was DD bouncing on my bladder since she was breech and laying on my bladder 2 days before. Turns out I was having contractions. At the end of the class, as I was getting up to leave, I had a placental abruption. Thank God I was at the hospital. They rushed me upstairs where they were able to hold off labor and kept me on bedrest. I called A and he said he'd come visit me. Yeah right. Never did of course. 2 weeks later, my water broke and there was no holding off labor at that point. DD was born at 33 weeks, all of 4 1/2 pounds. While in labor, I tried to call A over and over. Calls, texts, I left voicemails. No reply. In fact, he turned off his phone. I finally got him on Monday AM (DD was born on Saturday) at work. Said he never got my messages. Um, ok. I asked him to come see her. To sign the birth certificate. He said he would. He never did.

Fast forward through 7 months of avoidance, lies and more lies. I decided to find another way to contact him since the cell was of no use and he'd caught on to my calling him at work. I paid $50 for an internet background check. That was the best $50 I've ever spent! It came up with addresses, phone #s and "possible relatives". So I figured....hey....I can't get him on board. Let me call his sister, who he told me he lives with, and see if maybe I can rally the support of his family. I had nothing to lose. So I dial the number and a woman answers:
Me "Hello. Are you by chance related to A?"
Woman "What do you want with my HUSBAND?"
(Jaw Drop)
Woman: "Hello?? Who is this? Why are you calling my husband?"
"well, he is my daughter's father and he's avoiding me so I am trying to reach him"
"He's WHAT?? How old is your daughter?"
"7 months"
She goes ballistic. He was there and she starts screaming at him. She's yelling at him, she's asking me questions. He picks up the other extension and tries to deny knowing me. But as I'm answering all the questions she is asking me, it's becoming very clear that he knows me, alright. Finally, he admitted to her that we'd been together. She throws the phone and I hear her screaming at him to get out of her house, etc, etc. He says to me "I will deal with you later" & hung up. The whole thing was surreal.

Next day he calls me and says "Now you understand how hard this has been for me."
WTF?? Really? Hard for YOU?? Turns out he already has 3 kids, one of whom is about the same age as my DD. He promised to pay me all he had agreed to since his wife knew the truth now. Of course, I didn't see a penny. So I took him to court. After multiple hearings, reschedulings, etc, we finally had the "big" hearing when DD was almost 2 years old. I represented myself and petitioned for more than what the law would normally allow in my case. Everyone told me I was nuts to try. But I won. I haven't heard a word from him since. He's never met DD. He did see her one time when I had to bring her to court with me. But didn't even look at her. How does one do that? Especially someone who knows what it's like to be a parent. How do you say "I'll be a father to these 3 but I'm going to ignore that one." I hate that DD has siblings she may never know.

I hate looking back on my life and seeing that twice I've been pregnant, each time told to have an abortion by the father. That's a huge rejection to me. I see how naive I was in dating and how I wanted to believe all that A told me even though his actions never backed it up. I so wanted to believe the best about everyone despite all I'd been through. I hate feeling stupid and used. I am scared that DD will have father issues after being rejected by hers. But I do have my baby. And whatever else I do or don't have in this world, she has been the ultimate blessing of my life and I thank God for her every day.


Hidden Tears said...

That is an amasing story, I rather enjoyed the "early pregnancy dementia"...men can be such pig, I am glad that you are blessed with your daughter. She was meant to be with you.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Just a reminder for fellow bloggers: THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE DEADLINE IS MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. Love to haveyou join us! Details at my blog.

Tink said...

I know you told me this story before, but I think I forgot it. What an idiot. He's missing out on so much! I didn't realize DD was only 4 1/2 lbs. So glad she is such a beautiful and healthy little girl now!

Reminds me of my uncle, the one who had a baby 2 years ago with a woman who he got with when he and his wife were seperated. He got back with his wife and wants nothing to do with his baby girl. He has 3 step kids and grandkids through them, but wants nothing to do with his only blood child. Makes me sick that I'm related to him.

Theresa said...

What an amazing story. How blessed you are to have your daughter. She is a true gift from God.