Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Way Things Were Never Supposed To Be

Several things have gotten me thinking about DD's father. There was the incident this past weekend at the dentist office & the store. Speaking with Enola about her pregnancy and impending addition to the family. And yesterday, some child support issues reared their head again.

I've shared some of the story of the circumstances surrounding how my daughter came to be. Maybe I'm just in a "poor me" mood as I sit here hating so much of this situation and I reflect back on this bittersweet journey.

I've always wanted to be a Mom and always had envisioned the white picket fence, husband, 2 children, dog & cat. That's not the way it works for most people, I know. And honestly, things would have been worse if I'd been married to my XDH and had a child with him. I was in the process of divorcing him when I met DD's father. He turned out to be nothing he originally portrayed himself to be. I take responsibility for my role in perpetuating the fantasy.....I overlooked so many things that should have set off my warning bells. When I discovered I was pregnant, his first response was "Oh Shit." The following day, through text message as I sat crying at the hair salon, he told me he'd help pay for an abortion but didn't feel he had anything else to offer.

Becoming pregnant was never supposed to be a questionable, confusing, less than thrilling event in my life. People were often unsure how to react to my news. I'm pregnant! Errrr, Congrats? It's not supposed to be a question, right? My mother was ashamed to tell certain people. She was supposed to be excited about becoming a grandma, right?

Throughout the pregnancy, my communication with Donor was limited and only done through email, text or IM. I often had to chase him down for answers. My childs father was never supposed to be avoiding me. I went to appointments and ultrasounds alone, no one to share the excitement of the heartbeat. No one to "ooh & aah" over this tiny growing life rolling around inside my belly. No one to rub my swollen feet, to feel baby kicks with me, to peruse baby name books with, to register for baby items with.

I planned my own shower. I had to buy everything else on my own (well, my mom did buy alot for us). I had to accomodate a crib & changing table in my 1 bedroom tiny apartment in the basement of my mother's house. No nursery, no theme. Just trying to cram the necessities into an already full space.

The day after my shower, I went to the birth class at the hospital by myself. No one to go with me. I felt like such an unlovable, pathetic loser. I sat in the back, simply wanting to disappear into the wallpaper. I was so mortified at being there alone that I actually donned my old wedding rings and made up a story about my "husband" being called out of town unexpectedly for his sick father. I figured I'd never see any of these people again so it didn't matter if I told a white lie in order to make myself more comfortable. Laying on the floor doing breathing exercises.....all the other women excitedly snuggled in against their DH's or partners. Me? Propped on a pile of pillows. And then at the end of the class, I went into labor prematurely. And the nurse teaching the class rushes me upstairs to Labor & Delivery and says "honey, give me your husband's phone number so I can call him for you" and I have to shamefully admit I'd lied. Laying there in the hospital feeling more alone and humiliated than I can ever put into words. Feeling as rejected as a person can feel. And trying to reach out to DD's father to let him know what was going on. Still trying to engage him and force him to care about his soon-to-be-born child.

Through bedrest & medication, they were able to hold off labor for another 2 weeks. I was in the hospital for 10 of the 14 days. Laying there alone except for almost daily visits from my Mom bringing me clean PJ's & peanut butter sandwiches. I felt so isolated. And had Waaaaaayyyy too much time to think. I went home and then my water broke 3 days later and there was no holding back DD's birth any longer, still 7 weeks before her due date. Packing my suitcase in silence, alone. My mom drove me to the hospital which I hated. My mind was racing in every direction. I was terrified, excited, was completely surreal. It would have been nice to have support. Just someone to hold my hand and say "I'm here with you" I went through labor with only the hospital staff at my side. After DD was born, she was whisked off to NICU and I wasn't allowed to see her for several hours until she was stabilized. I showered; I sat there completely numb. I texted a few friends but I really wasn't all that close to anyone at the time. I'd been trying to call Donor since I got to the hospital. Not only did he never answer, but eventually he turned off his phone altogether. I caught him at work Monday AM (DD born on a Saturday). He said he'd come see us, said he'd come sign the birth certificate. He did neither and went right back to avoiding me.

Finding my way with my first and only child has been difficult. I never had much experience with kids and I felt so clueless with no one to turn to for an opinion, to vent, or for praise. Making all the decisions about her health, her care, her education, activities, discipline.....while sometimes I feel like the lucky one when I see other parents at odds about how to handle's also very isolating. It's all on me. Knowing my actions, my choices, my words are shaping who she will be for a lifetime is scary. Not having someone to share in the milestones, the frustrations, the saddens me. It saddens me for me and for her, also. Dealing with her questions, her friends questions about why she doesn't have a Dad....having to skirt the subject in so many routine's hard. I still feel isolated. I don't feel comfortable making play dates with other families. I feel "different" being a single mom. I'm sure I manage to exude that attitude and it keeps people away from me.

A child support issue came up this week. We're scheduled to go back to court for an enforcement hearing next week since SD hasn't paid since March. Recently he did begin payments again but not at the ordered amount. I'll keep a long story short but, in conversation with the case handler, I discovered yesterday that someone at the court "overlooked" the $8,000 of back support that he owes me and it was never entered into the judgment. Overlooked.....that is how I feel. So I've missed 2 years of his tax refunds at the very least because someone didn't take the time to read the order carefully. Man, that pisses me off. It just seems like I'm sailing along smoothly for a while and then BOOM!!! Titanic meets Iceberg.

Never ever do I regret that I have DD. I have something wonderful that came out of a bad situation. It's just now how I imagined my life would go. I wanted DD to have so much more than I had. I wanted her to have a "whole" family. And I know that she's got me and we're a family. I know that she's better to have one loving Mom than to have two lousy parents. I know all this. It's just not "the fantasy". You'd think I would have learned long ago that the fantasy doesn't exist.

1 comment:

Enola said...

Awww I'm sitting here all choked up now. I wish you lived close enough for a hug. I'm so sorry you had to go through that all alone. ((((Hugs))))