Friday, March 20, 2009

Raison D'Etre

We had a rushed wedding.  I was late to the alter because The University of Texas was losing to Oklahoma State until the last few seconds of the game and I couldn't leave for the aisle until I knew how it ended.  Sure, I'm that into football, but I think I just wasn't that into my wedding. We weren't two kids in love.  We were two good friends sealing a deal.  That night he played his last gig (yes, on the night of our wedding he worked).  And to share just how redneck a life I had married into, we simply had the reception at the bar where he was playing, complete with a Just Married sign on his microphone stand.  Classy.  All of the pictures we have from that time show my family with looks of stunned acceptance.

So, I had to get a real job and so did he.  Real life began.  We were both completely broke.  We had terrible credit at the ripe age of 25 and neither of us had anything of value to bring into the marriage.  We were both nomads.  I had been flying since I was 20 and anywhere I lived was sparsely furnished because I was rarely there.  He was a musician and eternal college student who had ragged second-hand belongings and little else.  My parents gave us a Honda Accord, bought us a mattress set and the rest we got from the wedding shower.  Fortunately, my parent's affluent friends didn't hold it against me that I ran off with a musician, so they all donated to our cause.  Of course, they didn't yet know that they would be invited to furnish our nursery and clothe our child in a matter of months.

I was working an office job with horrific morning sickness.  Patrick did what any good husband (in the fifties) would do.  He started selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door.  I was miserable, with a diagnosis of placenta previa early on, all-day sickness, and annoyance with our new stationary lifestyle.  But I believed in my new husband, and I believed that he would be the best Kirby salesman in the state.  But he started coming home at midnight and staying on the computer until dawn when he was home.  There was no sex because he was afraid he would hurt the baby.  At 27 weeks pregnant I logged on to his computer and his instant messenger popped up.  It was some girl with whom he had been having online fun with.  While lying in bed by my pregnant, sleeping side he was having virtual sex with some chick from South Carolina.  I freaked out.  I realized that I was in a doomed relationship and carrying this man's child. Apparently the emotional trauma sent me into early labor.  I ended up in the ER with pre-term labor.  He was right by my side.  I used the coping mechanism I learned growing up with an alcoholic father and ignored the unpleasantries in hopes that they would dissolve over time.

My contractions continued and the doctor realized that I had an abrupted placenta.  I was put on strict bed rest.  At 32 weeks they realized that my baby was not gaining nourishment from me any longer and they were forced to induce.  After 36 ridiculously long hours, our son was born. He was 4lbs. 11oz., and though he wasn't breathing when he was born, he came right along.  I felt that love right from the beginning, but it turned to terror when I realized that this little person was mine to keep and form.  After less than 48 hours in the hospital with a child that could not maintain his body temperature, was jaundiced, and had no sucking reflex thus not eating, they sent us home...with him.  All he did was scream because he was hungry but couldn't understand how to make it stop and our manual efforts at feeding him were failing.  

The first year of his life pretty much went along like that.  He was always sick.  He had reflux, asthma, pneumonia, and colic.  Life was miserable and I did not like this new addition one bit. But I was a perfectionist in a sense.  I had to at least look like I had it all together, so I behaved and did exactly as I would expect an adoring mother to.  But my baby was on to me.  There was no connection between us, mostly due to the postpartum depression.  I wanted out.  I wanted out of the marriage, out of motherhood, and out of my life.  I kept thinking that if I could kill myself now, Cade would never know what he was missing.  It would just be a sentence in his life story. "Yeah, my mom killed herself before I turned one, so I was raised by my stepmother who adopted me.  We were very happy".  But I didn't do it.  Fear of the unknown, a shimmer of rationality in an otherwise broken mind...who knows.

At 13 months into my beautiful son's life, it clicked.  We fell in love with each other, Cade and I.  He became my raison d'etre.


  1. I didn't realize till I finished reading...

    I was holding my breath.

  2. Sad blogging tip for the day:
    Just cuz they follow you, does not mean they read you. =/

  3. Right? I'm still sad that the people that read me don't follow me. But, what can ya do? : )

  4. I read and I follow. And I'm anxiously awaiting the next segment to your story! :)