Wednesday, June 23, 2010

From the beginning, Part 3- Pregnant and Alone

First of all I must apologize that this part of the story has taken me a month to write... it's definitely the most painful part of it all and I don't like to relive it if I can help it. Also, Colby and I were both less than stellar in some of our behavior and treatment of each other during this time. I don't want to sugar coat any of it, but I also don't want people to get the wrong impressions and make judgments of either of us based solely on things we said and did during this very tumultuous period of our relationship. So, forgive me for taking so long. It's a pretty sensitive subject and it has been difficult to know how to approach it all. I hope I have done it justice without being either too forthcoming or too withheld.

Second of all I must address something I neglected to mention before... another HUGE factor in our downfall was the fact that I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder when I was 14 years old, and medicated consistently for it up until shortly after we got married, when I randomly went off my meds cold turkey a few times. At least once it was because we lost medical insurance, but I think most of the times it happened were when I would miss a few doses and think, "Well, I still feel fine, so I must not need my medication anymore," only to realize a month or two down the road that I was still in sad, sad mental and emotional shape. When we separated, I had been off my medication for a few months and I know that was absolutely a factor in the way I treated Colby. I went back on it immediately after our separation, only to go off again when I found out I was pregnant. I am happy to say I have not been medicated ever since then and I'm doing just fine now. Thank you, counseling, self-discovery, and personal growth!

Alright, on with the story...


There are still some songs I can't hear without a wave of bitterness, heartache, and even sometimes residual anger washing over me. I hate that I'm still affected by them in this way but thankfully those feelings continue to fade with time. Hoobastank's song, "What Happened To Us?" is one that was almost a bit of a premonition for me. When I first heard this song, we were still together and, on the surface, happy. It nearly made me cry, because I thought, "This song could so easily be about us if we screw things up." After the separation, I couldn't hear it without falling into a sobbing mess of tears.

I felt so very alone in my situation. Pregnant and "single," but still married. How many people were in my shoes? I felt like I was the only one. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has been there, but I'd never heard of anybody. None of my family or friends understood. I felt like all of the other pregnant, single women were single because their pregnancy had complicated their relationships and the fathers had run off to become deadbeat dads. I know people assumed that was the case with us, but Colby had left the marriage prior to either of us knowing we were going to become parents.

I wanted so badly to work things out, but Colby moved on pretty quickly to a female friend he'd had for a few years. She was fresh out of a long-term relationship as well, and I'm sure they both found comfort and solace in each other. This was, and still is, the hardest part for me. Our breakup had been a long time coming, especially for Colby, but I'd been in such denial that it hit me like a ton of bricks. My whole world was torn out from under me. All of my hopes, dreams, and plans for the future were instantly destroyed. I'd been so dependent on Colby, on our marriage, for my happiness, that I didn't know how to function without him. I didn't know how to be just Karyn.

I was on the biggest emotional roller coaster ride of my life. One day I'd want to do everything I could to make "us" work again, and the next day I wanted nothing to do with him ever again. The pregnancy only compounded this, I'm sure, with all those extra hormones running through me. On the days I felt so much hatred for Colby, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do about this new life growing inside of me, this child that would be part of him. There was a little voice that said, "Well, there's always abortion, you could just tell everyone you had a miscarriage," but I knew I could never do it. My next option was adoption, but I didn't think I'd have the strength. I had wanted to become a mother for so long... how could I give up my baby, my own flesh and blood? Deep inside I knew there was only one option; I was going to keep my baby.

I wanted to try to involve Colby as much as possible in the pregnancy, but he was reluctant. I had hoped that being a part of it would make him realize what he was going to be missing out on and want to be a part of our lives, or at least to give things another shot. I invited him to my appointments, to ultrasounds, to hear the heartbeat for the first time, but he couldn't separate "the baby" from "Karyn" and he didn't want to spend any time with me. I complicated things. I made his life harder. So he backed away, thinking it was best to avoid conflict, and in turn, I grew more and more angry at him for what I saw as a refusal to be involved in his child's life. After a while, I blocked him out intentionally. When I found out I was having a boy, I swore everyone to secrecy and I made my MySpace page private so I could post updates without him being able to see them. If he was interested in knowing details, I wanted him to come to me and ask, not to find out through the grapevine or the internet (of course, there was one person, who told another person, who told someone else, and it got back to him anyway). This backfired on me, of course, and only served to create more hostility between us.

When I was about six months pregnant, my focus became centered on myself, my baby, and on surviving. I went back to school, and I went back to work part-time. I was intent on becoming an independent, happy, single mom. I moved beyond hoping for reconciliation and accepted things the way they were. A month or so later, as I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, things became a lot more friendly between Colby and I. I was no longer pressuring him to be in a relationship he did not want to be a part of, but I also believe the lack of significant contact between us had been a good thing. It gave us both a chance to go longer than a week without getting into an argument and reminding each other exactly how much we couldn't stand to be around one another. Unfortunately, I sometimes have a problem with not knowing when to keep my mouth shut, and in one fell swoop I managed to sabotage any hope of us being on friendly terms in the foreseeable future by insulting his girlfriend during a conversation we were having online.

A few weeks later, I called Colby from the car as my dad sped to the hospital. I figured I owed him at least that much, to know that his son was about to be born. He was at work an hour away and didn't feel comfortable coming to the hospital to sit in the waiting room full of people there in support of me, and we both knew I wouldn't want him in the room. I didn't realize it then, but he wouldn't have made it anyway. I was 8cm dilated when I arrived at the hospital, and I'd only been in labor for just under 3 hours. I hadn't even recognized it as labor until 2 hours in. I was only 37 weeks along, and knowing that most first time moms go beyond their estimated due dates, I was expecting another 4 weeks of pregnancy. Our little man had other plans, though, and he arrived 3 weeks early after just over 4 hours of labor on March 11, 2008, at 2:31am. He weighed 6lbs, 9oz, and was 20.75 inches long with apgars of 9 and 9, and was absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way!

Next time in Part 4: Single parenthood

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Updates on the last updates!

I had my 34 week appointment today and everything is still going well. Tyler is LOA (left occiput anterior, his back on my left, head down, facing my spine), so he's in perfect position to be born! He has hiccups frequently and it drives me crazy at times. I feel bad for him. I don't like hiccups myself, I hope they're not too unpleasant for him. Anyway, I'm measuring 30cm now so still a little on the small side but not worryingly so. I have gained 16 lbs so far. I gained 17 total with Ryan so it looks like I'll be slightly above that with this pregnancy. To be fair, I lost a lot of weight in the beginning of my pregnancy with Ryan, and this time I didn't lose any, but it took me several weeks to gain anything at all. I think I was around 20 weeks before I gained anything. Blood pressure was 110/60, so that's staying pretty constant. Tyler's heart beat was nice and strong but I didn't catch what the rate was. I have my next appointment in two weeks, and if Tyler comes as early as Ryan did (at 37 weeks), that will be my last appointment before he is born! We'll see. It's entirely possible that he could stay in there another several weeks! I have a feeling he won't, but only time will tell. It's time to really buckle down and get ready for his arrival. I have done next to nothing. Whoops!

I'm trying really hard to be prepared for either situation. I know I need to be prepared for him to come early, because I was not at all prepared for Ryan to be as early as he was. I also don't want to be totally ready for him in 3 weeks and then be disappointed when he doesn't decide he's ready to come out at that point. I'm also not sure how to plan for the labor itself. Ryan's labor was 4 hours total, so I'm anticipating an equally short (if not shorter) labor with Tyler, simply because most women have subsequently shorter labors with each pregnancy. But again, that's not always the case. I could have a 12 hour labor this time around, and I don't want to set myself up to be exhausted by 4 hours in if I'm still only a few cm dilated. *sigh* It's hard to want to plan something that you really can't plan for at all. I know I need to just let go and not worry about it. Things will happen as they will. Tyler will come when he is ready and my body will take as long as it needs to birth him. I trust the process, so I need to focus on that.

Colby had his first sleep study, a follow-up, another sleep study, and another appointment. The first sleep study was to monitor his breathing and see if and how many times it stopped during the night. He was told at his follow-up that he has moderate sleep apnea, so they scheduled a second sleep study to put him on a CPAP machine and monitor his breathing again. It helped significantly! In the first sleep study, he stopped breathing over 100 times in the 6 hours he was sleeping. In the second study, he only stopped breathing 4 times in an 8 hour period. Wow, what a difference! He then had another appointment to pick out his CPAP mask, and he should have it within the next few days. I don't know if he is excited about that, but I am!

We've now had our kitten for three and a half weeks! We named him Jasper. It took Roamy a couple of weeks, but she seems to have developed an appreciation for him. They play together frequently and I have even caught them snuggling a few times. Sometimes Roamy is not in the mood to play, and she always lets him know, but I think he is helping to keep her young. Jasper was not very good at using his litter box in the first week we had him. He had several accidents on the couch and on my bed, and I was NOT happy with that. I was seriously considering finding him a new home, but Colby said we should wait it out because he thought Jasper might have been doing it on purpose because he was upset about Roamy's treatment of him. Sure enough, once things started settling down, he stopped doing it. Thank goodness! Ryan absolutely adores him and loves to pick him up and carry him around the house. We have had to be very watchful and make sure to teach him the right way to pick him up. At first he would pick him up by the neck (in a choke hold) or the tail, or one paw. He started to get it right, though, and now he picks him up very gently, under his front legs, and holds him close to his chest. He had to learn to put him down gently, too. At first he would just drop him or even throw him a little bit, but now he leans over and gently sets him back on the ground. He is still struggling with understanding that he is MUCH BIGGER than Jasper, and he can't lay/sit/stand on him because it will hurt him. I'm slightly amazed that Jasper has survived this long, but Ryan is learning to be gentle, so I think we'll all be okay.

I guess that's it for this time. :-)