So, here I am... and I cannot BELIEVE that I have only known about this pregnancy for two weeks.
You, um, might say that I have a little bit of experience with this sort of thing. This will be my 7th child. Needless to say, a few of my friends and family members are more than a little shocked as well, and one or two of them think I've just been keeping it a secret for awhile. But honestly, there is no one more stunned than me!
Here is my story in a rather large nutshell:
My oldest three children are ages 16, 14, and 12. They live in West Virginia with their father, my first ex-husband. Although I maintain contact with them, I have not seen them in over 10 years, mostly because of the situation with my second husband.
The younger three children are ages 8, 5 (almost 6), and 3. Their father is my second husband, from whom I will soon be divorced. He and I were together for nearly 10 years, and he was abusive, controlling, manipulative and just an all-around UAV. After years of mental/emotional/verbal/physical abuse, lost friendships, severed family ties, and multiple stays in DV shelters, I was finally able to get away from him, once and for all, last year. I have been gone from him for just over a year. The key was in removing myself from the state of Texas, where not even the police would help me when the man attacked me in front of my kids.
(On a side-note, this past June, the new police detective in the city I'd left behind remedied that situation by re-opening my DV case and having my STBX arrested. He was set up and nabbed trying to sell a weapon (that he'd stolen) to an undercover cop. For the charges of theft of a firearm as well as assault causing bodily injury [family violence], he is still in jail. It makes my divorce proceedings in Colorado MUCH easier, hehe!)
So, now for the reason I'm here. In mid-May, I went to a party at my neighbor's house where I struck up a conversation with another neighbor, one with whom there had been a few interested smiles exchanged but not much else. The next morning, he hadn't gone home... heheh. I was due for AF just about three days later and she didn't appear. Because of the timing, and also because of the, er, "withdrawal method," well, I didn't think about pregnancy being an option. I had, by that time, decided he and I should probably avoid alcohol and maybe get to actually know each other a little better before we tried for a repeat of that first night, however.
Six weeks later, there had still been no other contact but I'd learned that avoiding alcohol was not an option with this man. Not only was (is) he a raging alcoholic, but he's quite a bit of a UAV as well. So we stopped associating with each other. (He was very judgmental of my AP style, as in "OMG, you still have a kid on the teat at age three??? What's wrong with you???" GRRRR.)
Over the summer, naturally I noticed the increased fatigue (I felt like I could sleep 20 hours a day). I got so desperate that I ended up having my therapist prescribe something to wake me up - I was failing my classes and it seemed like I was losing control of my life. She put me on Provigil but it didn't work. Meanwhile, I started getting repeated migraines. I usually only get about 2-3 of those a year, and they almost never involve nausea. THESE monsters were happening 2-3 times per month, and I was throwing up every time, not to mention a persistent tension headache on a daily basis and recurrent nausea almost constantly.
I was frantic by the time I went to the VA and requested a full work-up, with nearly a dozen blood tests. They referred me to the VA Women's Clinic, and just before that appointment, I started to get a little worried. I was outgrowing my clothes, you see. I checked my profile in the mirror and swore I looked 5 months pregnant. The OB at first thought I might have fibroids, since I was adamant that it was not pregnancy. Before conducting any further tests, though, she did the one test that the main clinic had not done - an hCG. Naturally... it was positive.
There was only one possibility. For a week, I walked around literally as if I had been lobotomized. I couldn't get off the couch except to take the kids to school and then go pick them up. I have never in my life felt so lost - so I told the guy. He would not talk to me. At first I asked him to come over, that I just needed someone to talk to, a friend to listen. He put me off and put me off (all of this happening through text messages). After about three days of this, I got angry and told him I HAD to talk to him, just him, it was important and I was not going to do this in a text. I did not hear from him again. I called and called, I stood in the hall and knocked on his door over and over.... nothing. I had to write him a letter and tape it to his door. I finally got a text from him two days later saying, "Sorry about your problem, but I am 100% sure it is not mine."
Then I officially hit rock bottom. I was hysterical and called my VA case worker. She came over and I just sobbed and sobbed. It was like a dam had broken. I felt ashamed, lost, terrified, angry and sick. I am 37, almost divorced, a single mom of 3, flunking out of my college courses, living on welfare and housing, and how could I have let this happen??
After a long, heart-to-heart discussion, she made me see that it did not matter how it happened. It did not matter how old I was, how I was living, what my situation was in school or even what HE thought about it all. What mattered was the fact that I was 4 months pregnant and... well, it is what it is. It was time to stop, look around, and realize that my life had just taken a dramatically different turn. I needed to compensate by reorganizing my plans, rearranging my goals and learning to how to hold my head up while telling the naysayers to go (BLEEP) themselves. It was my life, now I had to regain control of it.
Slowly and with a lot of support from the friends and family that truly matter, I am starting to do just that. In all three of my last pregnancies, I have found love, acceptance and support here on MDC, so I was finally ready to come here and be a part of this again. Somehow, finding my new DDC makes it real. Yes, I look huge (even for me, I am really showing this time, I mean WOW) and yes I have felt movement and had every symptom in the book (still having them, in all honesty), but only now is it real enough to seem like a true part of everything.
If you've gotten this far, thank you... and I hope I'm not joining too late, LOL! With all the pregnancy/birth/baby experience I have, I still feel WAY out of my league here. Life circumstances have made this pregnancy a whole new ballgame for me! I haven't even begun to grieve for the fact that I won't get a homebirth this time.... I will have to settle for a CNM and a hospital birthing center, since Colorado does not have freestanding birth centers, nor do their CPMs accept Medicaid. I will confront that particular hardship when I'm a little more used to being pregnant (not to mention halfway through it already... Sheesh!!!!).
I'm looking forward to getting to know you ladies....