***I'm not quite sure where to post this, so it may be here, in one of the pregnancy forums, and in the surviving abuse forum as well. I apologize for spamming them all, but my situation applies to so many different areas, and I could use so many different perspectives, that I'm willing to try every and anywhere.***
Hello. I'm a 26yo woman with two dd, one is 3 and the other will be 5 in July. I love my girls, they are my life, my pride and joy, and every decision I make is for their well-being.
I recently ended (really recently, three weeks ago now) my eight year relationship (six year marriage - though we haven't begun the divorce yet) to my husband. My husband (the girls' father) was always verbally and emotionally abusive, but over the years he started to become physically and sexually abusive as well. He was arrested three weeks ago for an incident that I will not describe in detail, but he was put in jail, I got a restraining order, and the only time I have spoken to him since was the day he came to move his things out of our condo in the accompaniment of police officers.
I know...it's a lot to absorb, but it gets worse.
I found out on his birthday, June 8, that I am pregnant (5 weeks along today). This will be my fourth pregnancy (we miscarried our first *tears*) and I am currently in year two of three in a graduate school program. We moved across the country so that I could attend school and now I am torn on so many levels.
I am facing so many hardships, and I do not know if I can make this journey on my own. My mother and sister (my only real family) are negative, not very supportive, and several thousand miles away. I don't have any real friends in my new city, but I do like a few of my classmates. I am in a different situation than most of my classmates, they are mostly single, childless, and a few years younger than me.
I am just stressing stressing stressing! I want to do what is right by my dd's, and I cannot imagine how I'm going to make life suitable for my baby. How I'm going to get through the pregnancy, the birth (both of my girls were natural vaginal births, my second was even a homebirth, no complications), the recovery, and the continuance of graduate school (I'm determined to graduate, but not at the expense of my children being neglected). I'm all alone out here (in Bradford/Haverhill) and I don't know what to do. I don't know anyone really, and I could use some Mothering type mamas to connect with.
I guess I'd like to know that what I'm attempting is possible? I don't know. I just feel like the universe is not pulling its weight in my favor lately. I am sooooo utterly confused as to what I am supposed to do. I just want my children to have a better life and more opportunities than I was given. I want them to be happy and healthy and to excel. I want them to know that Mama has done every possible thing she can for them to have balanced, joy-filled lives. I feel like no matter what, I'll be failing this time :(
I'm going to counseling for the abuse and I'm getting my daughters in counseling soon, to help them deal with the changes of not having Daddy around, but...there's just soooooo much to handle! I'm breaking down :(
I'm not in your area, but I caught your post and couldn't not reply. I hope you will find some reassuring answers. Sounds like you are determined to make things work, whatever happens and you have some time to explore your options.
Have you considered taking a leave of absence from school, or transferring somewhere where you have more support? Both options don't seem ideal from what you mentioned (it may be easier to go to school with a newborn than an older child, and transferring is also hard, but it's always good to put things out on the table as an option)... Do you have an adviser or professor at school that can help advise you and set things up? I completed my masters when I had my son and I was very thankful for the support in my department (and my family). I ended up having some complications but I had gotten reassurance ahead of time that they would be as understanding and as flexible as they could. I know others that haven't had that set up ahead of time and had to negotiate in the midst of things, which is much more stressful.
The North Shore Holistic Moms Network may be close enough for you to get connected to some people locally https://www.facebook.com/pages/Holistic-Moms-Network-Essex-County-North-MA-Chapter/105923282771420
I hope you find some support and start figuring out a plan that helps you feel reassured, so you can move forward and enjoy all the amazing things you have done for your family's (and your!) future!
Dh, Joshua Rebeccaand . for Laura
Thanks so much for all of your suggestions! I really appreciate your information on the North Shore Holistic Moms Network; I live in Essex County and we're really close to Andover, where the group meets! I hope we can find some like-mined families to connect with!
I've considered taking a leave from school, but it's so expensive to live out here that I cannot afford to do so. I've already deferred (the year before coming) and reapplied (the year before that, after getting in the first time, and then deciding that I did not want to come so soon after having my second DD). With the cost of the move (from southern Illinois to Bradford) I could JUST afford to move back if I left now (but then I'd be broke, and jobless), and then I know I'd never make it back out here to finish, and really there's NOTHING in southern Illinois to benefit my girls. Okay...a few things, but not like the opportunities they'll have if we stay here.
I wish I had support anywhere. My mother lives 300 miles north of the home I own in Illinois and my sister lives in New Orleans. Even if I were to "go home" I wouldn't have much in the way of immediate support. I think I'm better off branching out here and living off of my loans than going home to...the house, but nothing else.
I also cannot transfer :( My Master's program is a special one, only offered in four schools in the United States. I'm going for Publishing and Writing (focuses on Book, Magazine, and Electronic Publishing) and it's my dream school. I love it here, but I don't want to jeopardize anyone for my dream. I honestly think it will be better for my daughters if we can stay out here though. There's this Public Charter Montessori right down the street, and the history of the area alone is so inspiring. IDK...I wish there were an easy way through all of this, but I'm sacrificing something with every choice I make, and at the end of the day I just hope I'm doing right by my children.
You're right about talking to people at my school now, before things get crazy. I plan to start discussing my options with my small community of professors and whoevers the moment I am past 12 weeks. It is a small school and they know me well enough to help me along I think. It all seems so impossible, but...I know that I am a strong woman, and that I can handle anything if it's right for my babies!
Thanks again for your encouragement :)