My marriage and my family. Where we were and how we got here.

27 Apr

I am 31, my husband is 32, our son is 8 and our daughter is 3 months. We live in nice suburb not far from NYC. We are a family, a sometimes dysfunctional one but we are all we have and I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything in the world!

My husband and I have been married for 9 years but have been together for almost 17 years. (With a few breaks here and there while dating) We actually met when I was 9 and he was 10 but didn’t become close until later. I’ll tell “our” story in another blog 🙂

We were in our early 20’s when we moved in together and although we weren’t married or even engaged yet we knew that marriage and children were what we wanted, sometime in our future. That future came sooner than we planned. We found ourselves expecting our first child not even a year later.  Within the next 9 months, we moved and prepared ourselves for a whole new chapter in our lives. After the birth of our son I experienced a lot of complications and had to have a total of 6 surgeries. After the surgeries I was told that I would not be able to carry anymore children.  I won’t say that I was devastated because in my eyes I had a healthy, happy baby boy and a wonderful, supportive husband. My family was complete.

Over the next several years we had our ups and downs like every young married couple, but the love that we had for each other seemed to be able to overcome anything. We had the family drama with in-laws that seems to plague almost every marriage. You know the kind, “she trapped you” “she’s damaged, why do you want her?” And the always present “you and the baby would be better off without her”. But that is a whole different entry for another time.

Fast forward 7 years….. so much happened throughout those 7 years and I’ll get to all of it in later entries.

So, here we were. My husband and I had a wonderful marriage. Of course we had our ups and downs but for the most part we were very happy and very much in love. We had moved into a new place and got our son a dog. Our son was our whole world, he was our only child so we did tend to spoil him. We also spent all our free time together, the three of us, our tiny perfect dysfunctional family.

I often wished that I could have another baby. I would see my friends having more children and as happy as I was for them, I was jealous. I would tell myself that this was how it was supposed to be and that on the upside, by the time our son was 18 I would only be 41 and my husband would be 42. We would be able to  do whatever we wanted without having to worry about a small child. We always talked about either buying or renting one of those really nice RV’s and driving cross country and we would be able to at an age where we would be able to really enjoy being together, just the two of us. So I began to enjoy my life now but I also looked forward to our future and all the adventures we would have.

Enjoying my life now sounds simple enough, but it was a struggle. A daily fight I had with myself and my demons from the past. I had only recently come out of a very dark chapter in my life, in fact I was still dealing with the repercussions from mistakes I had made in the previous few years. I was officially a felon and was on probation. It is not something I am proud of, but it is reality. I knew that I had put my husband through hell and I felt absolutely horrible about that, it was something that kept me up at night. Why this man decided to stand by me and not run very far and very fast is a mystery. I know he loves me, he not only tells me 20 times a day, he also shows me. I can’t help but feel that I do not deserve him or his love and support. I never did anything against our marriage, such as cheat or even flirt with another man. What I did was worse. I nearly killed myself which would have destroyed him and our son. I had every reason in the world to be happy, I had an amazing husband and a beautiful, healthy child, but there was always this sense of saddness about me. I wasn’t able to put my past behind me. Every time I thought I was making progress and coming into the light something would drag me back into darkness. I suffered from terrible night terrors caused by my PTSD from my childhood. I never got the closure I needed to move on. I attempted to get closure but it was too late, my father died, and his last message to me was that he knew when I was 6 that he could never love me like he loved my cousin. She was another one of his victims, we all were.  The PTSD was a major thing in my marriage. Imagine if you can, you and husband are having a very intimate moment, he wants to make love to you and you want him to. He is kissing you and exploring your body with his hands, you open your eyes to look at the man you love more than anything and then……… you see your father’s face instead of your husbands. You are not prepared for it and it sends you reeling. It’s hard to breathe, your head starts to pound and you want to run or curl into the fetal position and cry. You try and convince yourself that it is not your father, it is your husband. The man who loves you and would never hurt you, you are safe. While this is all happening inside your head, your husband can see something has changed, something is very wrong. Trying to explain it to him is not easy, so you say you’re fine and fight to go on. This is where my husband stops being a normal hot blooded male who’s testosterone is coursing through his veins and he becomes my best friend. He stops  and looks at me, he can see the tears I am desperately trying to fight well up in my eyes. He knows exactly what has happened, after all he knows all about my past. He kisses my head and wraps his arms tightly around me.  He says nothing, he just holds me while we lay there and lets me cry.  This doesn’t happen every time (THANK GOD!!) There must have been a few times we were able to be a normal married couple making love because just as another dark time has set upon me with the passing of my father, God must have decided to throw me a bone and give me something to hope for. Four days later, the car sickness I thought I was just developing turned out to be a pregnancy.

I know I said earlier that I was told I couldn’t have anymore children, that’s what I thought too. Yet, here I was pregnant and very happy, but also terrified.

My pregnancy was classified as high risk right away. The doctors were concerned that I would develop something called placenta accreta, which is when the placenta pushes through the endometrium wall and when it’s time to deliver, the placenta does not come out and you bleed out. This is mainly seen in women who have a lot of scar tissue on their uterus, which I did. Throughout the pregnancy the baby was perfect. We found out we were having a girl, the first one ever to be born on my husbands side of the family. We were over the moon with happiness. My husband was at every single doctor appointment, whether it was an ultrasound or just a check up.  Our happiness was almost shattered when while at work one day I was having severe abdominal pain. I was 4 months along at this point, so my boss drove me to the emergency room where my husband was already waiting. I wasn’t bleeding which was a good thing, but they wanted to do an ultrasound to see what was going on. The ultrasound detected a 5cm mass on my uterus, outside the placenta. It confirmed the doctor’s fears that I had placenta accreta. There was nothing they could do at this time so they told me to go home and rest. Yea, sure ok.

My due date came and went, no baby. Every ultrasound and every test showed that our little girl was thriving. It also showed that the placenta had in fact pushed through and probably would not come out during the delivery. They told me that although everything pointed to accreta, there was no way to be 100% sure that’s what it was until delivery. They didn’t want to do a c-section because of the risk of hemorrhage, so they decided to induce labor and go for a vaginal delivery. The morning of the induction my husband and I went to my doctor’s office where he was given papers to sign. They were consent forms stating that after I deliver the baby he is giving the doctor’s permission to do whatever means necessary to save my life. We both had to consent to them doing an emergency full hysterctomy in order to stop the bleeding. My husband told the doctor that he doesn’t care if they have to take my uterus or any other body part as long as they saved me. We didn’t exactly go into the hospital feeling relaxed. My mom was at our house with our son trying to hide her own fears.

After 14 hours of labor, I gave birth to a gorgeous 6lb 10oz healthy baby girl. The delivery was extremely emotional for me. I kept thinking that I am only going to get to see my daughter for a few seconds before going into the O.R and possiblly not coming back. Was this the last time I would see my husband? Does he know how much I love him? Does he know how proud and honored I have been to be his wife? I wasn’t ready to not be here, I wanted to raise my children, grow old with my husband. I thought of all the times I had wanted to die, attempted suicide. Now, here I was begging God to please let me live.

57 seconds after my daughter was born, the alarms that were monitoring my blood pressure and heart rate went crazy. The doctor was trying tirelessly to get the placenta out, but I was losing way to much blood. I remember feeling tired and looking at my husband who was saying something to the doctor, he was scared. I saw it on his face, the tears, the anger. The doctor said something to him and he nodded, looked at me and winked. Whenever we wanted to let the other one know we loved them and that everything was going to be ok, we would wink at each other. It was our secret language.

All I wanted to do was sleep, I was so weak. All the wires I was connected to were being pulled from the wall. My husband kissed me and told me he loved me. Then I was wisked away. The next memory I have is waking up in a really beautiful room. I was alone but felt very peaceful. Was I dead? Is this heaven’s waiting room? Will they let me in? My next thought was of my husband and our son and new daughter. How could I have left him alone to raise 2 children? Why would God do that to him? I was definitely going to ask him!! I started to feel very sad that I would not get to do everything I wanted with my life. The tears came and then the sobbing.

That’s when I heard a female’s voice ask “why are you crying? It’s ok.” She came over to me and started checking my temperature, blood pressure and lifing the blanket to see the incision. I wasn’t dead!! She was a nurse, checking on me. I was in my room in the hospital. The only thing I wanted was to see my husband and my daughter. I asked where they were and she said they were right outside waiting to come in, along with my mom, my son, my best friend, father in law and my husband’s best friend. She helped me get myself together. I looked like a hot mess, lol. I wasn’t crying anymore, I was excited to see everyone and told myself I would be strong. My husband walked in first pushing our daughter in the bassinet. The tears came again, damn emotions!! My husband layed next to me and held me, for a long long time. THIS was my heaven.

I still had some of my female parts, but they had to take the part of my uterus that was attached to the placenta. My daughter would be my last child, this time there was no doubt about it. That was fine by me. I had everything I ever wanted and needed, and now I had a whole new appreciation for what I had. I made a promise to myself that going forward I would see the joy in the little things, I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. I wasn’t going to live in the past. I wasn’t going allow my past dictate my future. Yes, I was dealt a crappy hand in life, yes I experienced a lot of traumas at an early age and yes, I had made A LOT of mistakes in my life. I wouldn’t allow myself to live with the guilt of things I could not change. All I could do was move forward, in the right direction with a positive attitude and making the right choices. I was lucky that I hadn’t lost those I loved before realizing this. I may have lost some along the way because of things I did and choices I made, but those who stuck it out and stood by me, I was going to make sure I never lost them or made them feel like I didn’t love and appreciate them.

I was going to do whatever I had to to show my husband that I not only loved him, but that I respected him, honored him and appreciated him. How could I do that? How could I change how I interacted with him, how I spoke to him? I was making all these promises to myself and to him now, but would I keep them the next time I was angry or we had an argument? I wanted too, but I also knew how quickly I reverted back to old behaviors. Then I remembered something I had found on line a while back and it had definitely peaked my interest. I remember telling my husband about it and he thinking it was a good idea, but I was pregnant and we didn’t think it was a good time to try and change our entire lifestyle. Well, I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I was already 6 weeks post partum and everything was healing beautifully. I felt good, great actually. So, one night after both kids were asleep my husband and I sat down to talk about what we wanted going forward and how we could achieve that.

Enter domestic discipline……..

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