Throwing the baby out with the bath water …

I did this post back in June for http://www.moomie.co.za and I must confess to feeling quite proud of this piece.  I like the ones that are real and honest, and this was one of those.

I totally forgot about the post, and then this morning Nayeela asked me for a copy, so thanks Nayeela for reminding me about this post.  I hope those who have read it on moomie will forgive me and not mind re-reading it.

I’ve often wondered why we do not tell new moms about the hell that follows once they arrive home with their new baby.

There seems to be this unwritten law that we should not scare them too much.  Or possibly it is that they will not believe it until it starts to happen to them.  Of late I have started to believe the latter.

The hell I am referring to is the emotional trauma and the screaming that you and your partner/husband/supplier of sperm/supporter of pregnancy/nearest and dearest will go through around week six to eight of your new baby being home.

It might start on day one, it might not start for several weeks, but it will start (insert Dr Evil’s laugh here).

Pregnancy is much like your honeymoon. The two of you are aglow with the wonders of what your loins have done. You have affirmed your lineage will continue. Your partner is elated that his sperm has proved to be virile, you are a bask in the glow of pregnancy.

You feel that you have single-handedly saved the entire human race.  Here in your uterus sits the off-spring that could find a cure of cancer or at the very least a system for not losing the remote control on the couch.

Ah it is glorious heady stuff.  You are invincible, you are pregnant.

Your energies are focused on the birth of the baby.  Where partner will stand, who will hold the camera, whether you will ask for some homeopathic meds or sell you soul for one prick of the anesthetist’s epidural needle.   From about month five every waking (and sleeping moment) is  consumed with all this planning.

You have various scenarios in your mind, but the one that stands out for you, is that picture of you, the picture of the perfect you.  You, still wearing mascara, and a touch of lip-gloss, cuddling your bundle, while your partner stares at you longing as if you are the original mother mary.

Intoxicating  days these.

You survive child-birth.  You survive the medical staff and you make it home.  You are smiling and coo’ing and everyone has agreed that this is the sweetest baby ever to bless the earth.

You and your partner are so pleased with yourselves right now.  You might even cure leprosy later on in the afternoon, nothing is beyond you right now.

The visitors go home, the medication and euphoria starts to wear off.  You are starting to ache.

You really love your baby, but have deciced that you no longer love your baby between 2 and 6am.  You are sleep deprived, your nipples feel like you have been cast in a low-budget porn movie, you are not feeling your best as you have been in your bathrobe since last Monday.

Brushing your teeth has become the highlight of your day – you do not even try to floss, as really there is not enough time and this often requires two hands, which you seldom have the luxury of right now.

Partner kisses you on the forehead and skips off to work.  At some point you stand there – usually in the middle of the kitchen, still in your grubby bathrobe, and ask yourself  “What exactly happened here … this is not how I pictured it…and why is that shmuck not with me in this?”

You can’t say it out loud as the baby has finally fallen asleep and you need to sort of rock him to-and-fro, to-and-fro or he is going to start screaming again, but you think it.  Yes, you think it, and think it and think it.

You now glance over at the kitchen clock and start counting the hours down for husband (you have dropped the dear part) to come home.  By the time he arrives home, you pretty much shove the baby into his arms, scream at him about being late.

Then scream at him about something unrelated and stomp off in a furore.  You are waiting for baby to start crying, because now husband can get an earful of what you have had to put up with all day …

But nothing … you listen … and there is nothing.  So you sneak quietly down to the lounge … and there he is … baby propped on his shoulder … not a care in the world … he has a beer in the other hand and he is watching Super Sport … and looks at you like: “ This isn’t hard, what are you complaining about!”

This is where the cracks start.

Late at night as you wake to go and feed the baby you look over at your partner who is fast asleep and you wonder if you can stab him the shoulder with a fork!  You know you can, but you wonder if you can do deep tissue damage with just one fork stab, or whether you will need to do it numerous times.

Partner does not move while you feed, burp, and quiet baby.  You shlepp down the passage, put baby down and return to bed.  Right now the warm-even breathing of your partner is making you so angry you want to smother him.  Instead you roll over, being sure to jab him with your elbow in his back and then you eventually doze off.  Only to be awoken 5 minutes later by baby who needs to feed…..

You repeat the cycle, each time hating your partner for the fact that he has undisturbed sleep.

Next morning you wake up and he is getting ready for work.  He smiles at you, all happy, as if he has let you sleep in – never mind that in total since 1am, you have had about 45 minutes sleep.  He gets his clean clothes on, kisses you on the forehead (because you have not brushed your teeth) and goes off to work.

And now your mild dislike has turned to hate.

It is actually his fault that this has all happened, and now he gets to go to work, talk to adults, surf Facebook and drink hot cups of coffee all day.  You hate him for every hour he is away.  The problem is when he drags his sorry arse in the door after work, you hate him for every hour he is home as well.

He has no idea what you go through, he does not realise that you have been crying for 6 hour straight.  He has no idea that you are so exhausted right now, you would swap places with a vagrant to get some sleep.

He has no idea that what is happening to you now does not gel with the picture you had in your head of this entire process. You love your baby – but right now, you really do not love being with him.

The right thing to say is that “this is the best thing in the world…” but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe it is really hard and maybe you are really struggling.  The thing you can’t understand is that no one has really told you how difficult it is going to be, and now you are really struggling.

Your partner does not understand, actually he has no clue what is going on. You are angry and upset and the person who is going to take the brunt of it is the poor sap who comes whistling through the front door at about 17h30 each day.

You start fighting with him because he goes to work.  You fight with him because he is at work.  You fight with him because he is at home.  You fight with him because he can’t change the baby the way you want him to do it.   You fight with him because he does not know which babygrower to use … well basically you fight with him because he exists (don’t even start with me about the fact that he has to breath so damn loud!).

Husband is starting to wonder if this having a baby was such a good idea, and at some point will make a statement of the sort.

This will be a bit like throwing gasoline on a fire, and you will unfortunately start saying some things you wish you had not said.  He is so annoyed as he does not know his wife anymore, and instead has this hormone soaked creature to deal with, so he will retaliate with something else, and you will have a come back which is akin to kicking him in the gonads.

And from there the situation will turn ugly.

But believe it or not  ….  you eventually start to get saner and realise that you (and him) are living through what feels like the apocalypse.  It does take a while before you realise that you and your partner are actually in this together.  You need to rely and lean on each other to get through this, rather than taking pot shots at each other as you run across the minefield.

You also start to wonder “why do couples who are in distress think having a baby is going to bring them closer?” when good sense tells us that a baby is the most strain you can subject on a relationship.

Don’t worry I wonder the same thing.

When my friends, who are young and in-love, have baby-showers I really want to give them vouchers for sessions of couple counseling.  Unfortunately decorum gets the better of me, and I buy them bibs and baby shoes like everyone else, and try not make them feel less invincible than they do right then.

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Does my bum look big in this?

Kennith is leaving me alone with the kids for much of the weekend.

He is trying to talk me through it, I am trying to take deep breaths and not panic.

For some reason I panic when there is the prospect or even a whiff that I will be left at home with the kids, alone.

I think the reason is that I have had some whopper moments with them in the past – actually more with Connor if I am to be honest.

No doubt my kids will have many hours of their own therapy sessions in the coming years, and have tons of “mommy issues” to discuss.

In the past, I wasn’t “not handling things well” because I was left with them.  I was just not handling things well in general and then I was left with them.

Suffice to say, things went a little/very pear shaped from my side on many occasions.

I have waxed lyrically in this blog about how I did not handle baby number one well.

I was scared sh*tless, and one of my biggest fears was that I was going to be abandoned, and I was going to have to cope by myself.  Babies scared me, I scared me, me with a baby was a terrifying concept.

Baby number one was like a free trip to hell – the problem was that the return trip was not guaranteed.

Unfortunately when I was at my lowest – and my most petrified – Kennith made not the best choices/decision.  The result was that I was left pretty much on my own to cope for a period of about two years – there was anger, resentment, some more anger, and fear of epic proportion.

Kennith is not all guilty, as I had a hand in it as well, we all played our parts.

But the bottom line was that my fear of abandonment was being played out in full technicolour, with me in a reluctant, but starring role.

I was not coping, was suicidally depressed and anxious on a level I can’t describe.  At the time, I did not realise how bad the situation, and how much I was struggling, and also that I was unable to ask for help – all around not a great situation.

Many of the issues we have been dealt with – it took years to fix the fall out.

We realized we both made mistakes, and we have managed to work through them and thus, we are where we are today, because we are a bit wiser (I hope) and maybe a bit more aware of how quickly these things can go badly.

Unfortunately the present situation is that when Kennith is going to leave me alone with the kids, I revert back to a state of being scared/afraid to cope/afraid I will not cope/that I am getting flashbacks of a hard road where we have been and generally start to get quite anxious at the thought.

I know the logic is that this is totally different and Kennith is not abandoning me.  He is just asking me to look after the kids while he does something else.

No problem in theory – in practice, it makes me stressed and I start to panic and get very anxious.

Kennith mentioned earlier this week, that he was going to watch rugby on Saturday.  So that means he leaves the house in the late afternoon and gets home some time after nine.

Sunday he wants to do a bike ride in the morning and then go and hit a few balls on the driving range in the afternoon.

Seems reasonable.  Unfortunately I am still a little panicked, but I am taking deep breaths and sipping my wine slowly, rather than in big gulps.

This afternoon I am sitting in the sun, sipping my wine, reading my book and Kennith starts chatting to me about the house renovations we are looking at starting.

We are sitting shooting the breeze as you do on a Saturday afternoon when baby is sleeping and the kids are watching television … it’s that moment of calm.

Kennith pipes up: “Are you feeling a bit bloated, because you are looking a bit bloated?”

Here’s a tip – never ask a woman if she is pregnant EVER or how far along she is in her pregnancy– unless you actually hear her panting and counting out the contractions.  But even then, don’t actually ask until you see the head crowning out of her vagina.

Never ask if someone is pregnant, because if the answer is “no” then you have put yourself into what can only be described as a very bad situation and there is no way to get yourself out of it.  There is just nothing you can ever say to rescue the situation.

Second tip – never ask someone if they are feeling bloated!  Because if the answer again is no, well then you will need to get a spade to dig yourself out of the sh*t that you have landed yourself in.  Of course the situation is compounded if you are asking your girlfriend/wife/someone you hope to one day/any day have sex with.

Me: “Er no actually I am not ….”

Kennith – sort of stumbling forward totally unawares that he has stepped into a minefield: “You look bloated, especially yesterday!”

Me – with a slightly arched eyebrow – not smiling so much anymore: “Really you are asking a girl if she is bloated …. this is actually your idea of a good conversation?”

Kennith: “Aren’t you bloated …. like yesterday you looked bloated ….”

Me: “Seriously this is what you are saying?”

Kennith: ……..

Me: “You are asking me if I am BLOATED …. even though I am telling you I am not ….but you are persisting in this conversation  …. you realize you are sitting here and telling me you think I look fat, and I was especially fat yesterday!  What the hell is wrong with you?”

Kennith: “errr…..”

Me: “Seriously do you not think about what falls out of your mouth.”

Kennith: “errr …….”

Me: “If you are trying to ask me if I am experiencing IBS, then maybe ask me how is the IBS going, and how are you feeling – not are you bloated because I think you look fat!”

Kennith: “This isn’t going well is it….”

Me: “No, because you have just told me you think I am fat – seriously how do you negotiate with people if your brain works like this?”

Kennith: “This is going to end up on the blog isn’t it?”

Me: “’fraid so, it sort of writes itself.”

Kennith: “I am going to just curl up here in the fetal position for a bit ….”

Me: “You are an idiot.”

Reality sometimes requires you to wear your big girl panties …

The one benefit of knowing that Kennith has known me for nearly two decades, is that he knows what he is getting in to.  He really cannot throw his hands in the air, and deny that he knew what he was getting once all the circus make-up is wiped off and I have freed myself from the corseted dress.

He knows me with an acuteness that I can honestly say no one else does, or probably ever will.  He knows what makes me tick, he knows that makes me smile and he knows what makes me cry.  He sees into my soul.

I really do not have to try and market myself or sell myself as something I am not – he knows me too well to be fooled by a lick of mascara and a boob job.

I know Kennith and have no delusions about what life will be like post-17 July 2010.

We literally know each other’s warts, skin tacks, spiky unshaved legs and sometimes-we-forget-to-flush-the-toilet and wet towels being left on the bed – by now we know it all, but we still have decided that right now there is no other place we would rather be.

After the 17 July, we may have some gifts, we will definitely have some great photographs, but we will still be the same people we are now – that will not have changed.

The reason I am jotting this down today, is that today/right now I am feeling at a very low place.

It may be all the stress of planning the wedding, dreading the day on a certain level.  It might be the stress at work, it might be my ambivalence about getting married and what this will actually mean as we forge our road ahead.  It might be the after shock of the pre-nup and that process and all it conjured up in my head.

I am not sure.  My head is literally screaming with a dozen voices and I feel exhausted and want to just seek the darkness and the quiet of my duvet, and let it all just drift away.

The “big” issue we have – well it is big to me – I am sure for Kennith he may have other issues that are equally big – is the issue regarding a fourth child and/or looking at adoption.

I always take cognizance that this is my blog. I get to say things from my point of view, and express reality in my voice and from my perspective.  I never deem to speak on behalf of Kennith – I sometimes say what I think he thinks, but it really is from my perspective.  His real thoughts and his real motivations are left to him to put out there if he wants.

So that being said ….I am not sure if three children is enough for me – Kennith was pretty set that two children was enough for him.  He feels he went along with a third child more for me wanting a third child than him wanting a third child.  I had covered this issue under an earlier post, so I will not go into this again on this one.

In terms of considering a potential of a potential fourth child, I also felt that I really did not want to go through another pregnancy.

They were great, they had their moment, and I would recommend them to others who are keen to explore this alien-possession experience.  But I do not feel my body will make it through another pregnancy unscathed.  I am too old and too exhausted to survive another pregnancy – the last one was a strain of diabolic proportion, with too many “I think I am dying” moments.

I digress … back to my point … I feel strongly that I need/want/have to adopt a child – I can’t explain it in rational terms.  I will post a better explanation another day when maybe I am feeling a bit more composed and slightly more in control – today, not that day so much.

This urge in me is stronger (sorry I realized I sound like Luke Skywalker there) than the urge to pee or eat.  I think the “want to adopt” has always been there, in the back of my mind, and something happened – I don’t know what – that triggered this urge into over drive.

I discussed the idea with Kennith several months ago – by then it had already been feeding and growing in my mind.

Kennith initially thought the idea had merit.  He was not wild about it, but he was willing to let the idea be bounced around a bit – as just an idea.

I am sure he could sense I was “super keen” and probably did not want to come out and sound like the bad papa bear and say “no” straight out.  He probably figured we would talk about it, idea would maybe run out of steam and we would go out for dinner and that would be the end of it.

Unfortunately for me the “idea” became a burning passion and took on a life of it’s own – taking over my life in certain areas.

I spoke to several wonderful people who were either adopting, or had adopted a child, contacted agencies and social workers, and was well on my way in throwing myself into this process.  I was just running with all guns blazing!!

The problem (for me) is that Kennith has had more time to think about it, and he feels now is certain beyond any doubt that he does not want a fourth child.  Whether it be from his loins or through the adoption process.  He feels our life is chaotic enough, and the stress of another child might be more than we can manage, and more than I can manage, knowing how I already struggle … some days.

He has never led me along a false road of delusions and allusions.

He has always been very clear on his thoughts on the matter.  I however have chosen to hear only the “hope”, and have literally put my hands over my ears when ever I have sensed there might be a “no” coming.

I realise that this decision has to be made by both of us – we need to be equally invested and committed to adopting a child.  It cannot be a project that I take on whether he supports it or not – I realise that (I had been toying with just arriving with a child and going “Can Oscar stay..?” but realised that maybe that might not work out as well as it did in the advert I saw.)

I also realise the implications to our entire family of adopting a fourth child.  Kennith is possibly able to look at it’s impact with less emotion and possibly more “future projection” than I am able to – I realise that too.

I can think of twenty seven reasons of what the negatives will be, and such a short list of the positives of taking on a fourth child.   It does not make it any easier to accept, it does not make it any less painful to hear and to bear.

So this week, my “hopes” were dashed, and I am crushed to the bone, at the realization of what Kennith’s decision is on the topic of adopting a fourth child – it is an absolute no-you-cannot-put-your-hands-over-your-ears-and-humm-loudly “no!”

I can’t be angry with him as he never lied or lead me along the “garden path” but I can be devastated, and that is probably the only word I can use to describe how I am feeling right now, and of course I am disappointed with him … I can’t say I am all accepting and grace.

As much as I do want to put this post on my blog, I also do not think I can bear the platitudes of “trust in God and he will make it happen” and “if things are meant to be they will be” and so on,  I really really can’t right now …

And that is how I am this week … sad and a little bit very shattered …

The sands of time …..

Last night I went to book club, and the girls were very congratulatory about the “engagement” and they wanted to know who it came about. Did something occur that created this moment, had we been planning it and so on.

I was trying to explain the situation in the context of the week, as it was quite important and had really been a hectic emotional week.

On Friday I had gone to Child Welfare and gone through the Orientation Meeting to look at adopting. All the while being suspicious (certain) that though Kennith was sort of-a-little-bit-keen on the idea, I knew he was not quite ready for it. I was just storming ahead, and really hoped he would just hitch his cart to this horse, as so to speak!

On Saturday night Kennith and I had that giant fall out.

On Sunday I abandoned ship and met my friend for a lie-around and talk until I started to feel better. I was so frustrated and angry, and just did not want to speak to Kennith as I was feeling very raw and very wounded.

On Monday we spent the day with the kids and were out at the beach and for lunch, and then as peace descended on the house we spoke in a reasonably calm manner about what we were arguing about on Saturday. I was still angry and upset, and we managed to sort of get through the discussion with us both understanding the other’s point of view a bit better.

Unfortunately Kennith also dropped the bomb that he was not willing to progress through the adoption process until he was sure that he wanted to do this and that we were ready to look at this.

Though I wanted to go through the process and then have a “cooling off” period before we went on to the list, Kennith said – rightfully so – that he knows if I go through the process, there is going to be nothing stopping me from just going straight on to that waiting list.

He is right. Once I move through this process, I will move from mildly obsessed, to full-blown obsessed. There would be no stopping me, or trying to apply the brakes at that point.

Though I was very disappointed when he has applied the brakes, actually crushed/wounded/felt like I had died a little. I do understand his point of view and have to respect that I am thinking emotionally, and he is trying to ensure that we do not end up in “ye old poor house” or “ye old divorce house” because we are taking on more than we can handle.

I am trying not to harass Kennith and not go “are we ready?” all the time – when I really do want to. It’s a case of waiting and waiting for the time to be right for him, and taking it from there.

I am vaguely aware that a possible outcome is that Kennith may decide that this is not the route for us. The time may never be right. I am not sure I am ready to hear that right now, or consider it in my rather befuddled brain.

So for now, it is a case of taking a deep breath, and just letting time pass.

On Tuesday we did speak further about it, and some of the issues that had come through in our argument.

On Wednesday night Kennith proposed, so it really was quite a week for me – very emotional, lots of things going on. I think I just wanted to sum up the thoughts on the adoption issue here so that it did not appear that it was some fleeting project that I had abandoned.

The want, the need, the desire is still there ….

<this post was written last Thursday afternoon, but I did not get a chance to post it until now, so the timing might seem a bit odd…>

Even in the Abyss things can get better

I am not sure if that moment was a bit of a wake up call for both of us, but things did get better.   After Kennith received my email he came home early and he tried to chat to me.

Kennith – bless his cotton socks – has always been the one who will extend the olive branch first – I am the one who will hold a sulk for days if need be.  I know  it appears that I slate him, but he really does try very hard to be a good partner and a great dad.  Sometimes with our relationship in such turmoil, I forget what a good guys he is.

I don’t think I was really open to a discussion. I felt exhausted by the process that we had been through, but also relieved that a decision had been made – even though it was painful and awful.  I can’t quite recall how things began to change at home, but they did.

I think the issue was that I could not really afford to move out anywhere initially, and would need to still remain in the house until I had made a plan.  I just was not sure what the plan was.  It was not like he came home and I had my cases at the door, with my cactus balanced on top.

The sun went down and then it came up the next day and we were still two people who had a house, two kids and some problems to work through.  I think to Kennith’s credit, he could have just thrown in the towel and agreed with me that it was “over cadovers” but he felt there was still a reason we should try to make this work.

It was gradual process and every step might not have been recorded, but it did get better.  We both worked on being a couple and getting rid of some of the animosity we had been carrying around.

We tried to learn to communicate with each other – rather than just wait for the other person to take a breath so you could get your say in.  Kennith put a huge amount of effort in being present, and I put an effort in making him feel less isolated from the family unit.

I tried very hard to stop being angry and so resentful all the time.  I had so much anger within me, and struggled to express it in a constructive manner.  I think he also tried to listen to what I was saying, which was a huge help when you feel you are not being heard.

I think it took at least a year for things to gradually get better until they were on what we could call stable ground.  We just started doing things differently and behaving differently.

When things had stabilized a bit, Kennith and I decided to leave the kids at home and went overseas for a just over a week to see friends and family – my brother’s first son was being born and we were trying to time being there for that.

It was great to spend some time together doing our stuff.  I missed the kids terribly and pined for Georgia especially, but it was great to be able to enjoy each other’s company again.  It really was a great experience to be together even if it was just walking through the streets and stores, but it was nice to reconnect and be big people again.

A month or two after getting back I started a new job which offered me a great deal of challenges and also made me feel more secure and fulfilled.  Though it required a huge amount of juggling it definitely made me feel much better about myself.  I realized a big part of me required affirmation in what I do for a living – I really get my kicks from doing a job and doing it well.

I think the thing about expecting a baby, and preparing for the impact of a baby is that you spend so much time thinking about the baby, and the sleep deprivation, and whether you are going to buy the right pram and cot, that you forget about the impact this person is going to have on your relationship.  Not for a second had I factored this in as an issue.

Kennith and I had been together for more than 7 years when we decided – it was not an accident – to have Connor.  We were stable and prepared.  We had never had a “get out” fight in all the time that we had been together.

I could never have accounted for the amount of trauma and strain a baby would introduce to our lives and relationship.

I am not saying that the birth of Connor was to blame for all of our issues, but the introduction of a third person into a stable relationship was definitely a catalyst that we just had not factored in, and were ill equipped to recognise and deal with.

Some of the issues that came to the fore was how much baggage I was dragging with me about my own upbringing and childhood.  I thought I had that securely locked away but the introduction of my own child just seemed to bring that all up.  I suddenly had real “mother” issues that also impacted on my relationship with my own mother and my son.

When friends tell me that they are pregnant, I really wish I could tell them how stressful that first year is.  How it will literally shake you to your roots, and make your gums bleed.

You will doubt yourself as you stand in the bathroom at night crying in desperation and loneliness.

You will begin to despise your partner because your life has changed so dramatically and theirs seems to have remained the same.

You will question every decision you have made, and feel you know nothing and are the most worthless creature on the planet.

But at the centre of it all is this round little baby whose cuddles will warm your soul, and whose smell will ease the pain.   He or she is the calm in the storm – and it is a bit of a storm – the kind where people take canned food down to a cellar and stay there until the dust settles and then they come out to see what form of life survived.

Most moms I have spoken to remember the acute loneliness of the 2am feeds, and feeling so isolated and desperate while everyone skipped to work.  It really is one of the most difficult challenges I have ever had to face in my life, and you know I can’t even put it on my CV as an achievement.  It’s such a sense of despair that your soul literally cries!

And what’s even sadder, is that we all know it, but no one talks about it and prepares new mums.  I wonder why that is.

Surviving the first few months

Within the first month after we got home with Georgia, Kennith had Kilimanjaro to climb and spent some time in Zanzibar.  I was at home looking after a new born and a 3-year-old.

Clearly he got the better end of the deal.  After the MBA Kennith’s horizons had shifted and he wanted to be challenged more at work, and his views on life also started to shift.  He had definitely changed, in a good way.  I think for him, he was also going through some fundamental changes in his life in terms of what was happening in his head.

While pregnant I had been approached with a job which was near to home and allowed me real flexibility – it was not hang challenging, but the idea of easy really appealed at the time.

When Georgia was 28 days old, I headed to work. We had a lovely Xhosa speaking nanny at the time, and she was really wonderful with Georgia – I also used to work flexi time, so it allowed me opportunity to pop in and visit with her when ever I wanted to.

I felt okay, I went to work, I chased around collecting kids and bringing them home and life sort of ticked by.  The relationship between Kennith and I was limping by.  I was focused on the kids, and he was out conquering the world.

At a birthday party we attended, a mutual couple we are friends with, announced that they were in the process of starting divorce proceedings .  I always viewed my friend’s relationship as solid, and felt that if they could not make it who could?  Definitely not us based on our present state of affairs.

It really sent me into a bit of a tailspin and I began insisting that Kennith and I start doing couple therapy – I was not sure it would work, and had no idea what it involved, but if I was doing something, then I was sure I would start to feel better.  Things were pretty bad and we just did not know how to make it better.

Eventually Kennith agreed and we went along to couple counseling.  I thought that we might have found a 3rd person who could fix us, because hell, we sure as well were so far down the line, that we could not fix ourselves.

It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better ….

Kennith and I argued a great deal.  Not those nice calm loud discussion we had experienced in the past – but those real screamers that usually ended up with profanity being yelled across the house.   It was truly horrible – on the upside he was seldom there so the arguments were not that frequent.

Besides the pressure of doing MBA, Kennith had committed to doing a trip up Kilimanjaro about a month after our second baby was due.  This meant that when the MBA finally finished, Kennith started going to gym after work, and on the weekends going on hikes to train for Killimanjaro.

To say I was livid, would not even hint at the anger I was feeling.  I was so annoyed and disappointed. His actions really just re-enforced my feelings of abandonment.  For me the resounding message was “those you rely on will abandon you at the time when you need them most.”  Kennith’s actions drive this message home again and again over this period.

I was desperately ill during the pregnancy.  Probably because I was just so stretched in terms of what I could cope with. I started to pick up every infection that went around.  I was always sick and lethargic. I could not cope, and at about this time Kennith in all his MBA wisdom, had decided that now was a super great time to go and climb a mountain.

One day I got home late from work, and was exhausted.  My job was very stressful and also required me to literally run around a production floor.  Kennith was working at the dining room table, and we got into a fight about the bed that he had just bought.  It was a huge screaming fight – but the fight had nothing to do with the acquisition of the bed.  The fight was about my desperation of being left alone, that he knew how I felt, and chose either not to care or not to notice.

I had made an awful decision to have a second baby, which would only tie me to this man for longer.  I really needed to get out of this relationship.  About a month before I was due I ran away from home and went to seek refuge at my mom’s home for about a week.  I really just slept and was taken care of which was great.  Of course nothing would change on returning home.

The pregnancy progressed and it was anything but peaceful.  I was ill, over worked, over stressed and exhausted.  I decided that I did not want to know the sex of the baby.  I was convinced it was a second boy.  I decided if I did not actually find out then I could have a mild fantasy about having a daughter – which I was desperate for.

Kennith attended all if not most of the OBGYN visits.  They really were not great times, and we would often get into a fight as I would arrive late.

To further aggravate my situation I decided that I wanted to go into labour and go through a trial of labour.  It became an obsession.  I had a planned c-section with Connor and it had gone along without any incident. In fact it was brilliant.  But for some reason, my rather hormone-soaked brain decided that this is what I was going to do – and  no one could reason with me.    Anyone who tried to reason with me seemed to spur me on even more in my resolve.

My OBGYN tried to talk me into a c-section and I just got my back up and even went as far as to visit a midwife, as I was considering changing care providers.  I was out of control, and desperate, and making the most bizarre decisions which only added more stress on to the situation.

In my final trimester, I had picked up bronchitis and a few bouts of pink eye, and remained ill throughout.

This baby was due at the end of June, and I was just going to wait it out, though I was so exhausted I could barely stand, but somehow I thought I would be able to get through labour!