Wednesday, May 31, 2006
At 1:35, Nemo called and said that he was still at work and would be for another hour, and what did I want to do? Normally, I would have cancelled the whole thing but I needed to get some things at the mall. So I agreed we would meet at 3:00 instead.
I let Lucian sleep until 2:15, and I was happy about that. (more sleep = easier child) At 2:50, we were just outside the mall when Nemo called again. He wouldn't be there until 3:30. Already there, I said that we would be there then.
Lucian and I did a bit of shopping, and then scoped out the play area. I then figured that I better go to the bathroom because I might not get a chance if Nemo was even later and Lucian was playing. I decide to use a bathroom in a store that I never go in. As I'm walking, who do I see? Nemo's dad and grandmother. What are the chances that they would be in the same store that I was in? They saw me, and I didn't have a chance to escape.
Jabba and Sophia talked to me briefly. They didn't mention Nemo and I thought that maybe they didn't even know that Lucian and I were supposed to be meeting him. They left, and then I took Lucian with me to the bathroom. It was a very tight squeeze with his stroller, and a huge inconvenience. I later thought - this is how much these people drive me crazy: I'd rather take Lucian with me than leave him with them for two minutes. (by the way, I haven't gone into tons of detail about the craziness of my ex-in-laws, but believe me when I say they're crazy.)
Lucian and I then went to the play area. As I'm watching him run around, I feel a presence behind me: Jabba and Sophia behind me. Are they stalking me? This time they tell me that Nemo is on his way.
Nemo finally arrives at 3:45. He claimed that he didn't know that his father and grandmother were going to be there. (lie?) It felt like a set-up to me, and it made me very uncomfortable.
I was annoyed for so many reasons that afternoon. I've learned for next time, if he's going to be late, we cancel the whole thing.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Nemo was home for a bit on Saturday (to take a shower, check his mail, etc) and I told him that my car needed to be looked at. One of the warning lights was on. He said that he would look at it on Sunday, and left.
On Sunday, I waited for him. I called him a few times, but he didn't answer. I finally went out with a friend shopping, hoping that he'd be home when I returned. He wasn't.
At 7:00 pm, I started calling his friends and family. No one knew where he was, or had heard from him. They all sounded like they were telling the truth. At the time, I remember thinking - he can't still be with Elvira, because they would know about it.
One of Nemo's friends had a long conversation with me. He was divorced, his wife had cheated on him. He couldn't reach Nemo either. I was sobbing and hyperventilating on the phone with him. I was out of control. He suggested we meet for lunch the next day. I was so desperate, I agreed.
I cried for nearly an hour that night. Hard, sobbing, like someone had died. I think it hit me that our marriage was dead. You can't hold a marriage up by yourself, and by God, I tried. For a very long time. And I couldn't do it any longer.
Nemo called me the next morning from work as I was on my way for an ultrasound. (I was having weekly ultrasounds by this point in the pregnancy.) He said that he needed to get away so he went to his parents' cottage. He said that he went by himself and that he didn't answer the phone because he wanted to be left alone. Of course, in my heart I knew that he didn't go alone. I knew that he was lying. I even called him out on it. But I was also desperately trying to hang on to him. I thought he was mentally ill and needed my help. I truly loved him.
I met his friend for lunch. Really, he didn't provide me with any information that I didn't know already. His advice was to "stand by my man" and that Nemo would come back to me, and to tell my family because I was going to need their help once the baby came. I took the second part seriously and that's when I told my Mom and Dad, who were a huge help to me.
Nemo didn't spend a night in our house from Halloween until one random night in December where he passed out and I didn't wake him. The entire time I thought - I could go into labor now. Or now. Or now. And I'd have had no idea where my husband was, or how to get ahold of him (since he never answered his cell phone when I called.)
I'm really trying not to feel sorry for that person that was me. But I can't help it. I feel so sad for her.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Elvira was at my house for probably a half an hour. Her friend that had called me earlier, came in the house too. They wanted to go upstairs to see Lucian. Nothing else shocked me more than that. I told them that no way was I letting strangers up to see my son at 3:00 am. (still to this day I can't believe the gall that those two had.)
I asked Elvira what had brought her to my house, and this is what she told me: Nemo had broken up with her that morning, right after they had been intimate. I couldn't believe it, as he had been planning to come home for days, all the while still seeing the girlfriend. Among other things, I felt used.
She then showed me a text message on her phone that was from Nemo. It had been from the previous day when he had been having dinner with me at his parents' house. It said that he loved and missed her and would be with her shortly. Seeing it in writing made me ill.
Finally, Elvira and her friend left. (by the way, I thought that both of them were probably high on something.) Nemo and I sat down and had a talk. I was sick. I was repulsed by him. Disappointed and sad. I couldn't believe that my life had come to this. Sitting with my estranged husband in the middle of the night discussing his high, str*ipper girlfriend. He was still lying to me. Still wouldn't admit that he had done anything wrong.
When I asked him why he had slept with her when he was trying to make an effort to return to our marriage, he said - it's like when you quit smoking and you want to savor your last cigarette. I was so offended by that statement, I didn't even know what to say.
He left for work early that day. When I later saw his phone bills (that I had subpoened), he made a phone call to Elvira the moment he left the house. So much for wanting to get back together with me.
I was incredibly angry. I'm not a drama queen. I don't throw tantrums. I'm not evil or vindictive by nature. I briefly thought about throwing his clothes out on the lawn or changing the locks. But really, what would that have accomplished? I'm still angry. I'm trying to work through it, but it's hard. Mostly I don't know what to do with my anger. Nemo has said to me many times since - can't you just get over it? He doesn't get it. His brain is probably fried from the drugs. But he also wasn't the one lied to, manipulated, cheated on, or humiliated.
Sometimes the things that seem to be the worst thing can turn out to be the best. After I got over the shock of it all, (and that took me a good week) I started telling people and it was cathartic. Elvira did me a service. I found out alot of information that night that I didn't know previously. I had known my marriage was ending but I didn't understand the basics. After that night, I couldn't deny it any more. It hit me over the head. I saw the light. I opened my eyes. I could start fighting for my new life and my child's.
The truth can set you free.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Anyway, when my Mom and I picked Lucian up, Lucian came running to me, with a big smile and a loud - Ba Ba!!!! (for some reason he can't pronounce m's, so he calls me Ba Ba) Cruella leaned in and said - give me a kiss good-bye. Lucian then looked deep in my eyes and planted a big wet kiss on my lips. Then he smiled again and hugged me.
It was so wonderful. I can't even describe how elated I was. It was the purest joy of motherhood I've experienced.
Cruella has wanted to be Lucian's mother since the day he was born. I know this probably sounds a bit paranoid, but it's the feeling I've gotten from her from day one. She has tried to tell me what to do, and then she's gone and done her own thing, rather than listening to me. Every chance she gets, she undermines me. She has tried to get Lucian's attention away from me. She's actually pried him out of my arms several times.
So that one kiss, it makes everything worth it.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Last night, 3:01, I was awake. I had to turn the tv on to lull me back to sleep, to stop the thoughts running around in my head. I wish there was an off switch for my anxiety.
So I was laying there thinking about another night, two years ago, when I was awake. I was pregnant, it was summer (July or August). It cool for that time of year. The windows were open and a soft breeze blew in. My tv was on. My husband was not home.
At that point in our marriage, and to my disappointment, Nemo went out most nights. I was mad, sad, irritated, and frustrated about it. But I couldn't keep him home. (can you really make anyone do anything?) As spring turned to summer and then to fall, he stayed out later and later to finally not returning at all.
This particular night, I woke up scared, in a panic. I went to the kitchen, got something to eat, and tried to call Nemo. He didn't answer his phone. I waited, and tried again. I left five messages in a half hour. He would hate when I'd do that, but I couldn't help myself. I was becoming more and more irritated as the months went on, and I felt the control over my life slipping away as my husband slipped away. It wasn't right that I should be home by myself, not knowing where my husband was in the middle of the night.
I remember looking out the window. Feeling the breeze. Staring at the nearly full moon and how it brought light to the yard. Watching the leaves on the trees rustle. Feeling like but for one small thing, Nemo being there, I could be serene in that moment. I wondered where Nemo was during that one moment. Where he could be that he couldn't be bothered to answer the phone.
He called me forty-five minutes later with some excuse. In the end, they were all the same: he fell asleep at n's house with his phone in the car, he was at x bar where he couldn't hear his phone even on vibrate, he was driving home with the radio on loud (but still an hour away), etc etc. I felt so depleted. I didn't believe his excuses, but I sure wanted to, so I convinced myself he wasn't lying to me. (n = any random friend or relative that would lie for Nemo)
Those nights were long, painful. I hated going to bed at night because I knew it would repeat again. The best thing Nemo did was in November (before Lucian's birth) when he told me he wasn't coming home, that he'd be sleeping at n's house trying to figure out what was making him so unhappy.
I hope never again to have such painful nights. Even now, up at 3:00 am, I'm calm. Even with tossing and turning insomnia, I know my loved ones are in bed safe. I'm not waiting for someone to come home, who had so obviously not wanted to be there in the first place.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I know how absurd this is. I have no money, no job, no car. I live with my parents. After years of infertility, I really am satisfied with having just one. Lucian is enough.
But still... I dream of another. These are the things I think about: How cute would Lucian be as a big brother? I'd get more use out of all the baby stuff and maternity clothes. I'd get to experience pregnancy with a clear mind. It would drive Nemo's family crazy. But mostly, I'd love it for me.
I'm a good mother. (and father too) There aren't many things I'd brag and say that I do well. But motherhood is one of them. I think this is why I pushed so hard during the infertility struggles. I knew I'd be a great mom.
I already have an awesome donor, Lucian would have a full sibling, it would only cost me $300 for the sperm sample (that's assuming it worked with one try - it's my dream so I might as well go for the gold, right?)
But it's not a realistic dream at this point in my life. But my heart still dreams about it anyway. If I won the lottery, my first call would be to the fertility clinic.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I felt guilty for years and years. Every thing I ate, I felt bad about. Every blood test I skipped, every shot I missed (most were accidental), every doctor appointment filled me with dread.
Then I started using the (insulin) pump. The day after I started, I felt freedom for the first time. I've not only achieved much better results, but the emotional difference was life changing. Short of a cure, nothing is better. It's the best decision I've ever made about my health. Even with the inconveniences, I love love love it. It makes me feel like a normal person. Most days I run on autopilot - my diabetes management runs itself. It's wonderful.
So I've been thinking lately how my experiences with diabetes have prepared me for the challenges I currently face. For so long, diabetes was front and center, eating me alive, taking control over my life. I don't think I fully lived until I got my pump. I was reborn that day.
I'm hoping that I find some tool, if you will, that will help me achieve control over my current situation. Right now, the only thing that's keeping me feeling not completely claustrophobic is that Lucian will grow up. One way or another, he will eventually turn eighteen and be in control over his own life. I won't have to worry about Nemo then, corrupting my baby. I won't be obligated to give Nemo so many evenings per week. I can't wait for that day. (at the same time, I'm trying not to wish time away, trying to enjoy every moment of Lucian's life)
In the meantime, I'm just trying to cope. Waiting for the day when I can relax a bit. When I can shift into autopilot and know that it will all be okay.
Monday, May 22, 2006
When we found out the baby was going to be a boy, I started thinking long and hard. I wanted something a little different, not too common, but not so crazy that he'd be embarrassed in years to come.
Nemo and I talked about it a lot. That is, I talked, and he listened. He was mostly uninterested. Every time I tried to have a serious conversation with him, he would come up with names like "Lightning" and "Thunder". I would ask him to be serious, and he would say that he wasn't joking. I would get mad at him and drop the subject for another day. But the same thing would happen the next time too. I was so frustrated.
I brought up the idea of having a Junior. It wasn't really what I wanted, but at that point I wanted to involve Nemo and make him feel like he was part of this baby's life. Personally, I think it's too confusing to have two people with the same name in one household. So I was relieved that Nemo didn't want the baby to be a junior either. But his words hurt me to the core. He actually said to me - I might have a baby of my own and I'd like to save it for him. Didn't he understand that this was his baby? I was devastated.
Since I didn't have Nemo's input, (and I wasn't even sure he was going to show up for the birth) I had a name picked out as my back-up. But at the time, I thought I loved Nemo and I wanted the name to be chosen by both of us.
At 38 weeks, I was sent to the birthing center because I was starting to develop pre-eclampsia. On the way there, I called Nemo at work and said - we need to choose a name today. I was panicking. I could have had the baby that day and he wouldn't have had a name. The hospital ended up releasing me.
I went home and consulted the social security website. I put together a list of five names and we narrowed it down to one we could both agree on. I had one week to toss it around in my head before I delivered, and I ended up being pretty happy with it.
That leaves Lightning and Thunder still available for Nemo's next child.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I had nothing concrete on the father of my baby. We chose the donor based upon blood type and ancestry. I've never seen a photo of him. I don't know his value system. I know that he's tall, good looking, and healthy. I now know that he gave me a beautiful child. But then, I didn't.
I knew that I would never reject any child, but I was still uncertain exactly what I was in for. Who would he look like? What genetic factors would be out of my control? Would he look like a troll, or have two heads? My mind escalated with possibilities.
Lucian was extremely active in utero. He kicked and moved around the clock. Even the doctors, nurses, ultrasound techs, etc would comment how active he was. I'd entertain myself for hours just watching my stomach roll and lurch. But I couldn't help but think, who is this child living inside of me?
It didn't help that Nemo was mostly out of the picture, and when he was around, didn't want to speak about it. I think it pained him. So I kept my feelings to myself, because I had no one else to confide in. I was petrified.
After he was born, it took me all of ten seconds to fall in love with Lucian. In one breath, all my fears subsided. He was perfect in every way. He still is.
I wish I had had more faith. Next time I will.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Our basement flooded this week. I don't believe that there will be any long term consequences, but it's sent the house into a tailspin.
I've gotten a few e-mails from Nemo this week that have angered and annoyed me. The guy is just such a jerk. For someone who was out of our lives now seems to want the moon. I'm not sure how to handle it and it's causing me anxiety. Why couldn't he be one of those guys who gets you pregnant (with a donor) and then just leaves? Why does Nemo fight for a baby that's not is, (and never treated him like he was)? Legal custody sucks.
In the past week, I've also gotten two late night phone calls from a private number. Very suspicious. If it happens again, I'm calling the police. It has Elvira's fingerprints all over it.
Anyway, this post has no cohesive thoughts. Just stuff I wanted to get off my chest. I've felt better since starting the blog and releasing my feelings to the universe (or just anyone with an internet connection). A big thanks to everyone who's left comments and been supportive. I've really needed to hear stuff like that. Thank you.
More stories later when I'm in a better mood.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I asked Nemo when would be convenient for him to go. I thought we could get the first appointment in the morning so that he wouldn't have to miss alot of time at work.
He informed me that he couldn't go. He was too busy at work. What?
This was the day that we would find out if we were having a son or a daughter, and he couldn't go? He had gone in late plenty of other times, and missed entire days without problem. The kicker is that Nemo works for his dad. My ex-father-in-law, Jabba, has been very unkind to me since the divorce, but at that time was very supportive of the baby and me. (At the time he thought the baby was his biological heir too so that could be part of the difference. Oh and the shame of divorce that I've brought upon their family, let's not forget that. Because there's no shame in your married son dating a str*ipper and leaving his wife. Just ending the marriage is the shameful part. But I digress...)
I spent a week in turmoil. Should I go to the ultrasound alone? I was embarrassed that my husband didn't want to go with me. When I told friends and family about the appointment, everyone was so excited, and all I felt was dread and humiliation.
So I went to his mom, Cruella. I told her that Nemo wasn't going to go. She laughed at me, and said that of course he was going. Nemo and I had had serious conversations about it, repetitively. I used all my persuasive powers and had been unable to convince him. I begged and pleaded and he still told me he couldn't go. Cruella called me the next day and said that Jabba said Nemo was going.
I made the appointment. Nemo said to me later that it was all a joke and that of course he was planning on going. I didn't think it was funny. Nothing in my life was funny. Not the fact that he was gone all the time, lying to me all the time, or manipulating me all the time. It was exhausting.
By the way, the ultrasound went great. We found out that the baby was a boy (obviously). Nemo wore his shocked face the whole way home. Deer in the headlights. I think that day it really hit home that a baby was coming. One that he felt wasn't his, and didn't really want.
And, he was only an hour late to work that day.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Then, Nemo left our marriage. He left me pregnant, alone, scared, and broke. Things changed, and so did I.
When Lucian was four months old, I told my parents about using donor sperm. They had had suspicions all along (because they knew all about the infertility struggles and Nemo's lack of quality sperm), so they weren't surprised by my announcement.
I slowly started telling other friends and family. I realized that because of all the circumstances surrounding Lucian's conception and birth, and the fact that I was divorcing my husband, I needed to tell the truth.
I have no shame or embarrassment with anything I have done. In fact, I'm proud of the choices I've made, and I'd like to shout it from the mountain tops.
The reactions that I've had from people have been wonderful. Everything ranging from indifference to joy. If anyone has judged me, they've done it out of my earshot. Most people were happy to know that Lucian is not genetically related to Nemo.
I knew that when Lucian was old enough, he needed to hear the truth. At age appropriate times, he needs to hear the story. I want others to know, so they can support him and love him for who he is, genetics and all, not for his last name, given by a man who didn't love him enough to stick around for awhile.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
... but especially to all the childless mothers. Because I was there, and I remember the pain.
While my mother is alive and well, and an amazing mother that I am proud to celebrate, I came to feel through infertility that mother's day was some kind of cosmic joke. So not funny.
Even now, on my second mother's day, it still feels like an awkward celebration.
Friday, May 12, 2006
I have a very close friend who has two children. They just happen to be adopted. Those kids are the children she was meant to have. I never refer to them as adopted, just as "my friend's kids". It's a non-issue for me.
Then we chose to use donor sperm. Still no issue for me. The baby we would have would be both of ours. Loved equally by us and our families. It would just so happen that he/she would be half adopted. I was okay with that, and I still am.
Then my husband left me. Abandoned me during my pregnancy, never was there after Lucian was born either, etc etc... He never bonded with Lucian. Nemo has shown a bit more interest lately (about three weeks), but since Elvira, the str*ipper girlfriend is suddenly out of the picture, he has a bit more time on his hands.
I believe that if Lucian had been the biological child of Nemo, things would have been different. Maybe not. But I really think that Nemo might have been more involved, cared a bit more, and been a bit kinder. In his head, he would have thought "my child", not "her child".
It took me many months after Lucian's birth, but I now see Lucian as my child only. I feel bad that I feel this way, like I am not doing right by all adopted kids. But I can't help it. I feel that Nemo is not his father. And really, before I beat myself up too bad, it's not just the biology, it's the fact that Nemo never treated Lucian like he was his.
So I have a hard time. How do I trust my ex-husband, who is not my baby's biological father, with who I see as my child? A real father, biological or not, does not treat the mother or the baby the way that we've been treated.
How do I trust someone, who has not had an interest, who has admitted to drug use, who suggested suicide, with my baby that I fought long and hard for? This man is a stranger to both of us.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I answered the phone and spoke to Elvira's friend for about half an hour. She and Elvira were wondering where Nemo was that night. It was the first night in a long time that they hadn't heard from him. Of course, what a coincidence! It was the first night in months that Nemo was sleeping in our home.
She knew about Lucian, she knew about the divorce. (had been to the courthouse even to look up the divorce filing.) She told me things about Nemo's friends and family that I wasn't aware of. Like the fact that Nemo's brother and cousins not only were aware of Elvira, but hung out with her. I felt so betrayed, not only by Nemo, but by his family. They had been my family too. And the whole time I was pregnant, they were supporting his relationship with Elvira.
After we hung up, I went into the guest bedroom to confront Nemo. He wouldn't answer my questions and pretended to fall asleep. I tried to go back to bed, but I was wide awake.
At 3:00 am, my doorbell rang. That's 3:00 in the morning, in case you missed it. I went to answer the door. Nemo got up and raced me to the door. He cracked the door, and that's when I got my first look at Elvira. She said she wanted to speak to him. It was a bitter cold night, so I invited her in. (Nemo would later remind me that it was me, not him, who invited her in. He's the one who invited her into our lives, but he couldn't seem to grasp that. But my reasoning wasn't so she wouldn't freeze out in the cold, but that I wanted to hear what she had to say.)
She came in and sat at my kitchen table. She and Nemo just stared at each other, waiting for the other to start. She looked like she had been awake for days. I started the conversation by asking where they had met. She said - at a bar. It suddenly dawned on me, a lightening bolt if you will, and I asked her - are you a str*ipper? She nodded a yes. My husband left me for a str*ipper.
There's more to this part of the story, but this is all I can write for now. I feel the bile rising in my throat just like it did that night. It still seems surreal to me that a str*ipper arrived at my house at an ungodly hour telling me she had a relationship with my husband. I was wounded for weeks afterward.
I'm still wounded a year later.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Since Nemo and I had skipped steps that most couples take (because with male factor infertility we had to go right to IVF) we had to backtrack a bit. I started charting my temperature and bought an ovulation predictor kit. It was an odd feeling for me, after three years of infertility, that I might be able to get pregnant pretty much on my own.
Nemo had a trip scheduled to Las Vegas with his friends in mid-March. I was unhappy about the trip. There were probably ten people going, and some of them were bringing their wives. Nemo had not invited me, and made it clear that he wanted to spend some time with his friends without me. I was a different person then; I accepted a lot of his behavior because I didn't know that I had a choice. I allowed him to go, because it seemed easier to just let him go than to argue.
Before the trip, I had been doing the ovulation prediction. Days went by and I wasn't getting a positive. So I gave up, thinking that maybe I had ovulated really early. (I have a luteal phase defect which I thought had thrown things off.) Three days later, Nemo was set to leave. I had one stick left and decided to use it on a whim. I was shocked when the color turned.
I called the clinic, and they had me come in for an ultrasound. My IUI would be the next day. Since it would be a Saturday, I was to go pick up the frozen specimen myself before the procedure.
I dropped Nemo off at the airport that night. Saturday morning, I woke up early and went to the cryobank. They gave me the vial of the donor we had chosen, telling me to keep it in my pocket until I arrived at the clinic.
Everything went according to the textbook at the clinic. The nurse told me that the sperm count was 80 million and performed the IUI. Half an hour later, I was on my way home. Two weeks later, I would find out I was pregnant.
Nemo had started acting funny the week he left for Las Vegas and I had the IUI. In fact, I questioned him about his behavior before he left. He claimed that he was fine, just needed some time with his friends. I think if it had been a month later, I wouldn't have gone through with the insemination at all. Because by April, Nemo was spending hardly any evenings at home. (although it would take me months to discover Elvira.)
I'm angry at Nemo for so many things. Mostly though, I'm angry that he okayed the use of donor sperm and then abandoned me during the pregnancy (unless it involved looking good for the sake of his family) and after Lucian was born, abandoning both of us. I'm angry that Nemo wasn't there for the insemination, that he chose his friends over me, and the procedure that would give us Lucian.
It pains me to think about Lucian's conception, my pregnancy and the birth. I'm trying to get past the anger. I haven't been very successful yet at letting it go. Someday, I'll look back and all I'll see is the joy of Lucian. Someday.
Monday, May 08, 2006
What I'd like to know is, who should take the responsibility for an affair?
For me, I placed all blame on Nemo. Not that I'm exactly thrilled with Elvira either. But she never made a commitment to me, he did.
The story goes like this. (and I'm not sure how much of this is truth, because it came from two known liars) Nemo goes out to the bar sometime during the month of March 2004, takes his wedding ring off, meets Elvira and tells her that he's in the middle of getting a divorce and lives alone. Both Nemo and Elvira told me this same version.
I'm not saying that she has no blame. At some point, she learned of me, of my pregnancy, and of the fact that we were not in the middle of a divorce. Yet she decided to continue the relationship. Me, I couldn't do that to another woman. So I do blame her also.
But he's the one who pledged his fidelity to me in front of God, our family and friends. Then took his wedding ring off and denied my existence.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
After the last IVF in early 2003 that was negative, Nemo and I decided not to push farther on at that point. Thinking back now, it was probably more my decision (as most things in the marriage were) because each IVF took a small piece of me. Each negative was extremely difficult and I needed some time away from infertility.
In the summer of 2003, I went to Europe with my mother-in-law, Cruella. Nemo's parents own a home there. I felt pushed into it, but at the same time, it was an adventure to take my mind off of the infertility. And I desperately needed that, so I went. I did alot of soul searching there as I had alot of time on my hands. Imagine yourself in a foreign country where you can't communicate with anyone besides your mother-in-law... who I later figured out was playing passive agressive mind games with me. I'm digressing here. So anyway, we spent alot of time at the beach, where I kept my mind open to all the possiblities. A little boy playing in the sand made up my mind: I would love any child that came into my life.
At this point in our infertility journey, we had been given the donor sperm option several times. Nemo didn't like the idea, as he felt that it wouldn't be his child. I didn't share his opinion, but I respected it.
When I came home from Europe, I was calmer than I had been in years. I had faith that a child would come to me.
Six months or so went by - I figured we had been happy before infertility, couldn't we be happy again without kids? I was okay in the short term, but still unsettled about the future. One day in the car, I brought it up. Surprisingly, Nemo responded to the donor sperm idea in a positive way. We had known all along that the few immature sperm that he could produce were of very low quality. It took us time (and alot of money) to accept that.
So in February I went back to the fertility clinic telling them our decision to try the donor sperm route. They required us to meet with a psychologist. I fell in love with Nemo all over again that day. He said things like - I want to have a baby, no matter the genetics, and - sperm doesn't make a father. We passed the psychological exam with flying colors.
We then went in to choose a donor. There were pages and pages of men just waiting to be the father of my baby. It was a daunting task. I broke down. I wasn't sure how I could choose someone that wasn't my husband to have a baby with. I remember telling Nemo that I just wished that he could be the father. And that using a donor was just so complicated. Nemo held up extremely well. He was very rational the whole time. We finally chose one, and never looked back.
I had my first and only insemination in March. I didn't think that it had worked. Nothing had worked in the past, so my hopes weren't high. The night before I went for the pregnancy test, I cried myself to sleep. Infertility cuts you off from the world in a way that most diseases/conditions don't. (my diabetes is nowhere near as isolating.) I could get through the days, but the nights were particularly hard.
The next morning, I went for the blood test and the nurse called me in the afternoon. My heart raced as I picked up the phone. I heard the words that I never thought I would hear - Stella, you are pregnant. I was stunned.
The first thing I did was to call Nemo at work. When I told him, he was shocked. He was speechless. I thought he had hung up on me speechless. He then said - I never thought it would work. I've remembered those words since because I truly think that he really did think that it wouldn't work. I believe that he went along with everything just to keep me happy and quiet. I will probably never know his true motivation for allowing the pregnancy to happen when I don't think it's what he wanted.
The issue of Lucian's biological father has colored my view on just about everything. From the fact that Nemo was never protective of Lucian, that he left me at home with a newborn alone after having a c-section, that he didn't really want to spend time with Lucian until the court got involved, and the fact that even now, I don't think that Nemo has bonded with Lucian.
Many people (including my fertility clinic) will say that the genetics don't make a difference. I'm one of those people who the genetics wouldn't have made a difference to. But the fact is, the genetics made a difference to Nemo. He might not say it out loud, but his actions speak for his heart.
For the record, I would do it all again. My son is amazing. He is beautiful, smart and charming. I know that all mothers feel that way about their kids so maybe my view is clouded with love. I love everything about him, and I'm so thankful to the donor who made my dream a reality and helped give Lucian life.
Friday, May 05, 2006
I had come to expect Nemo's excuses, but cinco de mayo? It's laughable. Nemo is not Spanish nor of Latin descent, nor had he ever celebrated the holiday any other year.
It got me to thinking about all his excuses why he couldn't see Lucian. Here's a partial list:
1. He had to take his brother to work (brother has a DUI and lost his license)
2. He had to pick his grandmother up (grandmother denied this the following day)
3. There was bad traffic (he uses this excuse most often and it’s surprising how long it can take him just to drive a few miles)
4. He got into a fight with his dad, and needed to get out of town (has used this on several occasions)
5. He needed to have dinner with his dad
6. He’s going out of town at the last minute
7. He’s working late
8. He had a rehearsal dinner (and on this particular evening, he was still in the house during parenting time, but not exercising it)
9. He fell asleep (where?)
10. He had a meeting for a business, which had had no income since before Lucian was born
11. He has been sick at least once per month in the past year.
At this point, Lucian is too young to be disappointed. But I do worry that when he's old enough to understand, he'll take it personally. I realize that I can't control Nemo and his excuses. All I can do is love and support Lucian so that he knows he has me, who will always be there. On cinco de mayo and every day.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
I'm basically both mother and father to Lucian. I respond to his every need. I'm the one who's been there for everything. I've gotten him on a good schedule. I do all the (minor) disciplining. I not only enjoy it, but I feel obligated to do it. I enjoy the obligation, if you will.
My therapist wants me to get out a bit more. Go out with friends. Go shopping by myself. Find some interests that aren't kid or divorce related. Just do something.
It's been hard. Harder than I ever imagined. And most of the time, Lucian is napping or down for the night when I leave, so it's not like I'm missing very many of his awake hours.
I have a good time out with friends, or myself. I don't feel guilty about that. I feel guilty for missing a part of my son's life. I realize that I can't be there for every moment for the rest of his life. Someday he'll be in school, and I'm okay with that. I really just wanted to be with him during the early years. And for the most part, I've been able to accomplish that.
I'm not entirely sure why I feel guilty. I know that I shouldn't. There's so many good reasons why I deserve a break too. I feel like it took me so much time, so much money, so much effort to have this baby and I really just don't want to miss a moment of it.
Maybe I just need him to enter the terrible two's and I'll want to pawn him off onto someone else. He's pretty darn cute when he cries though.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
So here goes. It's not the juiciest part of the story, but it involves Lucian, so it's hard for me.
I made the phone call to my lawyer to start the divorce proceedings because of a phone call I received from Nemo.
Lucian was about eight weeks old. We were in his room. I folded laundry while he was entranced with a music box. The phone rang. At this point, Nemo had been showing up randomly, intermittently maybe twice a week, and almost never on a weekend. I was still in doubt about his whereabouts and I had convinced myself that he was not seeing Elvira. I still thought he was taking the anti-depressants.
It was 11:00 on a Friday morning. He was calling to tell me that he was going to his family's cottage for the weekend. I was surprised by the information, as like I said, he hadn't been telling me much of anything in months. It was a quick conversation and before I hung up I told him to have a safe trip. (and I really meant it) He then said (and I'll never forget it) that wouldn't it be better for everyone if he drove his car off the side of the road?
I replied that of course it wouldn't be better. We talked for a bit longer. I was really worried about him. Not just because of that conversation, but also in the way he had been acting for the last ten months (coincentally I would find out later the same ten months that he had been with Elvira). He seemed really defeated, and I felt sorry for him.
I then called my lawyer because I realized that I couldn't have Lucian in the car when Nemo was driving. Not that Nemo had been around to drive us anywhere anyway.
My lawyer started the proceedings. It took all of my courage to tell her to start. I still don't know how I did it. It was because I was looking at my baby and I knew that I couldn't have him be in the presence of someone like the person Nemo had turned into.
I still to this day have not let Nemo drive Lucian. I still don't trust him either. Obviously, Nemo's still alive. The thing that worries me the most, is that Nemo continues to deny the fact that he had suicidal ideation and that he used/uses drugs. I can't let my son be in that environment alone.
So it's up to me to take Lucian for all of the parenting time. It's a huge burden upon me. Alot of times I feel like a taxi driver. If I thought that Lucian were benefitting from this relationship with a drug using, sociopathic liar, I'd drive him across the state. But Nemo's got serious issues with lying, and he's just charming and suave enough to convince others that he's being truthful. Hell, I believed him for a long time myself.
I'm sure there are many people (in my life and whoever might be reading this) who might not agree with my decision not to let Nemo drive. I feel that I've done the right thing and I won't let anyone convince me otherwise. I've had to point out to others some of the choices they've made for their own children that others don't agree with.
As a mother, you have to do what you think is best. I will fight til the end for Lucian, for his childhood, for his innocence. Until then, I'm doing all the driving.