Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whistle while you work

It's been really nice having the kids here. They arrived after the kids went to bed last night, and this morning Ava came into my room and said "Did you know that there are people in the living room?" I looked at her and said "There are?!" She smiled and said "Yep, and I know who they are! It's Logan and Jacob!"

Today I managed to keep them quiet until 8:15, when they just couldn't take it anymore and they woke up Jake and Logan and began playing immediately. I went to an OB appointment and left the kids home with them, and when I got back they were all laying on the floor, playing together.

I'm still processing a very long conversation I had with my OB today, where I got an unexpected and lengthy lecture from him about what we've already been through together (he delivered Eli and Seth) and just how high risk my pregnancy is. I mentioned in passing trying to find a job to help pay for bills and he stressed very highly that he thought that was a very, very bad idea. In fact, he kind of nixed it altogether. He said several times that for the duration of this pregnancy, my main focus has got to be getting this baby here safely and, well, alive, especially considering there are already three kids at home to take care of. It was very surprising to me, as I've literally never known him to string so many words together in a row. Mara and I have always secretly thought he was a robot, so to see him voicing actual feelings and emotions instead of simply medical facts and figures was sort of astounding.

It's really frustrating to feel like you have no choice about anything in your life. It's like everyone is making every choice I have for me. It's been decided my marriage is over, and no one asked me. It's been decided I can't work to try to help assuage our money situation, and I am afraid I am just going to look lazy or like I want a handout, which isn't the case. Raising kids is hard, hard work, and it's not the same thing as sticking them in front of a television set. Problem is, you don't get paid for it, and because of that, people don't tend to realize what an important job it really is.

I wish I could just wake up and find out none of this had really happened. Instead, I have dreams where my family is intact and when I wake up, I have to remember it's not reality. John was here tonight to see the kids and all 7 of us  were eating dinner together, and it all seemed so normal...almost like any night there was a group of us talking and laughing and eating.

Logan and I got out for some girl time and it was so nice, then we came home and John and Jacob were playing was like any day back in March when they visited for spring break.For a minute it was like nothing had changed.  But the difference was, we walked in the door, and John walked out. It's just still hard to get used to, even though I am adjusting to it whether I like it or not. I no longer expect him to show up unexpectedly, bursting to tell me he's realized something important, I am now surprised if the phone rings and it is him, rather than being surprised that he doesn't call. It seems that it's really can get used to anything.

I've started to think, what is going to happen to me if/when this is all over? Who is going to be interested in someone with four kids to take care of? Why would anyone else want to be with me? Will I ever want to be with someone else? Will I ever be able to believe someone could love my children like their own? Could I ever love someone else's children like my own? I don't know. I don't think so. I don't think I could ever stand having a different last name from my kids. But do I, in the end, want to be alone forever? The days are ticking by. I thought I would never survive three days, and here we are, almost three weeks later. Will three years pass as quickly?

I should be playing wii instead of thinking about this stuff. Yes. Definitely.


Anonymous said...

Yes, three years will pass as quickly. And the three after that, and so on. Ask anyone who has raised a child.

Yes, it is possible to love someone else's child as if it were your own. Ask anyone who has adopted a child.

Yes, you are abundantly loveable, and if John has decided your marriage is over-just like that- then yes, you can love again. And you will love them even more for loving your children, just as you will love John less for leaving them.

As for the getting used to anything part...I don't know. I don't know how a man who has shared with you four children's lives and one child's death can get used to pretending it never happened. I don't know how he can get used to caring less about the new life within you than your robotic OB. I don't know how he can get used to being the kind of man who is no man at all.

Count your blessings. Hug your children. Smile when you can. Cry when you must. And keep that amazing faith in the blessings yet to come.

WendyCarole said...

Yes the time will pass quicker than you imagine.

My advice ( for what its worth) try not to think too far ahead. get through a day a week a month.

My ex left me for someone else but he had other issues and it was for the best. But it took me a long time to trust other men. Seven years later I wen tback to school and met my now husband of 16 years. It was the last thing i was expecting. yes I ended up with a different name than my children but my daughter is now married and has a different name too.

I have just read an article on name changing which moots the point why should women change their name anyway.

i am thinking of you. Take care of yourself

Emily said...

I hope 3 years doesn't pass too quickly! I already think time passes by too quickly. Even though this pregnancy will be hard, you'll still cherish every moment of feeling that sweet baby.
But I'm definitely happy you (as my mom always says to me!) stopped over analyzing and went and played wii instead! lol
Still praying for you...

Lisa said...

Anything and everything is possible. Some day when God decides your ready, and you decide your ready, there he will be. I too have felt that way. Could anybody love me having a kid? Would they love my child like their own. Could they accept that I;'m divorced? The answer is YES!! There are men out there that will love yours like theirs. Right now your going through so much its normal to think that way. Your still grieving the loss of a love you thought forever. You don't need to be thinking about silly boys. =) It was about the time I decided that I was ok with it just Khi and myself, when I meet Andy. It was a few months later that he and I meet each others kids, And I never thought I could love some one elses child like my own, but I do. And its amazing to see how tender he is with Khi and how loving, and the same look in his eyes he has with his son he has with mine. I know its different, and I know the love isnt the same, but there is nothing greater than the love of a child. Nothing. And you are so blessed to be able to receive that love from 5 beautiful children. How lucky are you? very in my eyes. God Bless you El

Sonya said...

You will find someone to love you and your kids. Don't focus on that right now though. You need to get through this with John and get a healthy baby here. That is what matters the most right now. I pray that God will give you wisdom and strength.

Susan said...

Oh my. I haven't been online much lately and am just now catching up on your blog. About a month's worth of your blog.


First of all... Congrats on the pregnancy! I read "OB appointment" in your latest post and began frantically searching back through older posts to find when you announced the big news. What I ended up finding shocked me even more, I admit.

I am so, so sorry for everything you've been dealing with lately. I have no words of wisdom or anything, but you can definitely count on my prayers.

edbteach said...

I know that money is a huge concern for you right now. Please go down to your local Department of Human Resources and check into medicaid for yourself and your children. They should also be able to help you with foodstamps and possibly even monetary help. Please check into WIC - formula and food for your kids under the age of 5 - and for you as a pregnant mom.
Can your doctor write you a note about being temporarily disabled? Maybe you can receive social security of some sort for a short time. I know that this is going to be difficult and possibly embarassing but your type of situation is EXACTLY what these state and federal programs are for.

You will find happiness again someday. You are a bright caring person whose rug has been pulled out from under them. You will find your footing again and you will be stronger for it!

Sew a Fine Seam said...

Still praying that John changes his mind. That is the only scenario God really wants too! And God will take care of you if John doesn't ever make that decision. GOD will ALWAYS want you and with HIM you are never alone.

Anonymous said...

Question for edbteach or anyone else who knows:

Won't the gov't (and anyone with a shred of decency) expect John to assume financial responsibility? We know from El's blog that he has two jobs, and though she has not said so, we can assume by her concern over that crazy phone bill or her going without glasses that he is not financially supporting them.

Very sad. But I don't know of a program offering assistance for someone whose husband can but won't support them. For her sake, I hope I'm wrong.

Kameron said...

The first comment made me tear up a bit. I'm praying for you sweetie!

Sassy said...

El I admit I am really starting to love you! :) (I hope that doesn't sound too strange!) As a fellow believer I am in awe of your strength and your faith. But most of all your honesty and vulnerability.

Because of your words I can easily imagine myself in your shoes and my heart just breaks for you. But it is also quite a wakeup call because it's a reminder that this kind of thing can happen to anyone, any marriage, any family.

I understand everything you are saying and feeling, and my advice is not to focus only on one thing or the other, but to feel whatever your feeling, whenever you feel it. And don't feel guilty about it!

Just know also that you don't have to worry because God has you in His hands.

I want to leave a few verses for you because lately when I have prayed for you, several have come to mind.

Job 6:11 "What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?
Job 6:13 Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?

Exd 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Psa 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psa 46:11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psa 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Psa 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil.
Psa 37:9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

Notice a theme? ;)

El I hope it doesn't seem like I'm a "Bible Thumper." I just want to give you some hope and let you know that God IS with you. Even if you don't feel it He is there.

His word in Isa 40:11 says...

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

You are under His watchful eye! Especially since you have small children He will lead you to where He wants you. You need only to "be still" and wait upon the Lord.

With love,

Anonymous said...

Question for edbteach or anyone else who knows:

Won't the gov't agencies (and anyone with a shred of decency) expect John to assume financial responsibility? We know from El's blog that he has two jobs, and though she has not said so, we can assume by her concern over that crazy phone bill or her going without glasses that he is not financially supporting them.

Very sad. But I don't know of a program offering assistance for someone whose husband can but won't support them. For her sake, I hope I'm wrong.

Jennifer W. said...

I can understand how your husband leaving could make you feel unloveable, and I'm sorry he made you feel that way. If things don't work out between you and John, you will certainly find someone who will love and cherish you and the kids. Put one foot in front of the other, get through each day, and never lose God in the process. He's there even when it seems like everyone has left you. I'd love to ask John a few questions, but you said you don't know if he reads the blog, so it might be pointless, but I'm going to put it out there anyway. How does a man walk away from the amazing blessing of a pregnant wife and three beautiful children? How do you walk away from the life you created with someone-the life you wanted? How do you walk away from the tiny faces who are counting on you to be the example-the one to show them how to get through problems in a marriage with forgiveness and grace? How can you just walk away without even trying to explain that you are unhappy, and not give your wife a chance to acknowledge that things aren't going right so that the two of you can work on it? What happened to standing up and fighting for what you love? Fighting fiercely for your family-to the very end? Fight for those you love most dearly! Fight for the blessings God most graciously poured into your life! Fight for the marriage you entered into willingly and the wife you adored! God doesn't give us our spouse to throw away when things get tough. Search your heart, John. Let God reveal to you that He hates divorce. He gave El to you for a reason. He gave your children to you for a reason. Fight for what is right. Choose to try. Choose to stay. Choose to love. Still praying for all of you.

Madison Sanders said...

I would follow my doctor's advice, even though it's incredibly hard to not want to try and fix the sitaution. It's human nature--we want to fix things when we see a problem.

You want a job, but in reality, it might be too stressful on your baby. I don't know--only your doctor knows. God will provide, no matter how bad the situation is.

Even though John provided the money, God provided him with hands and all of the things neccessary to be successful at his job and provide for his family. Ultimately, God is your source. Trust in him.

The time will pass quickly.

Madison Sanders said...

As for the questions about will anyone want me, or will I be able to love someone else, who knows? The wounds are too fresh, too new to be asking those questions. Let yourself get used to the new "normal". Don't torture yourself with those questions now. If it's meant to happen, it will. Only God knows the timing of things.

My mom has been divorced for many years. She's never remarried, but she hasn't ruled it out. She wants the RIGHT ONE, not just ANY ONE, ya know. God can make the pieces of the puzzle fall together in ways you never imagined.

Like I say, Life is a journey, so sit back and enjoy the ride!

Momof2bz said...

Hi El,

I see that someone mentioned WIC, I think that you could get that and social security disability too. It is worth checking into. Please follow Dr's orders b/c you know we all care about you and we want you to have the safest, best pregnancy that can be.

It's nice to hear that you are enjoying your company. I am happy to hear that there is someone there to talk to and send girl time with. Time does fly by so quickly especially when you have kids. As for control, pick something and make it yours. The marriage and job situation may be out of your hands but how about taking your health under your own control? Do the best you can do to make it your #1 priority!

I saw that someone mentioned a donation button. We know that you aren't looking for a handout but I am sure that those of us who can help would tell you that we want to have glasses and other stuff that you need. I wouldn't let any of my friends go without help if I was able to provide it. God has brought us to you and you to us. Maybe we are part of His plans for each other, please consider letting us help. Thank you!

Tricia said...

There was a time when I thought I was just done trying to find someone. I had two kids, one seriously ill. What man wanted to get involved with that?! Did I even want to be with someone? It just always seemed to complicate my life. I was convinced it would never happen for me. I pretty much gave up.

Until two years later when Kenny came along. In three weeks from Saturday, Kenny and I will be married. We have been dating for three and a half years. He calls the children his own. Monday morning he will not be at work, instead he will be with "his daughter" as she undergoes yet another surgery. Jill is happy to finally have someone she can call "Daddy." He is not only better to me than I ever could have imagine, he is also an amazing father.

So, yes. It is possible to have that all again. But it took me a long time to be ready for that, and I am sure it will for you, too. Take some time to yourself. Recover. Breathe. Exist on your own. And one day, you will be ready to be with someone else.

Mandy Hornbuckle said...

Hey friend,

I have no doubt that someone will want you for you. Whether it's John or not is still to be seen, but someone will love you and your kids and someday you will feel whole again.

Couple questions - can you get on temporary disability since you medically can't get a job? Seems like the kind of thing that's for.

Also, do you still have your phone? I was thinking about you today and wondering if you could use Skype if you can't use the phone anymore - you can dial out to phones for pennies a minute.

Also, is there anything I can do to make your life easier or better?

Erin said...

Thinking about you! Enjoy time with your friends that are in town!

Tres Angelas said...

When I think back to the very hardest passages in my life, I realize that God was with me. I couldn't see or feel Him at the time, but when I look back I can see Him beside me, plain as day.

On the job thing, particularly given the state of the labor market now (and for the foreseeable future), you really should listen to your physician's advice and try to take it easy.

(BTW, donation button = good idea.)

Re a previous post: there is, of course, a "program" you can turn to when a parent isn't offering appropriate financial support. You begin the application process (so to speak) by consulting an attorney specializing in family law.

Now, I suspect that the Holy Spirit is going to head butt your husband before long, making this a moot point, but...

My unprofessional, unsolicited opinion is that you may be making things a little too easy for him.

I know, none of my business.

You posed one slightly silly question in your post. Let me reword it so you can maybe see it from an outsider's point of view: Who is going to be interested in an intelligent, vivacious, Godly, drop-dead gorgeous woman with four precious children?

Not only is it not an issue for today, my friend, it's never going to be an issue.

Nessa said...

I hope you will seriously consider getting a donation button so we can all help you out! You have a lot of people who care for you out here.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a while. I've just never left a comment. I've been in such a similar place as you. Sometimes I feel like you are writing my story! I'd love to comment at length but would hate to leave tons on here and for all to see. Would you mind sending me your email address? I'd love to share with you where I've been and how God has brought me to where I am now.

Kelli -

Angelica said...

El - all these feelings and questions are so normal. Try to focus on yourself and your children. Do not fear...God is with you.

It is possible to love other people's is all possible for someone else to love your will come to you if that is His will.

I too am still struggling with these questions...I have two children...and do wonder...will I be alone always...I don't know the answer...but God does. I also know that if I am meant to be alone He will take this desire away from my heart. Right now...this very day...I am focused on taking care of and raising those two babies that He gave me...

Coming from someone that has walked a similar path as yours...I tell you with my heart in my hands that you WILL get through this...

As for your financial situation...there are many organizations that can assist you. I don't know much about the state of Florida but do some research as suggested in the other comments.

Do consider a donation button...perhaps not for money but for things you and your children may need.

Praying for you!

edbteach said...

I live in Texas and here's is how is goes here: if you can prove that he is not in the household and is no longer providing you with any money it doesn't matter what kind of job he has. El is not on the receiving end of the money at this time and is unable to earn any money (and her dr is willing to back this up) so her "income" is based on that. I know that when it comes to pregnant moms and infants without insurance the income level is fairly high, especially when you have three other children in the home already. This is true for WIC too.

Julie said... will get through this. Day by day, you will get through it. God always has a plan. Just focus on the now & try to just breathe. You will not be alone.

I think you have enough on your plate than to try to work. No one will think you are looking for a handout. You are doing what is best for you & your children. You have the hardest job there is.

Summer said...

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, I wondered if I could really love her like a mom, if I could really be a mom. And then it just happened. And when I was pregnant with my second child, I thought there was no way I could love him like I loved my daughter. And then it just happened. And when my husband left, I wondered if I would find love again. But I know it will just happen. My plan for myself is very rarely the plan God has for me, but his plan always reveals a greater joy than I could ever conceive for myself. It just happens. When I least expect it, God "just happens" my life into beautiful thigns. It will "just happen" for you, too, El. I know it will.

Taking Heart said...

Your heart in words is expressed so eloquently. I agree so much with your very first (anonymous) comment on this post... I couldn't have said it better myself.

Take care of you and your precious cargo.

Melanie said...

Right now I think I feel just as confused as you are. First of all, I don't understand even one bit why he'd leave like that, and why he won't do counseling. I guess I missed his reason why, if you said it, but still; you guys seem to be getting along when together. I am sure you both had your parts in this, as you've admitted - but I believe it's about 90/10. Maybe you didn't give him the attention he needed, but he isn't a child. He's a man, a husband, a father; a husband that should have understood that his wife's attention had to be focused on getting their son better, and a father who should have known that his own attention needed to be solely on his children. Not only that, but he never expressed his feelings before it was too late. Did he expect you to read his mind?

I want to be furious at him for doing this to such a wonderful person like you, but I can't, because I think whatever is plaguing him is partially out of his control. Perhaps Eli's death and Seth's illness have just been affecting him so badly that he can't handle things with your marriage well right now. Someone needs to convince him to attend therapy with you. He's a man of God, right? He can't just abandon all the years you two have had, and all that you have been through.

As far as loving someone new, if it came to that, it will happen for you. We always think that we could never love another, but as time goes by, we realize we can. The right guy will love you and your children. And you know it isn't up to you to find him; God will lead you to him, but I think God knows that the man for you is John. Hopefully he'll search his heart for the answers, El, because I think he'd discover a lot.

My husband and I don't believe in divorce for the same reasons that any Christian does, but our vow to each other right before we were married was "the way we love each other now will be the way we love each other in thirty years, but stronger. Which means there is no reason we can't work through any problems."

Love doesn't just disappear, not if it was true and pure. It will all work out how it's supposed to, and you just have to stay positive.

Sorry I don't have the answers. I wish I did so you didn't have to be sad.

We're here for ya El.

Love and Much Prayer,


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