By Sheila Gaudet
The best way to start something is at the beginning so I think I’ll start with when I became a mommy, since that’s the “job” that landed me this gig as a blogger. Way back in 1996, I thought it was time to have a baby. After all, I’d just gotten married, bought a house, was gainfully employed and was in my late 20s and that seemed like the logical next step. So I quit using birth control and poof! got pregnant. It was that easy. I had a pregnancy full of morning sickness and exhaustion. I was working full-time and by the end of my pregnancy would have to rest after taking a shower before driving to work. I was not a cute pregnant person either. People would stop me while I was Christmas shopping to ask if I was having twins, if I should be out by myself, etc. My son was moving around so much that if I was standing up in a meeting it looked like some alien creature would burst forth at any moment like a scene from a horror movie. To say it was distracting to the participants was an understatement.
About a week before he was due (though we didn’t know it was a he yet), we found out I had low amniotic fluid and I was sent home on New Year’s Eve with directions to drink a lot of fluid and come back in two days. I spent that New Year’s stripping the wallpaper border off the bathroom in an act of extreme nesting and was admitted to the hospital (in Miami, FL) for induction on January 2nd. I will spare you the gory details, except to say that I ended up with a c-section on January 4th and delivered the cutest little baby ever, Anthony. I thought that now that he was here, the hard part was done. The joke was on me. He needed to stay in the hospital for a couple days due to some breathing problems, but has been extremely healthy ever since. He is now every bit of everything they say about middle schoolers, both good and bad. I am sure you will be hearing much more about him in future blog posts.
After that, I was sure that I was done having children. Add to that that I spent most of my pregnancy in marriage counseling trying to make a marriage work that probably shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It didn’t work for us and we separated when my son was less than 6 months old. We get along fine and they are close but I didn’t see me doing any of that again.
A few years later, I met and fell in love again and remarried. This time I was living in Mississippi, where I had gone for a year or two for a project-based job. I didn’t think I wanted another child, my husband did. We started trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t so easy this time. A year went by, we were referred to a specialist. We were tested and poked and tested some more. Our diagnosis was the dreaded “unexplained infertility.” I took drugs which made me a wee bit cranky for over a year. My husband was involved in a near-fatal car accident in which he sustained a traumatic brain injury on the day before my first scheduled intrauterine insemination. He recovered and we continued the process. A failure followed, then later a miscarriage. I was emotionally exhausted from the process and agreed to one last try. I cried all the way to the office and was sure this would be another disappointment. But it wasn’t! A positive pregnancy test and an uneventful pregnancy and delivery later, we welcomed Andrew into the family. Anthony was very happy and proud of his brother and has taken the role of big brother very seriously. There is a six year age difference which is both a blessing and a curse in many ways. Andrew is now in second grade and as different from his brother as night and day. He is the source of many funny stories as well as many of my learning experiences.
As for me and my husband, we both work. He is a pilot, both commercially and for the Rhode Island Air National Guard. He obviously travels for his job, often requiring him to be gone for weeks or months at a time. I recently left a position as an executive for a local non-profit agency and am now doing some project work in the child development field that gives me some more flexibility in scheduling the kids events and activities and appointments while trying to determine my next step.
I look forward to sharing my life with you and getting to know more about you as well. I hope you can relate to some of what goes on in my household. My theory of families and life in general is that normal is just a setting on the washing machine and every family is unique in both its strength and challenges. I hope that you can relate to parts of my stories or at least enjoy them. Thanks for reading!
3 thoughts on “Snips, and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails”
Love this photo. Looks like a Christmas card. Thanks for the entry Sheila, was really interesting I thought. We just had an infertility physician specialist give a presentation at my job (for nurse contact hours, and I’m not a nurse, but I went for more info), it’s a hard process and I’m glad you were successful!
Wow! What a story. You have been through so much and maintain such strength and humor. I look forward to learning from and sharing with you.
Congrats on your first blog entry Sheila! I’m looking forward to keeping up with you through this!