I am a 30-something single mother living in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, USA. Two years ago, I was married and trying to have children with a man who had said he was eager to have a family as well. Unfortunately, that wasn’t true and two days before I found out I was pregnant, he sat me down and told me he didn’t want kids, didn’t love me, and wanted a divorce. Needless to say, when I found out I was pregnant two days later, I was more confused and overwhelmed than ever. But when I told my husband the joyful news, he reacted badly and said he didn’t want to be involved. He promised to send checks, but didn’t want to attend any doctors visits and wasn’t sure if he’d ever spend any time with the child, at all.
At the six month scan to find out the gender of my baby, the technician noticed a spot on the baby boy’s heart and three weeks later a serious congenital heart defect was confirmed. My baby had Pulmonary Atresia, which meant that his pulmonary valve didn’t form and there was no way for blood to be pumped to the lungs for oxygenation. I was warned that he could be in very serious danger, up to and including heart attack or stroke, even death. All while he was still unborn. And once he was born, the dangers were multiplied meaning that the delivery would have to be staffed with a battery of highly trained NICU doctors and nurses. When I went into labor 10 weeks early, I was terrified and had to drive myself to the hospital. They tried to stop the labor, but after two days, my son was born and immediately swept away from me and to the NICU. Within hours he was transferred to the Children’s Hospital, where 8 days later he endured open heart surgery. The miracle worker there did open heart surgery on a four pound baby. His heart was the size if a grape that day and I was given no promises for my babys survival.
My pregnancy and abandonment, and my sons health issues have monopolized the past two years of my life and while I wouldn’t trade any of the time, the pain or the joy that have brought us to this point, I now want to try to reclaim myself and my happiness. We are all recovering now. My son is doing far better than his doctors ever expected and my ex-husband has recently been making a very valiant effort at getting to know his son.
All that is left is for me to wash the spit up off my clothes, put away the medicines, machines and baggage of caring for a very sick child, and get to work finding my bliss. I know that part of that will be relaxing a little, maybe at the pool, some of it will be working again and utilizing my brain, and at some point, down the road, part of that will include dating again. That scares me to death, but hopefully, when it happens, I’ll have done the work to prepare to greet new people and opportunities with a trusting heart and a true happiness.
I am embarking on a journey of “One Year To Happy” during which I will challenge beliefs and activities that are keeping me from finding happiness. I will also try new things and go to new places that will stretch me and force me to find happiness even in unfamiliar or uncomfortable surroundings. And at the end, I will hopefully be a better mother to my son and a better person in the world. I’ll keep you posted…