Chapter 10: The Beginning of the End
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
I never saw myself as single mom… I never expected I would get divorced, or be alone. I thought I had found my forever person….. I guess I was wrong. I’m getting ahead of myself here a little bit… let’s go back. So I just found out I was pregnant in September 2011. My husband had said it would be hard but we would make it work… We were both working small part time jobs and we were both students… I was studying Hospitality Management and my husband was a Ballet Major.
His talents had awarded him a Dance Scholarship, which he absolutely earned. He was incredible! But being a ballet major meant that he was spending every day, multiple classes with his married love interest, Shauna. They had been to what’s called RDA (Regional Dance Alliance or something like that), and became really good friends in Vegas the Semester before… They had been scorned and shunned by others for spending time together because they were both married and it wasn’t appropriate to be spending so much time together. He hadn’t admitted his feelings to her at that point so it was harmless friends… have you ever had that friend who was in love with you but you were able to stay friends even though it was kind of weird? That was them. They flirted but neither admitted there were feelings… It wasn’t until around October that it came up…
They had been talking about the previous year and how some of the girls were so mad at them,
and how Shauna’s husband was still uncomfortable with the two of them dancing together even in generic non romantic roles… She had brought it up I think to gain clarity to be able to go back to her husband and say “He doesn’t have feelings for me… I asked him and clarified and everything is fine!” But that wasn’t how he felt… He told her as much… she admitted to being highly attracted to him and unsure what her feelings were but that they were stronger than they should be. As you can imagine… hearing your feelings are reciprocated is
like fuel to your emotional fire. This solidified his crush and turned it to desire and major infatuation… I learned a lot about his confusion and struggles when he drank… He would tell his buddies about her and they would all look at me like “Dude, she is right here…” I shrugged my shoulders and gave an “okay- yeah it sucks but what should I do?” smile, then I would go about cleaning the house or go to our room and study, read about my growing baby, or write. Shocking news- I love to write… It’s therapeutic and my shrink taught me how to use it as a tool for dealing…
I wrote letters to Jake and to Shauna and expressed my unfiltered thoughts and pain… I used language i would never use in real life, I cried, I hurt and I healed a little every time. I think I forgot to mention Shauna was an incredible photographer too.. She took photos os us, and of him for her portfolio and I had this… Keep your enemies closer mentality… I wanted to know the woman who was stealing my husband without even trying. Here’s the kicker… she was really hard to hate. I started to get it… I understood why he loved her… I really liked her.. I found myself asking her to do my maternity pics and even our birth story… For my sanity and to stay less stressed I had made the decision to start encouraging Jake and Shauna to be a relationship… First just to him… I know I was crazy. Looking back- what the hell was I thinking???
SO I told him I would rather be happy co-parents than miserable and married. That if he loved her he should tell her. If he wanted to be with her, he should take his shot… If she loved him, she would leave her husband and they could be together. That we could be amazing co-parents. That as long as he didn’t flaunt her in front of me, we could even live together and raise our kid under the same roof… Unless they got married, obviously. Cuz eww. that would be REALLY weird. Jake seemed to like the thought and wanted to test the waters a little with Shauna. As the months passed on, and the feelings grew…. It was certain to me what the outcome would be. I was preparing myself emotionally.
The next RDA was coming… This time in Canada.. They were heading to the romantic Montreal… Shauna’s husband was slowly becoming suspicious of things and Shauna had shared a little about how Jake felt and admitted she had similar feelings… Her husband was really upset about the being together and begged her not to be alone with him. I mean if I hadn’t resigned my marriage to the gallows I would have reacted the same. I saw RDA as the opportunity for them to make a plan. I knew my marriage was ending. I knew I was going to be a single mother at 22 years old. I had spent the last nearly 5 years of my life with this man and I was going to be having his child…. That was our purpose. Our purpose was to bring this baby to the world. That was okay. Okay, it really wasn’t… What I really wanted was for him to realize what a mistake he was making and that I loved him enough to let him go which meant he shouldn’t go! He should stay with me. But dumb and inexperienced me, thought my understanding and accepting nature would change things.
As he packed for RDA and picked outfits meant to peacock for her, it was hard to watch… I was a month or two out from having our little GIRL. Did i mention that? We were having a baby girl! I couldn’t wait… I sat at home while he was in Canada…. I rearrange the house 6 times, I organized, I didn’t sleep, I barely ate, I stared at my phone too many times a day waiting for texts that never came…. Then one night they came… He said- “ She is gonna tell him. She wants to give us a try. She says she has been unhappy for a while now and that she wants to separate and give us a try to see how real it is. I can't believe she feels the same. Thank you for being so understanding and helping me find happiness.”
I couldn’t breathe… my heart stopped for what felt like minutes… my fingers hovered over the
keys on my phone…. the screen would go dark…. without a breath I would open it again an read… yup that’s what he said… over and over again… Yup… as breath finally came to me, the pain was excruciating. My worst fears were coming true… my plan had backfired… Tomorrow he would fly home and we would start figuring out our lives… our separate yet tied together forever lives… I hadn’t noticed but I was sobbing! My cheeks were soaked and my mouth was dripping with drool as I was uncontrollably releasing every emotion I had kept inside… I must have thought deep down that he would chicken out or that she would not be willing to give it a shot… The next couple weeks were going to be hell…And no one knew but our little LOVE TRIANGLE...
He came home and I feigned support and we started to make our plans on how to arrange our apartment so that we wouldn’t be in the same room… to give us both privacy… what? This was my life now? What had I done? Why had I been supportive? Why hadn’t I put my damn foot down and said NO! As my due date approached we prepared bags, and had a delivery plan and scheduled for Shauna to be with us the days leading up to the birth so she was on call and ready… She hadn’t told her husband yet… When she came home and told him she was thinking about leaving (not for anyone) he begged for more time and she was giving him some… They were gonna talk through some things but she didn’t have plans to stay no matter the outcome… Even if she didn’t end up with Jake, she was ready to be done with her marriage that she felt stifled and unimportant in.
On a Thursday night, my mom and sister took me to get a pedicure… I was about 10 days out from my due date, Jake was performing in a ballet a couple cities north of where we lived about 45 minutes away… As I was getting my feet rubbed I started feeling some contractions and that was uncomfortable, but it definitely wasn’t run to a hospital contractions… My mom started to monitor and track my contractions… When I got home, I continued to keep a log and track them. they were few and far between but definitely uncomfortable… Early Saturday morning they were pretty intense and I decided to head in to Labor and Delivery to check… Jake had 2 performances that day and I needed to know if I was going to be delivering this girl alone… or alone with Shauna by my side…
Thankfully, it was not quite time… they gave me a morphine shot in the booty and sent me on my way… Shauna and I had planned to go to Jake’s performance and we did. Thankfully there was a hospital across the street from the theater we were at and it was in my insurance network so if anything happened I would be fine.. Shauna could take me, I would be close so as soon as Jake was done, he could come… I felt okay about it… and I was a tad high on morphine, so everything was REALLY okay… A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a trip to watch normally- but it's even weirder and more hilarious when you are high on morphine. There was no emergency dashes to the Hospital and everything was fine… Shauna went home and all was good… Until like 10p…
My contractions were really close together and they were really hurting… Jake drove me to our
local hospital with bags in the car and we headed to L&D… The monitored me and watched… They said it wouldn’t be tonight, but that they would likely see me in the morning… Well… that was crazy… our little girl wasn’t due for another week… We had convinced my OB to deliver a day early because Jake was heading to Denver for his annual spring show with a company out there the day after she was due.. But here we were- a week away from her due date and likely going to meet her soon. Jake called Shauna on our way home from the Hospital to tell her what they said. She decided to come spend the night at our house so she could be here and not be late or miss the event if it happened early in the morning… I was in pain and tired and decided to go to bed…
My husband didn’t join me. He stayed in the living room watching movies with Shauna… at about 4:18a I woke up and needed to pee… As I walked to the bathroom I saw Jake and Shauna sitting too close for my comfort and looking in each others eyes as they giggled and talked about whatever they were watching… I got to the bathroom as quick as i could to avoid that view… I sat down and peed, my mind was whirling… at 4:20a i felt more liquid trickle out… I was a tad confused but thought, that wasn’t pee… Holy crap… I think my water just broke… I finished up in the bathroom and washed my hands… I stepped out of the bathroom and when I came out they were more upright and aware that I was nearby. I said… “Um… I think my water just broke… I think it’s time to go…” I grabbed my stuff as I explained the situation, Jake turned off all the lights, tv and all… Shauna went out the front door and said I will follow you there… She got in her car and we went out the back door of our apartment to our car in the parking lot out back.. The contractions were coming hard and fast… YUP this was definitely more intense than any time before… AhhhhhOUCH! Jake turned the key… the car clicked and wouldn’t start… No no no you have got to be kidding me! click, sputter…..
I can't believe this… We had one car at the time, and it wasn’t working… I was in FREAKIN LABOR! Jake got out and ran to the front to tell shauna… he came to get me and our bags and helped me walk to Shauna’s car…. We drove to the hospital which was 3 minutes away… As I entered L&D they giggled and said “Oh you’re back already?!“ Slightly irritated and embarrassed I said “Yeah, haha…. I think my water broke actually.” They kinda changed their tune and I was rushed to a room to be monitored… It was about 4:45a now… The first nurse said my water hadn’t broken but that I was definitely in labor so they would keep me for observation and ask my doctor what he wanted to do…. Around 6a they moved me to a delivery room and got us all settled in the room we were going to be delivering in… I can't quite remember if it was me or one of my siblings, but one of us was born in the same room!
As the shift change occurred and my new nurse came in to collect information and check my chart, she asked my entry story again, and when my water broke. I told her around 4:20a but the first nurse said my water hadn’t broken… As she was examining my vagina- she said “Oh no, it definitely broke… in fact there is hardly any fluid left… It likely ruptured in the back and had a slow leak so it wasn’t as detectable to your first nurse.” Oh… well okay- I wasn’t crazy…. It wasn’t pee… As I sat there in labor and waiting between things I had some time…. Jake left the room to go call family and update people which left me alone in the room with Shauna… I had watched them flirt for hours when the nurses were gone and it just reminded me how real this was.. I was about to bring a baby into the world and be alone… I told Shauna how I would let him go, because I loved him and as long as he was a good dad, I could handle it. He loved her and wanted HER. Not me… That if SHE wanted him, I would step aside and let them be happy… I told her he was special, that he deserved love and a lot of it. She agreed and told me she did love him but that she was still working through some details herself. That for the near future she was trying to give her husband the time he asked for. But that it helped her to know she had my understanding and support because she did care for him and wanted to try things with him.
It was hard… But I had to focus on my little girl. She was going to be all I had. She was the most important thing now. When it was time to deliver, a doctor I didn’t know was on call and came in to deliver… Turns out he delivered my brother or my cousin or someone- idk….
But I could not feel a thing with my epidural which made pushing difficult… I did my best to try and push right… It’s not a pretty experience… You are sprawled out wide open for everyone in the room to see. Your lady parts exposed to all and unable to feel if you are doing the right things….. I remember the staff commenting on how much hair they saw and how dark it was… I remember watching Jake’s face as she started to come out… It was almost horror and almost amazement… I couldn’t read it all that well. My little girl popped one arm out next to her head and the doctor grabbed her by her armpit and pulled her out real fast!
What! that was it, I was done? There was this beautiful tiny human in front of me. How did I do that!?!?! She was perfect! 5lbs 4 oz and 18 inches long! Jake cut the cord and he was
instantly in love with her… She had his heart. He cried and smiled and was just smitten with this little human. I held her skin to skin and so did Jake… She wasn’t interested in nursing, and this made the nurses nervous…. They almost immediately handled me bottle to feed her, which… well that’s another topic for another day, but let’s just say I am against that and forever will blame the fact that my daughter never did nurse on the fact that they didn’t give me enough time to try and feed her on my own before shoving formula in my hand…anyway... I felt territorial and angry when Jake sat next to Shauna holding MY baby and looking at both of them like she was THEIR miracle… But I also knew I would have to get used to that picture if they were going to be together… No one knew still, so I was alone in my sorrow and had to keep it from everyone.
I didn’t get to hold her for long when the nurses came in to do vitals and were a little concerned at how low her blood sugar seemed to be… I was still under the influence of my epidural, so Jake went to the NICU with her and I sat in my bed.... alone… Everyone had gone… My parents had gone to get my siblings and were going to be back, Shauna had gone home to check in with her husband and daughter, Jake was in the NICU and his family hadn’t made it yet… I just sat there… wondering…. alone… for hours.. When Jake’s mom came in and asked how everyone was I told her I had no idea… That I hadn’t seen her since they took her to the NICU and I hadn’t seen a nurse since… She said to me “Alli- call your nurse right now! Someone should update you and someone should take you to your daughter! You call them and tell them to get you up and take you to that NICU.” I jumped a little as if my military sergeant had just given me a direct order… I got on my room phone and said “Hi- I was just wondering if someone could, uh, get me an update on my daughter? I haven’t seen or heard from anyone since you guys took her to the NICU… I also haven’t gotten up since delivering and it’s been a while….” They assured me she was fine and that someone would be in soon to get me up and give me an update…
Soon meant 30 minutes… 30 minutes later! Two nurses came in to get me out of bed, go to the bathroom, get me all diapered up and put me in a wheelchair.. I learned later my epidural was a little to heavy, because I still couldn’t really feel my legs hours after delivery… but anywho… After peeing for nearly 7 minutes straight- like full freaking stream for 7 minutes… no joke!- I finally got wheeled down to see my daughter… Jake had been in the NICU the whole time and thought I was being updated by staff… NOPE… I learned they had been doing blood tests by poking her feet with needles and squeezing enough blood out to test her blood sugar, feeding her bottles and sugar water to boost her blood sugar… My poor precious baby had been poked
so many times by the time I saw her, that she didn't even react to the stab anymore.... not even a whimper... I teared up at that thought. I had barely held my baby and she had been going through so much pain already that the pain was now normal to her. She had already imprinted with her daddy and
was clearly at ease when he would talk to her and put his finger in her tiny hand. She was 5 lbs 4 oz of pure perfection, but she was itty bitty and that was nerve wracking for the staff… She was jaundiced and had to be under lights…her blood sugar tested every couple hours.... she was in the NICU for 4 days.. and I remember when they told us she would have to be there 1 night longer than we were allowed to be there… We had to go home without our baby… I didn’t sleep well… When I was finally able to take her home, I felt some peace…. My world could go back to normal… well normal-ish… We had her home for 3 days before Jake was off to Denver… He checked in often to see how she was doing, and I won’t lie I was a little hurt that he didn’t seem to worry about me or wonder how I was doing, but I had to get used to that… This was the beginning of the end….
Sometimes in life, we don’t know or understand why things happen… My relationship with Jake was what I needed to survive and heal from my rape at 16 years old. He was the white knight that helped me through healing, undiagnosed stomach problems, and nightmares… He brought me joy when I didn’t find it anywhere else… Then miraculously- he gave me my daughter, when it was supposed to be difficult for me to have kids… Our time may have ran its course, but I had so much because of my time with him… More on that next week. Together we can rise from the trials of our lives and be reborn as The Phoenix Mamas we were meant to be!