Of course, crying was nothing new to this young mother. Tears had defended her from all situations in her life since she was a small child. Her current lifestyle was barren and bleak. Yet she continued to love and nurture her baby, as best she could as a sixteen-year-old. They took walks together. They watched television together. They read baby books together.
The baby’s teenage dad was working out of town most of the time. The young mom knew in her mind that he had to work, but that didn’t make the loneliness that constantly brought her heart into the basement of her emotions go away. Sometimes she would complain to her mother-in-law, and after her mother-in-law said, “Well, they have to work and the lucrative government contracts are always out of town,” she understood, until the loneliness of evening descended on her. She maintained a stiff upper lip in front of others, but in private, she felt sorry for herself.
Sometimes, the painters, dad and son, would come home for a short weekend. When this happened, the young mom would be so happy to see him, even though he spent a lot of time running around with his friends instead of staying home. She knew how boring staying at home was, and yet she also thought that if she could handle it, then so should he. At one point, she accompanied her painter husband to an out of town job, which turned out to be worse than staying home.
The grimness of her life dropped to the bottom when she found out she was pregnant again. It made her wonder, “What? Does he just come home for a weekend and lay on top of me just to get me pregnant?” Her second baby would be born when her first was 15 months old. She consoled herself by thinking it would be nice for them to be so close together, so they could be good friends. Her imagined scenario would hit the tank, however, when she thought, “But what if it’s a boy?”
While her husband was working out of town, it was up to the very pregnant mom to do the yardwork. Her next-door neighbor saw her mowing with a hand mover one day and came over to discuss a plan. He would mow and she could trim. It was great not to have to push the lawnmower, but it wasn’t all that great to bend down and trim. Still, she knew it was safer. Every day, with the one-year-old in a stroller, the expectant mother of sixteen took a long walk. The exercise was good for her and the baby saw the world.
When her time came, she woke up in the middle of the night with labor pain in her back that lasted two to three minutes and came on one minute apart. She thought, “Oh my, I better get mom over here right away to take me to the hospital. Good thing too, because she walked into the hospital, they put her in wheel chair, checked her out, and took her directly to the delivery room. Of course, for this delivery the second time father-to be wasn’t there. She had thought earlier on, “Well if I can go through a miscarriage alone and can certainly give birth alone.” Those thoughts brought her a sense of independence, which she would need in the near future.
As she walked into the house a couple days after delivering her second baby, she thought to herself, “Well at least I don’t have to clean the house.”
To be continued …