The wife urinates. Chemicals react. The stick changes. A baby’s coming!
Babies take preparation. Clean the room. Empty the room. Paint the room. Reorganize the house. Sort the stuff. A small house. Having two bedrooms.
Parents need training. We take classes. Friends get pregnant. Friends take classes. We are excited.
A bittersweet time. We are expectant. We share joy. We are stressed. We have fights. Stress levels increase. The battles increase. Demands, always. Insults, often.
I’m let go. A message left. Fired by voicemail. Typical Prudential. We retain insurance. The stress increases.
Hailey arrives! What? No instruction manual? Hailey turns yellow. We meet jaundice. Hailey loses weight. Kristina loses weight. Hailey breastfeeds badly. Mom’s frustration increases. Newborns should delight. Mom is overwhelmed.
The wife crashes. Not physically; mentally. The hospital awaits. Chaos, no diagnosis. No recognition either. I am Satan. Unknown to her. Follow the ambulance. The clinic awaits. As does sleep.
Newborn, without breast. Bills piled high. Impossible, balancing everything. Two jobs ongoing. Hungry baby cries. Cavernous eruptions inside. Open door closes. I quit training. Goodbye new job.
“Cabbage,” she cries. Breast milk recedes. Angrily she punches. Girl takes blow. She’s locked up. Fifty-one-fifty.
Baby on bottle. Emotional roller coaster. Let’s try Zoloft! The coaster continues. Try drug cocktails. Find measured success.
Things finally stabilize. God provides work. Managing medical management. Working nights also. Feed the baby. Sleep comes late. Mornings come early.
Hailey continues growing. I continue fathering. Rich blessing indeed. Hailey turns three. Money is invested. We change houses. Property is bought. House size increases.
Another layoff comes. Teaching has possibilities. I begin school. I work nights. Money is tight.
Doubts haunt Hailey. “I love you?” A question spoken. Awaiting an answer. The answer comes. “Love you too.” The ritual roars. The memories echo. The mother crashes. The baby traumatized.
Doubts haunt me. The assaults increase. Lips spout violence. “You are retarded.” Working, she escapes. We try counseling. She barely participates. She constantly berates. She works late. She avoids home. She avoids Hailey.
Grandfather’s house calls. “We must move!” She wants out. Everyone must go! Uprooting the family. Homestead is purchased. She desires escape. Flee the city. Flee the marriage. Grandpa built it! Logic isn’t important. Palm Springs or bust! Wife threatens divorce. Confused, I cave. I give in.
Chaos ensues. I cry out. Lead Lord Jesus. I seek resolution. The earth rumbles. Divorce is imminent. Blackmailed, I leave. Homeless, I wander.
The wife fornicates. Partners react. Life changes.