The last few weeks, social media has been flooded with posts of decade reviews, highlighting all the wonderful things people have accomplished in the last ten years.
While that is great, and I am happy for all of them and their achievements, why is no one talking about the hardships, and the hard work that got them there?
For me, to review the last decade would essentially be to review my 20s. And for me, my 20s were full of great things. And also some of the hardest situations of my life.
Surprise! I was pregnant! Absolutely 100% accidental. But man, were we ever excited. A couple weeks after finding out, about 9 weeks pregnant, I landed ill. Pneumonia. In the blink of an eye I went from healthy to sick, and from sick to deathly ill. Literally. I don’t remember a lot of it, but I remember the ambulance ride to the emergency room because I couldn’t breathe. I remember waking up, with a tube down my throat, unsure of what day it was, or how long I’d been under. I was too weak to even to get out of bed, because I had laid there for so long.
I spent days regaining enough strength and stability to stand, walk, feed myself. Something like 12 to 14 days total hospitalized, fighting for my life.
Somewhere in the course of things, our baby’s heart stopped. To this day we still don’t know the cause. It could have been any number of things. The drugs they gave me to keep me in what was essentially a medically induced coma, the fierce regimen of antibiotics, the strain on my body of the whole ordeal, or maybe it was an act of God that was completely unrelated to anything else that was going on.
To this day, I can’t help but wonder who that baby would have been. A boy? A girl? Would that baby have changed the course of my life? The father of that baby is now my husband. And I think the experience brought us closer together. But how would parenting an unplanned baby have changed our lives? Would we still be together today? It’s impossible to know.
Somewhere in the grieving process, we decided we wanted to be parents. I had a seemingly uneventful, healthy pregnancy. I managed to do this while on my feet all day, waiting tables at Steak’n’Shake. I spent that entire pregnancy terrified though. Terrified of all the possible things that could go wrong.
May 17, 2011, 3 days after my due date, my water broke. After nearly 36 hours in labor, I was still only 4cm dilated. My doctor decided we had reached the point of making baby a window, since he didn’t seem to want to exit through the door. About 2 hours after that decision was made, Mason Michael was born.
When Mason was born, we were still living with my mother-in-law. Sometime into his first of the year, we decided it was time to get our own apartment. So we did.
It was great. The three of us being a little family unit in a two story condo that we rented from a private owner.
However, to afford our humble abode, I worked a lot. I still worked at SNS, and after working my ass off as a waitress, I landed a promotion to a manager. The money was good, but since it’s a 24 hour restaurant, there were a lot of shifts that ended up being 15 hour shifts, and a lot of missed holidays. I was miserable.
So, I went out and found myself a new job.
I accepted a position as a general manager for Little Caesars. The money wasn’t awesome, and they didn’t offer health benefits, but the hours were better, and so was the workload.
Until we decided to have baby #2. When you think about the cost of having a baby without insurance, the numbers are kind of scary.
So again, I decided it was time to move on. At 6 months pregnant, I somehow got hired into the company I still work for today. My insurance became effective 3 days before the day my c-section was scheduled for!
On July 30, 2014, we welcomed baby #2, Sadie Jo (via c-section number 2).
As happy of a time as that was, it was also sad. My grandma had passed away the week before Sadie was born. Exactly 7 days prior. So, a week after having her, we were off to the hardest funeral I’ve ever attended in my life.
My grandma wasn’t your average grandma. I spent every weekend with her, and at some points in my childhood, we lived with her. In my mind, she was still 63 years old, and in good health. I never really allowed myself to see her any other way, so I was not ready for her time to be up.
She was clearly the glue that held everyone together, because since her passing, my relationships with my sister and my extended family has dwindled, if not become non existent all together. I don’t think it’s anyones fault really, we just don’t have that common meeting ground anymore. Grandma was such an important person in all of our lives, and we always seemed to meet up around her table. Her table isn’t there anymore, so the rest of it isn’t either.
Sometime near the end of 2014, my now husband and I decided that we needed to save some money if we were ever going to buy house. To do that meant, you guessed it, moving back into his moms house.
2015 – 2019
His mom is amazing, so living with her isn’t really an issue, but it was crowded to say the least. We started looking to buy a house shortly into 2015, with our tax money for a down payment.
It was a lot of work to fix credit, and negotiating with the seller, but we finally managed to close the deal on the house sometime around March of 2015.
In July of 2015, we finally got married!
In February of 2016, I got a promotion at work. The very next day, I found out I was pregnant for baby #3. Fast forward 9 months, and we said hello to Lucas Alan, (via c-section number three).
Ever since, we’ve been living the American dream. Working our asses off to pay minimum payments. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Paycheck to paycheck.
Money is one of those topics that makes everyone uncomfortable, but the reality of it is that a lot of people are in the same boat.
I’m not really one that believes in New Years Resolutions. I think they are dumb. I think that if we all wait until one day a year to make any life changing decisions, then we’d be stuck in the same place for a long time.
Life is a journey, and big decisions are made every day. So I’m not going to tell you my New Years Resolutions, because I don’t have any.
But I will tell you this:
We’ve spent the last decade making our family. I plan to spend the next decade cementing it. Working hard to get out of the debt, and growing the bond that holds us together.
Check back with me in 10 years. I’ll let ya know how it goes!