My baby was the size of a butternut squash, and she was kicking like mad. I passed the time working on a pregnancy scrapbook. But I was still bored and irritable. I was sleeping poorly, owing to the early morning aerobics in my womb.
Then I heard from H. He asked about my blood glucose test. I told him I’d tested one point higher than they usually like. He asked about insulin and diet. I explained that I had discussed things with my doctor and she wasn’t the least bit worried about my blood sugar – both me and my baby were healthy and happy, my weight gain was on track, and I was measuring right on for my due date.
I thought that would be the end of it, but H took exception to my doctor’s trained medical opinion. Here’s our IM conversation:
(I've left H unedited)
[H’s screen name]: Don't know what else to say to the comment, if you think that's best it's your business but seeing things like 'I went shopping and all I have is liciroce' and knowing those results just ... seems weird
jilleb163: what do you mean?
[H’s screen name]: Your not concerned about being that close, or at least concerned enough that maybe you'd cut out some sugar? That's all i'm asking. But i'm sure your going to call me an [expletive deleted] for asking, so I don't know why I am
jilleb163: my diet really isn't any of your freaking business.
(like I said, I was irritable)
[H’s screen name]: Yup, good to see we could have a mature conversation about this
jilleb163: i mention licorice once and you think i'm not eating properly ... just sort of irritating.
jilleb163: my doctor - a trained, medical professional, who has known me my entire pregnancy - isn't worried about my blood sugar.
[H’s screen name]: burger king for dinner three nights a week, and everytime we talk it's 'candy store'.
For the record, I’d been to the candy store, like, twice. And who was he to criticize my diet? This from a man who considered bacon and beer to be two of the main food groups! I was eating enough fruit and vegetables that I knew the guys who stocked Safeway’s produce department by name. If I wanted a little candy or a hamburger, I was going to eat it. I was livid. If this was H’s idea of caring, I’d been lucky he hadn’t cared so far.
Things got worse a few days later. H sent me e-mail, which I have again left unedited for your reading pleasure. Here’s the gist of it (my reactions are in italics):
“I want a decision on what you are doing with the baby as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours. I understand it’s a hard decision, but you have had plenty of time to think about it now. You know what your options are, you have been talking to an agency (which you lied to me about and told me it was a support group) [Um, actually, it was a support group] and you know your options with them. On my side, I did not file the paperwork because when I asked you about it, you said you wanted to keep her, or at least that was my perception of what you were saying.
Now, it’s ‘I am leaning’. Or ‘I told you I was leaning than’. Fine, I misinterpreted, but I felt when we were making discussions on materials we would need or me asking how we can setup shared custody, that that meant you were keeping her. [And I thought we were discussing hypotheticals, since I used the word "hypothetically" and all.] I don’t want to hear bout leaning anymore. Decisions need to be made.
If it helps make it easier for you, if you keep her I will be filing a custody (parenting) plan and a request for shared custody. This will be used in determining support payments from one party to the other [not from him to me, but from one “party” to another], as well as set specific amounts of time we will be sharing her. [What is she, a condo in the Hamptons?] And I will be insisting this go into effect as soon as possible. I will not just start having a relationship after 6 months because you don’t want me involved at first … I don’t have any rights in the event your giving her up for adoption, but I do have rights once she’s born and if you make the decision to keep her."
In retrospect, I can sort of get where he was coming from. But only in retrospect. And just reading through that stupid e-mail makes my blood boil. How dare he demand a decision in such a cavalier, arrogant manner?
I didn’t know what else to do, so I sent S an SOS. We’d had a bit of a to-do when I tried explaining how depression makes it hard for me to trust people and she didn’t quite get is. But I needed her now. She’d told my mom that H had lost all his rights when he ignored his paperwork. I wanted to make sure of that. Who, I wondered, would be crazy enough to try to split custody of a newborn baby?
I was terribly upset, but my baby gave me a few reassuring kicks and I felt a bit better. For a few hours, anyway. Then I got another surprise in my inbox.