With two babies at home my day was extremely busy. They took turns waking me up throughout the night. I made a huge mommy mistake by letting DeAna fall asleep with the TV on. There wasn't anything out yet on stats for why parents should let a child do just that and I was exhausted. With her kicking around on my bed all night and waking up for cups of water or diaper change. Then every time her video tape ended, she woke me up ti rewind it and play it again because I couldn't afford cable. Giovani was waking up to nurse all night, at least every hour. I was totally exhausted when morning came!
In the morning, I'd get up and bathe and change both of them. We'd get dressed, eat breakfast and head out the door. With it being winter, I'd have to bundle them, and also pack a ton of diapers and change of clothes and snacks for the day because we had to walk 2 1/2 miles to take my adult education classes.
Then cross the street and attend playgroups, and walk 2 1/2 miles back home.
When we got home, I'd fix a lunch, usually we met up and did lunch with Stephanie who'd moved into the apartment across from mine with her baby and boyfriend. We'd watch soaps and then I'd take my kids back to my place and we'd nap. We'd wake up in time to fix a dinner, I;d take them out to play for a while, give them a bath and then clean.
The only changes in our routine were when my parent aid came or friends or family came to visit. Once a week I'd put Giovani in a baby carrier that held him to my chest and DeAna in the double stroller and walk to the grocery store or the laundry mat.
At the time I got state assistance, I paid my bills on time and all were current, I even set aside a 20 a month sum to send to Feed the Children. When all that was paid, that left us with 20 a month and 40 I recieved in child support. I was able to buy diapers and wipes for the two kids and that was all. I needed a job but couldn't get daycare.
I started noticing I was getting depressed. I was still trying to work things out with Giovani's dad who was spending alot of time with us, and then suddenly wasn't..and then would..and then ended up meeting someone else. So my heart was all over the place.
I felt so guilty for having a second baby, because DeAna was now showing signs of sibling rivalry. She'd gotten a hold of him twice and put him on the floor, I felt like a horrible mother. The lack of sleep was really getting to me. I was constantly having to give her time-outs because she was doing all kinds of crazy things for attention. Trying to balance the kids and study and clean and cook. Having no time for friends at all anymore. I was stressed. My friends had graduated High School and were off to college and I was home raising two kids alone.
I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I also was worried I wasn't bonding with my new baby. Which was non-sense made up by my post par tum depression but I cried a lot about that. Worried I was doing it all wrong.
A few moms had told me if I switched to formula or gave him a little cereal in a bottle before bed, he might sleep longer and maybe I would feel better too. That I couldn't be the mom I wanted to be if I was exhausted all the time. The bottle gave him a bellyache and when I tried to give him cereal he projectile vomited. I ended up feeling like an even worse.
I was lucky that he hadn't developed colic like DeAna had. Other then the sleep factor he was an easy baby. Which was a very good thing because DeAna was in the midst of her terrible twos. I'd taken a very short lived position in a hell hole of a daycare center but could bring her with me, and she'd taken to biting other kids right away. She'd not bitten before. When i got my first paycheck and I got no pay at all, because the cost of having her in the daycare while I worked was more then I made. I quit and they said they were letting me go anyway because she was biter. After that she really took to biting me every chance she got. Having tantrums and refusing to go to sleep until two in the morning.
Giovani's dad and his new girlfriend moved out of state to Florida. Which ironically was where DeAna's dad had moved to as well. You know the song, all my exes live in Texas..well all mine moved to Florida I guess. I hated her, the new girlfriend. Not just because she was with my sons father, at a time where he and I were close to getting back together and because they'd moved away where he didn't see his son but because when DeAna was a baby I'd dated her daughters father for a short while. I didn't know of her at the time but when I learned he had a baby, I ended it telling him he needed to work things out with the mother of his child. Just to have her take my son's father away from me in future. It was a double blow and it hurt.
I was too scared to go to counseling ever again after what that woman had tried to do to me. I talked to my family and friends which helped of course, and my parent aid was a great support. I feel guilty now for all the time she took out of her own life to help me get on my feet. It was a struggle. I took my GED test and failed, totally.
Around that same time, I could have really just messed up, gave up, or quit. I was overwhelmed. Then God put someone on TV who changed my life. Sylvia Browne was on Montell. Between Montell everyday and the days he had Sylvia, I heard words that changed me for the better. Something as silly as a TV talk show renewed my hope.
I started buying Sylvia Browne books and became in touch with God fully for the first time in my life. I had not grown up with any religion. Not that we didn't believe in God but didn't as a family go to church or claim a label to any religion. Throughout my childhood I attended all different types of religious services with friends and family on my quest to find who God was to me. It wasn't until i heard Sylvia speak and looked into Novus Spiritus, did I finally hear what felt like truth to me. My new found hope in God suddenly turned me from a depressed and hopeless feeling person, into a powerful warrior with a great purpose. There indeed was a purpose for what I was going through, and through prayers every night, God slowly unfolded what would be an amazing plan and journey ahead for us.
Taking DeAna out for a stroll in 1998