I Need You
Jenny wasn't sure where to go from there. She was completely
alone now that she had outcast herself from her entire family to
be with Scotty. She was depressed and afraid, so she sent a
message to the one person she knew would come running that read,
"I need you. I need you right now please".
Deanna called as soon as she got the message. "What's wrong baby girl? What happened?", she knew it was important. Jenny explained everything to her dear friend and cried her eyes out holding her belly with one hand. "Deanna, I just don't know what I'm going to do! I need a job to take care of this baby, but I have no way to pay for child care. I have no one to talk to about any of this because everyone I know hates me for believing his bullshit. I have nothing but my kids, and I won't have them for long if I have no money to give them what they need. I just need you to come home now please." That's all she needed to hear and Deanna was moving back in with her best friend that week.
The girls got dressed and did their hair and make-up. They put the kids in the car, and together they went job hunting. Deanna waited in the car with the kids while Jenny went in to fill out an application. They took turns at each restaurant, gas station, and store they saw in a 3 town radius. One way or the other, the pair were determined to make it work. They planned that if only one of them got jobs, the other would babysit, and if both got jobs, one would request day shifts and the other vice versa. Nothing was going to stop them.
Of course, with Deanna back home, that meant Derek was back
around. It only took one time of him coming by before she got a
call from him about his breakup with his girlfriend. He showed up
riding his best friend's motorcycle and took her to pick up some
lunch. By the time they got home with the food, they were a happy
He moved his bedroom furniture and a few boxes of his belongings in. He helped her clean the house and took her to meet all his friends. They cooked dinner together and ate at the table like a real family. Things seemed to be going great.
Things only stayed that way for a week or so before Derek informed the girls of his decision. He needed his girlfriend to take him to Ashcombe, a small town about 5 and a half hours away, to where their dad lived. He made a plan to move in with his dad and get his CDL license to be a truck driver. "When I get this done I'll be able to buy us a nice house up north and we'll have the life we want, I promise." he assured Jenny this was the best option for the both of them.
Who was she to argue? It wasn't like she had proven to make the best decisions lately, so maybe Derek was right, this was the best way to go. She kept telling herself that on the drive north. Derek drove and she rode passenger. Poor Deanna was stuck in the backseat with both Zach and Gracie throwing toys and sippy cups most of the way there. The girls sang their hearts out along with the radio to some old country songs that reminded them all of simpler days.
After they arrived, Derek introduced Jenny as her girlfriend, and
told his entire family that the unborn child was his. They
welcomed her with open arms and Jenny was just happy to not be
alone anymore. Jenny's phone rang, but she didn't know the number
although she knew it was a Carbondale number. "Hello?" she
answered. "Hi, is this Virginia?" the man on the other end
replied. "Can you be here for a job interview at 2 o'clock
tomorrow?" he asked her. Uh oh. It was already 10 pm. Could they
leave early enough in the morning to make it on time? Derek told
her he would make sure she was on the road in time and she'd make
it there. "Yes, I'll be there!" After she hung the phone up, she
turned to Derek and asked "Sooo, did he say Hardee's or Arby's??"
He reminded her there wasn't a Hardee's in that town, so it had
to be Arby's. Deanna, Jenny, and their kids loaded back into the
car early the next morning and left Derek there. Maybe a long
distance relationship would actually work.
She had just enough time to drop everyone off at home and make herself look presentable. She was so nervous she was shaking. "Don't mess this up, don't mess this up" she kept thinking. The woman doing her interview was nice and she seemed like she liked Jenny. "Hi, Virginia?, I'm Sarah, Nice to meet you." Jenny couldn't stop fidgeting with her fingernails the whole time she was so scared that she would say something wrong, or maybe she would smile to much showing she was missing half her teeth, or maybe they wouldn't hire her because she wore a tight form fitting shirt, and she had quite the 5 month baby bump that was hard to miss. Somehow Sarah didn't care about any of that and she offered her the job.
"I got a job... I got a job.... I got a J-O-B!!!!!!!!!!" Jenny sang at the top of her lungs as soon as she got home. Deanna danced around the living room with her and the girls finally felt like things were going to work out. Their kids emerged from Zachary's room, leaving the toys behind to see what all the noise was about, and as a family, Deanna, Jenny, and the kids, cuddled on the couch to watch a movie, and forget about everything they had been worrying about.
A New Woman
Jenny showed up for work dressed in her uniform and ready to re-start her life. Her trainer seemed angry the whole shift and didn't seem to care very much about her job. Jenny went by her full first name at work, Virginia, because her boss was named Jennifer and was also called Jen. Why make it confusing? She did her best her first day and was proud of the job she had done. Her boss told her she needed to wear a black belt, so after work, so stopped at walmart and bought an XXL belt, she knew she was going to be getting much bigger very soon!
One day early in her first week, a girl was there talking to her
co-workers and showing off baby clothes. She was pregnant too.
"Who's that?" she asked someone. "That's Lacey, she works here
and she's pregnant with a girl!". Jenny asked her how far along
she was and was happy to hear the two were due only days apart.
Jenny with a boy, and her co-worker with a girl. Maybe she could
make a new friend, so she talked to her and they compared due
dates, names, and belly sizes.
Her boss approached her the next week, "Jenny, I heard something about you." she said. "I hope it's something good!" she laughed. "I heard you're pregnant." Jenny was afraid. She had just gotten the job and knew a lot of employers would rather hire a new person again than have to deal with finding a replacement for maternity leave. "Yes, I'm due a few days after Lacey is. It's a boy." "Oh, okay, well congrats, I didn't even know!" her boss replied with a smile. "What, the huge belly didn't give me away?". Jennifer went on about how skinny Jenny was, and there's no way she was that far along. Jenny was ecstatic, she wasn't being fired!
Derek's Massive Failure
Derek called her every night and texted everyday. He begged her
to come visit all the time, but she couldn't just jump up and
drive that far away on a whim. She was 7 months pregnant when he
finally talked her into driving up to stay the night with him and
he'd come home for a week with her and take the train back up
After they got back to Jenny's house, Derek didn't spend much time with her before he had her drop him at his friend's house. He didn't even remember that her birthday was in a couple of days. Her mom called him the next day and told him that he better make his girlfriend a cake for her birthday especially since she spent so much gas money and time going up there to get him. He never did. He never even called.
She knew deep down, there was never going to be a future with him. He could never be who she needed him to be and their relationship was just doomed from the start. So, Jenny went on to be a single pregnant working mother of a special needs child. She held her head high and continued her life. She had to do what was best for her kids and that's all that mattered.
Preparing for Baby
Ashley and Missy texted Jenny first thing in the morning the next week. "Wake up, Ashley just got $14,000!"
The girls went shopping for baby clothes and got Jenny a new maternity outfit. They went out to eat and spent the day not worrying. A day without worries was so few and far between, Jenny didn't want it to end.
By the time the new year came, her sister and her girlfriend had bought a baby monitor, diapers, wipes, clothes, and bottles for the baby's first 3 months. Jenny already had a bouncy seat, and swing, so it looked like things were almost in order, but now she needed a crib. Her ex-husband and his girlfriend called her up and surprised her by loaning her their bassinet. Now, she was ready for this baby!
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong
It was a normal Monday. Jenny, now 8 months pregnant, had just gotten to work at 11 am and was only there a little over an hour before the lunch rush began at her fast food job. Her manager, Sarah brought the store phone to her and didn't day anything. Jenny gave her a puzzled look and answered, "Hello, this is Virginia." It was Tawny, Zachary's dad's girlfriend. Zach had went to his dad's from school that day at 10:30 am to come visit with him. Tawny said "Zachy's having a seizure they're taking him to the hospital." "What?!", Jenny asked, not understanding why he would be having a seizure! She hung up and grabbed her purse, ran to her manager, Jennifer, and started rambling, "I have to go, I gotta go now!" Jennifer had overheard Jenny asking about an ambulance and hospital on the phone and knew something was very wrong. Jennifer told her, "It's okay, go ahead, call me later and let me know everything is okay." She ran out the door at work, crying and shaking, jumped over a 5 foot snow mound and did 75 in the car all the way to the hospital. She got to the ER and her mom, sister Missy, and Mark's mom all met her crying their eyes out. Mark hugged his ex-wife trying to calm her down before he began to actually order her to breathe. She went into the room and saw her baby boy lying on the bed asleep. He had an oxygen mask on and didn't even flinch when she and her big belly crawled into the bed with him and held on as tight as she could. Zachary had been perfectly fine when she dropped him off at school that morning. His teachers said he was very happy and just as good as gold that day. Mark's mom picked him up at school and dropped him off at Mark and Tawny's house since Jenny was working. She had laid Zach down for a nap but when Mark got home she went to check on him and she called Mark into the bedroom because he was unresponsive. She said that his eyes were open but he wasn't moving or reacting to anything at all. Once Mark went into the bedroom Zachary began to shake. Mark said he covered himself in vomit and was having violent shaking. A seizure.
This coming from a child who is THE healthiest special needs
child they knew! At Herrin ER they drew blood, did a CT, and an
X-Ray to find nothing. Mark's mom said they were going to send
him home, but Jenny kept asking them to call St. Louis and ask
the nuerosurgeon what they think up there. Not very long before
the ambulance got there for Zach, he woke up looked at his mommy
and signed to her "Finished" as he tried taking the wires off his
chest! The ambulance picked Zachary up and took him to Cardinal
Glennon. The hospital they had come to view as their second home.
Sheila and Jenny drove up to the hospital in Sheila's car. Mark
couldn't go because he didn't want to call in to work. Once they
got to the ER, Zachary was awake and although confused and
scared, seemed perfectly fine as if nothing had happened. He was
admitted and sent to a private room upstairs and got some sleep.
Jenny slept in the bed with her baby boy and his grandma slept on
the couch just a couple feet away.
7 am Tuesday, the whole slew of doctors came in, They had become very used to that, and it no longer scared them. Now it just made everyone anxious to see what they would say. They sent Zachary for an EEG. The lady put electrodes all over his head, which he despised, then turned off the light and let us sit in the bed with a camera watching us. Less than 10 minutes later Zachary fell asleep, just like the doctor had hoped he would. She then woke him after watching his brain waves for a few minutes and held a strobe light in front of him and watched his brain activity again. Jenny and Zachary went back to their room and watched TV, played, laughed and sang until the doctors all came back in to tell them the results.
"Zachary has Epilepsy caused from the bleeding in his brain at birth. He has Generalized tonic-clonic seizures. We're surprised he hasn't had a seizure before this one with as much seizure activity the EEG showed."
They put him on Keppra, a widely used anti-epileptic medication and sent him home with instructions on how to use the emergency medication if he had a seizure lasting more then 5 minutes.
A boy without a father
Jenny went to her doctor and was told that even if she wanted to try to have a VBAC(Vaginal Birth After C-section) her doctor believed she would only end up in labor for hours before he would have to take her in for a repeat C-section anyway. He gave her the choice to wait 2 weeks and try that or to wait a week and go ahead with the C-section. She thought about it, and it terrified her to think of going through labor all day once induced just to end up going in for the surgery anyway, so she chose to schedule her second son's birth. She made arrangements with boss to continue to work until that day as her doctor said it would not be good on her body to go to work all day before her C-section. She would have to remain on maternity leave until the full 6 weeks after birth to avoid any complications.
She sent Zachary to stay with his dad until after she was healed from the C-section. She wasn't supposed to be lifting anything over 10 lbs for 6 weeks, and Zachary still could not walk and with his new condition, she was terrified that she would bust her staples out if he went into a seizure before she was healed.
She was packing up her car when she saw Jeff drive by in his work truck, she tried to wave him down to let him know she was on her way to the hospital to give birth, but he didn't stop. She would've liked having someone other than her mom and sisters there with her.
Her sister Missy was the person who went into the operating room with her. The choice was made because even though their mother wanted so badly to be in there, Jenny wanted the person who could take the most and best pictures in there so she knew she would have every moment on photo.
The surgery began and Jenny was not afraid, but she was anxious. Once the doctor pulled him out and she heard his little cries she busted into happy tears! The doctor lifted him up for them to see. He was perfect and healthy. She was so relieved!
Sheila brought Zachary up to see his mom later that evening and let him hold his baby brother. He loved him from the moment he saw him and couldn't get enough hugs! Jenny was so proud of her baby boys! She was now the proud single working mother to two boys.
She spent her time in the hospital breastfeeding, eating, and sleeping. She chose to room-in with the baby, he only went to the nursery twice during their stay, and Jenny felt bad for being away from him those times!
Derek called her in the hospital to ask if he could come get her housekey to move his things out of her house, but she refused. "You'll just have to wait until it's convenient for me. I am in the damn hospital and just gave birth, the world doesn't revolve around you," She told him and hung up.
**Copyright 2010. Not to be shared or copied without written permission from author.**