January 7, 2011

Happily Ever After

So for those who know me well. You all know that I have always wanted to be a mommy. I just felt it was something I wanted to do in my life. So when I finally found that someone who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.....I started to plan our future lives together in my head.

It consisted of Being happy, Chuck having a great job, me having our first child no later than when I was 25, and possibly having our second by then. I envisioned a cute little house, a nice car, and lot's of skipping and breaking out in song as we had a picnic in the woods. Little did I know that real life would smack us in the face and bring us back to reality. lol

We got married very young. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. But with so many people against our marriage we were determined to prove everyone wrong. Also I always felt guilty if I thought of not being with Chuck. I mean where would he go? It's not like his family would care. So we always stuck through the hard times and somehow made it. Then 9/11 happened and our world really changed. We had to grow up fast. It was not not a matter of trying to survive our immaturity at 20 years old....it was a matter of staying strong for each other as we faced the reality of war. We unknowingly became very dependent on each others courage to stay strong as he had to leave for deployment trainings, and buildups. His upcoming deployment strained us....but we survived the first one.

Starting a family had been set on the back burner for now. Chuck wanted to have a family, just not yet. He had such an awful example set before him.....that he wasn't eager to start one now. We still tried to stay strong for each other as we prepared for his second deployment, But the strain was really taking a toll. Not to mention we were both still very young and immature and really had no idea how to really make a marriage work yet.

Chuck left for his second deployment still a young boy and it was looking like my happily ever after wasn't so happy any more. This was a tough deployment for us. I was depressed and alone, and gained a lot of weight. But I managed to still write him every day. This was the worst deployment. Combat took it's toll on the unit. Chuck came home a changed man. We weren't sure where our Happily Ever After was, but we needed each other. I stopped taking anti depressants and birth control to see if that would help me. We took new orders and moved to a new base not far away. It was a good and bad move for us. We liked the area better....but we just weren't connecting. Chuck had changed his mind about having a family because of war and his family......and I watched as my 25th birthday came and went. I struggled to know what to do. I had married someone who wanted a family like me. And now that person didn't exist anymore.

We struggled through deployment #3 and found ourselves a little stronger by the end of it.

The fourth deployment came and was very different. Chuck was on a ship this time and wouldn't be in danger as much. We found ourselves growing closer over the deployment and needed each other more. It was a tough deployment for us to be separated. Normally we did fine during deployments as we are both very independent. But this time we needed and missed each others company. We had reached a new plateau in our marriage. We knew that Happily Ever After wasn't what we thought it would be....but we knew that we made a good fit 99.9% of the time. We knew that no one else would put up with out faults, and that we were good for each other. We missed each other a lot and by the time the end of the deployment came we couldn't wait to see each other. It was a wonderful homecoming and we had a great little welcome home honeymoon phase as they call it.

Chuck still was against having children and I ached inside as the reality was starting to set in that I may never get to fulfill my dreams. Chuck was considering making his job a career and so that meant constant moving and deployments. Constantly having to adjust to new surroundings, and of course always being apart. Chuck was really burned out from the last 4 deployments and needed some serious down time. So we accepted new orders for I&I staff further north. We had been told that this was a non-deployable unit.....but that is what we had been told in his first unit as well, and that is where he deployed twice. So we packed up our lives again and moved 6 hours north. We settled down and started our little lives here. I started working full time, and so did Chuck. He worked a lot harder than he normally did in units, but he also got a lot more time off. I was enjoying working and feeling like I was making a difference.

Then things changed and I found myself not able to work. We started attending our local ward and found it to be really amazing. We loved going to church on Sundays. But it didn't matter what I said or did Chuck just wasn't going to change his mind on starting a family. I struggled a lot with it, but tried to put on my brave face. I wasn't even sure I could have children seeing as how I had been off of birth control for 5 years now. We should have had more than one accident by then. But I tried to be the good wife, and not pester him about it. But seeing Chuck with other people's kids just made it worse. He is so good with kids, and they always love him. I just didn't understand. But I tried not to say anything.

I felt as though my life were passing me by. Everything I had hoped for in my marriage wasn't happening. I wasn't getting sealed to my husband for time and all eternity. I wasn't going to get to start a family and be a mommy. I would never get the education I wanted or have the job I wanted. I felt like I was merely here for Chuck and that is all. I started to feel very empty inside.

My 30th birthday came and Chuck gave me a spark of hope for a family but I wasn't going to let it get my hopes up. I didn't think I could handle another big disappointment. So we agreed that on my 31st birthday we would talk about starting a family if he had been allowed to purchase a Harley that I didn't really want. So that was that. We didn't talk about it after that. Then 3 months later on a Sunday after a friend had talked to us at Church......Chuck changed his mind on starting a family He gave up his ability to buy the Harley by buying a new car that was safer for our family. And we got pregnant right away.

Now 9 months later we are counting down the days until our son Riley Patrick is born. We have grown so much in this 9 months as a couple. Our lives have been changing around us as we make decisions that are based more around us as a family rather than the young hip couple we thought we were. And I have to say it is an incredible feeling. We are waiting for our next set of orders to see where that life will take us.

I now feel that even though I do not have a fairy tale life or marriage, and my Happily Ever After is no Disney tale....I am okay with that. I am married to a good, hard working man who is my best friend and confidant. And you know.....this Happily Ever After that I am starting to see.....isn't so bad. It may not be all about picnics in the forest while we skip and sing with all our little animal friends.....or magic and glitter......but it is starting to look pretty good from this end, and I can't wait to see what it has in store for us.

We both know that we can handle just about anything. Crazy in-laws....Check! Cars or credit cards getting stolen....Check!! Shootings or stabbings on our doorstep......Check!!! Long deployments of separation.....Check!!! Death.......Check!! And surviving each other......double check!!! We are good together and are pretty sure we can handle whatever life tries to throw at us.

Love you all
XoXo-Andrea Carla

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