This is the second part of The Story of a Deadbeat Dad. To read the first part, click here.
Most of my pregnancy was pretty routine. There wasn’t anything unexpected, and we had a blast feeling him move in my belly. We attended the typical childbirth class, as first time parents do, even though he’d already been through this. Towards the end of my pregnancy, the hospital staff began to recognize us because of how many times we went in swearing I was in labor. When I finally did go into labor, it was early in the morning. My water had broken. We rushed to the hospital (I had to drive, because at this point, his license was suspended from not paying child support because he still didn’t have a job). Twenty-seven hours later, on October 21st, Dylan was finally born.
In the months to follow, things fell apart. He was working for his Dad (for cash so he didn’t have to pay child support) and his Dad kept promising him money when jobs were done, and then not paying him, making excuses about why he didn’t have the money. We were extremely broke, and the only time we got any money is when he begged his Dad for it when we needed diapers and stuff like that. Our bills weren’t getting paid. I begged him to get another job, but he refused, believing that eventually his Dad was going to pay him. I slowly realized that I was the only parent in the house. He wouldn’t change diapers because they made him gag, so I had to do it all. I was getting so frustrated that I wanted nothing to do with him, and in order to get him to help out around the house, I’d bribe him with sex.
In March of 2004, when Dylan was four months old, I found out I was pregnant again. I didn’t know what to do. I already had so much on my plate, and we couldn’t afford to live as it was. I didn’t know how we were going to afford another kid. Shortly after that, we got kicked out of our apartment.
We ended up moving in with his Dad (who lived with HIS parents), since he was working with him (still unpaid). We were confined to a small room that was barely big enough for a bed, crib, and some walking space. It was also the room that had the drain that the washing machine emptied out into, so every time laundry was being done, half of the floor was a puddle. My only goal was to have enough money saved to have our own place by the time the baby was born. But with a job he wasn’t getting paid for, it wasn’t looking good.
While we were living there, I learned a great deal about his family history. As it turns out, his Dad was a deadbeat. He never paid child support (I still am not 100% sure how many actual brothers and sisters he really has, and by how many women), and he would promise to come pick him up, and then never come. This is what ultimately led to his step-dad adopting him, and his deadbeat dad giving up his rights.
On November 8th, when I woke up and sat up to get out of bed, my water broke. I already had my hospital bag packed, so I woke him up, got Dylan dressed, and all three of us got into the car. I realized we’d forgotten something, and sent him in to get it. While he was in there, his Grandma told him that she didn’t want us coming back there with the baby. She didn’t want a baby living in that room. So, with that bomb dropped on us, and me crying and in labor, we headed to the hospital (again, with me driving, because he still didn’t have a license).
After Piper was born, the nurses were concerned about how depressed I was. Finally, I broke down and told them that we had nowhere to go after we left the hospital, and explained the situation. They told us that we couldn’t leave the hospital with Piper until we had somewhere to go, and gave us an extra night at the hospital to try and get things figured out. His Grandma, that kicked us out a few days prior, was gracious (can you hear the sarcasm) enough to call and give us a list of homeless shelters.
At the very last minute, my sister told us that we could come stay with her, her fiance,
and their kid, in their two bedroom apartment, if he got a job. He agreed, because it’s the only thing he could do. I told him that if we didn’t have our own place by Christmas, which was a month and a half away, I would leave him. It wasn’t him that ended up getting a job though. It was me. I left him and the kids at my sisters house while I worked. My sister said that he didn’t do anything all day, and left her to take care of the kids, especially the diaper-changing. Without any thanks to him, two days before Christmas, we signed papers for our own place. On Christmas eve, I snuck to the still-empty apartment, put up a tiny Christmas tree, and bought the kids some presents from the Dollar Store so they had something to open on Christmas morning.
Shortly after we moved in, I realized that my minimum wage income wasn’t going to cut it. He, amazingly, still couldn’t get a job, so I was forced to get a second job, and leave him home alone with them all day.