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Things Change

 4 years

That’s how long I was away. 

That is how long it took me to forget that nothing there changed and that I was a completely different person. 

I moved away from my hometown when I was 24. It was my first move out of state and I was married and pregnant, with 2 other kids in tow. 

I was so very excited but also so very unsure. I had no idea what to expect. I did not have a job ( which I was 30 weeks pregnant, so I knew that would have to wait). We did not have a house because we were still on the base housing wait list ( stupid) but we did find a short term rental in Port Richey. 

Anyone from the south can tell you that 30 miles will take you 30 minutes. That is because most of the roads you are traveling on are 2 lane back roads with no traffic.  

Port Richey was was 49 miles from MacDill- Let me be VERY clear. It was NOT 49 minutes or even close to that. 

We were only suppose to be down for around 10 days to find a rental- which we did – CHECK! And get me established with a OB doctor since I was 30 weeks along and high risk. CHECKKKKK….ISH….Yea instead of being there for only 10 days and then heading back to NC to meet the moving company and pick up the girls…I just went ahead and decided to have the baby instead…. ( terrible timing)

So yea, I was good and got my appointment that first Monday we were here. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like my new doctor. I had been seeing the same one since I had my first baby 6 years prior. But I could tell my blood pressure was not good. I had a machine to check it at home and I was recording my numbers and they were not even close to being ideal. I thought they would just put me on bed rest or something though.

So we woke up early and drove the 90 or so minutes to Tampa just to get stuck in traffic and end up late. To make matters worse we showed up to the wrong location late.

We got back in the car and I am already in tears at this point having our first real Tampa experience. We get to the correct doctors office and check in was kind of a blur along with actually meeting the doctor, although I do remember her having Blonde hair.

I am sure I do not remember all the small details because I was hyper focused on the fact that they had tested my urine and it had large amounts of protein and my blood pressure wasn’t great. So I knew what was coming.

Sure enough, the doctor sent us right across the street to Tampa General ( which sounded like a soap opera or something). While walking across the street I noticed a McDonalds attached to the hospital. ** Don’t mind if I do** I am pretty sure I picked up the pace at this point and if you remember a previous blog about my first c- section experience you would have thought it was the last place I would want to go.

Nope! I walked straight for that door with my husband tailing behind me asking me what in the world I was doing. “I am going to eat. Because I know when I get up there they are NOT going to let me eat for a long time and I am hungry”

Well everyone that knows me , knows that I am not a big breakfast eater. Well, guess what time it was??? Heck, I don’t remember but it was before 10:30 am because all they had was breakfast! ughhhhh So sausage and cheese biscuit and hash browns it was.

After that, we walked around the hospital until we found where we were going. L&D- 3rd Floor. Odd thing about this place was that they wanted our picture where ever we went. Now I do not think it is so weird but coming from a small town area with a small town hospital where everyone knows all the doctors and nurses..it was new.

I got settled in the room and they started asking a million and one questions and then in came some realllllly old doctor and he was talking about doing some test with pitocin that would show how the baby would handle labor ( his heart rate). I was over there thinking, ” Like..why are we about to induce me to see how he does and then stop it? What if it doesn’t stop”

Well I did not have to think about that too long because the next thing I know, the nurse comes in and says that I am actually having small contractions that I guess I could not even feel and that the babies heart rate was dropping each time and my blood pressure was just not hanging where it should be hanging.

She then goes on to tell me that they are getting the OR ready for me, she hands Chance a “sterile” outfit to put on over his clothes, and tells me that transport will be on the way to get me soon. What. In. The. World. Is. Happening?

So there we were completely blindsided in a new state, alone. I remember shortly after he was born and I was in recovery, Chance had to go all the way back to the rental house and let our puppies out. I was completely alone, nothing but my thoughts to keep me company.

So looking back I have gotten extremely off topic, getting back into the whole subject of this post- my husband and I made it through that and the trivial next few months that were spent having to- give our dogs up for adoption, moving out of our rental and into the Ronald McDonald house, and then finally getting our house on MacDill months after arriving.

Over that next 4 years, as a family, we experienced many illness’, custody battles, devastating diagnosis, many deployments, and several other life altering situations. We either did it together as a family or separate as a family because to be completely real, Chance was gone roughly 2.5 years out of the 4 we were in Florida. I had a sense of pride that no matter what was thrown at us, we were able to get through it.

Regardless of how prideful I was, I was excited to go back “home” after 4 years. I was excited for cookouts with family, hometown restaurants( let’s be honest..I am only talking about Bojangles), and time with friends.

What I did not expect was to move back home and feel completely out of place.

Unfortunately that is what happened. I am in no way talking down about my home town. But there was just a way of life I was used to at that point in my life and now everything just looked so different. I had spent a ROUGH 4 years away and I came back to people treating me the exact same as when I left, without giving me the credit of growing as a person.

It was harsh and unfair. It was home.

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