Let me tell you about when I got pregnant with my oldest son.
My parents “invited” me to leave the house on December 1st, 1993. I wasn’t working at the time, and Chris had just lost his job and was on Community Assistance. I had some money saved up and when I went to get it from my and Chris’ account it was gone! When he was in the army he hadn’t returned all his gear when he was discharged, so they took MY money to cover it.
We had to make a deal with my landlord, pay him $100 dollars extra a month for 5 months instead of first and last months rent. We had no furniture. No dishes, nothing but two single beds and a dresser for our clothes. Luckily Chris’ parents got a new couch and gave us the old one. They also gave us their old TV, it was almost 20 years old.
Chris’ mom also gave us some old pots, plates and glasses. My parents gave us a few bucks for food and cleaning supplies, since the person who had lived there before us had died and nobody had really cleaned up the place.
Those first few months were awful. We went to the Food Bank and the Salvation Army, we got boxes of food from both places, and our area had really good food banks, due to the number of people unemployed when they closed the Goodyear and Arrowhead Metals plants.
We lived on oatmeal, peanut butter and crackers. We couldn’t afford juices so I drank Kool-Aid, and I ate a lot of instant soup and Jell-O.
My diet was so bad I passed out a few times, but I ate what I could get my hands on. Friends would come over and say they were hungry and order extra-large pizzas from 2-4-1, which meant they were actually getting 2 extra-large pizzas. Of course they couldn’t eat it all and the leftovers were always left behind. My parents would have us over for dinner at least twice a week, and once on the weekend since I went over there on the weekends to do my laundry.
I remember that Christmas so well. No tree, no decorations. We did put lights up on the window though, Chris’ dad thought that we needed some kind of holiday decoration so he bought us those musical lights. I remember sitting in my front room, actually the apartment only had a tiny bathroom, a galley kitchen and then there was the bedroom and one other room that acted like a living room and dining room combination. I sat there almost all Christmas eve. I had all the lights out, but the Christmas ones. The music was on. Chris was asleep in the bedroom. I sat there looking out the window at the snow falling and the ploughs driving through the streets. I sat bundled up in this old, ugly mud brown wool blanket. Our apartment was so cold. The rads didn’t work properly and our landlord had gone away for Christmas.
There I sat with a big mug of hot chocolate, a splurge for Christmas, in the freezing cold, but I was so happy! It should have been a miserable Christmas, but it wasn’t! I knew how many people loved me. I knew that next Christmas I would have a baby to share my joy with. I knew that things would get better.