Posted by: madkentdragon | March 27, 2010

Married Life early years


Eldest son was born a few months after the wedding and we settled down in a three room flat on the top floor of the In-laws house, one loo was shared by us all and as it was three floors down it, was more an “inconvenience” than a convenience!

I knew nothing about babies, being an only child of older parents I hadn’t come into contact with them much, as all my cousins were older than me. But we survived and Baby thrived. The in-laws left me alone most of the time and I felt like I was playing at keeping house – nothing felt real to me; I think I was in “Culture Shock”

Husband was one of 10 whose ages ranged from 46 to 18 and two adopted grandchildren who were brought up by the In-laws, alcohol and swearing was common place and I felt like a fish out of water and I toned my accent down to mix in with them – I’ve never got it back!

 His father was IN CHARGE and what he said went, whether you were married or not – if he said “Come Here” you came even if you had something planned for the day.

Baby grew and was soon crawling and I found that I was pregnant again! By this time we had moved to a little terraced house in a small town about 10 miles away from the In-Laws, but as the Father-in-Law wanted to go to the pub every night but couldn’t drive any more husband used to drive him, drink with him and drive him back, this left us short of money. So I took in accounts to do to make sure there was food on the table, but I learned to hold my tongue after I had complained about the pub and was given a couple of slaps for my trouble.

Father-in Law told Husband that I could go fruit picking to earn extra money if I couldn’t manage – he told him I must be spending too much! But the rent had to be paid, No1 had to be fed and so did Husband and the money was going down the pub! So 6 months pregnant I went cherry picking, climbing ladders and making good money, luckily the pregnancy didn’t show and I just got used to being called fat.

I finished fruit picking on August 5th and 18 days later, Son No 2 was born, as with the first one Husband phoned from the pub to find out if I’d had the baby, No 1 was with Mother-in-law or tucked up in his carry-cot in the car in the pub car-park.

No 2 arrived scrawny and screaming and seemed fine, I was anaemic because I’d not eaten enough of the right kind of food during pregnancy and had to have iron injections which were painful and made your bum feel like a pin cushion!

He came home, in the 60s it was the normal procedure for  you to be in hospital for 10 days for each birth, and Son No 1 clung to me as if he was frightened I’d disappear again. He’d regressed and was back in nappies, I’d got him clean during the day, but now it all had to start again, so two in nappies and no washing machine, but we survived. Now I knew it was all real, very little money after the pub, rent etc were paid so I went back out in the fields to work. Couldn’t afford child minding and I lost the accounts work when I went into hospital as Husband did not tell them I was in to have Baby – I was classed as unreliable!

I hid most of the money I earned, telling Husband that I couldn’t earn much with two babies to look after – well No 1 was 16 months old and No 2 was only 3 months, but that way I knew I’d have some money for the winter.

Then No 2 started to fail to thrive and I could no longer breast feed him, but he hated the bottle – I’d fed No 1 for 6 months – but this time my milk failed – I was too tired. He was admitted to hospital and remained there for 6 weeks whilst they did all manner of tests on him; they finally diagnosed him as having gamma-globulin anaemia which meant he could not fully protect himself from bugs. I’d kept him protected whilst I fed him, but of course there were no anti-bodies in bottle milk and he caught every kind of bug going, frequently losing weight and being re-admitted to hospital. And he cried non-stop, much to the annoyance of No 1 who refused to have anything to do with him “That bubby cry too much” was his constant complaint to any one who would listen to him, yet he continued to thrive and grew up, talking and walking early.

I had little contact with my parents, they went on holiday for the due date of No 1 who then decided to come into the world late; but they never visited and didn’t see him until I took him to visit them – after dark of course. Dad made a fuss of him, but Mum just be-moaned my missed chances in life – which at 18 I didn’t care about. When No 2 was on the way, she wrote to me and told me off saying how dare I have another baby so quick, it was shameful and I was letting myself down.

 That hurt, so I didn’t bother and I don’t think I saw either of them until the third time No 2 was admitted to hospital when I bumped into Dad as I was waiting to catch a bus home after visiting him (husband was with father-in-law).

Dad was upset that I’d got such a sick baby and we bonded again over a cup of tea, which gave me some back up at last but I couldn’t tell him about Husband’s drinking or the frequent slaps – too proud – or the fact that we were always broke. I’d made my bed so I had to lie on it.

I knew Husband had been married before, but he’d served 3 years in the RASC (this is the 60s) and I’d been told that this was the cause of the marriage break up, but now I was beginning to doubt that story and one day Mother-in-Law handed me a big envelope which contained all “Husband’s papers” as she put it, it wasn’t sealed so I looked through it, his red book was there – not very good – his birth certificate and the DIVORCE PAPERS!! Violent and un-reasonable behaviour!! why had no-one told me?? But it was too late and I was pregnant again.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: