Right before I got pregnant with Cassie, I was having a lot of trouble with my back – probably from carrying my big nine-month old baby around all the time. I went to see a chiropractor and if you’ve ever been to one you know it can be quite intensive. I was going two or three times a week at lunch. Since I work full time, this was the only time I could go. I went for several weeks and got better, but not 100%. Every time, I went, however there was drama with Brad. He would repeatedly call to check up on me. The chiropractor was female, but he decided that I was lying and that I was cheating on him with the chiropractor. Then he decided there was not chiropractor at all, and I that I was having lunchtime liaisons with some unspecified man. He said he would divorce me if I did not quit the chiropractor. So I quit.
When I was just over six months pregnant I went for an MRI because the doctors wanted to check some things out. Brad and I drove downtown in separate cars because I was planning to go to work afterword. As we were getting close, he calls me and tells me where the entrance is – he says “it’s by where the bus is”. I looked around and could not find the bus. When he finally saw my car, he was furious because I had not listened to his exact instructions. If I had, according to him, I would have seen the bus. I finally parked and got out of the car and he continued to harass me and said he was going home, and I was a terrible person for not listening to him, and I don't respect him and so on. He came on into the building, though, and there was icy silence as we sat waiting for the MRI. At this visit, I found out I had some potentially life-threatening complications with my pregnancy. It was dangerous for me and the baby and the doctors decided to schedule a caesarean section at seven and a half months (34 weeks). The four weeks between when I found this out and the actual delivery date were very stressful. I was constantly on edge, waiting for a sign things were getting worse, in which case I was to go immediately to the emergency room.
I decided I wanted my Dad to be there for the delivery because he is a very emotionally and physically strong person and would be a lot of help with me in the hospital, a baby in the NICU, and a toddler at home. My parents are divorced, so I could not have my mom at the same time. My sister called Brad and asked him about the situation with my Mom and Dad and they had a huge argument on the phone, according to him. (My sister did not agree that there anything more than a slightly tense verbal exchange when I told her about his reaction years later.) He confronted me about this situation with my sister when I was in ICU after the delivery of Cassie. I had not even seen Cassie yet, due to my situation and he insists on unloading on my about how mean my sister is and how my family is against him. He forces me to agree that I will never take the kids to see my sister without him or he’ll divorce me. I have to pick between my husband and my family he tells me (classic isolation tactic). Keep in mind, I am still very sick, and have tubes and wires attached to me all over the place, have not even seen my daughter yet, and his highest priority is extracting a promise about visits in the future. I was stunned, but I agreed, because there was no other option. I made a lot of these ‘agreements’ that I usually had no intention of keeping, but it was the only way to stop the arguing. He would continue to bully me until he got the answered he wanted.