The Perfect Little Family

I was beyond ecstatic for a few weeks and wore maternity clothes almost immediately, I wanted everyone to know I was pregnant; I wanted the cutest maternity outfits.

Then the paranoia set in and I was afraid I might miscarry. Every possible thing I could worry about I obsessed about, the doctor even gave me an ultrasound in hopes of calming my fears but it only worked for a few weeks and then I was obsessing again. If the baby didn’t kick often enough I feared it was dead inside me, I obsessed about it being deformed because I had smoked and drank before I knew I was pregnant, and then there was my obsession with my weight. Having been anorexic prior to getting pregnant and then eating like a horse once I found out I was pregnant I gained a phenomenal amount of weight very quickly. I was 135 lbs when I got pregnant and 207 lbs when I went into labour. The motorcycle club had a pool going to see who could guess my weight when I finally went into labour. Victor would come home to find me on the bed crying, he’d say, “You looked in your closet again didn’t you?” and he would hop on his bike and come home with a new maternity outfit.

One day while I was working I was away from my wicket and when I returned there was a vase on the counter with one single rose in bloom and single rose bud and the card said, “One for you and one for the baby. With all my love Victor.” He never once made me feel fat or unattractive, even when I got stuck in our water bed and couldn’t roll myself out of bed he never even hinted at making fun of me. (Smart man)

It was November and I had been told I could have the baby any day and the baby’s room still wasn’t done, Victor was planning on going hunting in a couple of days and we were arguing. I said you aren’t going any where until that baby’s room is done (you never told Victor what to do unless you wanted the exact opposite thing to happen but my hormones were talking) and he said he’d do it when he got back. I was at the stove frying hamburger, holding the frying pan with my right hand and stirring with my left as he walked past the kitchen door heading to the bedroom. Before I knew it; almost like an out of body experience I flung the frying pan in his direction. The frying pan hit the wall in the hallway taking a chunk out of the wall and narrowly missing him. Hamburger flew every where, I burst out crying and Victor poked his head slowly from around the corner of the doorjamb not sure if something else would come flying in his direction. Victor went into the bathroom and started a bubble bath for me, guided me into the bathroom and told me to relax, he scraped up the hamburger from the walls and floor washed the floors and wall and ate it the hamburger swearing it was delicious (good thing I was obsessive about keeping my house clean). The next day he did the baby’s room before he went hunting.

A few weeks before I gave birth Victor had been at the legion drinking and wanted to take his opened half bottle of wine home with him but the bouncer wouldn’t let him and he had punched the guy, breaking his jaw. I had been furious and we called the guy offering to pay whatever he needed as long as he didn’t press charges; luckily the guy was decent enough, we paid his dental bill and nothing more came of it. Victor promised me he would quit drinking.

The other issue we had was that he never was faithful; he just could not pass up the opportunity to screw another woman. It bothered me terribly, every time he went out with his buddies I never knew if he was with another woman or not. He didn’t have affairs, I’m sure he never saw the women again, it was when he was drinking and he told me once that he just couldn’t pass up a new pussy. He didn’t know what he thought he’d be missing.

As strange as it may sound to you although it upset me terribly and we had many fights over it, I never felt he didn’t love me or that it was my fault in any way or that I wasn’t attractive. He wasn’t like JC, he never blamed me for his infidelity, and he always took responsibility.

I never slept until he got home, but when I heard the door I would pretend to be asleep, he would come to the bedroom door way and watch me sleeping. One night he said,” I really do love you you know, I am so sorry.” While I was pregnant I am sure he didn’t screw around, although I did get jealous one time when I came home just in time to pick him up for prenatal classes and I walked in to a houseful of people and a woman on his workout bench with her legs spread and his face 6 inches from her crotch. Victor did tattoos on the side and the woman wanted a black widow spider coming out of the hair down there. Here I am feeling like a beached whale and he’s down there tattooing; well I guess you can imagine how well that went over.

I finally went into labour on December 20th 1983; because I had been in labour so long with my first pregnancy I didn’t want to go to the hospital until I was really ready. When Victor came home from work that day I told him I’d been in labour all day and he wanted to go to the hospital immediately but I told him to order a pizza because the minute this baby was born I was going on a diet. He wanted sex one last time because he knew I wouldn’t be having sex for a month or so after having the baby. I am sure having sex sped up the labour pains because we didn’t even finish and I said we have to go to the hospital now. I left the house with a piece of pizza in my hand and we arrived at the hospital at 8:15 pm. The nurse checked me and said I wasn’t dilated at all and it was going to be all night. Victor rolled his eyes and she said he should go home and get some rest and they would call when I got closer. I told him not to go; there was no way it was going to take that long. As with my first baby the contractions didn’t come regularly and they had to break my water, I kept telling the nurse the baby was coming and she kept telling I wasn’t near ready; my doctor was at a wine and cheese party and she didn’t want to bother him. They had quite a busy night with babies being born and there was a lull, the nurse said she’d wheel me into the delivery room to give me a change of scenery. I wasn’t in the delivery room more than 5 minutes and I said, “The baby is coming, I have to push!” Victor whipped my slippers off and put my feet in the stirrups the nurse was saying, “Don’t push, don’t push!!” I said, “This baby is coming now, someone had better get over here.” Just then the doctor ran through the door with his arms outstretched and they put the gown on him as he came through the door, he got to me just in time to catch the baby as I gave one more push.

Victor gave me the blow by blow description of the birth, “There’s the head, there’s the back, there’s the bum, there’s the balls, IT’S A BOY!!!”

Kris was born at 10:20pm. and weighed 8 lbs 1 ½ ozs, he bruised his nose on the way out and Victor and I laughed because he had his dad’s nose. (Victor’s nose had been broken a few times and was kinda flattened out) Kristofer was beautiful, perfect, bald as a cue ball, 10 chubby little toes, 10 chubby little fingers, pink and healthy. I didn’t know it but my family was in the waiting room and they were allowed to come in immediately after Kris was born, while the doctor was still stitching me up. Finally I had what I had been praying for for so long, a healthy baby boy (although a girl would have been just fine with me I did want a boy and Victor although he always said “as long as it’s healthy” wanted a boy, we could have found out the sex of the baby when they did the ultrasound but we didn’t want to know ahead of time.) the nurse had given me something for pain about an hour before because the pain had been so intense and she didn’t think I was going to deliver that night at all, and it kicked in about the same time Kris was born. Everyone left to give me time to rest and there I was wide awake at 10:45pm, all by myself feeling like I was on top of the world, stoned out of my gourd and no one to talk to. I remember saying as everyone was leaving, “Someone bring me a glass of wine, no never mind make it the whole bottle!”

True to his word Victor hardly drank for the next 5 weeks, right through Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I was nervous he would go out and get drunk after he left the hospital but he went straight home and called everyone we knew but he didn’t drink. My mom and dad gave me a gold chain for my wrist with a gold charm of a pair of booties to commemorate Kris’s birth. (I treasured those booties for 27 years, the chain had broken and I had put the booties on a gold chain around my neck and wore them that way for many years until that chain broke and then I put them away for safe keeping along with some of Kris’s baby teeth, his hospital wrist band and other mementos. In 2010 I saw a little silver bullet shaped container for sale at the counter in a gas station and thought it was perfect for keeping the booties in and bought it. I took it home and showed JC how I had put the booties and Kris’s baby teeth in it and put it on my key chain as a good luck charm. Kris had moved away and it was a way of me keeping him close. Around the time JC and I were splitting the silver bullet disappeared off my keychain, I tore the house and truck apart but never found the silver container. I asked JC about it and he didn’t seem to even remember me showing him the container or what I had put in it. After we were split he had me haul his tools from his last job because he had been fired, when we got back to his/our place I went into the music room to warm up and there on the coffee table was the silver container, the latch that held it onto my keychain wasn’t broken and it was empty. I took it out to the fire where JC was standing and asked him where he got it from. He shrugged and said he didn’t know. I said, “This is the container I had Kris’s booties in.” He asked where I found it and I said in the music room, then he said he found it in some of his son’s stuff that Allen left behind when he left so suddenly. He said Allen must have stolen it, you know how he was stealing everything. But I had it after Allen left, he left in May and I know I had it in October when I went to visit my son in Kelowna because I showed it to him. I didn’t argue with JC and just told him that if he came across them I would really like them back. If there was anything in this world that I cherished it was those booties and he knew it and it was his passive aggressive way to hurt me). Sorry I digressed; back to Victor.

He took to fatherhood like a duck to water, he was bathing Kris, changing diapers, and wanted to take Kris every where he went. He’d take the snuggly with him and take Kris to the bike shop, to visit friends, and he’d get up with him in the middle of the night. I wasn’t breast feeding because I wanted to diet and was going back to work after 2 months so it was easy for Victor to go alone. I was the nervous new parent but he was a natural at caring for a baby. The baby would be asleep and I would get up from watching TV with Victor and pretend I was going to the bathroom and I’d hear Victor, “leave that poor kid alone!! He’s fine, don’t you dare wake him up.” Because he knew I was going to sneak in and make sure he was still breathing.

We had gotten a Springer Spaniel puppy that my dad’s pure bred male Springer had sired and even he loved the baby, we had the perfect little family. I really didn’t want to go back to work full time again and leave Kris with a baby sitter all day and Victor and I talked and agreed I would go back part time. In those days you only got 6 weeks maternity leave and in the 5th week I talked to the bank and they agreed to lay me off which would mean I would qualify for unemployment benefits a lot longer and I would only work a day or two a week for the first while.

On Thursday February 2nd, Victor went out and traded my Honda Civic, our old Fargo pickup truck and a holiday trailer my foster brother had given us all on a 1981 Reliant K car and surprised me with it. He said he got it because he didn’t want me driving with the baby in a vehicle that was unsafe, drafty or might leave me stranded. I was thrilled with it, sure it was just a K car but it was burgundy and had velour interior and was the nicest car I had ever had.

On Saturday February 4th, 1984 I went out with girlfriends for a nice dinner and Victor stayed home with Kris and on the Sunday he had plans to go for a motorcycle ride with my dad and a friend, Ken. It was unusually warm for early February and a beautiful day for a bike ride. Victor rode his bike 12 months out of the year, it was an agreement we had, that if he bought a brand new bike it couldn’t be for pleasure only and he said he’d drive it to work and he did almost every day, he had a snowmobile suit for riding in winter and rain gear for the rainy season, full leather pants and jacket, gloves, mitts, full face and regular helmet, he rode in snow, ice any conditions so he was a seasoned rider. On this Sunday he had on his full leathers, riding boots, helmet and leather riding gloves. It was such a beautiful day and I felt a little jealous to be left at home, I loved the motorcycle but it was his day with the guys. After Kris’s nap I put him in his stroller and walked the 2 miles to my mom’s and we drank some wine and sat out side on the patio. She drove me home about dinner time and I mentioned I was concerned the guys were still not home and she assured me they were fine, just enjoying their guy time; but as it got dark I had uneasiness but I couldn’t pinpoint what I was so uneasy about, I knew he wouldn’t be screwing around, not with my dad along. I dozed off lying on the couch with Kris in my arms and around 9:30 woke up with a start. I checked and Victor wasn’t home. I didn’t know whether to be pissed off or worried, it certainly wasn’t the first time he’d been late, but the fact that he was with my dad told me to relax I was worrying for nothing. I went to bed and finally fell back to sleep, only to be woken up by the phone ringing at about 11 pm. I had a hard time waking up and the phone seemed to be ringing forever. Finally I answered, “Hello?”

“Is this Mrs. Ouellette?”

“Yes”

“This is Abbotsford Hospital calling, when you come in to visit your husband can you stop at the front desk please, we have some of his belongings here.”

“Abbotsford Hospital? What are you talking about?”

“Your husband was admitted earlier tonight and we have his belongings at the front desk.”

“What do you mean he was admitted, what’s wrong? what happened?”

“I don’t know madam; you’d have to talk to the emergency dept about that.”

“Emergency? Can you put me through please?” my mind was racing, what would he have been doing in Abbotsford? They went to Sumas Washington.

“Just one moment.”

I could feel the panic welling up inside me and I was telling myself to stay calm, it must be some mistake, my dad would have called if something bad had happened. Maybe they parted ways and he went to a bar alone maybe he was in a bar fight and got stabbed or something. I waited for what seemed like an eternity and then realized she must have dropped the call. I wear contact lenses so couldn’t see and in my panic I couldn’t find my glasses, I was shaking so badly I could barely dial the phone but managed to finally get information and they put me through to the emergency ward at Abbotsford Hospital.

“It’s Carrie Ouellette calling, I was just told my husband Victor, was admitted to the hospital tonight.”

“Hold on, I’ll get you his nurse.”

“Hello? Mrs. Ouellette?”

“Yes, what’s going on? What happened to my husband?”

“He’s had a motorcycle accident Mrs. Ouellette and he’s on his way to surgery”

“I am on my way, this is Abbotsford hospital?”

“Yes Abbotsford emergency but, there really is no point in coming down here Mrs. Ouellette, he’s on his way to surgery now and isn’t expected to survive there’s no point in you coming.”

I hung up. Not expected to survive? It must be a mistake. My dad would have called. No, it has to be a mistake, Victor can’t be dying, he has to come home, we just had a baby.

Posted by Carrie the Lady Witha Truck

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8 thoughts on “The Perfect Little Family

    • No I didn’t. Of everything I lost while with JC that is the one thing that really bothers me. At one point in our relationship I pawned all my jewelry, (in fairness he did pawn his some of his guitars) but I never pawned those booties. I didn’t want to take the chance I wouldn’t get them back. He knew how important they were to me. They had “disappeared” twice before and he “found” them and I was so grateful I thought this time if I didn’t accuse him or get angry he might “find” them again. But nope and I am sure they are long gone by now. Its not like he can give them to his new g/f, well maybe if they have a child. Oh bite my tongue! God forbid that should ever happen!

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  1. Carrie, your load is painful, really painful. To me, and I’ve been through shit – when I read your stuff, it is just painful. You have endured so much.

    As for not being able to pass up sleeping with another woman – that’s just pathetic. You shouldn’t have accepted that, I don’t feel. And punching the bouncer! You ARE lucky he didn’t press charges. Geez…

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    • Victor was a bar room brawler, true stereotypical French Canadian. But he never laid a hand on me.

      At the time I thought his infidelity was inexcusable we had horrible fights and broke up over it a couple of times.

      But my dad was never faithful to my mom and when you grow up with that kind of double standard it really messes with your mind.

      And he treated me so well in every other area of our life together. He never forgot a birthday, he worked two jobs if he had to in order to keep us fed, he helped around the house, did laundry etc. If I would have let him he would have cooked but I never let anyone in my kitchen because they might make a mess.

      You know people do things (and I am guilty of this too I am sure) without thinking of the lifelong damage they do to their children. Victor was the 4th boy born because his mom wanted a girl, the 5th child was a girl. He always knew he wasn’t really wanted and I think that had a lot to do with the way he was as an adult.

      Victor was a very lovable guy, trust worthy, honest, and a loyal friend. I really have never had much bad to say about him. He had a childlike sweetness about him that is hard to describe, but everyone loved him.

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