It's easy to critique the works of others and get your work critiqued. Just follow the steps below:
1) Post your first piece.
2) You must then critique the work of another member to post another piece yourself.
3) For each critique you give, you earn 1 credit that can be used to post another one of your writings.
4) You can build up credits to be used at another time by giving critiques to others.
Our Daily Devotional
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.
TRUST JESUS TODAY
Elaine received a letter from Shawn just before he came into town to see her. It was around Easter time in April when Elaine curled up on her bed, and she read the letter. Her heart rate went up. She felt excited as to what he wanted to discuss with her.
He talked about his life on campus, and when she read the part where it said, "There is something that I have to tell you, Elaine." She became anxious.
Elaine thought that maybe he might ask her to marry him. Elaine thought of herself dressed in a white wedding gown with her friend and neighbor, Kate as her bridesmaid.
When Shawn came down to visit Elaine, Elaine ran to the door to meet him. She was so excited to see him. Shawn had blonde wavy hair, and dark blue eyes. He was about 5'9 in height, and skinny. Shawn and Elaine embraced each other. When Shawn entered the house, his smile faded, and he had serious look on his face.
"I have to talk to about something, Elaine. It has been on my mind for some time."
Elaine nodded, as her heart beat very fast. She thought this was the moment that he might propose to her. Elaine and Shawn went out on the patio by themselves as Elaine's mother was fixing a snack for Elaine and Shawn. Shawn sighed, and closed his eyes before he said,
"I want you to know that I like you very much, but we should live our own lives now."
"What do you mean?"asked Elaine.
"What I mean is that you and I can always be friends, but I am not ready for a serious relationship, yet. I have my schooling to think about. I have 2 more years of university. I don't know what's going to happen then, Elaine."
Elaine became disappointed, and then she cried, and said,
"But I love you, Shawn. Are you telling me that you don't love me anymore?"
"I don't know, Elaine," replied Shawn gently, but I will always care for you. Please try to understand."
Elaine never expected to hear this from Shawn at all. She thought that he wanted to spend the rest his life with her. She cried as she said,
"I don't quite understand you, Shawn. I thought that we have a good relationship, and that nothing would come between us."
Shawn sighed impatiently, and said,
"I know, Elaine, but I am not sure if I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I have other things in life to focus on. I have to go back to work to pay for some of my tuition fees this September. I will be working almost every day. I have to go home now. My mother is expecting me. I have unpack the rest of my stuff. I will talk to you later."
Shawn never bothered to shake her hand or hug her good bye. She found Shawn rather ruthless and cold when he just went to get in his car.
Elaine continued to cry, and she ran into the house.
Elaine's mother was just about to go out on the patio with some sandwiches and cookies that she made for Elaine and Shawn. When she saw that Elaine stormed by, and ran up to her bedroom, she set down the tray of food. She frowned,and she upstairs to talk Elaine. She found Elaine laying face down on her bed, and then she asked,
"Elaine, what is going on here? Did anything happen?"
Elaine sat up on her bed with her face stained with tears and said,
"Yes," wailed Elaine. "Shawn just broke with me. I really don't know why he did, but he said that he has to think about his education."
Elaine's mother nodded her head, and then said,
"That's understandable, Elaine. He is young, and so are you."
"Mom, how old were you when you and Dad got married?" asked Elaine.
"I was 20 then, Elaine, and you father was a bit older, but age doesn't matter. What matters the most is when your ready. I guess he isn't ready to spend the rest of his life with you."
"I thought he was ready," said Elaine. I know that he has to work, and go back to school, but I never thought that going to school will get in the way of our relationship," said Elaine.
Elaine's Mother sighed heavily as she sat on Elaine's bed. Part of her couldn't understand that her daughter was only 20 years old, and has her whole life ahead of her. She looked at Elaine, and said,
"Elaine, you're still young, and there will be other people. You'll see."
Elaine was not too optimistic that she would love another guy either than Shawn.
"I truly cared for Shawn, Mother."
"I know you did, Elaine,"said her Mother.
Weeks later, Elaine drank alcohol without her parents ever knowing anything about it.
A few months later, Elaine felt as if she was in distress, so she phoned up her minister, and got together with him. She told him about Shawn, who broke up with her. The minister invited Elaine to his place for a cup of coffee. Elaine told him as to what had happened between Shawn and her. She told him that Shawn had broke her heart when he came to visit her, and he said that his education was more important to him.
The minister was gentle. He preached at the Presbyterian church where Elaine, and her family attended. The minister said,
"These things happen, Elaine. I guess he wasn't met to be your partner. You see, Elaine. This sort to of thing happened to my daughter, Lisa. She met this guy at school by the name of Chad. My wife, and I met him when Lisa brought him over to our place for Thanksgiving. He seems like a nice young fellow. He is also very polite."
Elaine felt a bit better, but Shawn caused the pain to to so deep that it would be a while before she healed from that emotional trauma.
Before the minister continued on the story about his daughter, his wife brought out some squares with a pot of coffee. She smiled at Elaine.
As the minister poured himself a cup of coffee, he said,
"Lisa and her boyfriend, Chad started seeing less of each other. He had his own friends that he often spent more time with, and Lisa had own social life with her friends, too. Eventually they broke up, and decided to just be good friends."
After Elaine was finished with her coffee, the minister prayed with Elaine. Before Elaine left the living room, she noticed a family protrait of his son, and his daughter who was beautiful with long blonde hair, and had a fair complexion. She also noticed a picture of Lisa in a graduation hat and gown.
Elaine was a Christian, but she became a back slider when her sister Charlotte, and Shawn left for university. That was when she started consuming alcohol. Another thing that Elaine was down on herself for was that she didn't do as well as she had hoped.
Elaine was diagnosed as having a learning difficulty before she started elementry school. She had speech spectrum disorder. When Elaine started kindergarten, she was placed into small resource classes where she had extra attention from teachers and teaching assistances.
When Elaine entered high school, she had some tutoring by some students from the school she attended with Science, and English, which focused more with reading. Eventually Elaine did well, and graduated from grade 12.
Instead of going to university like her older sister, she worked in a deli, and went to community college on a part-time basis.
Some of the staff at work were pretty harsh with Elaine. She worked at a deli in the kitchen. Some days after she worked hard, she came home, drank some booze, and she listened to rock music.
When summer time, Elaine rented her own apartment. She missed her bedroom that she had slept in at home for 10 years. She cried, she depended on the booze, and she listened to loud music. A few times, the super-attendant had told her to turn the music down.
Elaine went to work very early in the morning five days a week. When she came home late in the afternoon, on those several occasions, she drank some more alcohol, and continued to listen to loud music with the head phones on.
When September came, Elaine enrolled herself in a course in "Creative Writing" at the community college. She attended classes at night twice a week. Elaine was busy, and she thought that was good that she kept herself occupied, so that she won't have to think so much about Shawn.
Usually on Friday nights Elaine went swimming at the YMCA until 9:00pm. Elaine spent a lot of evenings alone when Shawn went to college, and when he just ended the relationship. Sometimes Elaine went out to a shopping mall or to see a show with Kate or by herself.
Elaine and Kate were good friends, and neighbors ever since they were in elementary school. Kate was 3 years older than Elaine. Since Kate had a boyfriend of her own named Mike.
One evening when she was at school, a boy came, and sat across from her. He wore a torn jersey top, ripped jeans, he had some zips over his chin, and his hair looked as if was uncombed. He had light marble blue eyes, and Elaine didn't find him very attractive at all.
The boy introduced himself as Calvin, and Elaine said,
"Hi, I'm Elaine."
"What course are you taking?"
"I'm taking a writing course. Look I have to get back to class now, she said, as he got up from the table."
"Wait a minute, Elaine. Here's my phone number if you ever want to call me up sometime."
Calvin gave Elaine the piece of paper with his phone number on it. Elaine put it in her pocket. She wondered he wanted from her.
As soon as Elaine came home, she took out her diary, and wrote down what she did each day. She looked over her assignments, had a drink of wine, and then she fell asleep.
She slept in the next morning, which was her day off from work. She phoned up the dating service, and talked to an agent, and Elaine requested that she was interested in meeting a guy. The agent asked Elaine what her interests were, and what she did for a living.
The paper work was done on the phone. He also offered Elaine six months for free after she joined the dating service. Afterward Elaine would have to pay 180.00 for the next six months.
A few weeks later, she sent Shawn a birthday card. She mailed to him at the campus where he went to Berkley university. A few weeks later, Shawn phoned Elaine, and thanked her for the Christmas card. He wondered how she knew about his birthday, so he asked,
"How did you know it was my birthday?"
"I haven't forgotten about your birthday," replied Elaine.
"That was thoughtful of you, Elaine. How have you been?"
"I've been fine. I'm going to school, and I'm working."
Shawn and Elaine talked about what they were going to do for Christmas. Afterward Shawn had very shocking news for Elaine.
He announced to Elaine that he was engaged to be married, She couldn't believe it. So she asked him,
"Where did you meet this girl?"
"I met her at the university," replied Shawn.
"I asked her out for for dinner one evening, and then we started going out together a few more times. I met her family, and I was at her place. Elaine's stomach churned as he told her about his love life with a girl she suspected that he would be with.
"I asked her to marry me last week. and she said yes."
Elaine was shocked as he told his story. Elaine became angry, so she said,
"How could you do this to me? What we had was special, Shawn."
"it was wrong, Elaine. I think we rushed into things. I am sorry, but God has a place for each person. I feel that Brenda Sue is right one for me. I am sure you'll find the right one for you."
Elaine had to accept what Shawn thought was best for himself, but she felt like she was slapped in the face.
Elaine hung up the phone, and cried some more. She felt deceived, and then she thought about Calvin who was nice to her, but she didn't love him. She loved Shawn, and she felt that nobody could replace him. Elaine knew that she had to meet other people. Before she went to bed that night, she took a few more glasses of wine, and then she felt better. As she was in bed, she cried out to the lord, and prayer, and said,
"Please be with me lord, Jesus. Please be with me! I am falling through the pits. I don't know what you have planned for my life. Please show me!"
Afterward she fell asleep.
After spending Christmas with her family, she joined a dating service, and then met a fellow by the name of Daniel. Daniel was from the military.
After Elaine went out with Daniel a few times,he noticed that Elaine was quiet, so he treated her to a cup of coffee at a donut shop. He looked at her with his cold blue eyes. He looked serious, and he said,
"Look, Elaine. I don't know that much about you, so you had better tell me about yourself."
Elaine's heart sank. What did he really want to know about her," she thought. She stammered a bit as she spoke.
"I-I don't have a criminal record if that is what you're afraid of."
Daniel nodded his head as if he believed her, and then he said,
"It's just that I don't know that much about you, and are a quiet person. I just don't want you to keep anything from me. I want some feedback about yourself. I like honesty. I don't like to be screwed around. I resent people who lie to me."
Elaine's heart rate went up. He made her feel as she had done something wrong. All she did was go out on a couple of innocent dates.
Elaine talked about her challenges that she faced in school with her learning difficulties, and what her parents did for a living. Elaine's Father worked as a math teacher, and her mother worked as Personal Support Worker at an old age home where Elaine's grandmother resided.
Elaine also told Daniel about her hobbies, and interests, which was art, and reading books. Daniel nodded his head. Elaine became less nervous when she told Daniel about the the creative writing course, which she took at a local community college. Daniel nodded his head smiled, and gave her the thumbs up as if he was pleased.
As they left the donut shop, Daniel said,
"That's more like it, Elaine. It's just I don't know you that well yet, and I appreciated that you gave me some feedback about herself. You don't have to be so quiet. Don't be afraid to tell me more about yourself."
After Daniel drove Elaine back to her apartment, he drove himself back to the base.
As soon as Daniel left, Elaine still thought of Shawn. Daniel didn't exactly replace him either, but she knew that she to move on, and meet other people just like Shawn did. She drank some alcohol to relieve some of the grief that she went through. She laid back on the couch, and drank about 3 tall glasses of red wine.
Other times she had Bailey's Irish creme either mixed in with ice or ice cream. Other times she drank that creme just the way it was.
A week later when Daniel came over, and visited Elaine, he wanted to be intimate with her. Daniel took Elaine on her bed, and just when Daniel was about to be intimate with Elaine, she cried out in pain, and yelled out, "NO!"
Elaine was a virgin, so she wasn't sure if she was ready for sex or not. When Daniel asked,
"Do you want me to sleep with you?"
Even though Daniel was disappointed, he said,
Just as Daniel was sitting on the couch, the phone rang, and when Elaine answered it, it was Calvin. Daniel sat on the couch, and had a curious look on his face. Elaine's heart was beating very fast because she was afraid that Daniel might find out who she was talking to. After Elaine said,
"I have to go now," she hung up the phone. Daniel asked,
"It's my sister," lied Elaine. She was just phoning me up about her life on campus."
Daniel wasn't sure if Elaine told the truth, so he stood up from the couch, put on his shoes, and then he said,
"Don't lie to me, Elaine. You had better be telling me the truth. Remember what I said earlier? I want honesty."
As Daniel spoke, he gritted his teeth. Elaine thought that he was going to hit her. Elaine didn't like lying to Daniel, but she knew that she had to tell him the truth some time if they were going to continue to see each other. Elaine's face became red with shame.
Elaine became uncomfortable sitting on the couch with Daniel, so she went into the bathroom, and cried. She knew that what she was doing was wrong. Ever since she was a child, she had been taught to tell the truth when she went church, and Sunday school.
One night when Daniel sat on the couch with Elaine, he said
" As I mentioned before, I believe in being honest with people, so that I am going to be honest with you. I like you a lot, Elaine, but I don't love you."
When Elaine heard this, she wasn't sure she should be surprised or not. She didn't love Daniel, but she wondered why he wanted to be intimate with her, so she asked,
"Why did you want to have sex with me then?"
"Because I like you, and I care for you as a person," replied Daniel.
Elaine couldn't figure him out. She thought that people had sex because they love each other. Daniel didn't care for her as a guy cares for a girl, he cared for her only as a person. Elaine mentioned that she didn't want to have sex with him. Elaine didn't love him either. Daniel agreed that they would only go out as good friends.
Afterward Daniel and Elaine went out a few times.
The next day Elaine had coffee with Calvin downtown before she went to her evening class at the college. Elaine worked conscientiously on her writing. She felt frustrated when her instructor told her that she had to improve her grammar skills. The other students in her class liked her stories though.
Sometimes Daniel phoned her up, and talked to her about his life in the army. Elaine went out with Daniel on a couple of more dates. One day Daniel called Elaine at work to see if she could meet him downtown for a cup of coffee. Elaine met him in Tim Hortons, and then he said,
"I like you, but I have no interest in you for a girlfriend. That doesn't mean that I can't talk to you once in a while. Eventually Elaine never heard or seen Daniel again.
Elaine started seeing Calvin as a friend. He either came to Elaine's apartment, or Elaine went to his place. Calvin rented a bedroom in a house. A female university student rented the other room. They shared a kitchen, but the girl was hardly home. Daniel and that person had no interest for each other. Elaine was happy that she wasn't seeing Daniel anymore.
After one year, Elaine and Calvin were getting serious with each other. Calvin stayed over night at Elaine's place several times. A few times they had arguments. Calvin shouted at her as Elaine shouted back because Elaine's girlfriend Kate invited to come to Ottawa with her. Calvin wanted to do things with Elaine that day, and he acted jealous.
A few times the police have been called over by the neighbors who lived next to Elaine. No charges were laid, but the police told them to keep the noise down.
One time when Elaine went to work, she gave Calvin permission to stay at her apartment because Calvin wasn't getting along with his housemate whom he was renting with. Elaine gave Calvin a duplicate of her apartment keys.
When Elaine went out the door, Calvin noticed money that was in her other purse. He took the money, and put it in his pocket. Another thing that he noticed was that Elaine had a diary. The key broke, so he opened the diary and read quite a few pages.
Calvin had a surprised look on his face, when he read what Elaine wrote about Calvin, and what he did with her. When he came where it said that Calvin tried to have sex with her, and she wouldn't let him, Calvin became angry. He couldn't wait to confront Elaine about all of this.
As soon as Elaine came home, she saw Calvin sitting in front of the T.V. As he turned to look at Elaine, she became terrified by his angry expression. When Elaine put her purse in her room, she noticed that the money was missing from her other purse. She had all that money saved for rent. It was obvious to her that Calvin took the money or did he have a friend whom he gave the money to.
Elaine was panic stricken when she confronted Calvin.
"I noticed that that my money that I had in my purse is missing. Do you know anything about it, Calvin?"
Calvin grinned as he looked at Elaine. Then he confronted Elaine as to what he had found out.
"First you answer this question. Who is Daniel?"
Elaine's face became red, and then she said,
"It's just a guy whom I knew." Why do you ask?"
"I was just wondering that's all," said Calvin. Then he smirked, and gave her a devilish laugh.
He went into Elaine's room, and picked up her diary off the bed.
He read aloud what Elaine wrote in the diary especially about the apart when she met Calvin for the first time at the college, and his rugged appearance. Elaine had admitted it was funny. Calvin laughed at that comment, too when he read the part where he had zits, and ripped jeans.
"Look, Elaine. My mother always told me never write what you don't want others to read."
"I'm sorry, Calvin. I had no idea that you would read my diary. That was private," said Elaine. She began to cry because she was scared that Calvin was furious with her. Calvin came over, and hugged her. When he released her, he reread the part about what Daniel did. he quickly ceased Elaine by the shoulders, and said,
"Where did you meet this Daniel guy anyway?"
Elaine knew that she owed him the truth, so she said,
"From a dating service."
"A dating service? I hope you aren't still seeing this guy are you?"
"No, I'm not. I don't want anything to do with him."
Calvin pressed Elaine for more information so he asked,
"What's his phone number, and where does this jerk live?"
"He lives on the army base," said Elaine as she shivered from apprehension.
"On the army base," then Calvin laughed.
"Please give his number," Calvin begged.
"what are going to say to him anyway," said Elaine.
I'm not seeing him anymore, okay. Here's his phone number."
Calvin grabbed the piece of paper with Daniel's phone number from Elaine, and he phoned up.
t first a young whom Daniel shared a house with answered the phone, and then Calvin commanded that guy to go get Daniel on the phone.
As soon as Daniel got on the phone, Calvin asked him questions like,
"Did you rape Elaine? if you did I will call the police on you, and you will go to jail. I mean it."
"Hey who the heck are you anyway?" asked Daniel.
Daniel was partying with a bunch of guys from the base. They were all laughing in the background, and Calvin was amused by all the commotion. Calvin swore at Daniel on the phone, and Daniel told his friends, and he told them that Calvin was crazy. All the guys laughed in the background while Daniel was on the phone. This made Calvin even more angrier. Before Calvin got off the phone, he said,
"You had better leave Elaine alone or I will have you arrested. You are immature. Do you know that?"
Elaine smothered her laughter. She thought it was funny. She feared that Daniel might phone her up, and tell her off. As soon as Daniel swore over the phone, Calvin hung up. He sat on the couch, and grinned.
"I took care of that jerk. Didn't I?" said Calvin with a sense of satisfaction, and then he added,
"I think that you should get your phone number changed. What were you thinking anyway?"
"I don't know," replied Elaine. When I first met him, I didn't think that he would be like that. We don't love each other, okay?"
Calvin sat on the couch and asked,
"How long were you seeing him anyway?"
"About 4 months," replied Elaine.
"Elaine. You should be honest with me. If you don't want to see me, and you want to see other people then I would understand, but this Daniel guy sounded like a jerk. What does he have that I don't have?"
Elaine looked at Calvin, and then she was close to crying. She honestly see anything more in Daniel. She thought she did at first, but in the end, she really didn't anything significant with that fellow.
Six months later, Elaine found out that she was pregnant, and her parents encouraged Elaine to give the child up for adoption. Even though Elaine worked full-time, she would have to stay home, and look after the child while she receives unemployment insurance.
Elaine's father encouraged Elaine to talk to the minister about what she should do about the baby.
Calvin said that she would help Elaine with the baby, but he felt that he wasn't ready to be a father.
One day Elaine went to the the "Pregnancy Crisis Centre." She had spoken with a counselor by the name of Donna. Donna asked,
"Do you think that you are ready to be a Mother?"
"I think so. My parents are on my case about the adoption option though."
Elaine also mentioned the fact that she may never see or hear about the child she gave up. She wasn't sure if she could live with that decision.
"We have what you would call the open adoption where you would receive information about your child. You might receive pictures or letters from the adoptive parents."
Elaine thought of that option. She also thought of the possibility of confusing the child in the long run when she tells him or her that she is her real mother.
Donna also asked her if she had a boyfriend, and Elaine mentioned that Calvin would be there for her. Donna was not 100% optimistic that he would be there for her at all times or not. So she asked,
"Do you think Calvin will stay with you? Some girls who I counsel have ended up on their own when they were pregnant or coming in with their children. We also help fathers. Do you think that he is ready to be a father?"
"I don't know if he is ready or not. He was scared when I told him that I was pregnant," replied Elaine.
Donna nodded her head em pathetically, and said,
"I think we should book anther time for you and I to meet. Your boyfriend is welcome to come, too."
Elaine thanked her, and then she walked home, fell on the couch, and fell asleep.
The second time Elaine came in, Donna showed Elaine a picture of a family who have only one child, and that they are trying to adopt a baby. Elaine wasn't sure if she wanted to give her baby up for adoption or not.
The next when Elaine saw Calvin downtown, they both went into a restaurant, and had a coffee. Elaine mentioned the counselor whom she met at the Pregnancy Crisis Center, and Calvin became angry.
"What's this about a crisis center, Elaine?"
"I was just getting some help to see what the best decision should be for the baby," replied Elaine.
Calvin's breathing became laboured with anger, and then he said,
"Don't you involve anybody anymore! Do you got it? I was talking to my mother, and she said that she would be willing to help us, but if you decide to give the baby up for adoption I won't hate you. There are ads in the paper about couples wanting to adopt babies."
Elaine wasn't keen on answering ads in the papers, and giving her own child away to a couple of strangers who would likely harm the baby. So she stood up to Calvin and said,
"I don't want to answer ads in the paper. If we gave up the baby, it would be to somebody I'd know."
Elaine walked out of the restaurant as Calvin was paying for their order. Elaine was close to tears. Part of her felt like drinking wine or baileys Irish creme just like she did before she became pregnant.
Calvin took Elaine's hand, and he noticed how upset Elaine was, and he said,
"Don't worry, Elaine. Everything will be all right."
As Elaine approached her eighth month, she and Calvin attended prenatal classes. Elaine went to every single one of the classes. Calvin missed a few classes because he had to work. Elaine worked at a deli, and her boss made her clean floors, and she stood on her feet eight hours of the day with only a 15 minute break. Elaine felt suicidal.
A few times Elaine was tempted to drink some booze. She kept a bottle of wine in her fridge. She took it out, and had a sip, and then she felt the baby kick. Afterward she didn't have any more of the booze. She cried because she didn't want to harm the baby.
Elaine met a labor coach whom she felt comfortable with. They met for coffee, and Calvin met her, too. Calvin liked her which was a relief for Elaine.
Once again, Elaine had spoken with Donna at the crisis center, and Elaine told that she thought about keeping the baby, so Donna asked her,
"Are you sure that's what you want to do, Elaine."
Elaine looked at her with confidence, and said,
"Yes. I already been offered a 2 bedroom apartment. I start moving in a couple of weeks."
Elaine didn't have anything to do with the crisis center anymore. Elaine eventually got a used crib which was in good shape, plus some used baby clothes, new baby blankets, and a dresser.
Elaine moved into a 2 bedroom apartment.
She took several trips to transfer all her stuff from her old apartment to another. Calvin helped her as well when he wasn't working.
When Elaine approached her ninth month, her parents had been to her new apartment with the crip already set up. Elaine also bought a change table from a used baby furniture store.
Her parents never even mentioned anything putting the baby up for adoption anymore.
Elaine left work when she was in her 35 weeks pregnant. Elaine went down to the unemployment office, and filed for maternity leave. A few weeks later, she went into labor, and then the following day she went into the hospital with Calvin.
Elaine went through a long hard labor for 20 hours. Calvin never left her side expect for when he to go down to the cafe to get a coffee. Elaine's parents came after the baby was born. Elaine named him Kurt James.
Calvin called up his mother and then Elaine's parents about Kurt James. When Elaine's mother came, she saw Elaine nursing the baby. When the baby was done being fed, Elaine's mother held him. She was delighted to see the newborn child, and then her expression changed into a very stern one.
"You make sure that you are good to that baby, Elaine. He is a very nice baby."
Elaine promised that she would be good to Kurt. Calvin's mother came the following to see Elaine and Kurt. She held Kurt as soon as Elaine was done nursing the baby. She gave Elaine a basket of fruit, coffee, and candy.
On the following day, Elaine and Kurt left the hospital, and Elaine rented a car seat. Elaine's parents drove her home. As soon as Elaine put the baby in the crib as he was sleeping, Elaine went to the bathroom and looked at her belly.
She cried when she saw the stretch marks.
A part of her missed being pregnant. She had a healthy baby although he had a bit of Jaundice. His face was a bit yellow, so Elaine put him in the sun as he sat in the infant car seat. Elaine didn't see Calvin for three days since she arrived home from the hospital.
Elaine continued to nurse Kurt almost every hour to 2 hours. He demanded her attention. Elaine also had a pet guinea pig in which she didn't pay much attention to as much since Kurt was born. Elaine found it hard to provide attention to the small animal, and the baby at the same time.
As soon as Elaine put Kurt down for his nap, she cleaned up the guinea pig's cage, and gave him fresh food. Fluffy, the guinea pig looked at Elaine with his droopy eyes which made him look sad.
Elaine broke down, and cried. She was going through post postpartum depression for a week since she left the hospital. She still had the small pet to look after. She took the Fluffy out of the cage, and played with him for a few minutes.
When Kurt woke up from his nap, Elaine quickly washed her hands, and took him out of the crib. Kurt had beautiful big blue eyes, and the yellowish tint on his skin was starting to fade away.
Kurt came over a few times accompanied by his Mother. Elaine and his mother got along great. She enjoyed Kurt as she held him. Kurt spit up on her a couple of times, but she didn't seem to mind. She raised 4 children, and Calvin was the second youngest in his family.
Elaine and Calvin had had arguments about Elaine taking Kurt out with her while she had to do some shopping because it was cold, and Elaine often took the public bus to go downtown. Sometimes Calvin's Mother helped out by driving her and the baby to groceries stores. Elaine needed to get diapers almost every few weeks plus more litter for Fluffy which was getting to be a hassle.
Elaine felt like giving up Fluffy to another home where someone can provide it with more attention. Kurt constantly needed Elaine's attention. Kurt was growing fast, and he still was nursing every hour at 2 months.
When the public health nurse came to visit Elaine and Kurt, she was fascinated with how Kurt was doing.
Kurt was getting more alert each week, and he was gaining weight like he should. When the nurse weighed the baby, she told Elaine how much of a wonderful job she was doing.
Kurt was only 3 months old in December, and Elaine praised God for giving her a healthy baby. Kurt continued to work in a restaurant, and Elaine enjoyed being on maternity leave.
She did the laundry quite frequently, did some shopping, and nursed the baby.
One day Kurt had a day where he was fussy all day. Elaine checked his temperature, but it was normal. When Calvin came by, the baby continued to cry, and he said,
"What is wrong with him, Elaine. Can't you calm him down?"
Elaine hated to blamed for Kurt's behavior, so she said,
"Maybe he has colic. That could be so."
Elaine gave Kurt a spoonful of gripe water. Five minutes later he settled down. Kurt still blamed Elaine for not settling him down before he came. While the baby napped, she heard Calvin yell,
"Elaine the cage smells. Don't you ever clean the cage?"
"No, replied, Elaine. I devoted my attention to Kurt because he needs it. I find it hard to give a lot of attention to Fluffy."
Calvin had an idea.
"Why don't we give it to somebody?"
Elaine agreed to do so. Calvin put the ad in the paper, and the ad read "Guinna Pig - Free to a good home."
Somebody came and took Fluffy away with the cage, and the food. Elaine was relieved. She felt it was too much of a burden to clean his cage, and look after a baby at the same time.
Calvin said calmly,
I don't want the baby to get sick. Elaine agreed. She knew that those animals can carry diseases. Elaine was relieved that the small fury creature was gone, but she missed him in a way. She loved Kurt more, so she was able to devote all of her attention to him, except when she had to cook her meals which was hard enough.
When Kurt turned a year old, he learned to walk. Calvin was delighted to see him on his first birthday. Before Calvin came by, Elaine's parents came over to Elaine's apartment for coffee.
Her parents stayed for 3 hours. After they left, Kurt came by, and gave Kurt a rocking horse for Kurt's birthday. He shrieked with joy. Elaine was excited to see him play with it.
There were times when Calvin never came by to see Elaine or Kurt for about a week. Calvin had been gambling at the Casino or at Bingo. Sometimes he went with a friend. The only times that Elaine was able to do anything was when she was working, attending bible study meetings with a bunch of women or when she went shopping.
As soon as Elaine's parents left, Calvin came by with a present for Kurt. When Elaine helped Kurt open his present, it was a top, and pair of overalls. Kurt shrieked with joy again. Later on that day when Kurt took a nap, elaine and Calvin talked about the birth of Kurt, and how amazing it was to have a beautiful little boy.
As soon as Kurt woke up, they had birthday cake after dinner, and Elaine took some pictures of Kurt eating his cake as he sat in his high chair.
Shortly after Kurt's birthday, Elaine became worried if Calvin wanted anything to do with Elaine anymore. Calvin came once a week. Calvin's mother came over to visit kurt as well. Calvin continued to go to Bingo. He usually won a lot of money.
Elaine's parents adored Kurt. When Kurt turned 4, he started junior kindergarten, and he loved school. Elaine's parents looked after Kurt when she went to work. She stilled worked at the deli, and the staff were appreciating her work more each time.
Calvin looked after Kurt when Elaine was working, but other times Calvin spent time with his friends. She wondered if he was seeing another woman. Sometimes Kurt missed his father, and Elaine explained that he was at his own place. Kurt was used to the idea that his father had his own apartment.
About 3 years later, Elaine announced that she was pregnant again. She discussed the prospect of getting married to Calvin. Elaine was happy that Kurt will have a brother or sister. Calvin was happy, too.
When Calvin phoned up Elaine's parents about her pregnancy, they weren't too happy. Calvin's mother congratulated Elaine, and she drove Calvin, Kurt, and Elaine at the restaurant for dinner. Elaine ate a good dinner. She was hungry that evening, but when she woke up the following day, she felt sick.
Later on that day, Elaine tried phoning up her mother, but her father said that she was busy making dinner. She wasn't' sure that was really the reason or not. Maybe her mother was too upset to talk to her.
Calvin's mother suggested that Elaine shouldn't talk to her parents yet because they were upset about the baby. Elaine and Calvin were pleased, but they knew that they were effaced with prenatal classes, and doctor's appointments again.
The next day when Elaine's mother phoned, she tried to shame Elaine by saying,
"You know, Elaine. That is so stupid about you having another child. This can't keep happening. Your and I have helped a lot with Kurt, and now your having another child. Anyway, it's up to you. I don't want to discuss this further with you anymore."
"Mom, we will manage just fine. Look at Kurt. He's a smart, and a healthy little boy."
Later on that week, Elaine had her first prenatal checkup with her family doctor. Elaine heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time at 12 weeks. She was excited.
Elaine told Calvin about the conversation she had with her mother earlier on that week over the phone. Calvin told her not to let her parents upset her. Elaine avoided going to church with them on the following Sunday. Elaine's appetite stimulated even more than ever. She felt a bit ill in the morning until she was 14 weeks.
A few months later, Elaine put on the same maternity outfit that she had when she was pregnant with Kurt. Even it was a bit tight on her from gaining some weight, she wore it anyway. She bought herself a receiving blanket, a few maternity tops, and a pair of maternity pants.
Whenever Elaine and Kurt had visited with her parents, they hardly discussed Elaine's pregnancy. One day when Elaine alone with her mother when Kurt was outside with his grandfather, she suggested
"I think that after the baby is born, you should get your tubes tied."
Elaine groaned at the idea, and left the room before her mother said anything else. Before she went home, she read a book with Kurt. When Elaine arrived home, she took out the same bassinet that she used for Kurt, and cleaned it up.
She washed the cushion along with the dirty laundry in the washing machine. Elaine looked at herself in the mirror. She noticed that her face was bloated and pale just like she was when she was pregnant with Kurt. She saw a dietitian until she was close to 8 months pregnant. She didn't want to gain too much weight.
A month later, Elaine went into premature labor. She called up the same labor couch whom she had when she gave birth to Kurt. When Jane came over, Elaine's labor pains slowed down. She decided to wait to go to the hospital until she almost fully dilated. As soon as Elaine's labor stopped, Jane left, and Elaine went back to bed for a few hours.
A hour Elaine went to bed, she felt her labor pains again. During that time, they became worse, and her water was breaking slowly. She phoned up Jane at 3:00am, and fifteen minutes before she arrived, Elaine sat in the chair, and Calvin woke up, and quickly put his clothes on.
When Jane arrived, Elaine labor pains were almost 10 minutes apart.
When they arrived at the hospital, Elaine took a shower, which brought some relief to her, but after 40 minutes, she became too hot, and went back to bed.
In the birthing room, Elaine watched some television. She tried to concentrate on watching some of the most famous singers, but her labor pains became much too unbearable. It seems as if her pains were worse than she had before Kurt was born.
A few hours later, she was given a epidural to ease the pain. Elaine went to sleep. Calvin fell asleep in the chair next to Elaine. Calvin had only 3 hours sleep that night before he accompanied Elaine to the hospital.
Jane also fell asleep, and Elaine looked out the window. It was clear, and it was getting light about 6:00 in the morning. The nurse checked Elaine's blood pressure a few times, and then she was given some potocin to speed up the labor. Elaine dilated very slowly. Elaine tried to sleep, but she was in too much pain.
Later on that morning, she was given some epidural, and she felt some relieved. She felt a bit nauseated, but at least she was able to sleep a little.
Calvin sat by the bedside, and he snored as he slept. Jane slept a bit as well while the nurses came in and out, and took Elaine's blood pressure, and checked to see how dilated she was.
When the epidural was wearing off a bit, she felt the labour pains. Elaine sat up in bed, and she held on to Jane who was near by. She told Elaine to breathe, and shd did. She remembered how she breathed while she was in labour with Kurt.
Around 3 hours later, the epidural wore off, and Elaine delivered a healthy baby girl. She named her Elizabeth Jane. Elizabeth was a bit blue, but she was crying. Calvin and Elaine cried with joy.
As soon as they nurse handed the baby to Elaine, she kissed her cheek and mouth right away. Little Elizabeth was content in her hands. Later on that day, Elaine's father, and her son, Kurt, came and they the baby. Kurt hoped for a baby brother, but he loved his little sister.
As soon as they left, Elaine ate some supper, and nursed the baby who was hungry. calvin's mother came to visit Elaine,and the new baby. She was ecstatic when she saw little Elizabeth. Even though Elaine barely slept since the birth of the baby, she was happy.
As soon as Elaine and Elizabeth came home, Elaine cried as she looked at those stretch marks on her stomach. She felt light since she wasn't pregnant anymore. Elaine put Elizabeth in her crib, and she looked so tiny sleeping in there. Elaine laid down on the couch, and slept for an hour.
as soon as the baby woke up, she nursed her, changed her, and talked to her. Elizabeth was cute with black hairs, and rosy cheeks. Elaine browsed through the bag of clothes that she received from the birth right place.
a week later, the church where Elaine attended had a baby shower for her. Elaine recieved a few outfits, blankets, and some children's books. Elizabeth felt a bit scared when some of the women handled her.
Elaine felt like a mother hen. Little Elizabeth wailed when one of the women held her. As soon as Elaine took Elizabeth, she calmed down, and Elaine nursed her. She and Elizabeth had that special bond that most mothers had with their newborns.
As soon as Elaine arrived home, she went to bed, and Calvin went through all the stuff. When he came across a dress with a matching top, he said,
"Wow! Who gave this to you? This dress would look cute on her."
'I agree with you," said Elaine.
While the baby slept, she went into the bathroom, and she looked at her stomach, which had stretch marks on it. She broke down and cried because she missed being pregnant, and feeling bubbly. She took a quick shower, and then she felt better. Later on that day after Elaine nursed Elizabeth, the public health nurse came over, and weighed the baby. She said that Elizabeth was doing fine.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
REMEMBER, this is a Critique Circle. Please try to give a critique to receive a critique. If you do not want to give any critiques, you can use the REGULAR ARTICLE SUBMISSION area. If you are unsure about how to critique, please use the CRITIQUE GUIDELINES and CRITIQUE TIPS.
To view your critiques that you receive on any writing, login to your account and click "CRITIQUE CIRCLE MANAGEMENT" to view all of your critiques and edit each piece. Then, click "VIEW CRITIQUES" next to the article title to view critiques on that piece. Comments on all of your writings when using the Critique Circle will not be displayed publicly as regular and writing challenge articles. They can only be viewed by accessing them from your account.