Written by Kelli Ridgway
Wife to Jeffrey Ridgway

Jeffrey and I met in 2001 while he was playing for the Charleston River Dogs.  I never imagined that we would be where we are today, married with three kids.  I grew up in a baseball family, so I had an idea of the crazy lifestyle that they had.  I knew that the team would go on the road a lot and that he didn't have "normal" hours at the office.  When you actually marry to ball player, it ends up being a whole new ball game!  There were NO instructions when we got married on how to handle the craziness.  You learn very quickly that you have to do what works best for you; more so when you have kids.

Jeffrey was with Tampa Bay for 7 years before being traded to The Atlanta Braves in January of 2008.  The trade was made the same day I was told I had 5 more weeks of being pregnant with our youngest (this was after I was scheduled to be induced that following week).  You see, I ended up seeing 3 different doctors with our last pregnancy.  I found out during the season that I was pregnant and I just made the decision to just stay put instead of heading home to see my doctor.   Somewhere in the medical notes being sent to my home based doctor, it was noted that I was further along than I was. 

We finally got everything worked out and decided that since my due date was changed for a spring training baby I would just pack up and find a doctor in Orlando.  Easier said than done, we moved down to spring training when I was 37 weeks pregnant.  CRAZY, yes, but like I said... You have to do what is best for YOUR situation.  The fact that I was so far along created a problem and practices were not wanting to see me.  I finally found an awesome physician that would take me as his patient.  With a Uhaul and two cars, we made the 5 hour journey down to Orlando the day before my Dr's appointment.  Cade made is arrival 16 days early and I wouldn't change anything with having him down where we could be a family.

When you are married to an athlete, you kind of end up losing a little bit our yourself.  I knew that Jeffrey was playing for a new team and I didn't want him to have to make the trip home and miss more than he had to at the field.  It wasn't just me having a baby, but he was trying to get acclimated to a new team and get into a routine himself.  He would sleep at the hospital with me and then get up and head to the field.  It worked out perfectly!

Five weeks after having Cade, spring training was coming to an end.  We still had no idea what roster we were going to be on. We received the news that Jeffrey would be flying with the team to Atlanta for the exhibition games and that he and another lefty would be up for the same roster spot and that a decision hadn't been made.  So with that being said, we were torn on what to do.  Do I just wait it out and head up to where ever he would be playing after we knew for sure or did I just pack up and drive to Atlanta and wait?  ( I know we all have be there)  I made the decision to just pack up and go, Atlanta was 8 hours away and Triple was in Richmond, VA so either way I was needing to head north.   We ended up being sent to Triple A, so 2 days after we arrived in Atlanta, we made another 8 hour trip to Richmond.  

I must say that I have some pretty AWESOME kiddos!   I was truly afraid that when we headed towards the car they would automatically start crying in fear that it was going to be another LONG trip.  Life in baseball get harder when you have kids for so many different reasons.  I think a lot of people forget that our husband have lives off the field.  I sometimes get annoyed when someone finds out that Jeffrey plays and they say "Oh you are so lucky to live that lifestyle".  Yes it CAN be a glamorous lifestyle and yes we have the things we have because of baseball, but we (meaning husbands, wives and children) give up a lot.  

If is wasn't for picture/video phones and ichat/skype, so much more would be missed!  Jeffrey has missed a lot of firsts with the kids.  I think we (us wives) try our best to get every big moment on video or on camera so the guys don't miss out.  We do the best to be 'OUR" normal, which is having daddy away for 6 to 8 months a year.  The off season always helps make up for some lost time and we look forward to what each year brings us.



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2 Comments

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  2. The more I read from this blog, the more I see the need to change my "mantra" -

    I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain.I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain. I will NOT complain.

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