Friday, January 26, 2007

The Story of Zander

Zander is our oldest son. He will be two years old in May, which just blows me away. Where did the time go?

He was born 15 days early, and was 6 pounds 10 ounces, 20 inches long. His entry into this world was not quite what we expected.

My husband and I had taken a prenatal course through our hospital. It was extremely informative about everything from pregnancy issues to labour to bringing the baby home. But it did not prepare us for labour and delivery we had with Zander.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I found out at my doctor's appointment the day before that I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced, so my mother was calling me every 30 minutes to see if I was having the baby. She was driving me NUTS!!! I was already on maternity leave, and was relaxing at home. I had been on the phone with my mother....again! She was a little anxious for her first grandchild to be born! I told her to be patient, 'cause it wasn't happening today....boy was I wrong!

At 5:15pm, my husband Carlos came home from work. After his usual post-work organization routine (put keys away, take lunch paraphenalia out of briefcase and put in dishwasher, put briefcase away, etc. etc.etc.), he came to see me in the family room. And he came baring gifts! One of his co-workers sent home a little goodie bag for the baby with receiving blankets, wash cloths, little teddy bear.....I went about excitedly pulling gift after gift out of the bag, when I felt a wierd cramp. Nothing to worry about, I told myself. And then it happened again....and again. At this point Carlos pointed out that these mystery cramps were almost exactly 10 minutes apart. Could I be in labour???? No! Of course not! They say most first-time pregnancies tend to go late anyway!

Around 6pm I started to realize that there was definately something going on. My husband called the hospital to find out whether we should stay home or come in. The nurse at the other end told him to start packing, and in the meantime put me on the phone.

The contractions were already bad enough that I couldn't talk through them. I was trying to use the breathing techniques we learned in class. The nurse could hear this and told me to breathe slower. Breathe SLOWER??? YOU breathe slower! I'm currently trying not to have a baby on my bedroom floor!!!!

My husband was flying around like a madman trying to gather everything for my hospital bag....we had had plans to pack the night before, but I got tired and decided we would do it the next day. Ha!

When everything was ready, he came to get me in the bedroom and proceeded to help me walk down the hallway. When we got to the top of the stairs I started to have a contraction so we stopped for a minute. When it was over my husband looked at me with a smile on his face and said "we're having a baby!". I just glared at him and went about trying to get down the staircase, which at that moment looked to have a gazillion steps. When I look back on this I get a little sad. He was so excited, and I couldn't share that with him at that moment.

By the time we got in the car it started to set in how fast this was all going. I guess Carlos realized it too, 'cause he ran a couple of red lights on the way to the hospital!

We got to the hospital at 7:25pm. I tried to make it from the car to the door on foot, but a nice lady came running over with a wheel chair for me, and pushed me into the foyer while my husband carried my bag. When we got to reception one of the nurses realized that I couldn't wait, and wheeled me down to the Mother Baby Unit while my husband checked me in.

As soon as we started wheeling down the hallway, my water broke. The nurse started driving faster. I remember I was trying not to scream, so I was making these wierd grunting noises akin to the mating call of some wild animal. Yet the nurse still had to ask people to move out of the way! These ignorant people were just talking in the middle of the hallway and when the nurse piped up, they just looked down at me in the wheelchair like "what's your hurry?"!!! Hello! You think they moaning pregnant lady who appears to be writhing in extreme pain needs to get through????? Duh!

When we got to the room, I was dressed in a gown and helped onto the bed. I was checked, and to my surprise was told that I was ready to push. Push? My husband wasn't even here yet!!!

Suddenly one of the nurses realized that the baby's heartrate was dropping dramatically with each contraction. Between contractions it was around 140-150. During contractions it dropped to 50! So out comes the vacuum, and in comes my husband.

At this point, I was all business. I needed to get this baby out as soon as possible. So I yelled at my husband to pull my leg up and start counting, and I pushed. Two contractions, three pushes and he was out. No need for the vacuum. My first contraction was at around 5:25pm, and Zander was born at 7:37pm. Fast????

He wasn't breathing right away, so he was taken to the other side of the room. But within a couple of minutes we heard that beautiful first son's first cry. It gives me goosebumps just writing about it!

The best part was calling my parents later. It was such a whirlwind that we didn't even think about calling anyone until around 9pm. Since my parents are in my hometown, it was long distance. We figured they wouldn't mind us calling collect, so that's what we did. When we were asked who was calling, Carlos said "your grandson".

I remember hearing my mother say "Hello?". Then the automated voice said "You have a collect call from "your grandson". If you accept the charges, press 1". My mom said "I don't have a grandson". We were laughing so hard! The automated voice said "We did not receive your response..." and repeated the whole thing again. And again my mother said "I don't have a grandson", but pressed 1 anyway. She told me later that she was going to try to help whoever was trying to find their grandparents, and had the wrong number. She's so cute!

My mother said "Hello?" I said "Hi!" And then it set in. She just started screaming my name over and over again. I said "you have a grandson". Then she asked where I was. " the hospital!?!" I think everyone I know has heard that story...I love it!

We took him home with us 2 days later. What an awakening. It don't think it really hit us until we were in the car with him. We were alone with him. There was no little button I could push that would call someone to come and help me at any hour of the day. But what an amazing time!

And that was almost 21 months ago. It doesn't seem like that long....yet, look at him now! My sunshine boy makes me happier than I could ever have imagined!

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A Brief History of Cate

As promised, I thought I would share my story, albeit a little late. Fear not...I will not bore you with the mundane details of my life. I just want to share some major events in my life that have influenced choices I have made, and have made me who I am today, and have led me down the path to this beautiful life I now lead.

I had a wonderful childhood growing up on a farm in a small town (when I left there in 1994 the population was 4000) about 1.5 hours East of Toronto. It was relatively uneventful, so I will get to the "good" stuff.

My life started to take some wierd turns when I was 18. For some unknown reason, the powers that be decided to shake my life up a bit by adding some....let's call them "challenges".

First came the Cold Urticaria. I am allergic to cold. Yes folks, it is possible to be allergic to cold. I was diagnosed just before I left to start University in Ottawa. When I am in direct contact with something cold, the contact area swells and I get hives. Even better, when I breathe cold air, my trachea swells making it difficult to breathe. A sort of uber-asthma attack if you will. I still question my reasoning behind sticking with the plan to move to Ottawa, a city colder than my hometown. Key word COLDER!

Then came the Alopecia Universalis. In May 1996 I moved back to my parents' house after my exams were over and school was finished for the year. I had plans to find a job and work for the summer. The powers that be had other plans entirely.

When I got home my mother remarked that my hair looked thin. I didn't notice any difference, but I saw myself everyday. The difference wasn't as subtle to my mother. I went to see my doctor and was tested for iron deficiency. That wasn't it. So I was sent to a Dermatologist. It still confuses me why this type of hair loss is lumped in with skin diseases, but I don't have a medical degree so who am I to question?

In june of 1996, shortly before my 22nd birthday, I learned that I had Alopecia. I was going to lose all of my hair. He wasn't kidding! By the end of July, I was left looking like a feminine Telly Savalas. Only he had to good fortune to have eyebrows and eyelashes! I do not! I have to draw them on every morning. Not my favourite thing to do!

So, there you have it. I am bald as a cue ball! I went through a lot of self esteem issues, but managed to go back to school in September. I decided to not wear a wig to hide my lack of hair. I did this for a couple of reasons. My hair was beautiful. It was long, straight, super fine blonde hair. And I could not find a wig that looked at all like it, or that made me look/feel like myself. I also had the fear that people would know I was wearing a wig. I felt I could easier deal with it if it was out in the open. And I did!

There's just one last thing. In the fall of 1999 I was hit suddenly with Polymorphic Light Eruption. Yes ladies and gents. Now I was allergic to the sun! This type of allergy is only strong during the strong UV know...Spring and Summer...when everyone wants to be outside! So in the winter I am fine. No...wait. I'm allergic to cold too! So there is no month where I am totally safe! Great!

You are probably wondering why I named my blog what I did. Well, there is both a truth and irony there.

There have been times, especially when I lost my hair, that I never thought I would have a beautiful life. This seemed like far to much to deal with for someone in there mid-20's. And being a bald woman isn't easy. Would I ever get married or have children?

The answer is yes! My husband spotted me because of my baldness. He just had to meet that seemingly fearless young woman that he described once described as "the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes on". Yup! That's me!

I have been fortunate enough to have a family that is so close-knit. I have had all the support I have ever needed, and was taught growing up that to be able to deal with the bad times, you need to be able to laugh. We are a family of great laughter. I truly believe that without laughter I would not be where I am today.

I am extremely happily married to the most wonderful man. He makes me feel beautiful everyday, even when I'm sure I'm not.

I also have two of the most beautiful boys ever to grace this Earth. It is a joy to be able to stay at home and watch them grow everyday.

Yes, I am truly blessed. What a Beautiful Life indeed!

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Friday, January 5, 2007

A Bad Start

Well, I've had my first blog delay already! We visited my parents in my hometown for a few days over the holidays. Unfortunately we brought back with us the worst cold known to mankind along with all the boys' Christmas booty! Both the boys have it (my youngest's first cold!), and I got hit the worst (which is fine by me...better me than my 7 month or 20 month old!).

My nose is cemented shut, and my lungs are so full of nastiness (I know...tmi) that I feel like I'm breathing through pudding. I can only sleep sitting up since as soon as I am horizontal I fly into a coughing fit that shakes and rattles my whole body. The only bright spot is that my husband didn't catch it, and my dear mother-in-law has come to helps us try to placate the extremely cranky sucky-babies that my sons have transformed into!

So....there is my excuse. As soon as I am back to full performance, I promise to post again with an intro into my life!

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Monday, January 1, 2007

My New Year's Resolution

I have been following a few blogs over the past year or so, all the time thinking that maybe it was something I should try. Yet it has taken me this long to start one. Why? I'm not sure. A perceived lack of time? A fear of being boring? Maybe. But recent events have pushed me into taking the proverbial plunge.

My sons' lives seem to be flying by so fast my head is spinning. I feel like this may help me better document their milestones, which I so far have been only half successful at.

I also have been met with some challenges with my second son. I am hoping that this blog will help me express what I am truly feeling in an anonymous arena (and without adding extra burden to my husband!). Maybe I will even be so lucky to receive a few helpful comments here and there (that is, if my blog is not too boring for human consumption!). Who knows!

So, that being said....I resolve to use this blog:

  1. as an attempt at capturing my boys' lives as they grow, from major milestones to daily tantrums.
  2. as an outlet for my thoughts, feelings and amusing anicdotes about my life as a stay-at-home mom to 2 boys under the age of 2.
  3. as a place to vent when required (this maybe be more often than not!)
I'm not sure how often and with how much consistency I will be posting. This remains to be seen.

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