Post Traumatic Growth 101

From traumatic beginings to "normal life", choosing to grow and wanting to empower others. This is my story.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Le Ring

Here's a picture of the ring. A good friend asked for a picture of it on my finger, but alas I'm not doing that to myself. I don't want to depress myself any further. I'm pregnant, I'm over it, I'll post a picture of my not-so-fat-anymore hand in oh, 4 months :)

I'd also like to shout a big wOO hOO for the Edmonton Oilers. I'm not a fan fan, just a bandwagoner, but Corey has always been an Edmonton fan so I'm justified in my excitement. It's contageous. Go Leafs Go, but since you're in Canada, I'll cheer for ya this time Oilers.

If they win the cup, my daughter is going to be a fan "by default". Or so Corey thinks. I'll still sneak in a few "Go Leafs Go" whenever I can. We were joking around last night about naming her Samantha Oiler Long if they do win. At least I think we were joking.....

For My Darling Baby Girl: I would never do that to you, I promise. Momma's got yo back.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Better Weekend Than I Thought was supposed to be just a normal long weekend but it turned into the weekend...


Yep, Corey popped the question yesterday, our two year anniversary. It was totally out of left field, I mean I was in the middle of doing laundry, he was watching TV. He asked me into our room in the basement, closed the door behind him...I thought he wanted, well you know. He got down on one knee, gave the speech, asked if I would marry him and then produced the ring! Of course I said yes :) I was so shocked.

It's not a big secret but I've been married before. I had a brief "starter marriage". Met the guy VERY young (17). Had just gotten out on my own, had family issues, big ideas about life. We were together like 7 1/2 years before he proposed and by then I "couldn't imagine my life without him". Reality was we lived separate lives from eachother but clung to the bond we shared. We were married less than 10 months when I broke it off. Truth is, I had found real love and I couldn't give it up to work on a marriage I didn't even believe in anymore. I never should have gotten married, I should have listened to my instincts instead of my head. But I learned many many many lessons and am so thankful for what I have with Corey now. It's what I dreamed of, what I convinced myself didn't really exist outside of TV land or romantic novels. It sounds so corny but now when I read these novels or watch these shows I think "I know exactly how they feel". The passion, the happiness, the intimacy.

So today, with my big gorgeous white-gold heart shaped diamond rock on my pinky finger, I feel so incredibly lucky. My past is my past, my mistake was just that, a mistake. I wouldn't be where I am today had I not lived my life the way I did.

Oh and yes, I did say my ring is on my pinky finger. I'm 8 months pregnant! This baby ain't getting over the knuckle of my ring finger. It's rather depressing.

We haven't really talked wedding yet, figure we'll get the baby out first. Ideally I'd like to get married next spring somewhere tropical with only a very small few guests, if any. I've done the wedding "show" and don't think I have the strength to go through that again. Corey doesn't like being the centre of attention in situations like that so I think he'll totally go for the tropical idea. His mom has already said "well when you go away to get married I'm watching the baby!". In fact, I think that was the first thing she said! Any excuse to babysit she's all over. We've already been told we have to go to Hamilton in September to represent the family while she stays home with the baby.

The other highlights of our long weekend pale in comparison. Got a Costco membership, cleaned the babies room, set up the crib, shopped. Nothing too exciting. I still haven't uploaded my NY pictures, in fact I haven't even looked at them on a computer yet. My bad. I should also take some pictures of the nursery, it's adorable! The crib is gorgeous too.

For My Darling Baby Girl: Your Daddy asked me to marry him this weekend. It was very sweet, very US. I'm a lucky woman. One of my biggest dreams for you is that you'll feel as loved and as lucky as I do when you find that special someone.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Toronto - Pittsburgh - Newark and Back

What a fun weekend. First let me apologise for not posting pictures today. They're still on the digital camera! My bad.

Let's begin with Friday night. The Oilers were playing the Sharks and Corey went out to watch the game. I went to pick him up at 11:30pm and he was pretty drunk (the Oilers won). I went right to bed since we had to be up at oh, FOUR AM. He had other plans aparently and at 1:30am I heard some strange voice saying "Well someone called for this Pizza and has to pay". I went downstairs and Corey was passed out on the couch. His dad, who was also drunk, was walking around saying he couldn't wake Corey up and that Corey was an idiot. I SCREAMED at Corey to wake up and he did. He had money sitting on his chest and was startled. He said "I'm waiting for my pizza!" and I was like "It's here dumbass." I'm not the politest person when I've been woken from a deep sleep. He at his pizza and probably got to bed at 2am? Needless to say 4am was NOT a good time for Corey.

We made it to the airport by about 4:40am. Our flight was leaving at 6:15am. Customs had a HUGE line and then of course I got stopped by immigration. Last year when Corey and I went to Florida I got stopped and sent into the interrogation room. They asked me all kinds of questions like "where do you work", "why are you going to the US this weekend", "who's going to be with you at the other end". It freaked me out. The customs agent told me that someone with the same exact name and birthday, but different passport number had been through the border and I guess that makes them suspicious. When I went to Philly I forgot my passport and got through OK, but then had to be interrogated, got my finger prints taken and a digital photo taken this trip. The guy said he thinks someone tried to steal my identity. I did have my purse stolen back in like 1998, so that is a possibility! I need to find out if there's anyway to avoid the interrogation though, cause it's kinda embarassing and scary.

The flights were short and sweet. We got there at around 10am and spent the day with my Uncle touring Denville NJ, eating fantastic fat laden foods and doing a bit of shopping. My "family down south" have a beautiful home in a really nice (green) neighbourhood. Corey and I made BBQ and hung out on their deck (where I fell asleep and got sunburnt) with my Uncle. After dinner my cousin and I had some quality alone time doing what we love, shopping. We bought Corey a Do-Rag. Just thinking about it cracks me up.

Sunday we went into NYC. I had a GREAT day! Corey unfortunately didn't like the mass amount of people. Travelling with him is NOT going to be the greatest. We're VERY different travellers. I don't mind crowds and people, I'm just all about the sights I've read about etc. He however would rather just hang out in the country, relaxing. I'd be so bored after like a day. So something we'll have to figure out and work with I guess. I'm sure the kid(s) will change how we travel anyway.

Monday I went out with my Aunt who had returned from Toronto (of all places!) and cousin to TARGET. I've been obsessed with Target for years. My friends in the US mentioned how great it is and I have been dying to go to one. The prices on baby things were GREAT and I wish I could have registered there but otherwise I's Zellers. Only really red. I thought the lighting was even reddish. We also went to TJ Max and I got a cute little Baby Enstien set for the baby.

When we checked the Internet for our flight we saw that it was delayed. Bummer, but we went to the airport at the same time we planned anyway. Good thing, we got on an earlier flight that had also been delayed and arrived home 2 hours early! When does THAT ever happen?

So all in all a nice trip and a good "last trip as non-parents". I'll never forget: Whoopie Pies, Stewarts Steak and Cheese, Pittsburgh Steak and Cheese, Whoopie Pies, getting kicked out of a baby store for having muddy shoes, the carriage ride in Central Park, the huge elephant in FAO Schwartz, Whoopie Pies, finding out what actually Yoo Hoo is (yuck!), traffic boredom, my uncle with chalk on his nose, Whoopie Pies, street meat, DVDDVDDVDDVD, the smell of pee, brittney spear's limo and Whoopie Pies.

For My Darling Baby Girl: I wonder if you felt the take off when we were flying. I was massaging your back (at least I think it was your back) to keep you calm and I could tell you liked it. I also think you liked all the walking I did on Sunday because you were very quiet, I imagine lulled to sleep. I promise if I win the lottery you'll get a HUGE stuffed Elephant in your room.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Countdown Keeping Me Busy

I'm in the final stretch here at work and so my blogging and Internet surfing time is getting severely compromised. It's good that I'm almost done (4 weeks!) but bad because, well, I actually have to do some work around here! Imagine!

So what's been happening. On the weekend we went to the baby show. It was ok, got a lot of free samples of stuff like stretch mark cream. The "Biggest Baby Shower" turned out to be listening to boring speakers for two hours and then getting a bad filled with more stretch mark cream (that was the "free gift" incentive). Not even close to worth the $28 admission we paid for the two of us but I made up for it by winning $100 on a Kentucky Derby pool the same day so all was not lost. We ran into a couple who had a baby last year that we know, they're having another in October as well, so that did make things brighter as well. The Dad came over yesterday and gave Corey a bit of a "wake up" talk about the reality of having a baby, VERY GOOD THING. Corey has no idea how this is going to change our lives. This is the only child who wants six kids!

On Tuesday we had our first pre-natal class. It was a lot of fun! There were 8 couples in total and we were the second "most pregnant" couple. The most pregnant was due July 3rd and the least pregnant was due August 13. The teacher had a super French accent and asked near the beginning who spoke French and I raised my hand! It created a bit of a bond, I noticed she remembered my name. She went through the phases of pregnancy and then labour. We learned some exercises that we need to be working on (Kegals!) and then Corey got to massage my calves and feet. Apparently he should be doing this every night :) (Wait, let me take that smile back, it's Friday and he hasn't rubbed my feet since) I was a bit embarrassed because my feet were obviously swollen and she used them as an "example" of why the massaging needed to happen. She also showed the guys how to rub coconut oil on our bellies to create "bonding time" with the baby. She was VERY impressed to hear that Corey talks to Samantha every night and that she knows his voice. The other guys kinda made fun of him because he said he likes to sing her the ABC's (you know guys, they were like "awww, how cute" in a very sarcastic way) but Corey was beaming with pride. We left the class feeling very happy and close.

Oh! Corey booked us a trip to New Jersey to visit my cousin Heather this weekend! I think he could tell that I was getting anxious about Mother's day and needed to get away. I couldn't believe he got tickets, I was unable to find ANY to Minneapolis and New Jersey for the following long weekend. We leave tomorrow at 6:15am (yikes!) and come back home on Monday night. I'll be calling in sick on Monday and get two long weekends in a row! It should be fun, we're going to do the NYC tour thing on Sunday and on Monday I'm going to TARGET. I know, what's her excitement over TARGET of all places. My online friends from the US have mentioned it so much and I've never been so it's going to be cool to finally know what they're all talking about. We don't have much money to spend but don't need much really. Our Canadian dollar is ROCKING at over 0.90 so we're not getting slaughtered. I'll have some pictures next week!

I had my 32 week Doctors appointment today. I've only gained ONE POUND in the last 2 1/2 weeks! Go me! I rock! Baby is growing perfectly and has a "strong heartbeat". Passed my sugar test, "perfect" blood pressure...all is good.

For My Darling Baby Girl: You still haven't turned for us. I'm going to ask your Dad to start talking lower to you so maybe you'll move towards his voice. You have to be head down by the time you're ready to come out if we're going to do this vaginally. Mommy doesn't want to get cut up! (but will if she has to) Mommy would also like to avoid an induction if at all possible so take another 6-8 weeks to get ready and then come on out ok! Daddy and Mommy are getting anxious to finally meet you.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Pregnancy Brain

I had too much to write yesterday and blogger wasn't workin for me....Now I can't remember what I wanted to write. I blame pregnancy brain. I do have it you know. I feel like a stoner sometimes. Things like work phone numbers, numbers that I've been using for YEARS, gone. The people around me have starting cashing in on my little "issue" as well. They've all got "pregnancy brain" all of a sudden. It must be contagious.

Oo! I just remembered what I wanted to write about! Yesterday was Daniel's 14th birthday. I can't believe my baby brother is FOURTEEN. I remember the day he was born, my mom woke me up at 2am. I was 13, almost 14 at the time. I had expressed interest in helping her delivery the baby and she had agreed to let me help. At the time I wanted to be a doctor :P So at 2am on a Friday night she's telling me that it's time and I need to get up. I told her I was asleep and that I couldn't wake up. She knew that I wouldn't want to miss it and she persisted! I did wake up eventually and my mom was sitting at the kitchen table having a coffee or something. I was in panic mode of course, LET'S GO! She told me we had plenty of time. Then her water broke, so we called her friend who was driving us to the hospital and off we went. They checked her in and things were pretty uneventful. My mom walked up and down the hall to help deal with the contractions. They started getting pretty intense and she asked for an epidural. The nurses told her the anesthesiologist wasn't there and that she couldn't get one! My mother turned to me and asked me to get her stuff, we were taking a taxi to another hospital. No way mom! I told her we were staying right there. I think the nurses thought that was pretty amusing. Things moved along and soon enough she was fully dilated and ready to push. I let her squeeze my arm and fed her ice chips. They scared us a bit when Daniel's heartbeat dropped by mentioning the possibility of the cord being around his neck but he came out at 7:36am perfectly healthy. I cried my eyes out. The nurses and doctor made me feel like a million bucks by telling me I was a great coach and helper. They said I'd make a great doctor and that I was very mature. I just stood there staring at my little baby brother, listening to him cry.

Daniel and I have been close ever since. I remember taking him to visit friends at their school when he was like 2 months old. I brought pictures into school and beamed with pride. I even took turns feeding him for my mom (he was bottle fed), waking up at all hours. I was the first person he ever threw up on.

I moved to Toronto when he was about 5 or 6 and shortly after he went to go live with his father. It became my responsibility to keep in touch with him. His father never initiated contact with me and never encouraged Daniel to keep in touch. There have been issues between his father and I over the years. This man doesn't have much of a filter when it comes to his mouth. He also uses drugs regularly and lives a pretty shaddy life. I work around it though and haven't missed a single birthday or Christmas present. Daniel has also been down to Toronto every single year for at least a week to spend time with me. When he was younger I'd sometimes drive down to Montreal and back with him in one day. Now that he's older I send him plane and train tickets. I always want him to know that I'm there for him, no matter what.

Talked to him last night to say Happy Birthday. He had just returned from a movie and was in a great mood. He loves Corey I tell ya. They talked and talked and talked. Corey knows all the good "boy questions" to ask. He had given me his new address last week and gave me the wrong street number so he was a bit upset about his package but I called Canada Post and he should be able to go get it at the post office tonight. We got him a new spring jacket and a $50 gift certificate for an X-box game. I also sent him the 3D pictures of Samantha and some belly shots of me. For Christmas we sent him a calendar with pictures of him and us in it and he's mentioned it both times we've called this week so I better remember to send him another one next year :)

Last night we went for our hospital pre-registration and tour. OMG I almost started crying I was just so overwhelmed. Seeing the birthing room, the little "crib" she'll be staying was scary. When they were making my file they asked if I had ever been to the hospital and I said no but I had been born there. Well they looked me up and I was actually in the system from the birth! I have the same hospital number as I had then and it was kinda neat thinking about how Corey and I had both been in those same rooms when we were born. But yea, SCARY. Right now the unknown is freaking me out. I can't wait to get to that "I just want to get her out" stage.

Not much went on this weekend. Did some shopping, hung out and enjoyed the nice weather. We got the backyard all set up and organized so we can sit out there on the patio sets. Corey and I love hanging out playing crib, eating and drinking. I won't be participating in the drinking this year *cry*. I'll have to start experimenting with "mocktails".

For My Darling Baby Girl: We saw where you're going to be born yesterday and it really hit me, we're having a baby. They showed us the little sleep thing you wear, the bracelet, the crib thing....We're really doing this. We're really having you! In about 2 months you're going to want to come out and join us and my whole world is going to change forever. I can't even begin to explain to you how much just writing that freaks me out. I love your Daddy so much and we're going to do this. We're going to have you!

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