Post Traumatic Growth 101

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

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I am definately an introvert. I recharge my batteries by being alone. I still haven't thought enough to figure out why I'm an introvert, if that's even possible (maybe you just "are"). Even in crowds, I'm usually the one who's observing, listening, disecting people. I have a tough time opening up in large settings. I much prefer the one on one, or small group (3-4 people). Maybe it's because then I don't feel pressure to "move on" to someone else. I don't feel the need to make talk happen, but quickly, because you have to socialize! In smaller groups, one person talks and everyone listens. They're not keeping a look out over your shoulder for someone, or feeling like they have to go rescue their partner, visit with the host etc.

Being an introvert, a sheltered childhood, I have had to work hard at opening up to people. Wait, that's not true, I did have to work harder at opening up to people. But you know what? It became easier and easier. And I became happier and happier.

I'm going to nurture my extrovert though. Like why am I going on about this right now when all anyone wants to know is "did you have the baby" lol. Ahhhhhh, I have just recharged my batteries :) Sam went with Grandma and Poppop last night. I got to leave work, drive straight home and had the house to myself for over 2 hours. I organized paperwork, started some laundry and logged onto the net. It was sooooooooooooooooooo nice. When Corey walked in I was organizing Mackenna's clothes and packing my hospital bag. Can I just say that packing those tiny little clothes in my bag REALLY got me excited. I chatted with my awesome new neighbours (we have incredible neighbours, on all sides, our house is like a dream house for us I'm NOT kidding) and they gave me CAKE (these particular ones are two sisters, their mom and one of the sisters son - 8). It's so nice to have a group of women next door, I mean cake? For a pregnant lady? I LOVE it! Cleaned out the car, sigh of relief, it was really nasty. Then Corey and I hung out arguing :P Last night it was over meat, then dinosaurs, then species and whether or not we are animals...gotta love us :)

And of course this morning I slept in until 10am. OK I was up at 4:30, 5:30, 8, 9 and finally 10, but I slept in! lol Had a nice long shower (usually the kid is in my bed watching TV), used some nice smelling creams, watched Maury (paternity tests, gotta love them). I stopped for lunch on my way into the office and they gave me a HUGE salad (instead of side small) and TONS of pickles, "for the baby". Better enjoy it while I can eh???

Then to top it off, got the report on Sams night from Grandma. Sam helped make supper, ate like a champ, played in the backyard a bit, went to the park with her "boyfriend" Ryan (walked there and back! laughing and smiling!), had a bath and went right to sleep :) Grandma was so happy, told me Sam smiled in her sleep as she was drifting off and said "I love you Grammy".

How lucky am I to have that? I know my kid is safe, loved, loves being there...and look at all I get! Even tonight, Grandma is picking Sam up and driving her over to the house. I'm making supper for everyone :) It's suposed to be a gorgeous summer like day.

Mackenna, you're a lucky little girl. I don't know why you don't want to come out and join us, but we're sure looking forward to it and hope you join us soon. 40W + 1D

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cozy Uterus

I was really hoping that stupid 7 thing meant May 27th. I tried, I really tried. I walked. I ate pineapple. I ate spicy ribs! Yea, all I did was give myself the runs and make myself puke, in the middle of the night. I sure didn't make any progress happen! In fact, who knew this possible, the baby is HIGHER than she was last week. FRIG.

I was NOT a happy camper yesterday. It was like 30C and VERY humid. Not good for a super pregnant lady let me tell you. I quickly decided to take Sam out for dinner. I was in no mood to cook in that heat. Tured out to be a great decision. We had such a nice dinner. I'm really lucky, I have a great kid. I didn't need to bring anything to distract her. First she read me the menu (she told me what she saw in pictures, "Pizza!" "Nuggets!" "Salad!" "Noodles!"). Then she coloured a picture (and I got the blue crayon, "Mommy's favourite colour" - she's learning!). We then drew her hands (a facinating thing to do did ya know?). When supper arrived we shared everything. She loved how I spun my angel hair pasta with the spoon and I had to spin her a couple of mouthfuls, so cute. Dessert was three little ice cream cones and we shared :) Throw in the fact that it was kids eat free and well, you can see my delight! She's great too because she loves to people watch. Just like her Mom and Dad, so I got plenty of time to sit back, eat and relax. Heck we outlasted a table of 10! Me and my 22 month old! She made sure to take her greasy placemat with her drawn hands home for Daddy :) She asked where he was a few times and wanted me to know she would have liked "Mommy AND Daddy". It goes like this, "Where's Daddy Mommy?" "Daddy is at work sweetheart" "Mommy, I want Mommy AND Daddy". She was also very concerned with where "Kenna" would be sitting when she joined us the next time. I picked her a flower on the way out and we both went home happy as clams :)

I got emotional afterwards, when telling Corey all about it. This was probably our last dinner out just the two of us for a VERY long time. I didn't really see it that way until later that night...and then it hit me, everything is changing. Just when things are so perfect. I have no doubt it'll be even more perfect, but what if it isn't?

Ah life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Number Seven?

I'm SEVEN days away from my due date.

I have SEVEN days left at work.

My prediction, June 7th.

That would suck, because my cousin is here the 1st to the 6th. I hope I'm wrong!

Life is good. Getting things done, feeling relaxed, happy. When I look back at this pregnancy I won't have much good to relfect upon, but at least I have SOMETHING. I enjoy eating again, and that is a GOOD thing. It's an important thing for me.

The challenge is keeping the weight off after the baby comes. I totally see myself pigging out on garbage all summer. That's what I did last time! After you have a baby, for the first week or so you never feel full. I remember eating and eating and never feeling full! Probably because your body is all unsquished so your tummy is happy to have extra room. I dunno. I'd really like to stay healthy though, maybe even get down to my PP Sam weight. I have a pool, plenty of cool places to walk too...I just need to stay motivated and eat healthy!

All my work is transitioned so I sit here all day trying to "look busy". I've been surfing the net, reading my pregnancy sites and catching up on missed TV shows. If they need me I'm here and have been answering questions but I could go anyday, so I have no deliverables. It's a nice break :)

I don't have the energy to write after all lol. I'm off to read instead!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Second Mother's Day

Mothers Day II was great. Daddy and Sam went to the local nursery and picked up a bunch of flowers (in plant form) for "my garden". They did the same for Grandma. They went to her house first to plant and then came to ours. I got to clean (can you believe that's what I ended up doing?) surf the net in peace (usually I've got a 22 month old screaming "Yo Gabba Gabba Mommy!") and have a nap. Sam and Dad got home in the middle of my nap, but they let me sleep and took a nap of their own. After about an hour Sam came into our room and I thought we were done for, but she crawled into bed and cuddled with me. Waking up yet another hour later with her little arm around my chest and her little leg on top of my huge belly was heart warming. Those are the moments.

We all went outside to plant the flowers. They made me two gorgeous hanging baskets and planted flowers all over the side and back yards. I tried to help, but what could I do? I can't bend, can't shovel and the dirt smelled like poo. In fact, I aparently know nothing about flowers/gardens because even the places I chose to plant my flowers were "wrong". Corey had to show me how to read labels for sun requirements, explain that tall flowers go in the back...I was so clueless. I did get to play with the camera though. I'll have to upload some shots to the blog.

It may seem like an odd gift for me since I know nothing about flowers, but it was perfect. Now we'll have some colour in our backyard and I can proclaim it all MINE. My kid and husband can take care of them for me and feel accomplished and proud. I can teach (and learn!) Sam about the different flowers, gives us something to do over the summer...I hope it does continue to be a Mother's Day tradition. I don't need "things". Heck I never even wear the jewlery I have now, why add to the dusty collection?

The ONLY thing I do want in the future is breakfast in bed. Corey always forgets breakfast because he doesn't eat it. Well I do. I was raised a Quebecer Dammit! Breakfast is the best meal of the day! Some fried eggs, bacon, potatoes and toast please! I haven't had a good breakfast in...omg...months. I need me some breakfast!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Saying Goodbye

RIP Saphire Long, 1995 - May 2008

We had to put Saphire down last night. It was time. Her weight had drastically gone down (and I mean from obviously obese to skin and bones), she wasn't eating, she was losing control of her bladder and was peeing blood. I couldn't take it anymore, she was suffering too much. It finally hit Corey too.

I went into the room with her. It was a peaceful experience. They put a blanket down for her on the floor and we had her lie down. There were three of us, me the doctor and the tech, all females, comforting our big doberman. They told me I could hold her head and I whispered how she was going to be alright, she wouldn't suffer anymore and that we all loved her into her ear as she peacefully fell asleep. I shed a few tears but felt an enormous weight lifted off my heart. This was what saying Goodbye was all about. I haven't had many chances to say good bye to those I've lost. The one time I've put an animal down, my cat, it was over from the onset of problems to death in I swear, 45 minutes. He had a bloot clot. Then my mom... I feel like I've learned from this experience, learned that saying good bye is not something to avoid. It helped me feel the peace I feel today. Looking back I can see times where I avoided someone's illness because I didn't know how to face a possible good bye. I didn't attend funerals because I couldn't face saying good bye. I'm going to take this experience and grow from it. Thank you Saphire, for this final gift.

She wasn't "my" dog, but she was our dog for the past 4 years. We started out great Saphire and I, best friends, sleeping in together (on our bed!), chilling out. I could tolerate her "quirks" (ok, to be honest, I had serious issues with how Corey raised her, but that's just me) and give into her many needs, like a mom I guess. The the real baby came, and things changed. I no longer had the time for her, she couldn't sleep on the bed anymore because of the baby. Her needs became a pain for me, I had baby needs to tend to. Saphire never had puppies and she's a dog, I'm sure she didn't understand why I was changing.

She got sick when I got sick. So here I was, morning sickness, a one year old and a sick dog. Yes Corey was there, but he's not a nurturer. Not like me. He could ignore her cries when she wanted in and out of the house a million times a day. I couldn't. She tired me. And then in the end, she saddened me. It wasn't fair to her, and there wasn't anything I could do. I had to let him do it his way. It was his dog.

So the next time should be better right? I will have equal say. I'm not ready now though. Dogs are cute and all, but they're a LOT of work. First there is puppyhood. You have to approach that as a mom and apply the golden principals of "routine, consistency and love". This means walks in the subzero weather NO MATTER WHAT, feeding routines etc. Then you have an adult dog with a good routine. I don't have the time for this in the distant future, let alone the near future. We need a few years off I think, wait until the kids are 7-9 so they can learn and help with the experience. With the proper approach, I can see how owning a pet is an important life lesson. Right down to the saying goodbye (because lets face it, if you have a pet it's going to happen).

And so we move on. I will be getting my cat back, Freckles. Freckles has been my cat for 12 years, his entire life. He's the best cat in the world, affectionate, great with Samantha, low maintenance, fat and furry. He's been living with the in-laws for about 3 years now. We were there living with him for two of them, but because of the dog we didn't get to see much of him. Saphire hated cats and I swear, she would have killed him (she killed skunks and he IS black and white).

Of course I can't post an entry on this day, May 2nd, without reflecting on my baby brother. It's his birthday...his SIXTEENTH birthday. I can't even put my head around that one. I saw him being born....time. Happy Birthday Naner.

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