Happy 7th birthday, Little Bird

printable-happy-birthday-cards-2-400px

Happy birthday, Little Bird!

I hope your day is everything you hope for, full of friends and laughter, costumes and nail polish, fun and good times. I hope you make memories that you can take with you.

I love you very much and wish you only happiness.

I want you to remember that we are here for you, no matter what. Continue to be smart, curious and resourceful. Take chances in your life, as risk could lead to great reward. Don’t be afraid, speak up for yourself and never back down. Be strong, but compassionate; be brave, but humble. Always look after your sister.

I hope all your wishes come true!

Love you always and forever,

Mommy

On this day 7 years ago…

On this day, seven years ago I was getting ready for my appointment at the hospital. Nerves were high, mostly due to a combination of fear and excitement. The day was here. D and I were going to be parents.

I packed a small suitcase, with everything that was ever put on a “hospital bag” list. My What to Expect book was on the top. My birth plan, of which I had several copies, was now in the garbage. Things were not going to go as expected. And I only had a couple days to digest that.

I couldn’t breathe for the past 38 weeks, as it felt like the baby was resting in the centre of my chest. I also used to feel the kicking down low. It’s hard to pretend it doesn’t hurt when you get kicked in the crotch from the inside, while in an important meeting at work. I would hunch over and pretend to scratch my leg.

Speaking of my legs, I was so swollen for the last half of my pregnancy. My toes looked like those little cocktail sausages, it was bad. And my legs were so itchy all the time!

I knew my baby was straight up and down inside me. But my doctor kept saying that everything could change. The baby will move around until the very last day.

What did I know?! This was our first.

Well I did know. And on my last ultrasound on Friday April 18, 2008, I lay on that table for over 45 minutes. Those technicians kept pressing that scanner over my belly, squeezing cold gel again and again and whispering to each other in the corner. I started to feel that something was wrong, but when I asked, they told me the results would be sent to my doctor. My back was killing me, and this was taking a very long time. Too long. But I had to wait to see the doctor on Tuesday.

When I went in for my appointment, the doctor confirmed that the baby was literally straight up and down. The feet were exactly where I said they were, and the head, right under my rib cage.

My umbilical cord was short, so the baby couldn’t turn around.

We were having a cesarean section.

The doctor looked at the calendar and said, “Um…how about Wednesday April 30?” To which I quickly agreed, since that wasn’t actually anyone’s birthday. (I have way too many birthdays in April as is) And she then shook her head, saying she wanted to deliver this baby, so Friday April 25th it was.

I was having a baby on my uncle’s birthday. And it was going to be via C-section.

Wait?! I skipped that pre-natal class!

A few weeks prior, I was tired and knew I wouldn’t be having a C-section, so I convinced D NOT to go to that class. So now what?! I didn’t know what to do, what to expect or what to think.

It was too late. The decision was made and my date was booked. I went into work, advised them that tomorrow would be my last day, as I had to take Thursday off to visit the hospital once more before the big day. There was no time to absorb that this was happening.

In the early morning of Friday April 25, D and I would walk into the hospital, about to face the unknown. Sure, I read as much as I could in the past 48 hours to try to understand what was in store for me, but I’m not sure D and I really understood it. It all seemed overwhelming.

I was brought to my room, given an IV and catheter, (nowhere did I read I was getting one of those!) and waited for our turn to go to the OR.

D had to wait outside until they were ready for him. So I said goodbye and followed my nurse. She sat me on the table and I had to wait for the anesthesiologist to come to give me the epidural. I remember telling myself NOT to look around. I didn’t want to see what they were doing. I didn’t want to see the instruments and tools and imagine where it would be used.

A young student nurse had asked me right before going in if she could stay in the OR and watch, as she had never seen a C-section before, I told her that I didn’t’ care. If that was something she wanted to watch, she could.

I was on that table for a while, and so eventually I had to look up. I couldn’t help it. And I started to see all these shiny and sharp tools laid out on the table and I started to freak out. I don’t even know if I was breathing.

Eventually, after what seemed like an hour, the guy showed up. Again, I remember thinking, D was supposed to be with me. To hold my hand while they were about to shove this giant needle in my back. Instead my beautiful nurse, an English lady with the biggest boobs ever, told me, “Alright love. Stay calm, hug me and put your head right here.” As she pointed to her cleavage. So I didn’t ask any questions and did what she said.

I dove right on in and hugged this lady, my head comfortably in her cleavage and didn’t move.

After they lay me down, I remember thinking that the epidural didn’t work, that I could still feel everything. And then I looked up! I could see the reflection of my belly in the chrome of the light fixture above us.

Oh. My. Goodness. I was going to be able to see this happening?!

As quickly as I had that thought, I heard the lovely nurse call my husband in to sit beside me. When he was to the left of my head, I looked back up and they had placed the curtain, so I could no longer see the light.

Phew!

Then it happened. Within what felt like a few minutes, the nurses and doctor were in the room and we heard the words, “It’s a girl.”

On Friday April 25th at 11:28 a.m., the Little Bird was born. She weighed 7lbs, 6oz and had a full head of hair. She had my nose and was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe we were parents. And this little creature was all ours.

No matter what the journey looked like to get there, it was all worth it. I wear my birth story – and C-section scar – as a badge of honour.

This Little Bird has kept me on my toes ever since. She is a thinker and a worrier. She is sensitive and caring and smart. She still loves to snuggle, but not as much as she did when she was little.

She has the best laugh, and a good sense of humour to go along with it. She is methodical and thoughtful and those are traits that will come in handy as she matures.

G-hoolahoop
Hoolahooping at her cousin’s party

The Little Bird is a girly girl, who loves sparkle and dresses, fancy shoes and jewellery. She lights up when she talks about the older kids at school, and the things that they like. Yet, she still loves to play with babies and Barbies. She can be kind to her sister, and enjoys helping her out, and I love to watch them play well together.

She’s a creative spirit, drawing and making scrapbooks with her favourite pictures cut out and glued into a notebook. She is a collector of all things little and plastic, and has taken to carrying around a little pink purse with all her treasures, and lip balm.

I am in awe that you will be seven tomorrow. You made me a mommy and showed me what it is to love in a way I never understood. You are a part of my heart and I love you with every breath I have. You keep me on my toes and push my buttons, and while I may not be ready, I’m looking forward to watching you grow and mature and find your place in this world.

I love you my Little Bird and hope you enjoy your birthday celebrations tomorrow.

Mr. Put it Down: Music Monday

This is going to be a good year for concerts.

Yes, once again I will be seeing New Kids on the Block’s The Main Event tour, with Nelly and TLC. And later in the year, I’ll be seeing Ricky Martin, on his One World tour.

To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

I’ve seen NKOTB numerous times; both when they were legitimately a boy band, and when they were more, um mature. And it’s a good time all around. All the women in the crowd were the same girls standing arm-in-arm 20 years ago, with scrunchies in our hair and pink lip gloss on our lips screaming at Maple Leaf Gardens.

We’re just older and wiser.

And so are they.

I saw Ricky Martin when he toured the Livin’ La Vida Loca World Tour in 2000, and scored myself front row seats for that one.

It was a great show and I loved every minute of it.

While his presence in North America faded a bit over the years, he found himself, came out of the closet and has now dropped a new album A Quien Quiera Eschuchar, and I just got my pretty little hands on it.

It’s hard to find CDs nowadays.

I could care less that there are no English tracks on it, or perhaps I purchased the Latin CD? Either way he does have some English tracks, including today’s Music Monday pick Mr. Put it Down by Ricky Martin featuring Pitbull.

There are a few extended versions and remixes online, however this is the original. So new, there isn’t a video yet. But I needed to share it with you, as it puts me in a good mood and although I still have approximately 178 days until he’s on stage, I can guarantee you this will be on repeat until then!

Not that I’ve counted, or anything.

Happy Monday.

168 hours

iphone-106351_1280

168 hours.

It has been 168 hours since my phone died. I have no access to contacts, messages or pictures.

My phone decided to enter the vortex of restarting itself last Thursday and hasn’t really stopped. We’ve tried to recover the pictures. A friend of mine has tried to reboot it. We even put it in the fridge, as he thinks it is overheating, but no luck. It’s broken.

My pictures are gone. I think they are pictures from the last few months, but I can’t be too sure. I know it’s been a while since I last downloaded anything.

I’m mad at myself for that.

I will admit it was sort of nice not always having it with me. It was sort of freeing.

But I hated not being reachable.

I have lists and ideas on my phone. I’m always making myself notes and reminders. I hate not having those.

D asked me the other day if we had plans or appointments this week, and I couldn’t answer him. I don’t know. It was all on my phone! I told him if it wasn’t on the calendar in the kitchen, than it wasn’t happening.

I wanted to call my sister-in-law the other day, and I don’t actually know her phone number. She’s a favourite person on my phone, but I couldn’t reach her if I tried without it.

I missed some important emails and had to change the method of RSVPs for the Little Bird’s birthday party. It’s hard to live without this technology now. I feel that we’ve become accustomed to having it with us.

Even though I grew up without it, (and thank G*d for that), now it really does help me stay organized and on top of my schedules and the schedules of my kids.

So since the phone is officially dead, I am getting a new one. And now I have the fun task of reentering all the details of my life back into it.

I’m happy to have these 168 hours behind me, but I will take the lesson to download the hundreds of pictures this mama-razzi takes!

Wonderfully Made

This week seems to have a theme that I didn’t anticipate.

Love yourself.

Love others.

Reminding yourself that you are worth it, pretty, deserving and amazing is of the utmost importance. It’s something we have to do every day.

As women, we have to stop judging each other. We have to stop the inner dialogue of hate and poisonous words that break us.

Piece-by-piece.

I think this week’s theme is not a coincidence. It’s a message to myself; although it started out as a message to my girls.

I’m a mom who struggles with loving herself sometimes. A wife who really does believe that my husband loves me the way I am – the size I am. But I always have this little voice saying my life would be better if I lost a few pounds.

My heart knows that isn’t true.

It’s my head that doesn’t believe it sometimes.

I recently made the decision to go see a nutritionist again. I say again, because I saw her over four years ago, lost 30 pounds and then got pregnant with the Little Mouse.

I’m on the cusp of 41. I’m overweight. I need help to get healthy.

I’m not looking to get skinny. I’m looking to get healthy and whatever that means for my body.

I have two young girls who have started to notice different types of bodies. Two girls who I can tell are starting to think makeup makes you pretty and long hair is a definition of beauty. Two girls who are watching me all the time.

It’s time to make a change.

So here we go! One step at a time and one healthy choice at a time, I’m doing this. I’m showing them that making good choices will have a lasting impact.

I didn’t know that I would share this on my blog. I was afraid to.

What if I fail?

But as usual, as I write, sometimes my thoughts take me in a direction I didn’t expect to go. And so here we are. I’m not hitting backspace. I’m moving forward.

I’m finding a way to love myself the way D loves me. I’m finding a way to be healthy, set a positive example to my girls. I’m finding a way to look into my soul and appreciate my accomplishments, my contributions and my inner beauty.

One of my friends shared this video on Facebook and as I watched it, my eyes welled up with tears. Wonderfully Made is a poem from artist Khari Toure. I will admit I’ve never heard of him before, so I did a little digging. He is a spoken word artist and poet who is known for pieces about love and beauty. Specifically, the beauty of plus-sized women. It is something like I’ve never heard before. And I had to share it with you.

Whatever size you are; whatever reflection you see in the mirror; whatever the number on the scale I beg you to love yourself. Remind yourself to stop judging.

Everyone is made differently.

But we are all made from love.

Wonderfully Made.

Ideals of beauty

BwbD-i_CUAA5OFx

After yesterday’s post, my friend N sent this quote to me. 

How true would this be?

I would bet we would have fewer girls, and boys, with body issues. When Ashley Graham made the issue of Sports Illustrated, people probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. Our movies, magazines and music videos would look different.

More true to life.

Less unattainable.

There would be less pressure to look a certain way. Some companies might actually go out of business.

Perhaps people would be kinder to one another. Less judgmental.

Maybe bullying wouldn’t even be. If only the soul is seen, then looking a certain way doesn’t make a difference.

Everyone would be beautiful.

If only…