Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May 10, 1991 - 2006

I always wanted to be a mother. It was one of those things that I thought about and planned for from the time I was very young. One could think that having so many younger siblings could have jaded me on the idea. But it didn't. I was happy for each of their arrivals and I looked forward to the day when I would have my own children. After having Erin when I was 21, I looked forward to having another. Of course, my life took a bit of a detour for a few years... I can remember standing in line with Erin at the grocery store. I was single at the time and her proclaiming loudly that I would have baby, soon, right? She often told me she wanted to go live with other families that had more children...

I became pregnant in August of 1990. I knew the second she implanted in my womb. I started my last year at UVic just days after. I can remember how nauseous the smell of the outdoor grill at the Student Union Building made me feel - and that smell seemed to waft over the entire campus for most of the day! Erin was thrilled. Daily she would put her hands on my belly and say, "you're a girl! You're a girl!" We gleefully prepared together for the arrival of her sibling. She learned how to quilt - we made blankets. We painted and gather baby clothes. We were so excited! The room was a beautiful pale lemon yellow with pink and blue inside the cupboards and drawers. It couldn't have been prettier.

I had a 3 week break between the end of the winter semesterand the start of the spring semester. I had 2 courses in the spring semester and 2 in the summer semester and then I was done my psych degree. This 3 week break was the time for her to be born. Spring and summer courses are very condensed. Missing even one day is the same as missing a week - almost impossible to make up! Classes started May 13. I was due May 5. The days crept by. Pretty soon it was Thursday, May 9 and no sign of a baby other than my bulging belly... I bought a bottle of castor oil. I drank the recommended 2 tablespoons. Labour started and we went to the hospital. And came home with her still inside. I drank the whole bottle. Labour started about 5pm.

Now I have been blessed with a relatively easy labour. My labour pains are not very painful and the pain doesn't really increase. Of course this has it advantages but the disadvantage is that I really couldn't tell where I was at in my labour. There is video footage of me brushing my teeth at 10:30 at home. Then the next thing you see, it is 11:10 and I am holding Kaetlyn in the delivery room... We lived in Sidney and she was born in the Victoria General Hospital which is a 20 minute drive away. As we sped there through the night with Erin tucked into the back seat, I knew I was having the urge to push but I denied it. Iwas NOT giving birth in a 1972 Toyota! When we got to the hospital, I didn't wait for the wheel chair. I dashed up to the maternity floor. While walking down the hall, I got the urge to push again - I called out "It's coming" and collapsed as the nurses grabbed me. See, they tell you to stay home until you can't walk through the contractions. I can walk unless I am actually pushing. Kaetlyn was born just 15 minutes after we arrived at the hospital - I was still wearing my own clothes... Erin was right there between my legs, beside the Dr, watching her sister be born. She was the one to declare, "Its a girl!" I also have it on video Erin sitting in the easy chair in the hospital room singing, "This is the way the baby rides" to her much anticipated sister. And so she was named Kaetlyn Marie after my two sisters on May 10, 1991. 7lbs, 13 oz. Today she is 15.

And what an honour it has been to be her mother these last 15 years. She was a blonde, chubby little drop of sunshine - always friendly and outgoing. I remember her hanging in her jolly jumper and laughing hysterically as Erin did stunts to make her laugh. Anytime Erin dropped something, Kaetlyn giggled uncontrollably. So Erin dropped things over and over. She has grown into an amazing young woman. Her friends' parents always love her. She is gracious and kind and very thoughtful. She was my best Mother's Day present ever! How could I possible top that?!

People have always commented on how much she looks like me. I can see it sometimes in the expression of her face and in her eyes. Mostly she looks like her own person. I have felt sorry for her when almost every place we go together, people comment because I know it can be frustrating to be compared to someone else all the time. And certainly she is like me in many ways. Sometimes I have been afraid that she has all my worst character faults. She is bossy and she has a hard time letting go when she has been hurt and has a hard time accepting gifts. But she also has amazing qualities that are nothing like me. Like she is very talented at Math. She got 90% in grade 9 Math on her last report card. And it was EASY for her! And she has a great ability to see through people and not put up with crap. And she is disciplined - she studies and does her homework. She knows how to apply herself. She is fantastic help for washing windows because she knows how to take care and do the job well. Sometimes we clash because we are both stubborn and she sees through my crap. But that is not what is real. What is real is that I have been in-love with her since before she was conceived. She was wanted and is cherished and I am so proud of her and grateful for this opportunity to be her mom! Happy Birthday Kaetlyn!

And here is my photo essay on the last 15 years...

Here is Kaet and Erin goofing around

This is my all time favourite picture of Kaetlyn taken on her 4th birthday in the clothes that I bought her for her birthday outside our home on Silver Star Road.

Umpiring her first game at age 12. Isn't she brave?

with dramatic make up

At the beach in White Rock 2 weeks ago and last week end with her friend who had just dyed her hair pink....

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