Exercise #2

2. Describe the first time you did something (ride a bike, do a cartwheel, etc.).

The first time I did something………  I’m glad that the person who compiled this list put the further explanation at the end of that sentence!  I’m sitting here and typing, but my mind is drawing a blank about the first time I did something.  There was the first time that I knit an item and it looked good, or one of the many first days of school, or perhaps the first time I walked down a street and felt like nothing could stop me ever and all of the people around me seemed to agree.  I can only imagine that the purpose of this exercise is to make you describe the mundane in detail, but I’ve never found these to be helpful 😦  So- here goes anyway.

-The first time I adopted a cat (or two!)

It had been 4 years since the death of the family dog, Opus, and I had been living in the DC area for 3 of those years.  For the majority of the time I’d been here I’d had roommates or the place I was living just wasn’t a good place for me to get a pet.  I also simply wasn’t ready to bring another animal into my life.  It had been a little traumatic when Opus died because it had happened in my apartment and he passed in my arms.  I still wonder if he was in pain when he left or if he really suffered a stroke like it appeared that he did.

So, I finally had a new job that paid enough for me to afford my own apartment (up to my eyeballs in ex-roommates that I’d like to forget- makes me think that I’m not so easy to live with ;)) and be financially able to support an additional vet bill.  I began to scan the adoption adds since I would not go to a breeder, even though I couldn’t afford it if I wanted to, and I found an advert from King Street Cats Rescue for the “charmed babies”.  I’m a sucker for a little magic so OF COURSE I clicked on the advert.

And there they were- it was the most adorable photo of a litter of black kittens and the rescue had given those names from the characters of the TV series Charmed.  So I e-mailed the rescue to find out more about the process and the process just seemed to take on a life of its own.  I always think about how people say that they didn’t find their animals, the animals found them- well, I think that we found each other.  For the first time, all of the dominos just seemed to fall into place.  I applied to the rescue and they couldn’t find anything wrong with me as a pet owner.  I had enough money to take them in.  I didn’t need to ask anyone’s permission (unless you count telling my leasing company so that they can charge me kitty rent).  And the kittens were sweet as could be.

I went to their foster family’s house and got to meet the two, yes two, kittens that would soon be mine and low and behold- they didn’t hate me!  $200 later and I was now the owner of a male kitten named Phoebe and a female kitten named Piper.  Apparently, the rescue had miss-identified Leo’s Manly bits when they were naming the cats and thought that he was a she.  I did rename him Leo (doubly cheesy- I know).

The first few days that they were at my apartment they were under the bed and a little scared.  I would have just let them be, but Leo had a small cold so I did have to give him medicine twice a day so I’d have to catch him by blocking all doorways and crevices and lifting the couch onto its side.  This is not a fun process if you are one human against two cats; let me tell you, and this is nothing compared to trying to clip their nails.  But, they eventually realized that I was the key to how they received food and then after a while they got used to me. 

We are now a bonded little family unit and I do feel bad for the poor guy if I decide to start dating anyone seriously, because if he doesn’t get them on his side- well, we’ll leave that to the what if scenario!

Toodaloo for tonight!

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One thought on “Exercise #2

  1. Sarah says:

    Still going to try and hang in there with you!

    The First Time I Held My Baby

    It had been a long and slow process building up to what had to be by far the most amazing moment in my life.

    At first, when we found out we were finally, viably pregnant, I had visions of a natural, unmonitored birth at a homeopathic birth center where there would be butterflies flitting about and beautiful birds singing in the window. Sunlight would be streaming in and its rays would fall on her as she is easily born, smiling and when she’s placed in arms she will smile at me in contentment.

    Yeah….no.

    In reality, pregnancy induced hypertension made my dreams of a natural birth impossible as I was induced six days before my due date. The day our induction was scheduled must have been one of the longest days of my life. We woke up knowing that at any moment we would be called and would have to leave right then and there to the hospital as a room would be ready for us. We immediately got everything ready and set it out by the door. Then we waited.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    The call finally came around 5:00 pm, 10 hours after we woke up. Those ten hours felt like ten years. But we jumped in the car, made our necessary phone calls and headed out.

    I won’t bore you with the details, suffice it to say that we needn’t have bothered going in that night as the first medication they give you to get you ready for induction wasn’t necessary, I had already started early labor (unbeknownst to me) and was over 2 centimeters dilated.

    We spent a restless night there with no need to even be in the hospital keyed up and ready to go. Fortunately, the hospital started us on the Pitocin drip at around 5:30 the next morning so we didn’t have to wait very, very long.

    So, the induction started and we waited again. Every 90 minutes a nurse would come in and increase the dose of the medication. My dad came and stayed with us the entire time, knowing that even though I said I didn’t want any one there (if I couldn’t have my mom, who else than my husband would I care to have there?) I would need him. More increases in the medication, more monitoring of progression and still we waited.

    I had no pain. Every time the nurse came in to increase the dose, they asked me the same question: you feel NO pain? And then they’d check the print out from the monitor measuring my contractions and there they’d be, like clock work, regular contractions. They were pretty strong too!

    This went on for 12 hours. I progressed to almost six centimeters, I had no pain, I revoked my no visitors stance and we called my husband’s family and let them know what room we were in if they cared to stop by. They did. We laughed and talked and it was nice. Then, those jerks, they broke my water to speed things up.

    It worked.

    NOW, I knew what labor was all about. After they broke my water and I lost the buffer between the contractions and my pain receptors. Or something like that, because hot damn I felt it.

    I worked through them for a few hours, they came in to check me, no progress, I was checked to be approximately 6.5 centimeters. That’s it. All these hours, in excruciating pain, for half a centimeter.

    They asked me – you sure you don’t want the epidural? I looked at my husband; I could tell he was trying to support my desire for a natural birth but that he was hating seeing me in pain. I asked them it would help my labor along, they told me it might especially since I was so stalled.

    It was purely mental. I felt like I wasn’t progressing and there was no end in sight. I felt like it was worthless of me to breathe through each contraction if they weren’t even doing anything. I felt like a failure because I’d only even been having contractions that I felt for a few hours and I couldn’t even get them to actually DO anything down there.

    I got the epidural. I cried.

    It didn’t necessarily speed up my labor but it made it enjoyable again. I relaxed, joked with my sister in law, husband and father. Progression continued to be slow, but it existed.

    Seven hours later, it was time. Finally. They turned off the epidural drip, called the doctor and told me to push. I was so scared. “You’ve had a lot of back labor,” they told me. “You’re a first time mom, and you’re having a big baby, we need you to be able to push for a long time. We’re thinking its going to be around 2 hours of pushing.”

    WHAT?!

    Really, it was 45 minutes. Once I got the hang of it, I pushed like a champ, they told me. When she finally was truly ready to come, they told me, “One more big push!” And I pushed and with a primal scream I felt her born. Then I had to wait, with my child half way into the world while they did what they needed to do. It felt then, like she simply slipped into their hands and they put her directly on to my stomach and I didn’t even realize I had just given birth! I looked down and there she was looking back at me.
    She was covered in goo, her head was a cone shaped, her eyes were swollen. She was clearly awake, breathing, healthy – but not crying. Her daddy was looking at us with tears in his eyes in disbelief. He cut the cord, we were no longer one physically but mentally, we continued to stare at each other in rapture. She was, by far, the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I have no idea how long I was holding her before they needed to take her, it felt like seconds, it must have been at least a few minutes.

    Then they took her for her first tests. She cried her first cries, but only until she held her daddy’s hand.

    And that, was the first time I held my baby girl.

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