Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Births Part IX

Shaun Patrick Zysk was born August 14, 2001. His mother went into labor August 12th, but he did not make his arrival until late Tuesday night August 14th. This child made me a grandmother. I remember looking at him through the Nursery window shortly after his birth and saying to myself that I felt no different. I was not sure how I was suppose to feel, but I did not feel different. Well, that all changed the following day when I held him in my arms for the first time. My heart overflowed with so much love, I thought I would not be able to contain it. He was precious. He was beautiful. I had totally and completely became a grandmother that day. When Trish and her baby were discharged from the hospital, I spent the night at their house. The baby slept in a cradle by my side because I wanted Trish to get some rest. She had a long hard labor and it ended in a C-Section. But when the baby cried during the night, I watched her get up and move slowly down the stairs to care for her infant. I watched this woman become a mother and I knew at that moment, I would go home and allow these three people bond and become a family.

Nikolas Joseph Zysk was born on November 30, 2004 by a planned C-Section. I remember my son Shaun coming out excited and overjoyed at the birth of his second son. We were all amazed how much Nikolas resembled his older brother Shaun Patrick at birth. I remember looking at him through the Nursery window and thinking he was breathing pretty hard but the nurses did not seem concerned, so I thought perhaps this was normal after birth. I left the hospital and no sooner had I entered my front door, I received a frantic call from my son telling me Nikolas went into respiratory distress and Trish's heart rate dropped. I remember feeling sick as we raced back to the hospital where Joe dropped me off at the front door and he went to park the car as I ran up to the floor where Trish had just given birth. I told Shaun to stay with Trish as I went to the NICU to stay with Nikolas. I do not remember how much time passed, before Shaun came to the Nursery to tell me Trish was Ok. It would be three days before we would know if Nikolas would be Ok. Each day I entered the NICU and rubbed his feet and hands as he was hooked up to oxygen and IV's. I would tell him he had to get better so he could spend weekends at my house like his older brother. I recall a nurse telling me babies who are sick do not like to be touched. I told her I believed the opposite. That nurse hated when I came to the NICU because I continued to touch and talk to my grandson. On the third day, Nikolas woke up and I knew he was going to be fine. He went home with a device that monitored his breathing and an alarm went off everytime he stopped breathing. The problem with that device was it also went off when he moved in certain ways. Those first few months were scary. I remember my son telling me that his family was complete and that he was not risking Trish's safety for another pregnancy.

June 9, 2007, I was blessed with the very first female in my life when Ava Marie Zysk came into this world. She was born to my son Joseph and his girlfriend Jackie. I remember my son's face when he came out to the waiting room to tell us she had arrived. He had a huge tired smile. Jackie had been in labor nearly an entire day. Right before Ava was born, they could not hear her heart beat and prepared Jackie for an emergency C-Section. Thankfully, the change in Jackie's position brought back the heart beat and Ava was born naturally a short time later. I remember going into the room and seeing her for the first time. She seemed so tiny. The difference with her birth as oppose to the boys was she remained in the room with her mother and was not taken to the Nursery. A few days later, Joey, Jackie and Ava came home to my house where they would reside for the first six months of Ava's life. The middle bedroom was made into an Nursery, but the baby spent most of her time in a cradle by her parents' bed. In the first few months of Ava's life, she screamed and screamed. I remember singing to her, rocking her, walking the floor with her. Finally, the doctor began treating her for Acid Reflux and what a difference that made. During those first few months of Ava's crying, I have to say her parents were fantastic. It was a difficult time for them, however, they had the patience and tolerance to take care of their daughter and to this day I can say they are great parents even though their relationship did not last, they always made/make decisions together based on the welfare of their daughter.

Three sons, two grandsons, one granddaughter and a wonderful daughter-in-law and granddaughter's mommy later, I count my blessings to have all of them in my life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reliving It Part V

I did not want to go to an all girl's catholic high school. I wanted to go the public high school two blocks from where we lived. I lost that battle and ended up spending four glorious years at St. Hubert's Catholic High School for Girls.

The horror of it all began on the very first day of ninth grade when I wore my uniform to school. No one bothered to tell me that the first day of school meant pretty dresses not uniforms. Did I mention I stuck out like a sore thumb? Again? Every morning in homeroom, the girls had to kneel on the floor for uniform inspection which simply meant our uniforms had better reach the floor or else we were in deep shit. I bet our brother school Father Judge did not have to submit to such nonsense, but then again they were of the male variety. I hated every single day of my first year of high school so much I failed science and ended up in summer school. Did I mention, I would go on to college and be a science major and receive A's?

Anyway, the second year was much better. I met my best friend and future Maid of Honor because she sat directly behind me in homeroom. I was a Weleski, she was a Wike and neither of us were in the school council and/or cheerleaders. Those girls were the important ones in our world at the time. Those girls were also petite and pretty and giggled a lot. By contrast, I was tall and did not giggle in that "Oh my God, you are so great kind of way". I got honors that year.
I also had my first real boyfriend who by the way was a senior at the public school. Man, I was so cool going out with a senior who actually had a car and could dance. He also introduced me to beer and pizza. He was also a little crazy waiting outside my last class just to drive me home so I could not hang with the girls and/or guys in my group. I used to sneak around the building when I spotted his car and take off up back alley ways until I got home. One night he drove by and shouted out the window, "I am breaking off with you". I responded with, "Oh Well". He was pretty pissed because I was suppose to go to his prom, but opted to go to another prom instead at Father Judge, the all male catholic high school.

I have to say that year was fun. The guys at Jack in the Box built a fort down the woods where we would have parties on the weekends as well as run from the police on horseback. Winter meant ice skating on the pond and/or creek. It also meant sledding down Austin Meehan. We also hung in an abandon trailer where the guys would hide their illegal beverages in the vents. That was fun too until the cops found out. I remember having this amazing crush on one of my brother's friends. My brother and I were close in age, therefore, shared many of the same friends. This guy never gave me a second look. As a matter of fact, several of the guys in our group did not give me a second look. I thought it was because I was too tall and flat chested. I later found out it was because they were afraid of my brother. That year I got my first job at Jeanes' Pizza which did not last long because my father believed my job was school not work.

The summer of 1976 I spent in Southern California with my grandparents, uncle, aunt and six cousins. It was one of the best times of my life. We traveled the coast up to Nevada. I thought I was in heaven. The waves were huge in the pacific and I remember being knocked down and dragged all the way back to the beach by one. In the evenings, I would fish out on the pier with my grandfather. He not only taught me to fish, but he taught me how to shoot pool. I was pretty good at both. Another amazing memory of my grandfather was his ability to tell stories. The stories may have been real or false, but the way he told them made you feel as if you were experiencing them yourself. He also gave great back rubs. I adored my grandfather and thought he was the best man God ever gave to this earth. He had integrity, strength, love, compassion and a protector. He was also a man before his time. He taught me how important an education was. That a woman should have a career and never depend on a man.