Anndi's Luggage: Hope... give... life... angels... better days
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Location: Somewhere near Montreal, Quebec, Canada

If somebody doesn't believe in me, I can't believe in them.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Hope... give... life... angels... better days

December 24th, 1997.

Christmas Eve. I sit up in bed, surrounded by darkness, and it hits me. I get out of bed and make my way to the washroom, as quickly as I can waddle. It feels like the child I’m carrying is trying to push my bladder up through my right nostril and if I don’t get there soon, the Great Flood of the Saguenay back in 1996 will look like a someone spilled a glass of water.

As I open the door I come face to face with the man responsible for the basketball that has slowly been inflating itself under the skin of my previously flat stomach (have I mentioned that basketball was invented by James Naismith, a Canadian?) and start doing the pregnant woman’s version of the peepee dance.

We exchange a quick nervous glance and he knows.. if he doesn’t move, I’ll run over his 6ft 190 pound frame on my way to relief (a few friends have experienced a mild version of sudden impact with me.. and I all but knocked a few of them down).

Um, sorry dear reader, you are NOT following me in here.

*door closes*

*hum the theme to Jeopardy here as you wait or look for Waldo in the bus at the top of the blog*

OH NO! I remember that I’m actually not supposed to go this morning.. have to keep it in if I can as per doctor’s instructions and of course the father-to-be chimes in with that very comment as I am about to sit down.

Ok.. you can come in now… Might as well start washing up.

As I stand in front of the sink brushing my teeth, I stare at the woman in the mirror. Who is this slightly puffy faced woman standing before me? Man am I glad I’m not her… I don’t want to be in her shoes.. wait… wool socks. Not today…

The phone rings, he answers, I pretend I’m not interested… it’s Mom.. oh now I’m really not interested. I want to crawl back into bed and pretend today never came. I especially want to go pee, but that ain’t happening either.

He hands me the phone with a sheepish smile, kisses my forehead and whispers “it’s your mother”. **cue sinister music here**

The following takes place in French, so I’ll translate.

“Hi mom”
“No, I haven’t listened to the traffic report”
“A jam huh?”
“I’ll be ready in 30 minutes, I just need to find a tent to wear and I’ll be good to go”
“Yes mom, I’ll be sure and wear nice underwear”
“no Mom, I didn’t go pee”
“ok, see you in 30 minutes”

I have dear reader, as a courtesy, spared you the other end of the conversation which was quite long and filled with numerous admonishments and instructions, and talk of what the neighbor’s daughter had done lately (or something to that effect). My mother had a tendency to become chatty when nervous, or should I say chattier.

My child’s father-to-be stands in the doorway waiting for me to hang up. And when I do, eyes rolling and head spinning, he walks up to me, hugs me and asks me to call him as soon as it’s done. He turns quickly, I hear him sniffle and heads out to go to work.

I have an appointment at Montreal’s Children’s Hospital for an ultrasound. They want to look at my baby's heart.

I’d been having a lot of contractions lately and since my due date was Valentine’s Day and a while away, my OBGYN , a lovely slip of a woman who although little had a look in her eye that told you she was the kind of person that could rival Atlas in world shouldering duties, had me regularly scheduled for fetal monitoring at the hospital where I was to give birth.

It was during one of those routine visits that the nurse had heard something that made her frown, stand perfectly still and close her eyes.

Have you ever wondered why we do that? Closing our eyes when we want to listen better? Goes against everything your mother told you doesn’t it: “look at me when I talk to you!”. I of course, have never used that line on my child or the big grown middle-aged babies I work with (I much prefer “Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial” when it comes to them).

There was a skip in my baby’s heartbeat.

And my heart sank.

I think it may have stopped beating altogether for a few minutes as I held my breath. My doctor was informed and I had to go back the next day so she could listen to it herself.

That’s when she told me she was going to send me to The Montreal Children’s Hospital for an ultrasound of my child’s heart. The appointment was made and I was surprised how quickly I had been given one. Which didn’t reassure me one bit.

I am standing in the kitchen by myself on Christmas Eve morning, desperately needing to pee but holding it in, wanting a big ass cup of coffee, in my pyjamas, looking at the bedroom door across the hall, my feet unable to move, knowing I had to get dressed and ready…

Next thing I know I’m sitting in my mother’s car, cursing the seatbelt for adding that extra bit of pressure I needed to make my holding it in a complete experience. I thought it couldn't be any harder to hold it in until we hit a pothole (I swear Jimmy Hoffa was in that pothole) and I start wondering if my mother ever got her seats scotchguarded.

I’m quiet during the trip and my mother feels the need to ensure that sound waves will indeed fill every single moment of the trip.

We park the car in a lot near the hospital and we make our way through snowbanks and slush towards the entrance. I waddle elegantly (yeah right) and we walk in looking for admission.

We go through the whole process of registering, I'm directed to the proper floor and told where to go. The lady sees I am nervous and reaches out, in that moment I feel I have made a friend for life... that an angel has touched my hand.

In was the first in a series of celestial contacts.

I meet the nurse who greats me with a soft smile, introduces herself to my Mom and leads us to a blue room full of equipment. She asks me if I've managed to hold it in. Proudly I say yes .. ''but I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to''. She laughs and tells me we'll get started in a few minutes. She has a lovely lilting laugh and I know I have met angel number 2.

I sit on the examination table and take the gown she hands me telling me she'll give me a couple of minutes to slip it on and then the doctor will come in and get things started.

Mom stays with me, I put on the gown (it's surprisingly soft). And I wait...

The nurse peaks in and checks on me and the doctor follows her in. He steps up to the side of the examination table and extends his hand as he introduces himself and starts explaining the process. ''Of course you've had an ultrsound before, this one will allow us to get a good view of the baby's heart''. At this moment I feel the need to blurt out that I don't know the baby's sex and would really like it to stay that way. He smiles and looks at Mom who would love to know and says ''well, Grandma, looks like you're not going to find that out today now doesn't it.. ''.

I have to say, the staff at this hospital are some of the most caring and compassionnate people I've ever met, it's a hallmark of the Montreal Children's Hospital.

I'm helped onto my back and the lights are dimmed a bit, it's actually quite soothing. The equipment is turned on, the nurse lifts up the gown and the jelly wasn't even cold. Now that's a detail my full bladder appreciates.

I look at the monitor and I have no idea what I'm seeing. It seems like at eternity and he finally says ''this is your baby's heart''. I can see the rapid beating.. my baby's heart. The most beautiful thing. I feel Mom's hand on my foot but I can't tear my eyes away from the screen.

''It's normal, a beautiful strong heart''.

No truer words have ever been spoken, my girl has shown me how beautiful her heart is. She has throughout her 9 years taught me so much.

My baby...

I can't tell you how it felt, there are no words. An expecting mother's deepest fear is that something will go wrong. My baby's heart is perfectly formed, and I am surrounded by angels.

Over the past two days, Montreal's Children's Hospital has been holding a fundraising drive, The 4th Annual Caring For Kids Radiothon. To listen to CHOM 97,7 FM online (the radiothon ends tonight at 7pm EST) click here

Raising funds, raising hope - live from The Children's!

Last year, Standard Radio Montréal held the most successful Radiothon in our Hospital's history by raising a record breaking $2.2 millions! CHOM 97.7 generously donated their time, staff and programming to allow the community a glimpse into life at The Children's.
During the Radiothon, people have the opportunity to hear patients and their families, doctors and medical specialists' speak on how their lives have been touched by our Hospital.
The Caring For Kids Radiothon raises funds to help the Hospital meet its most urgent needs.

For 60 cents a day, I along with some other ordinary folks helped purchase 10 medication pumps... and in my daughter's eyes.. I'm a hero.

If you’d like to join the circle of hugs and support the Montreal’s Children’s Hospital please click

Please... support your local children's hospital... I pray you or someone you love never needs them.. but it's good to know they're there.

You can donate money, your time, books and toys for the waiting rooms and wards... please, just ask them what they need.

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes.

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Comments on "Hope... give... life... angels... better days"


Blogger Dixiechick said ... (12:45 PM) : 

I always encourge folks to give to St. Jude's in Memphis as I do give myself.

What a very heart touching story.

Love you!


Blogger Bond said ... (12:56 PM) : 

And how many times have you said the words "but I am not a writer".... pshaw... only a writer can put together words to make the reader live the experience.

I watched you rise from the bed, go into the bathroom (I could not find Waldo for the life of me - and then remembered I didn't put him on the bus when I built the header!), brush your teeth, sit in the car, waddle (well it was partially graceful), slip on the robe (yup nice underwear!), and smile as the doctor told you that your Chicklet's heart is strong.

What a tremendous way to lead to the basis for your post today.

Thank you for letting us experience this day in your life.

So, how long after he spoke the words "It's normal, a beautifully strong heart" did you bolt the table and head for the washroom?" and did you knock the Doctor, nurse or mom over as you did?




Blogger Matt-Man said ... (3:06 PM) : 

Nice Anndi...And it reminded me of how much discomfort the ex was in when she went in for her ultrasound some 12 and a half years ago. Discomfort which she ultimately passed on to me until I left. But seriously, very nice story, Cheers!!


Blogger Anndi said ... (4:22 PM) : 


Every bit helps.


If you watched.. you could tell me.. Did those pregger jammies make my butt look fat?

As soon as i was able to get myself collected and off that table I bolted for the washroom.. and they all knew better than to stand in my way. LOL.. they are professionals after all.



Thanks sweetie.. when I listen to the stories the parents whose children were actually born with health problems my heart aches for them.

Have a good weekend.


Blogger Meribah said ... (5:24 PM) : 

That was a very touching story, Anndi, and I'm glad your baby was okay!
By the way, you write very good. I could practically feel your pain with the full bladder. If I was preggers with a full bladder, I doubt I could hold it in like that! LOL (Well, maybe I could, but I wouldn't wanna!)


Blogger Sanni said ... (6:04 PM) : 

Wonderful story, Anndi. I was that <---> close to burst because I didn´t breathe while reading!



Blogger Anndi said ... (8:00 PM) : 

Meri sweet puppy

She's a joy.. my angel. It's amazing what our bodies go through isn't it.


Thank goodness you got to the end, you were turning blue. Thank you sweetie. Mommy's feel for each other don't we.



Blogger Turnbaby said ... (10:46 PM) : 

Awesome as usual Angelbaby. So very nice.


Blogger Travis said ... (11:26 PM) : 

Wonderful post darlin.


Blogger Turnbaby said ... (7:29 AM) : 

Wonderful Angelbaby--I love these little'walks' you take us on.


Blogger julie said ... (5:56 PM) : 

Aww Great post honey.

Gotta go P now!

*quickie hug*


Blogger Angell said ... (11:53 AM) : 

Ann - wow...

You also have a wonderful talent. Thank you for your posts that prove it. I always enjoy your work.

SMOOCHES to my fellow Canuck.


Blogger Desert Songbird said ... (2:26 PM) : 

Just got home from my trip, and while surfing some of my favorite blogs, came across your post.

Now I can't wait to see my kids and hug them and kiss them!


Blogger Judd Corizan said ... (11:22 PM) : 

Congratulations! This post has been selected as our “Post of the Day” on “The Rising Blogger”. It is a brand new site that awards posts, not blogs. We will email your winning badge, and all our info, if you would tell us where to send it. To reach “The Rising Blogger” site:

Have a great week!


Blogger Peg said ... (8:18 AM) : 

So beautifully written! Anndi, this is a wonderful piece of writing! I swear in reading it, I was pregnant all over again. I'm glad all is well now...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:20 PM) : 

I've got tears in my eyes. Absolutely beautiful story. You write so well. I understand what you felt too. When I was pregnant with #3 I was told I had contracted toxoplasmosis and that the baby would probably be blind, deformed, not live through birth and a myriad of other horrible things. It turned out later the lab had made a mistake. She is now a healthy, beautiful 13 year old.


Blogger the108 said ... (1:51 PM) : 

I relate so much to this post, Anndi... you just barely missed out on reading all of my own pregnancy horrors with Emi. My husband was addicted to methamphetimes that the military put him on after wrongly diagnosing him with adhd when he actually was suffering from anxiety and depression which the pills amplified immensely. It became too much and he tried to kill himself. He was found unconscious in his car and rushed to the hospital and then he got sober and wstarted trying to piece things back together. In the midst of this, we found out that I had a huge softball sized tumor on my ovary and I had to have surgery which scared me so badly since I was almost 7 months pregnant. After the surgery, I woke up and was in a panic because I was so afraid for my daughter and cried when they toldme that not only was she okay, but that she was kicking at my surgeon during the proceedure and he had had to call in for safer instruments because he couldn't use open blades for fear she would kick him so hard that he'd cut one of my Then, I had one health problem after another for the rest of the pregnancy and had her a month early and now she is six weeks old and perfect and here and amazing.... I so know the feeling that they are angels watching....


Blogger JHS. said ... (7:30 PM) : 

Hi Anndi: Would you be so kind as to update the badge in your sidebar? You can grab the graphic here:

The post honoring you is now here:

Hope you will stop by The Rising Blogger and, more importantly, nominate worthy posts!


The Rising Blogger


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