Ah knitting. It’s all very well to learn it, but you also need to learn how to fix up your fuck ups. And I’m getting quite good at those. Something funny happened on the tele the other night, I laughed and dropped my needles, and in the process about 10 stitches. I thought I’d picked them up ok and pressed on, only to find a holy (holey) mess 20 minutes later. After several hours of half watching tele and half trying to unpick it, and it hitting about 1am, a concerned hub-in-boots dragged me to bed monday night, right in the middle of South Park. I didn’t touch it yesterday, in frustration, and had a Gossip Girl marathon instead (loving it). Today was fix it day.
Well today, I’ve learnt Frogging. Frogging is a knitter’s take on a dad joke. When you need to undo a lot of rows at once, you rip it. Ribbit. Frogging. Get it? Yeah, whatever, nan. Luckily this nice lady on youtube showed me what to do, and it worked first time. What a legend.
Apparently the other skill I need is tinking. Tink is knit spelt backwards. Another knitting joke. Geez these knitters know how to party. I can’t face knitting, frogging, and tinking on the one day, so I’ll get to tinking later.
I’ve had some good success with online pattern googling too. I have a bootee book from my Granny’s old knitting drawer, but it was missing the crucial first page that was used as a basis for every other pattern in the book. And this lovely lady, on an old discontinued vintage knitting blog, had posted the missing page! Not that I’m good enough to follow a pattern yet, but finding the missing piece was pretty cool.
Some favourites I am thinking of for hub- in- boots’ second anniversary present in March (or possibly third anniversary given my knitting skills) are as follows:
Today I am 15 weeks and 3 days. And as far as I know, our little gumby is going along fine. I back at home after another three days at mums, visits from old friends, my mum in law, neighbours, and even a one hour visit to my oldest friend’s birthday bash.
Somehow I’ve managed to not organise any visitors for today, and it’s a long day with hub in boots training until 9pm or so. Bit of an oversight. And it’s hot. I’ve already tried changing rooms to get more air , but it’s boiling in here. Sweaty. I’ve been spoilt at mums with air con on all day.
Physically, the spotting has settled right down, maybe four days ago it gradually ground to an almost halt. Its still there, but nothing like what it was. This has to be a good thing, right?
This coming Saturday is ‘BASTARD’ the clot’s deadline day. 16 weeks. The point at which we are opened up to a whole host of other complications if BASTARD is still there. Complications that the ob would not discuss, ahead of time. I guess that’s what we hear about, next visit, depending on my progress. I guess we have to steel ourselves for that.
I don’t want to get too hopeful, and let’s face it, we’re probably hoping for quiet gradual improvement, not miracle healing ( “ta daaaa! No clot!). I am hopeful because of what I can see happening on the outside. However we have no idea, right now, what’s happening inside. The two do not always coincide.
This week is also significant because we drop down to a single salary, or at least 1.25 salaries. My leave is starting to run out, so what I have left I’m having rationed out, until I can go in maternity leave at 28 weeks. I am nervous of how we will go forward, financially. But I can’t afford to give it too much thought. Naturally work managed to completely ignore my request and stuff up my pay, which sent me into a total flap on Friday night. Sometimes in the calm, going along ok, the flaps are only one mishap away.
In the knitting stakes, I’ve learnt to purl, but I’ve gone backwards a bit. I seem to be getting less capable at knitting overall. So I’m not looking at it this morning. It’s pissing me off!!!
Instead, I am, unbelievably, reading the Twilight series. And loving it! My niece suggested it as light reading, and while I was pretty damn sceptical it is actually well written. I couldn’t even make it through the first Harry potter a few years back, the writing was so bad. But this is pretty good. From Gabriel Garcia Marquez/ Jeffrey eugenides to Twilight with Stephanie Meyer eh?
I’ve also watched one and a half eps of Gossip Girl. Not bad, so far.
It was nice on the weekend at mums when hub-in-boots dropped in on his way home from AFL. We were genuinely glad to see each other . There’s been some moments lately where I’ve hung out all day for 6pm, my end point of keeping tabs on myself, and he’s arrived home, exhausted, looking for all the world like he doesn’t want to be there. It’s not easy to take, on days where he’s my only connection to outside these walls. I understand he has too much on, with work , afl, and then carer being like his third job. I get it. Its exhausting, physically, mentally, emotionally. But it isn’t easy at my end some days, either. I live with the warring anxiety & hope, 24/7. I have physical evidence of it. I am trapped. And sometimes that is so all consuming I can’t spare the energy to even think how it affects others… If I did, I’d just seize up. So it is good when the days at mums break that cycle, reset us, make us glad to be us & glad to be together again.
In one way, Saturday is just another day. In another, it’s a looming deadline, and instead of rushing around to get things done to meet it, I need to lay here. And have no control, and hope.
In the meantime, I get to leave the house Friday , for a glucose tolerance test. Mmm thick lemonade for breakfast. Some girls get all the fun.
I am now at the end of my fifth week of bedrest, and I’m not bored at all. Ok, that’s a lie. But let’s not criticise the boredom, let’s embrace it.
After all, I’ve only had a chance to be bored in the last two weeks when I:
·stopped bleeding like a stuck pigevery 2 days,
· found out our gumby did not have downs,
·was able to get out of the “run, there’s a tyrannosaurus after you”level of old-brain anxiety
These are all good developments.
So I’m making a list of living life on the edge items from bedrest. No sarcasm / offence intended. Feel free to add your own in the comments section below.
Living life on the edge #1: it is important to get the balance right between adequate hydration and needing to pee 24/7.
I tend to drink water when I’m bored, or anxious, or feeling ill. Which makes me look 6 months pregnant some days when I’m only 14.5 weeks. It does give me an excuse to get out of bed, but I might drown.
Living life on the edge #2: leaf blowers are the enemy
When you finally decide to cave in and have a nap, someone will arrive with a leaf blower within 30m of your open window. Leaf blowers will come EVERY DAY you are on bed rest. Leaf blowers are a LOT more annoying than old school lawnmowers. And leaf blowers are INEVITABLY operated by fat men who could do with the exercise of sweeping. And often.
Living life on the edge #3: it is not good manners to try and hit the man with the leafblower with a slingshot, and may not be strictly in keeping with the rules of bedrest. You also may not get your “shot” back.
Living life on the edge #4: it is not good manners to tell the man with the leafblower he could do with more exercise, eg by sweeping*
Living life on the edge #5: get some sun
Vitamin D is apparently important for baby’s language development in later life. Plus after four weeks bedrest you end up looking like someone out of a Twilight movie. Which isn’t good if you’re later aiming for a pregnant glow. If you decide to give your belly sun, look out for neighbours, postmen, and men with leafblowers. It can freak em out.
Life on the edge # 6: visitors with cakes
If visitors insist on bringing cakes, put them out of sight very quickly, and wait til hungry hub-in-boots arrives home. Otherwise, invite a lot more visitors of the “non baking non cake buying variety” very soon afterwards and be generous. (If you find yourself making gorging noises ¾ of the way through a prohibited ricotta cannoli without thinking, the last bite probably won’t make much difference). Freezing leftover cake can also slow you down. Sometimes.
Life on the edge #7: low GI muesli bars and nuts are your friend.
They fit nicely in the bedside drawer when you’re hungry, but trying not to get up. But watch the wrappers and the subsequent ant plague. Ants are not comfortable in your bed. Come to think of it, neither are nuts.
Life on the edge #8: be careful of the placement of your progesterone pessaries in the fridge
People might mistake their foil wrapped goodness for lollies. Especially children and drunk people. Not pretty. You also can pull end up pulling some pretty scary facial expressions during use, if they end up in the colder section of the fridge where things accidentally freeze.
Life on the edge #9: horizontal makeovers
It is possible to wax your legs, paint your toenails and straighten your hair whilst half lying down. You will spend a lot of time looking at your toes, for now, so it makes you feel better. It can also stop those all day frights when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirrored wardrobe or on skype.
Life on the edge #10: husbands do not understand changing sheets (or towels)
Spell it out to them. Stripping the bed is a hard to ignore sign. Hemorrhaging on them also works, but makes you feel a bit sick and you absolutely rip through the napisan pre wash, so I wouldn’t recommend that as the ideal solution.
Life on the edge #11: envy
If anyone says “God I’d kill to lay down and watch DVDs for four weeks” there is only one solution: punch them. Hard.
Life on the edge #12: showers are precious
Shower time is exciting time. You get to stand up. Crazy talk. You get to do something normal. This does not mean, however, you can have showers that exceed an hour. That’s cheating.
Life on the edge #13: famous last words
If you utter the words “ I’ll just get up and….” or “I might just…..” you are about to get up, do things you’re not supposed to be doing, and possibly kill your baby (nothing like an idle mind for catastrophising). Set time limits and stick to them. Make lists of what needs to be done, and make friends with someone who lives locally and has an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder around cleaning / tidying.
Life on the edge #14: birds
Birds outside the window are nice to watch. A bird flying in through your verandah door, shitting on the carpet, and then flapping around the house wildly is not, however, conducive to bed rest. If the birds in your neighbourhood are stupid, shut the door*.
Life on the edge #15: washing
If you’re expecting a visitor, put some washing on. Visitor #1 can hang it out, visitor #2 canbring it in*. As an aside, if you live in an apartment, it is useful to tell visitor #2 how to recognise your portion of the washing line, or you may end up with one of your neighbour’s underwear. This is not a pleasant experience, but may add to your supplies of cleaning rags and/ or giant nanna undies**.
Life on the edge #16: what can I do / bring?
Many visitors will ask this. Resist the knee jerk reply of “nothing”, and reply “hang out my washing”, “water the plants”, “clean the bathroom because people with a penis can’t clean properly”, “bring a meal”, or “geez I’d kill for a $1 cheeseburger and a max Brenner hot chocolate”. If it turns out in the glucose tolerance test that you’re fucked, perhaps leave out the last option. If your visitor is male, perhaps leave out the penis comment. Lists written in large font stuck to the wall can provide subtle prompts to visitors.
Life on the edge #17: do you need reading material / DVDS?
The answer is yes. Because even if you have loads and you never watch them, the choice of DVDS and or books gives you an amazing insight into friends and acquaintances that you may otherwise never may have got.” You bought what????” Plus the rip off DVDs they purchased on the black market in China that have typos on the covers are incredibly amusing: “Shakespe in Love”. Finding For Rester (finding Forrester), or my personal favourite:
Gotta love those blackmarket numbers
Re #17: Try to avoid their porn collections where possible. They make for awkward conversation**.
Life on the edge #18: stupid advice
Some people will feel compelled to give you stupid advice or imply that “trying to think positive” will help your situation. Yes, random cramps or bursts of bleeding and wondering 100 times a day is your baby about to die really does make this positive thinking easy. And obviously, they have double blind peer reviewed studies to prove that positive thinking will make a difference to miscarriage rates. Perhaps you could ask them for academic references. Perhaps people should avoid telling you how you should be feeling.
Yes, you understand there will be positives to come out of this situation, such as more patience, a mindfulness, and a stronger relationship(s),but this is something you will experience fractionally, or with hindsight, not right when you’re mopping up blood with towels. To help resist the powerful urge to pull on any Pollyanna self help guru pigtails, it helps to have a mantra to avoid ruining friendships at these moments. “They mean well they mean well they mean well” can help, as can “LA LA LAAAAAA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” whilst sticking your fingers in your ears can have the same effect. If you are on the phone, holding it in the air whilst giving the receiver the bird is quite effective. Mystery mobile phone drop outs also work.
And if this has happened whilst I’ve been on the phone to you, I actually really do get poor reception at home…..just ring my bloody home number.
Life on the edge #19: Deliveries
Deliveries of online groceries, flowers gifts and visitors will always arrive in the 15 minute period in any day when you are wet, and naked. This is just a fact.
Life on the edge #20: knitting
Knitting takes a shitload of time. You have a shitload of time. You do the math.
Some people say it is like meditation. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it is like going to the dentist. Perhaps put it down when it gets like a dental visit, don’t go all OCD on your perfectionist ass.
(please note I’ve managed to change colour today. I rock.)
*this really happened
** this didn’t really happen, but I thought about it.
Well just got home from two nights at hotel mum, and waiting in the letter box was a book ! Yay!
Yes I look like crap, but the book’s cute. 5 weeks bedrest will do that to you…
“Hide and seek Sydney : Feeling Peckish ” is a book of restaurant reviews of hidden and unknown dining gems around Sydney. Through some weird unplanned divergence from my career as a business lecturer, I am one of the five reviewers!
It’s pretty funny reading my own reviews, done in a marathon eating effort in September 2011, full of aioli, wine, cocktails, blue cheese (and jokes about hub-in-boots’ eating ability)….. Not quite today’s pregnant diet…
Avail in bookshops /online from March, online at Hide seek Sydney . I’m pretty happy with the edited copy, the images and the layout.
But no one needs to feel obligated to buy….I don’t get royalties!
Well. I’m a little less sweary than Thursday, you’ll be relieved to know. I am currently channelling my dear departed Granny, as I am firmly ensconced on her cane lounge, and I’m knitting. It’s sort of like a chaise lounge, very comfy, on the perfect angle, moved in from her granny flat this arvo by my big bro and wiley sister, who figured it would work in my current condition.
Granny, who lived at home to a very sane 99 and 3 months, who thought turning 100 would be ‘ridiculous’, who never swore or drank ( geez there’s a couple of big differences right there), would take to her cane lounge of an afternoon, and read, or crochet. For many years she could provide a running commentary on the streets’ comings and goings, spied from this very lounge.
She could appear sweet little old lady, but she had a wicked ‘tude, was a true individual, could have an acid tongue, and at 99 still cared about her hair and outfits. She couldn’t wear pants…she didn’t know how to. Once we bought her some to stay warm , and there she was, laying on the bed, giggling, wrestling, two of her legs stuck in one leg of the pants. We didn’t bring them out again.
For many years, grandad would serve her breakfast in bed on a little pink table. She would lay there and have her toast, and read the paper, usually starting with the deaths. We always thought this ritual was about her ‘weak heart’. Yeah, not so much. Just good organisation and a unique take on a wife’s rights. By 10 or 11am she would join Grandad in the garden. He died at 84. She kicked on for another 20 years.
I have a cushion she crocheted, in blue, away in the wardrobe, just for gumby . We dug it out today. It just needs stitching together and stuffing.
This weekend my sister decided, after Thursday’s total dummy spit of a day, that a change of scene was in order or I’d lose my marbles. I’d had a good day Friday, feeling better after sorting out a few possibilities with work, which was hanging over my head like the sword of damocles as I last blogged.
Friday, some of my prayers were weirdly answered when hub in boots was sms’d by work at 1am saying the system was down, don’t come in. So all day, we could just hang, and try and process. He ended up going in Friday night (and sat, and sun),but by then I was back to calm. Ish .
I had a short stint in the garden yesterday, in the sun, watching a yacht race. (no we’re not rich, we’re renting, cheap, a tiny flat in a street of mansions ). The cormorants were out fishing, people out kayaking, and the yachties pulled some great jibes right in front of us. The sun under the frangipani trees was awesome.
Then came a visitor, a mate from work and her two little girls, and food parcels, baking, lush bath bombs, and, gasp, baby gear. Yes, you heard me. She asked permission, I said yes, and in a quiet way the baby gear moratorium was lifted. Right on 14 weeks.
The “fuck it” (very non granny) has been thrown out to the universe, and we have blown raspberries in the face of the fear of jinxing ourselves, by getting baby gear for a baby we may lose. My work friend brought a car seat, and portable high chairs, and a gorgeous little shirt and onesy, and some maternity clothes. Raspberries indeed. As the ob slightly less than eloquently put it to hub in boots, there is no point in this pregnancy that is safe, where we can relax. And as my sister said, losing a baby would hurt like hell, and whether we have a room full of gear or not makes very little difference to that potential experience.
So from now on, I’m going to work on two assumptions : 1. We’re having this baby and 2. I am not getting back to work before HE is born.
With that in mind, (and the time still stretching out scarily before me if I lift my eyes to the horizon), yesterday we upped stumps and my sister and i came to mums. A trip out of the house without bad news attached. That’s new.
We stayed the night, and after a walk to the yard , visitors , a car trip, catch up with my big bro and yummy dinner, I was knackered. I slept pretty solidly. Hub in boots was out coaching AFL, in his own little man cave, with about 7 hours straight of footy in the big pre season NAB cup. Happy as a pig in mud.
Today, I got some garden time in the sun (the herb gardens i did as Xmas presents are going great guns waiting here for collection with mum’s tlc), caught up with some of the old neighbours, and finally got to see my mum in law .
We gave her her birthday in advance for wednesday, and later, with the patience of job, she started to teach me how to knit. I thought I’d be ok as she’s left handed too, but no. She knits right handed, and crochets left handed! But we got there. I’m also getting good at dropped stitches, but hey, it’s keeping my hands (and brain) busy.
And some of the outfits in the knitting magazine are hilarious. Stay tuned for when I next get near a scanner! Woot! Some of these knitting women seriously need to get out more (and I’m a fine one to talk). Can’t wait til I can manage booties….
I promised my counsellor I would think of some project I’ve wanted to do for ages, that I could do laying in bed. So I have. (Novel writing did come up, yes, but slightly beyond my present brain space). Now all I have to do , with the help of the net, is continue to knit and spend some other time brushing up on & improving my French. Perhaps not at the same time as I knit….
The cane lounge and I are hanging out together tomorrow here at mum’s, and even though mum has tai chi I’ll still get company. I’m aiming for a nasty, slightly holey, short scarf by the 15 week mark next Saturday. Progress photos to follow. My knitting and I will head home tomorrow night.
In the meantime, I’m taking a few leaves out of granny’s book.
1. Lots of rest & other people looking after you won’t kill you
2. Having an interest in all the people around you can keep you going (she had her own version of Facebook …)
3. Crocheting (knitting ) is good for you
4. You can dip strawberries into the sugar basin and still not get diabetes til you’re 80 something ( I don’t think I’ll actually do this, it’s more the blatant disregard for rules I’m in favour of)
5. Even if your granddaughter’s boyfriend backs over you with a car at eighty something, you can still bounce back (ie don’t mourn lost time and opportunities, and don’t chuck in the towel. And yes, it was my boyfriend. And yes it was an accident)
6. If you don’t like a piece of furniture, a saw is helpful, but make sure you have a spirit level (I may save this one for postnatal handy hints, and you can’t trust hub-in-boots with a saw…)
7. Even if you don’t leave the house , your hair and outfit matter. Maybe I could have Sundays and wednesdays off this one.
There is only one way to start this blog post, and that is by swearing. fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.FUCK.fuckitty FUCK FUCK IT.
I am not sure how one can have a lay down screaming two year old’s supermarket tanty on the page, but I intend to try.
So FUCK doctors.
FUCK ‘BASTARD’, the haematoma
FUCK age , and insulin resistance
FUCK risks and statistics
And FUCK WASTING MY TIME with this crap.
There, that should do it.
Eloquent one day, Tourettes the next.
I LOVE that EVERY VISIT needs to start with the phrase “your baby is STILL alive “. Seriously . Is this the shittest pregnancy ever?
I LOVE the phrase , “the clot’s there, about 20ml, oh no, wait. Oh it’s ALL THE WAY up there. It’s about 60.”
I PARTICULARLY love the phrase “actually you may NOT get back to work, we’ll have to call that at about 20 weeks. BUT you’re definitely on bedrest for three more weeks. ”
Then as an aside: “and you’ll need a psychiatric assessment next time you’re in. You’re at a huge risk of antenatal and postnatal depression with the way this is going”. Excellent. This pregnancy lark just gets better and better.
I LOVE when hub-in-boots says “so at 16 weeks with no more bleeds we could relax?” and doc says “no. No at TERM you can relax. Maybe at 28 weeks, when it may be viable “.
This is proving to be a fun day. Why did we decide to do this again ?
“we’ll see you in three weeks , unless you get a bright red bleed or cramping first”. god I have so much to look forward to !
On the upside, (fuck, there’s an upside?), Gumby appears oblivious to its new “clot mattress”.
The other upside is, my situation is so shite I have given up on stupid pregnancy rules. I had a nice strong macchiato (first coffee since October and possibly the best thing I’ve tasted in months), a fresh juice in my friends’ deli, and an arancini.
Seriously? Sedate me now. Put me out of my fucking misery .
Pity party over. We will now return you to your normal viewing schedule. Move along. Nothing to see here.
Recently, on holidays up my brother’s farm, I saw a film in DVD called “the Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon). I had read the book years before, and it touched me deeply, reaffirming for me the power of the written word. I was a little astounded when those mad frenchies decided to make it into a film. I figured as a movie, it would either be stunning, or an unmitigated disaster.
The book is a short internal monologue, musings on life and consciousness, written by Elle fashion magazine editor, Jean-Dominique Bauby, paralysed from head to toe after a massive stroke, who completed the book over 10 months with his one moving body part, by blinking as the alphabet was read to him over and over and over by a carer. As I read the book, and realised what has gone into making each word, I understood the levity of stark prose, not overwritten, each word chosen, letter by letter by letter. Not an easy thing to turn into a screenplay
The film was stunning, life affirming in its beauty, with cinematography that spoke of both his internal world and the world he was kept from. Needless to say, we shed tears watching it. And laughed.
(Hell, if you get a BAFTA for best screenplay on a silent film, The Artist I’m guessing the French film industry knows what it’s doing! I later discovered The Diving Bell and the Butterfly also received a best screenplay BAFTA back in 2008).
For me, this week, as frustration has started to rear its head, I think of that man who felt as though his body was physically locked in an old fashioned diving suit, but whose consciousness was like a butterfly, flitting free & high above.
My life has made room for frustration now, and it’s actually a good thing. There is only room for frustration when medically, nothing is happening (touch wood). I have had eight days free of hemorrhages. This is a record since my dramas started. Still spotting old blood, which can still be scary, (so I can’t have that soak in the bath I am busting for), but not bleeding.
Sunny days make it worse, and make it more uncomfortable to lie around. Weekends are harder, with more coming and going and the usual together time marred by my motionless frame. Weekdays have elastic time, where it is often just me, alone, and sometimes I kill hours easily, and other times if I looked more than two days (two hours) ahead at this I’d just wig out.
I’d like to wash the floors. And tidy. And de clutter a few cupboards. I’d like to wander down to the backyard (I did on Sunday; momentuous), or hang out some washing, or cook something . I’d like to run, and box, and swim, and sit in a cafe. I am so tempted…To just do a little bit. So often we run through life wishing for the gift of some time. I have it, and I can’t use it.
Instead I hold fast to my promise to sit still, and I shuffle: Facebook, email, blog, games, books, radio, staring out the window, short visits, phone calls, tv series, a movie, nap, shower, meal. I try to do books/radio/iPhone activities/nap in the morning in bed, and by two ish move to the couch for lunch, sometimes visitors, and a bit of tele til hub-in-boots gets home around 6. Each day is sort of ok, but the weight of accumulated days like this is getting heavy.
Physically, my muscles are becoming uncomfortable and twitchy, my shins have gone weird and angular, my feet hurt from lack of use. I am not as good at seeing the milestones as I was: Skype counselling today, doctor (ob) tomorrow (woohoo leaving the house!), 14 weeks on Saturday. I need their forward momentum.
But weirdly, on my fourth week of bed rest, I want the other two weeks in bed. I am fearful of hearing ‘yeah you’re ok to go back to work’ from the ob tomorrow. Dont get me wrong: I hate bedrest. It sucks. But it has a purpose. And I want gumby to have the best chance possible, conservative treatment, at least to make it to 16 weeks.
I also have clarity of purpose here, at home. There is only one objective: grow gumby. Ok maybe two: 1.grow gumby, 2. absorb clot. I think dealing with this whilst dealing with work would require more resilience than I have just now.
My sleep is a weird in between space, where I don’t get much precious “blank time”. I wrestle with waking up every couple of hours, with dreaming I’m hemorrhaging again, with unnamed terror when I sit bolt upright at the slightest noise. I am not physically tired enough to get proper rest. Emotionally, I seem to be wrestling with more, now that the immediate physical danger has seemingly passed. Having passed the all important first trimester milestone, I seem lost for a strong focal point; hopefully temporarily. The stupid what if game has a bit more power at the moment. At times I run through scenarios in my mind, wondering which I need to be prepared for.
So I feel the need to blog, yet I don’t have much to offer. I could give you dvd reviews after a marathon viewing of “Game of Thrones” a medieval ish drama series filmed in Northern Ireland (took an episode to get into it, then knocked over 10 episodes in two days! Sad!). I watched a Harry Potter yesterday (Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix). I am not much of a dvd box set watcher, my first ever being Dexter (series 1-5!!!) during IVF down time. I find TV leaves me feeling listless. After conquering Gabriel Garcia Marquez Love in the Time of Cholera and then a fairly quick effort on Jeffrey Eugenides The Virgin Suicides, followed by Hsu-Ming Teo’s rather lovely Love and Vertigo, I seem to have hit the wall, book wise. I may branch out to a Neil Gaiman next. Or possibly something as nasty and throw down as the Twilight series.
I found The Virgin suicides a beautifully constructed novel, perfect in its simplicity of voice and pre-ordained storylines. It was much more readable than his later epic, Middlesex, which is one of the few books I have picked up several times and failed to finish (I will never forget my struggles with Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness whilst at school. It’s one of those rare ones I never went back to). In an ideal world I would use this time to catch up on all the classics I’ve never read; in reality often my head is too busy with pregnancy worries for weighty tomes and self improvement.
As nice as it is to use time, I find that time often uses us.
I am lucky in the sense that I live in an age where this pregnancy could happen at all, and where, as the problems reared their ugly heads, I was able to monitor what was going on, to know Gumby was still kicking. I am lucky I live in an age where we have Skype, and email, and iphones to keep me feeling connected even as I disconnect. I am free to communicate. I can move if I really need to. But I think in my own limited way (though hardly comparable to Jean-Dominique Bauby) I understand the heaviness of feeling like I am stuck in a diving bell, while the world carries on in its noisy way, and the traffic still jams and the people still work, and the mail still gets delivered, and I wait, motionless, in a muted two room world.
Like Jean-Dominque Bauby’s butterfly, at times I can rise above this here and now, and think beyond these walls, and enjoy the sky and the leafy green wall of trees that lies beyond our apartment windows, and sometimes even have the optimism to flit forward to a full term labour and a perfect little Gumby (who, importantly, has no chromosomal issues…we got the full screening results and the all clear yesterday). But sometimes, I can only make 6 o’clock. The optimism and the dread, the yin and the yang, the hoped for growth of Gumby and quiet non eventful disappearance of the clot. A butterfly just went past the window as I typed this…I’m taking it as a good sign.