That’s the thing about grenades

We caught up with friends P & L last night. Even though I was a bit trepidatious about ordering take away, with the pregnancy rules & gestational diabetes (not to mention the fact that we tend to knock off a couple of bottles of wine in a normal night with this pair of people). I sucked up the food anxiety & decided a 30 week celebration was in order.

So L ordered a vego pizza, well cooked, with little cheese, for me. And made a huge salad with radicchio, fennel (finocchio ), lettuce and balsamic. And rolled out the sparkling mineral water. Meaty meat lovers meaty meat feasts for everyone else with several bottles of wine. I decided two small bits of pizza was reasonable… despite being starving. Ate a huge mound of salad. Somehow I later ate another two slices with another huge mound of salad. Knew I’d probably blow the blood sugar.

And then the night got weird. We haven’t had dinner together for months and months, owing to my extended bed rest with the BASTARD blood clot, diabetes and all round pain in the ass pregnancy (which is now a lot better). It used to be a near weekly event to eat out together, up until we hit 10 weeks pregnant in Jan and our world turned to shit. It was awkward for a while, as in some way these two are some of a small minority of people in our lives who weren’t that interested or helpful when things turned to shit…they went the stand off and wait method, not the hands on  here’s a casserole and “we’re here for you”. Some people aren’t that great in a crisis. So it was nice to do something normal with them. Or was it?

P, L’s hubby, was in a funny mood & kept picking fights. It started with his son knocking over a full glass of nice red all over him. Then turned into a non stop rant about him being a spoiled lazy 13 year old boy & for some reason it was all his mum’s fault. Huh?

Then there was an extended discussion about how having guitar lessons at $30 a pop was an unnecessary luxury because after 10 lessons, he was clearly hopeless ( yeah sorry dude, we’re not with you there. Don’t tell a kid he’s hopeless. Hub-in-boots is a coach, into positive reinforcement. I’m a hard taskmaster, but my uni students are empowered, not belittled. Hub-in-boots learnt clarinet. I learnt piano, guitar, and singing. Our Gumby will learn music. Non negotiable and def essential…and interestingly neurological research supports the role of learning music being associated with higher emotional intelligence and empathy! Plus, our Gumby was probably christened Gumby because we are both total klutzes so he may well be. I was always the kid that knocked over drinks at dinner. I know how awful it feels to get that kind of attention).

The rant continued, ranging into other subjects. A lot of which seemed to be a bit like bullying towards my friend L and a 13 year old boy. I hate public arguments. I’m not big in arguments full stop.  Neither is hub-in-boots. I really wanted to leave. It probably started as 30 years of marriage niggling, egged on by red wine. But it continued on well past its use by date, started to get nasty, perhaps more noticeable for me, with everyone else buoyed along by the wine numbness. And I think we’ve done a lot of thinking lately about how we want to parent our gumby , and our relationship is so solid after what we’ve been through. Better than ever. This was like the what not to do diagram, and it went for hours.

And the thing with a hand grenade is, you can’t put the pin back in.

And before I knew it, or before I could shepherd a shit stirring I’ve had three glasses of red hub-in-boots back to the relative safety and sobriety of home, I lost it.

Now P is a BIG. Sicilian. Man. not someone you take on lightly. Very few people would ever tell him off in his life. Most of the time a lovable teddy bear, but very occasionally embracing every stereotype in his cultural kitbag. And in his own house, I shouted at him. Like really shouted. A small part of my brain was sitting in the back seat saying “umm, excuse me? You’re shouting at a Sicilian man in his own house?”. But i hit override. A very well reasoned but clear attack, telling him to “shutthefuckup and pull his head in, stop being an arrogant bully, and thank his wife for all her hard work on their business instead of criticising her”. I didn’t stop for about a minute. A minute is quite a lot of shouting.

You could have heard a pin drop. Three open mouths faced me.

In a room with two Italians and two loud Aussies, deathly deathly silence.

And I was the only one that was stone. Cold. Sober.


I just about gathered up my bags & husband to leave immediately. I really surprised myself with my absolute ferocity. Hub-in-boots was nonplussed. He knows I’m a pretty non confrontational person, but he also knows if you cross the line with me you’d want to run for cover. It doesn’t happen very often at all… Maybe 2-3 times a year? I’ll say nothing, and nothing, and nothing, but then you’ll get it with both barrels and an AK-47 and a rocket launcher with ammo to spare.

The silence sat heavy for a while. The clock ticked. Hub in boots called an imaginary waiter to the table to order a change of subject.

And then the laughter started. P had no idea this is part of who I am, just as much as the relatively easygoing do-er.

P said to hub-in-boots “shit mate! I had no idea. You’re a tough man, to deal with this. I would be terrified. She’s bloody scary! Is this a pregnancy thing?”

No it’s not, hub-in-boots informed him, it is part of non pregnant me, but the ferocity took my breath away. So it’s me, but it’s me plus hormones. All night I was getting more and more uncomfortable with what I felt were attacks on another woman and child, and some really feisty mother thing, combined with months of not knowing if we’d have a baby or not, and a bit of lingering resentment about their lack of support when things were at their worst, and I pulled the pin. I erupted.

We had more laughs. More drinks. P worked hard to back pedal and clear the wreckage, to his credit, resuming the role of a gracious host. I had 1/2 a glass of bubbly to celebrate the miraculous 30 weeks. I think we’re all still friends… I hope we are. But I think P might be a little wary of me for a while? Hell, I’m wary of me.

So here is the ferocious one at 29 and 30 weeks, respectively. With a well managed post dinner blood sugar of 6.9. Just don’t back her into a corner. It went kind of primal.

You wanna watch those ones with the big bellies mate. They got TEETH.

29 weeks and doesn’t look that ferocious
30 weeks what a relief. at one stage barely hoped we’d make this

As a quiet aside, at 30 weeks,  I’m feeling well. I put on weight, but I’ve lost it again, so I’m back below my pre pregnancy weight. I just keep going back to the same weight. I’m not sure why, as I am eating lots. And lots.  I sleep a lot, long nights. I have to pee more.

Gumby puts intense pressure on my belly button sometimes, and intense low pressure other times which can get kind of weird and make me feel nauseous. But last time we saw the ob he was right down in my pelvis, so this is to be expected. My left hip aches constantly, from hip to knee, as I think he leans on that side. The heat pack helps. I don’t care. I walk most days, often with hills and up to an hour. I love being able to move again. He kicks to a mental degree, kicks that you can easily see from the other side of the room. And he flutters. And elbows. And I think perhaps I can feel the tightenings of braxton hicks contractions now, but I’m not sure what’s baby and what’s those. We won’t discuss my nipples or their surprising developments since 28 weeks…hello colustrum, you freaky shit. I think I understand what heartburn is now, and I’d say we’re going to become constant companions in the next few weeks. I am starting to roll off the couch or out of bed, and I can’t seem to bend over properly! I leave a trail of dropped objects all over the house like a dog. But I’d say after all of our dramas that I feel so well and able now that this trimester is my good one. I’m only just getting my head around the there really will be a baby now idea. And I’m loving it.

 I still have residual worries, and will be relieved when he makes it home safely. 


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