We are FULL TERM today. FULL FREAKIN TERM. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Dr North Korea. This is NOT going to be a pre term Gumby. I swear this calls for breakfast champagne. 37 weeks today.
Just like the Olympics, this five ring circus of a pregnancy has departed somewhat from its original purposes…the corporatisation of noble pursuits (hello parallel with ivf, though we sadly didn’t get major sponsors), the professionalisation of what used to be an amateur pastime (ahem)…The use of drugs to do what used to be done naturally, extensive testing, coaching, dieticians and tightly controlled food. And as a spectator, long parades of places you’ve never heard of, late sleepless nights of weird half excitement half boredom, and drama. Always the drama.
And our tele just weirdly, creepily , mysteriously turned itself on at 5:30 am Saturday Aussie time to the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. The flashing blue light of the tele in the lounge woke us. We have no idea how this happened. We didn’t know the tele had a timer. But we’re up now. It was nice of London to hold an opening ceremony for us. The five ring circus bringing us to parenthood.
By the time the closing ceremony is held, we will, most likely, be holding Gumby in our actual arms. THAT is just plain weird.
Maybe we should name him Boris, after the hilarious mayor of London.
The pregnancy Olympics would include such events as the 200m waddle, the Greco roman wrestle on your jeans and shoes, the weightlifting (ie hub in boots helping me get off the couch), nesting (like fencing, but with less pointy things), the shit put (where I drop stuff on the floor all over the house & hub in boots picks it up), the individual medley (varies nightly but consists of my laying on the couch asking hub in boots for chocolate, tea, antacids and mineral water). Then there’s Gumby’s events: the internal boxing, gymnastics, and the triple jump. Ouch.
Happy full term Gumby, you freaking little trooper.
Yay for us, hub in boots. We rock.
Five ring circus it may be, but we’re nearly there, and we’ve not succumbed to what the odds and stats predicted. Through love, through good management, through support, through sheer dumb luck, through prayers, through no good reason at all. The Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius.
Using a hacksaw at 36.5 weeks pregnant is pretty interesting, and probably not advisable. Especially when the noise of your sawing (quite satisfying) wakes the baby and he starts kicking WILDLY whilst you are bent over, puffing slightly, sawing the ends off the curtain rods for his nursery. Fyi I still have ten fingers.
We had another busy weekend, another fancy dress (can you believe it? That’s FOUR, Gumby!), another brother hitting a big milestone (my bro Paul is SIXTY!).
The fancy dress was sixties kitsch so I rolled out a recycled Eurovision outfit and rocked on up to the bowlo in Balmain. I even had a dance, and I have to say “blame it on the boogie” is a little challenging in high heeled boots on a packed dance floor at 36 weeks.
I had a weird experience seeing a “ghost from Christmas past” at the party… Someone I went out with a few times after my 4 years with friend & ex partner Nath, and before Stew. It turns out he has worked with & is a mate of my bro’s girlfriend, which is why he was at her 50th. I thought about rumbling up and saying hi, after all this is the guy that got me onto two great bands : Arcade Fire, and The Postal Service. He had great taste in music. But it was that stage in the night when everyone was half cut, and having an eight month pregnant woman wander up and go “hey! I know you! We dated!” could really wig a guy out! Funny, but not nice. 🙂
Hub-in-boots et al loaded up on drinks so it was a loud drunken carload I took home, mentally picturing the absolute chaos that would occur at the hospital if I went into labour right here right now: 4 adults, dressed in 60’s gear, 3 of them sizzled, one in labour. Ugly! I had fun out, but it is an odd experience being the stone cold sober one.
Sunday was big bro’s birthday lunch, and 10 of us went out to the Austrian schnitzelhaus up the road. Gumby was in eatin mode, so I ate LOADS. A schnitty as big as my head. And followed it up with home made schnitty and veg for tea! And STILL my blood sugar behaves!
Yesterday we went to the ob. Gumby has been hurting me off and on, so I knew he’d had a significant position shift. He is still head down, but now is once again really low and fully engaged. So much so, his little head is squished on one side; you can SEE IT on the ultrasound screen! So the measurements of 3.1kg or 6lb14 are likely to be a bit understated, as his head can’t be measured now. His heart rate is good, blood flow is good, there isn’t too much fluid (which can happen if the diabetes affects him).
The plan now is induce me at 39 weeks, assuming his position is still good at 38, and assuming my cervix has started to ‘blame it on the boogie’ and thin out. I’ve only got a 1:10 chance of spontaneous labour with a first bub prior to 40 weeks, and the ob reckons only 50% have gone by 40+3.
However the risk of stillbirth goes up at full term at my age, so we won’t be overcooking this bun, as much as I’d prefer Gumby to decide on the timing. I also know I only have a 50% chance of natural labour at my age, and induction lowers that & increases likelihood of further interventions. All a bummer, but as I’ve explained to the doctors before, I’m a person, not a statistic. I’m not an average! I’m an individual! Stats don’t describe the individual experience. So I’m hoping we at least get the chance to have a go at labour, and I’ll just wear whatever comes after that with good grace.
So the 38 week visit is the big decision making one, however we see the doctor weekly now. Gumby was kicking up a storm last night, I’ve been awake since 3am making listd and listening to tunes, so granted myself a sleep in after hub-in-boots left for work.
Hub-in-boots is looking a little nervous these days… He’d much prefer a known date because he doesn’t want that little shake awake saying “stew… I think….”. Maybe because the last time we did that I was bleeding to death & it was the car trip from hell? I’ve tried to explain to him it’s hardly likely to be a rush rush rush panic situation.
I seem to be over my horrible flat anxious hyper vigilant patch… Sure I’ve had some low energy days but I don’t feel as thoroughly crappy as I did at 33-34 weeks. I had a change in strategy last week, and just completely lowered my expectations of what i could achieve each day. This really seemed to kick it, and gave me the downtime to bounce back. I am back to hour long hilly walks 4-5 times a week, I’ve got through a few jobs on the list, I’m back to cooking, and feeling pretty good. My blood sugar has dropped significantly, so the tight control on diet isn’t quite as dictatorial, I do crazy stuff like having yoghurt and fruit STRAIGHT AFTER tea, instead of waiting two hours sometimes. We really do madness well around here.
I checked in with a specialist (i’ve met with once before) yesterday to be sure, and he’s totally comfortable with me just touching base regularly after gumby’s arrival to monitor my mood, given my prior history with depression. He thought a bit of a delayed reaction to what we’ve been through, and a bit of pre birth anxiety was pretty damn reasonable, as reactions go. We talked a little about the loss of identity that goes with this turf, especially for women these days… But that’s something I’m still slowly mulling over. It’s quite a different thing having two semesters off work WITH a baby to having three or four semesters off, almost half pre baby. It makes me feel more disconnected now, already, and was totally not in the game plan!
The ob and i have also established, since I’ve ignored my doctor and gone back to the glory that is having long hot baths (after 6 months I’m sick of taking dumb orders.. I’m having a bath!!!), that I have an amazing degree of abdominal separation. I really don’t know what this is ( I can guess ), but by jingo by crikey I can demonstrate it! When I go to sit up, I go from making my own archipelago in the bath ( its quite disappointing how much water WON’T FIT with me and my bump), there is this amazing mountain range that rises up from my belly; like a statisticians wet dream I can make an instant visual of a 3d bell curve! With my stomach! Apparently, this new party trick is not to be celebrated, and Dr North Korea has told me, instead, to roll onto my side or risk worsening the separation. Which is a shame, because it was hilarious, and hub in boots would clap his hands and cry “Again! Again!” whilst tears of laughter ran down his cheeks. Mind you, he finds me getting out of a chair or car hilarious, and loves to recreate “what did Jojo do today” by following the trail of dropped and or broken objects around the house. He finds my awkwardness very entertaining.
So now we wait! We’re in 21 days and under territory, I’m weirdly ready for labour but not ready to meet (& deal with) gumby! I’ll be putting more work into the labour ward playlist this week, as I’m pretty sure tunes will help. Suggestions welcome.. I figure we need the calming inward focused breathing one, and the have a laugh relieve the tension one, which surely needs to be kicked off with salt n pepa’s “push it” and a bit of rage against the machine….
After ivf and this pregnancy, we sure can’t hold the sunshine or the moonlight to account, and I doubt the “good times” are responsible…but I’m quite happy to blame it on the boogie….
Well we’re here at 35 weeks 4 days today… And we never thought we’d see this kind of gestational age.
I’m feeling a little better this week, with good sleep at least half the nights and although gumby is sometimes hurting when it feels like he’s burrowing in ( into my hip right now as I type, into the back of my navel, into my pelvis) and now regularly gets the hiccups (just started) for long periods of time, we’re getting on ok. His sleep wake cycles are so regular you could set your watch by it… Every 40 minutes. Nothing like the two to three daily periods of activity he had about 8 weeks ago. It’s amazing how things change. All activity just about can be seen from outside: my abdomen moves in crazy waves, has jolts, you can see the hiccups from across the room, things stick out that might be a knee, bottom, or elbow. My belly warps in funny directions, flat in one spot and a huge bulge on one side.
If gumby was born now, they wouldn’t need to give me steroids for lung maturity. If he was born now he’d probably crack 3 kg, as he was an estimated 2.76kg (6lb 1) 10 days ago. These things are comforting. He’s head down, at last check not engaged, though a bump drop yesterday (and new difficulty bending and having an easier time getting out of a chair) tells me otherwise. I’m putting on weight now… 2.5kg this pregnancy. One good outcome in a sea of hard yards!
In myself, I feel a little better, with not as many flat days and flat spots not lasting as long.
My blood glucose is still good despite ridiculous new developments in chocolate cravings that occasionally beat me down into submission. The weeks of roasted chickpeas and walnut snacks and control control control are making me crack! My HB1AC (average glucose reading of sorts) is still only 5.3 though. Still eating loads of veg. Still on a red meat bender, with much improved iron levels. We’re doing good.
I’ve had my first encounter with criticism in real life of what I blog about, which surprised me. I figured just don’t read it if you don’t like it…?? It stopped me blogging for a while. I’ve seen this happen to other bloggers, and I always thought how odd it was. If a reader doesn’t like a book they don’t tend to send aggressive emails to the writer. They just put it down. Or write a bad review. And don’t buy the next book. It’s like ignoring a dumb status update on facebook. We all see them. It’s not hard. There is so much more I could say here, but really, it isn’t worth my emotional effort. Let’s just say that apart from slamming Dr north Korea (who deserved it), no one cops it on here that I haven’t personally spoken to about a given issue in real life.
The one thing i will defend is criticism of hub in boots on here. Infertility and pregnancy puts a big strain on relationships, as those out there in blogland know all too well. It is important to reflect on this, and if reflecting on my OWN overreactions & irrationalities in relation to him in a public place helps others in a similar situation, that’s excellent. If blog readers comments and feedback on similar issues helps complete that picture, even better. Hub in boots and i have talked, resolved, and continue to love each other very dearly, and a bit of online “oh my god, men!!!” will not affect my very funny thick skinned optimistic man one bit. If it did, i’d whip it off in a flash. If i didnt know him as well as i do, I’d never mention him on here. He reads my blog, he reads it regularly, he proudly promotes it, and we usually chat about posts before, during and after. He comes up with funny titles. He suggests topics.
And i think the slow honesty of a piece of writing in this long hard haul has, mostly, opened up many many conversations and much emotional closeness between hub-in-boots and i. Sometimes the blog has comforted him: months ago when he walked in and i was teary after an all day hemorrhage, but had posted that day about knitting and the twenty bonuses of bed rest, well at least he knew there was a little bit of humour and life still in his wifey somewhere, and could even draw on that to lighten the mood.
Sometimes there were things that took a long time to write about & think about, and frankly the burden of those conversations on our evenings would be too much, too onerous, if hub-in-boots had to be the luggage handler of every bit of my infertility / pregnancy baggage that came up. Instead, this way, I dump and deal, and together, with my reflections laid bare, we pick over the important bits and we talk about a few small high/ lowlights, or his perspective on parts of the picture i’d missed. Importantly, we talk after we’ve both had time to reflect. Sometimes he emails me after reading a post. It gives our face to face interactions more quality, more insightfulness, and I think it’s really helped us to weather this storm. Together, in the middle of the crap, he’d crack a joke as a 10inch needle was about to be jabbed into my abdomen, and we’d joke about how we could write about this in the blog. In the worst moments, thinking of a funny tagline took us out of the shitty experience and made us laugh. It was a reframing technique. It still is. It’s a collaborative effort. We have never been stronger or more united.
On the dealing with pregnancy front, I have likened where we are now to a break between sets in a boxing class, maybe a set of “crunch n punch”. The worst thing about crunch n punch (sit ups with hitting the training pads) is not doing it, or even trying to avoid farting (yes, hub-in-boots, here’s looking at you, kid) it’s the break between sets. It’s when you stop that it hurts.
When you’re going, you can lose yourself in action. When you’re going, the movement takes your mind off the effort. It’s when you stop that it’s hard. It’s hard because you have to mentally process the effort it takes. It’s hard because after that, you have a very short time to get ready to go again, at a time when muscle fatigue makes the next set harder, and hurt more.
35 weeks 4 days for us is a break between sets. The dramas are behind us. There is another set of pregnancy weeks ahead of us, then we will move on, to a new (and apparently pretty challenging) exercise: parenthood! This place in between is not always as easy as it seems it should be. I feel like I should be relieved and grateful and elated. But I don’t always feel that way. I actually feel a bit out of breath, and tired, and spent and put through the ringer. A bit resentful of all the time spent waiting, which is mad, because it got us here. And bloody hell I’m grateful that we are here. Grateful that this boy is kicking the bejesus out of me day and night. And annoyed at myself, that after weeks of being relatively zen on bedrest, now that I can move, I’m impatient.
The effort it has taken to get here is largely invisible, the adrenalin and momentum of that hypervigilant state of hanging on kept us moving forward, the effort lost in the movement of the weeks. Now, at times, I am feeling it catch up with me. It is hard to turn a hypervigilance off when it is switched on for such a long time. It becomes like a stuck light switch. I have anxieties about the birth, about Gumby arriving safely, anxieties founded in the real life recent losses of others. Some days, the “what ifs” begin their whispering game, and what a waste of time and energy they are.
I think now that I’ve sat down and thought, “ok, everything is going fine now but you’re feeling worse, and that’s ok”, my stuck switch is ceasing to be a problem. I’m back to sleeping ok and I’ve got better energy. I’ve still gone with the precaution of a visit to a professional next week to ensure I’m in a good headspace for what’s coming, and to ensure there’s someone who knows what they are doing to catch me if I’m not. After all, there’s another set to do! We pause, regroup, and get ready to go again.
Oh, and if you’re giving me the “Oh my GOD but you have NO IDEA how hard it is to be a PARENT” line, or even “birth horror stories 101”, this is me sticking my fingers in my ears and giving you the big “La la LAAAAAAA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.” I’m not interested in your war stories. We just fought our own war, and we have (she says, crossing everything) just about won. So bugger off. Please, nicely.
Or, as hub-in-boots says, “I’m getting myself a big glass of shut-the-fuck-up. Would you like one?”. His other helpful suggestion is “Ladies and gentleman, apologies, but the Captain has illuminated the sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up light.”
If this 35 weeks IS a break between crunch & punch sets, I’m quite looking forward to the bacon sandwich and strong coffee we get after class….
In other news, Gumby attended his THIRD fancy dress occasion, this one at 35 weeks. Look at these photos!!!
That has to be a pregnancy record. The boxing crew had a fancy dress bowling night. I’m crap at bowling on an ordinary night, on an 8 month pregnant night dressed as a pirate, I suck balls. (Note: The best thing about a strike is not having to get up & play a second frame!!!)
Me: hello blog.
Blog: hello you. How you feeling?
Me: I don’t know. That’s why I thought I’d come and talk to you . (Plus it’s 4am and I’m bored shitless, and gumby thinks its party time & won’t stop kicking).
Blog: god. Gumby’s not even born and he needs reform school.
Blog: we’ll I’m glad you’re here for a chat. I’m good like that. It’s kind of my point.
Me: well it wasn’t, originally.
Blog: no. Originally I was a way to easily share info with friends and family, so that when we actually conversed it wasn’t solely about the annoying minutiae of infertility treatment.
Me: yeah, that was what I thought you were for.
Blog: but I’m so much more awesome than that.
Me: really? How so?
Blog: well when you talked to me, you could figure out your feelings about the weird shit that goes down in infertility land.
Me: true. And that’s kind of helpful .
Blog: and pretty important, I would have thought. Given that you’ve been fucked in the head in the past.
Me: that’s a bit harsh
Blog: I’m a blog. There is no point to me if I don’t speak a truth, of sorts. I mean your history w depression
Me: oh that. Meh. That’s all in the past. You were starting to sound like you thought of yourself as a modern day Delphic oracle, for a moment there.
Blog: I am. But let’s leave my self aggrandisement out of this. I’m also awesome because you found a bonus prize in blog land. Kind of like the free set of steak knives you get with every ab circle pro purchased.
Me: have you been watching TVSN again?
Blog: no ? (with upward inflection similar to hub-in-boots blatant denial to the question ‘did you eat all the cheese?’).. Ok maybe. Point being, you got a bonus. Finding Other followers, similar situation. You read their blogs, and found new perspectives on your own situation, not to mention empathy, support, and a few laughs.
Me: actually, that’s true.
Blog: of course it is. Modern day Delphic oracle, remember!? So anyway, what’s up?
Me: there’s some weird shit going down IRL
Blog: who is IRL?
Me: In Real Life
Blog: do go on
Me: great, now you think you’re a shrink?
Me: huffle. Ok I’ve just got no energy and I can’t seem to get things done. I feel overwhelmed.
Blog: it’s called pregnancy. Have a look at your belly and play spot the difference with your Xmas snapshots dummy.
Me: no, I mean, things should be easier now, I’m kind of normal, I’m almost at full term, and I feel worse
Blog: you’re a deadshit
Me: BLOG!!! Too harsh!!!
Blog: sorry. I’ll pull my head in. Anyway, you already ranted about this yesterday.
Me: yes I know. But something else happened in real life.plus I don’t feel better. You didn’t do your job.
Blog: that’s because you were boring and whiny. Sorry. I mean that’s because you hadn’t established, with clarity, what your feelings were. Plus can I say this is your classic pattern?
Me: what is? Whaddya mean?
Blog: you always feel worse after a stressful event. During it you just keep on going. So that everyone around you thinks you’re Teflon woman. Then when the stress is all over, you drop your bundle.
Me: but I haven’t had the baby yet. Stressful?
Blog: that whole hello you can’t have kids- 2 rounds back to back lets fuck up her hormones fertility treatment- why not chuck in 5 hemorrhages and a sub chorionic haematoma-possible late late miscarriage- if you order in the first 150 callers you’ll get free gestational diabetes and 15 weeks bedrest. That whole deal. Personally, I reckon even with free shipping I would have trouble selling that as a fun time.
Me: but that’s all over. I should be relieved.
Blog: yep. But that’s not how it works for you. Weirdo.
Me: so should I be seeking professional help?
Blog: dunno . I hear you got a pretty big new job coming up.
Me: yeah. I was so excited that I actually got the job, that was one hell of a selection process, but it’s starting to look like a cliff.
Blog: and you’re a lemming.
Blog: you’re welcome. Maybe you should just snap out of it.
Me: that’s what a relative of mine said. To another relative. On an iPad. That i was holding. Via a Facebook notification. That I wasn’t supposed to see.
Blog: that’s unfortunate.
Me: yes. That’s what I said. They had a couple of goes, actually. It was really awkward.
Blog: ouch. Upset, much?
Me: well, at first. But after my first soak in a bath in seven months and a cry, I began to see the funny side. I, too, have managed to send a bitchy email to the very person I was bitching about. Technology has pitfalls.
Blog: that is pretty funny. Why you telling me about it? Bitchy, much?
Me: No actually, not bitching. It was the “snap out of it” phrase. It stuck in my head. People said it to me when I had depression 10-12 years ago, and it was really unhelpful. And I promised myself if I ever got better I’d never hide the fact I had depression because being open about it helps lessen the stigma, and helps other people get help.
Blog: don’t get all moral high horse on me. It stuck in your head because it is listed as one of the least helpful things to say to someone on every mental health site. Like PANDA, and Gidget, and Beyond blue? And bloody hell when you’re pregnant they give you a lot of those mental health brochures. And fridge magnets!
Blog: but no one said it to you.
Me: not knowingly, no. Indirectly, yes.
Blog: so you’re saying all the whinging about your Internet and car seat was not really about that.
Me: nope. Don’t think so.
Blog: awkward silence.
Blog: ok. What are you really worried about?
Me: regrouping after our little roller coaster enough to be a good mum. Not liking having a baby. The guilt of not liking baby when we were infertile and we’re so lucky to have made it. Labour or c section. Stillbirth. Losing my identity. All of these worries in the face of no bloody energy .
Blog: that’s a lot of blog posts
Me: you saying you’re not up to the job?
Blog: you remember when you first got pregnant?
Me: yep. Clear as day.
Blog: you suddenly got worries about morning sickness, and weight gain, and genetic problems….
Me: oh yeah! That was amazing! I’d never thought about those things before. They snuck up on me.
Blog: And you got no morning sickness, and gained hardly any weight, and got the all clear on gene stuff. You didn’t anticipate the hemorrhage , or the clot, or the diabetes, or the giving up work and losing an income. You also didn’t even think about how funny the kicks and rolls and punches would be.
Blog: so you can’t anticipate motherhood, and its problems and joys either. Just live it.
Blog: but don’t try and snap out of it.
Blog: no. That’s dumb. Counterproductive. There is a time for keeping on going, and there’s a time for sitting with your feelings and not running away. It’s sittin’ time.
Blog: and you should check in with a professional. That PANDA thing stands for PRE & Ante Natal Depression & Anxiety. Maybe you’re the Pre . Maybe you’re not. Can’t hurt to ask.
Me: I’m flat as a tack, awake at 4am and I can’t make decisions. But I’m not depressed. It feels different to depression. I think I’m just having a reasonable, if delayed, reaction to some quite extraordinary circumstances. An emotional reaction to a really hard situation is not a mental health problem. It’s a problem where the reaction continues beyond when it’s useful. Sadness is not depression. Day to day worry is not an anxiety disorder.
And I don’t even understand what anxiety is. I’m not wringing my hands. I’m not thinking of throwing myself on front of a bus.
Blog: yet. It really wouldn’t hurt to check in with a professional. You don’t try and dye your own eyelashes. You can’t get the right perspective. Same same.
Me: you’re a nag.
Blog: I’m a blog. Nagging’s for mothers.
Me: shut up. That’s sexist. I’m glad we had this talk. I feel a bit better.
Blog: good. Now make a bloody appointment.
Me: harsh, blog. Harsh.
Blog: is he still kicking?
Me: he’s insane. Having a gymnastics class.
Blog: he is going to be one nightmare of a toddler. Get up and make yourself a cuppa. I’ll introduce you to my friend sleeplessness. He and motherhood, what a couple! They’ve been together for years. They’re inseparable. You’ll just love them.
Me: they sound lovely. You can shut up now.
Yesterday, I woke at 4am. I was bored. I couldnt sleep. I wanted to see how Cadel did in the tour de France time trail, my pregnant eyes refusing to stay open the night before. The Internet was down.
I got up late after hours of lying awake, figured I’d catch highlights on sbs. Tv lost sbs reception , for no apparent reason (this has happened before).
So do what the doctor ordered. I went up late for an updated blood test, on my iron & hb1ac (average blood glucose). I was fasting, tired, not a cup of tea to my name, oh and in hub-in-boots’ ridiculous two door low slung convertible, as he was getting the car seat installed in my car. Try getting out of a 20 year old convertible at 40 years old and 8 months pregnant. The day was not panning out well.
I strike the royal bitch of a receptionist at the pathology place . I had to take a number & wait to be called, even though there was ONE other person waiting. It STILL took them 30 minutes to see me, even though there were TWO people collecting and only two patients went in in thirty minutes.
Back home in the freaking convertible, complete with its non self cancelling indicators & permanently fogged up windows. Finally get my porridge & tea.
Yeah this was panning out well.
I thought maybe hub in boots could email our neighbour & find out if he was having similar aerial troubles with sbs . No, too hard to find the address. Right. Finally he did it. The neighbour is ok, it’s just us, ring the real estate.
I thought maybe he could ring the real estate… No… I’m the at home dogsbody. Apparently that’s my job.
I thought perhaps he could ring the Internet provider. No. He forwarded me the EMAIL of the user name and password, then gave it to me on the phone… Because you can’t GET freakin email when the net is down.
Ok. Breathe. He IS getting the car seat installed at the good place that we’ve already used for the pram, in his lunch hour. He’s busy getting an important job done. He will make sure he understands how to move it in and out, and show me how.
I spent 50 minutes on the phone to the Internet provider. We reset the whole modem. To no avail. I spent 15 minutes on the phone to the real estate, then another 15 trying to send them the ‘please send us your the tv aerial is stuffed request in writing’ email over the iPhone network, in our little reception black hole. Hell, half the time I can’t send an SMS here. Yes, of course I have to confirm it in writing when THE INTERNET IS DOWN.
I didn’t want to stay here, I am so over these four walls…but I didn’t have the energy to do anything either. Cue the iron lull. So I totter out with my sister, who is on school holidays, to the shops. Thank god she fed me lunch during the internet saga.
And as I’m leaving, the Internet company calls. I run back inside. Follow more instructions. Still no dice.
At the shops, neither of the baby things I needed are there. Cool. And of course, I look like shit, i havent showered or done my hair, have no makeup on, and run into someone from work.
I get home, and the Internet is working! Hurrah!
The Internet company calls, gets me to check it, it’s not working. Booooo.
Oh and by the way they can’t fix it. The problem is intermittent. They don’t understand the problem.
So they’ll send us a new modem.
In several days.
But they don’t know which day.
And then I’ll have to re-do the hour on the phone set up process.
And have no net in the meantime.
And have to wait around for delivery.
Hub in boots arrives home. We all traipse out to check out the car seat.
He just went to the ‘I install one car seat a month mechanic’, not the ‘all we do is install car seats and help nervous parents’ place down the road.
He very confidently goes to show us how to move it.
It quickly becomes apparent a ) he has no idea b) he picked it up from the apprentice who had no idea and showed him nothing, nada. C) it does not click in and out, but rather has a complicated impossible to adjust non removable tether strap, so you can only remove the capsule by;
* a lengthy lessening the tension on a tether,
*unlooping it from hooks on the capsule,
*leaning across to the middle of the car and destroying your back, and
*performing a level five yoga pose and sticking your tongue out.
I begin to cry. My sister and hub in boots are calm, trying to reason it out in thr pitch dark back seat of the car, but really, I’m done. My bump won’t fit in the confined space and my hands don’t work properly with pregnancy hormones so I can’t grip the clips properly. I come inside and cry half a box of tissues.
One part of my head is screaming “He had ONE JOB. ONE FREAKING job. Out of that whole list of getting ready for baby, one job. Sixty bucks and a box of Kleenex later, we are back where we started”. The other part of my head is saying “we’ve both had a rough trot. He forgot why I wanted to go to an expert fitter, not just a mechanic who fits occasional seats. He’s tired and stressed, and he showed up with flowers (and tim tams i love but am not meant to eat)”.
After I calm down a bit, of course I’d like to look up manufacturer’s instructions. But did I mention THE INTERNET IS DOWN????
Luckily my sister’s iPad is on a different network Which occasionally gets reception here. There are no videos on YouTube to help& I find one PDF describing how to install the current model, but of course the words won’t stay in my head. My head seriously will not work . Baby brain. I go back to the car, to find that the $60 installation has installed the whole thing on a random back cushion I had kicking around the car. With no explanation. So the base of the capsule is not even touching the seat. I also find they haven’t even closed the cover over the tether hook. Or basically done anything.
I slept in the spare room. Afraid I’d wake in the night and just try and tear hub in boots apart. Poor hub in boots. I thought about just getting in my car and going, i had this run away urge. Still do. My sister backed out of the house before round 2 with the car seat, leaving her ipad, with the facial expression of someone leaving a very active minefield.
I am still laying in bed in the nursery. And hoping like hell today is better. I think all the keeping on going, all the oh my god are we going to lose this baby days that went on for months and months have just hit me all at once. I think every bit of low iron, and pregnancy hormone weirdness, it has all arrived. I suppose the question is what I do with it…sit and wait for it to pass, write or talk it out, look for professional help which I may or may not need. I know what the problem is.
The problem is the maths of this fucked up pregnancy,
4 weeks then a positive test+
5 weeks standard first trimester breath holding +
15 weeks of almost miscarriage/almost late pregnancy loss/almost severely preterm labour and bedrest & no life of varying degrees of difficulty+
10 weeks of oh we’re going to be parents are we ready for a baby?
This equals 34 weeks, but it also equals 9 months worth of normal first baby complex emotional processing (plus the geez that was a close one aftermath )in 10 weeks flat. Little wonder I feel not depressed, not anxious, but just bloody overwhelmed. It’s kind of like teachers that always get sick in the first week of holidays… The stress hits after the fact.
Seriously, whoop my ass. We visited our friends Kim and Pete this week, and their gorgeous newborn, William. First newborn I’ve held in a long long time, but it felt easy and natural. He was lovely. His feet were very little. He was very pink. I liked his sneezes- they were adorable. He was easy to settle.
And I deserve an ass whooping because (for a moment here or there), I thought “oh christ what have we done????. Do I even want this?” give me a slap. Now. But this is blog land, and I will speak the unspeakable.
Hub in boots stepped up to the plate like a champion, and held little William for forty minutes, confidently handling and settling the little guy while his dazed new parents looked on with combined aftershock, joy, pride and confuzzlement. They are already home and creating a family life as I type. Amazing.
I had a few low low low days afterward, (admittedly Wednesday arvo as we headed over to see them the new lull was already kicking in big time). Flat as a tack. No energy. Couldn’t be assed cooking, didn’t walk except for one day. Felt like another iron low, maybe a gumby growth spurt, and far too many braxton hicks contractions to ever feel like I could relax.
Thursday night there were 10 really breathtaking contractions in two hours. Seriously. I spent whole days on tenterhooks wondering ‘do I stay or do I go now?’. Is this call the hospital territory? The BH ‘s are physically tiring, and they kick up another notch every couple of days. Bloody uncomfortable. And no, they don’t change with movement.
I spoke to the midwife Friday, and she said to just stay on a short fuse with them this weekend: any more changes & just head straight in to maternity. Luckily, since Friday evening , they seem to have settled right down, comparatively, perhaps owing to my drinking water fixation. We see the obby tomorrow so can have a bit of a check up.
And really, at 34 weeks, with gumby still going strong, what I should be is overjoyed. What I should be is grateful. What I am is buggered, and a bit nervous, and a bit over this.
It takes a lot of mental energy to make it through day by day, week by week, from 10 weeks til 25, our critical phase of our own personal shitstorm, where really growing this baby was and is the only thing in my life. And I can’t get my head around how to handle the remaining wait, then transition from this to birth, and from birth to parenthood.
It has taken me a lot, emotional strength wise, to get this far. And I’m just not sure where I can dig around and find more for the next parts. Which is scary.
Last night we had big bro’s grand prix / Bahrain after party 50th (don’t ask me, qualifying was in Britain !) so we fancy dressed up and went along . Another night of watching sushi platters and freshly shucked oysters pass me by, the mineral water and pre party Vegemite sandwich dinner tedium relieved by a crazy diet coke and a venison pie and mini whiting with polenta chips and a bit of music, along with a sneaky sip of someone else’s red.
I had a pit crew of three, in $7 disposable overalls adorned with hub-in-boots’ old racing badges. Go the big costume effort. Would have liked to appear as a camel ( already have the hump) but walking on all fours with bump on top too logistically challenging. Big bro gave a frighteningly accurate rendition of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Things seem to have picked up for me a little now, though as I type this it’s 1pm, hub in boots has gone to footy, there’s been washing waiting to go out since 11, and I haven’t yet left the bedroom. I am still in my pyjamas. Gumby clearly ok, setting a record 10 kicks in 1 minute 37 just a short while ago. We’re off to the ob tomorrow morning. I hope Gumby hasn’t disengaged or moved too much. Things seem similar, though his feet reach my ribs now & this morning I’m pretty sure there was a quite identifiable bottom really poking out, four inches above my belly button on the left hand side, much higher than I would have thought possible.
I still enjoy his kicks & find his company funny (at times freaky), I’m ok with the all night peeing and occasional hip spasms, but I’m simultaneously sick of counting down and not ready to be dealing with a newborn instead of a pregnancy! Guess I don’t get many options on all that….(yeah yeah whinge whinge…toughen up buttercup).
One nice moment this week was a non sleeping bout at 4:30 am, when I whacked on the iPod to settle my noisy mind, and realised I’d like a particular piece of music on in the labour ward (if we go that route), O Magnum Mysterium by American composer Morten Laurisden, written in the 1970’s but sounding gregorian chant like.
Several years ago our chorus of the Philharmonia choir sang in the sunrise on Bondi beach with this piece, in a Sydney festival concert with a several hundred voice choir, dressed all in black and barefoot on the sand. That music is in my bones now, and I’ve been playing it to Gumby this week, even on the crap days. As we looked across to Brett Weymark the conductor, his arms moving dancingly in the pre dawn light, catching glimpses of early surfers paddling out on their boards, and as we sopranos hit the top notes, the waves quietly shushed a percussion, and the sun peeped over the horizon. It was perfect.