Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Lonesome Traveler

I have traveled about 900 kilometers in the last 2 days. I had a family function to attend. I went most of the way by myself, since my husband had family commitments to attend to here.

This journey reminded me, for the eight millionth time, that I do okay in my own little safe niche that I have carved for myself, and that it hurts to leave it. And for some reason, it is the functions with the extended family that hurt the most. I guess because one of my most important family members isn't there, was never there, and will never be there. And then there is the incessant (seems to me, but probably not) conversation about the hundreds of other people that we are related to or know that are pregnant, have new kids, have old kids, are getting marred, etc. It all upsets me, to a small degree, because so few of these people actually have a clue about how lucky they are.

I think what these gatherings do is remind me that I am different now. That I say "if the baby is here" not "when the baby is here". That I know that there is no guarantees in life, and that your sense of self, happiness, and purpose can be ripped away in the blink of an eye.

Though we shared our happy news with our parents and grandparents last weekend, we have asked them not to share with anyone else (extended family or friends) until the end of the month. That tactic was to get me through this weekend without any "helpful" comments and advice. I soooooo want my privacy away from these people that I love, but that drive me crazy. I don't know if that promise of secrecy was kept, but no one said anything to me about being pregnant. I guess that was the point of it all, so I am glad that, if they all do already know, they had the brains to keep to themselves.

We have another extended family gathering of importance coming in 3 weeks. However, I am part of the planning group for this event, and will not be available to sit and shoot the breeze with my relatives. I will be much too busy. I just simply will not have more than a few seconds to breeze by and say "Hi, glad to see you, hope you are well" before I am on to my next very important task.

However, of the few people that do know, I have learned that these two phrases get under my skin:
  1. "Everything will be okay" or "this is going to work out" or some variation on that theme. I think I know well enough that the speaker cannot promise such a thing. And I would prefer if they, in the words of Def Leppard, did not "make promises that I can't keep". It feels condescending.
  2. "I am praying for you". Now this one is loaded. I feel like I should be grateful that someone is praying for me and for this baby. But, honestly, it enrages me. I can't really explain why. Perhaps because I think "well didn't you pray for me with my son, and is that the reason why he died, because you didn't care enough that time to pray?" Or perhaps it is the shaky relationship between God and I that makes prayers feel small and useless. Again, this phrase feels condescending. But part of my response may be related to who said that to me. Maybe if someone else had said this to me, I would have been touched...

In other news, the hip pain that seems to pervade pregnancy for me has returned with a vengeance. Thank goodness that I have found my maternity support belt that pulls things together and rids me of the better part of the pain.

I am pretty certain I am feeling the little one move, but considering the mountainous volumes of gas my distressed gastrointestinal system is producing, I could be attributing movement of Babe to movement of other things...

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Okay, so Environment Canada told me that it was going to be a hot summer. I just have learned that a healthy disbelief in anything that Environment Canada says is generally a good line of defense against getting your hopes too high.

One of the results of the current heatwaves (more days above 30 degrees C than not!!!), is that I had an utter panic while in cottage country, when I got it into my head that I had allowed myself to get too hot. And I think we all are aware of the dangers of getting too hot.

So into the lake I went. Where it was a little too cool, and a little funky because of the heat and wind that day, and another swimmer picked up a leach. Where I decided that the shock to the system of the cool water would hurt the Babe.

So, out of the lake. Where I proceed to unload my irrational fears on my husband, and worry the hell out of him.

Time passes. Like 30 minutes. When I realize the insanity of my paranoia, explain said paranoia to my husband, and cancel the panic trip to the nearest emergency room (70 minutes away).

Oy. This is a long 40 weeks, isn't it?

Also, advice needed:
  1. What is the deal with buying a Doppler in Canada? Are there regulations? Where did you buy yours? Why am I embarrassed to ask my doctor about it? Should I buy one? Is the $130 one on eBay worth it? - perhaps an email response would be good here...
  2. What on earth can I do to deal with this gas? Bloating and pain unending...
  3. I think I am feeling movement, but it may well be the gas. Is there any possible way that I am feeling those first flutters at only 13 weeks?

Finally, YAY for baby Natalie. Hooray!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006


I broke out the maternity clothes this week. So many disappointments and hopes all in so few inches of fabric. I wore mat. shorts yesterday and a mat. t-shirt today. My mat clothes that don't look like it.

The letter from the RE arrived. Telling me that in our region, the wait to see our only RE is slightly more than a year. Thank god we didn't need to have intervention.

We will be going on vacation for the rest of the week. Hooray for cottage country!!

The worst of news.

Today, as with many other Canadians, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of 26 year old Constable Marc Bourdages and 29 year old Constable Robin Cameron. If you are not from Canada, it is quite impossible to convey the outrage felt when two of our own Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers are murdered in this vile fashion. That such a thing could happen near one of the smallest towns, in one of the smallest provinces is almost unthinkable.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Twitch.......... twitch......... twitch

Sitting at the computer is particularly maddening. Or watching the tv. You know, looking with not a lot of eye movements. I am bringing the twitching up at my next prenatal appointment, if for some god-forsaken reason it is still happening come the second week of August. ARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

Nothing new to report, really. Much of Canada is experiencing extraordinarily hot weather. Oh global warming, you are really having your fun with us. Trust me, anyone will wilt if forced to engage in normal outdoor summer activities when it is 37 degrees Celsius out there. Lookit - I live in Canada, not Oman, so I just don't care for prolonged time periods when breathing is labourious because of the heat. Especially when I have to deal with -37 degrees for two weeks most Januaries (trust me, breathing is difficult then, too).

Enough complaining! I do too much of it lately.

Did I tell anyone what an amazing man I married? He actually puts up with most of the complainyness (though his patience, that of a saint, is beginning to thin a little after 3 months of constant groaning and whinging). He goes places and picks up things for me while I lie on the couch. He does the dishes that I leave lying around every night. He mows the lawn in 37 degree heat. He lets me sleep while he takes care of familial matters.

Not much substance to this post. All is well with Baby, as near as I can tell. And the people at the local box store can see me coming - put out irresistibly cute short sets, 6-9 month size, hang a 40% off sign, and you've got me loading a cart. This baby is going to be the best dressed person in the family.

Monday, July 10, 2006's my right.

So I don't exactly post prolifically these days, do I. I admit, I have gotten out of the habit a bit.

In my defense, in the past 2 weeks we have experienced prolonged drama relating to conflicting opinions about a family wedding, extremely poor mental and physical heath in one of my close relatives, and the loss of an elderly relative on my husband's side.

No one knows I am pregnant. So pile on the stress, people. Unload your problems at my doorstep. Don't worry about me - what could I possibly have on my plate that might be a little more pressing to me than, say, a flowergirl's basket??? (sarcasm is my weapon)

My eye has been twitching for 2 weeks. I have been spending much quality time in the bathroom with my IBS symptoms. I cry at the drop of a hat (or during footage of the English defending their homeland during WWII). Hmmm?? Any correlation? Am I feeling a little stressed???

I only have one pair of track shorts that fit, which I wear daily with my husband's t-shirts. I look terrible. My skin is breaking out and I have needed a decent haircut for a month. I am tired and I feel nauseous every day (though not all day anymore, thank god). I have only gained 2 pounds, which makes me happy (I am very slightly overweight) and scared (average 1st tri weight gain 3-5 pounds) all at the same time.

My mind cannot handle the concept of the time between now and Baby. In fact, my mind cannot handle the concept of Baby. I feel as though I have a medical condition that I am managing, not that I am preparing to bring my second-born living and kicking into this world. Is that even possible? I am not despairing of the possibility, I just cannot comprehend it. It is a concept that is too good to be true.

I have even contemplated the idea that I am just not that interested in kids anymore. Maybe that is just not my lot in life. Which makes me realize that I am shutting off from the idea of this pregnancy in ways that I am not totally cognizant of. Because, if you asked anyone who has ever known me, there is no one in the world that is more of a kid person than me.

I guess it is somewhat futile to question it all. I know why I cannot believe it. Because my only experience with pregnancy and childbirth ended tragically. And most of the people that I talk with on a regular basis have had at least one similar experience. For me, loss is the norm. But as I look around and see the rest of the world, I am shocked to discover that baby's safe arrival is truly the norm.

Is it like anorexia? Where these people have such a warped perspective of body image that they cannot see that they are living skeletons? Because I have a negative experience with bringing a child into this world, I will always have that as the benchmark of "normal". Will that image change with time or a live birth?

Maybe things with become more real when more people know. Or when I hear a heartbeat. Or when I feel movement. Or when they set the epidural.

Only 207 days to go.

Monday, July 03, 2006

So what's a month?

Yep. Here I am. Ready to admit to the world what has kept me from posting for the last 5 weeks. I am pregnant. 9.5 weeks. And, up to this point, too disbelieving to admit it to many people. So, instead, I have been hiding. Hiding under a veil of nausea in permanent habitation upon my couch.

What, you don't believe me? Here's proof:

Do please note that this air of flippancy is a thinly disguised attempt at concealing moments of abject terror. I actually have a hard time remembering that this little one is actually a baby. The "I am pregnant" part has sunken in - I eat right, take my vitamins, lie about why I am not drinking any alcohol or eating deli salads. It's the "this is a baby, one that may just become a living part of the family" part that I have not, in any way, wrapped my mind around.

We went for an ultrasound last week, and my dates were on within 2 days. It wasn't as terrifying as I expected it to be, though I am still a little miffed that they don't let anyone into the room with you until they have taken their measurements. Tears were shed, but I wasn't as afraid as I thought I would be. And the feeling of joy when I saw the little wiggle (waving, of course) of the baby's movements.

As you may be able to tell, I am forcing myself to approach this experience with joy and anticipation. So far, so good.