Friday, 23 January 2015
I guess that's how you know I'm now visibly pregnant, shall we say. At least I didn't doff my bra the minute I walked in the door - I've taken to unhooking it about 8pm with an audible sigh, then removing it entirely by 8.30 because the bastard keeps roughing up my nipples (by roughing up I mean touching lightly, WOW OUCH).
Following last night's comfortpalooza, I ordered some maternity jeans and a pack of maternity basics online this morning. And commenced bleeding on and off.
I am living in terror of doing something to jinx the pregnancy. I can't bring myself to buy baby things. When I purchased the maternity goods, it was the first time I've bought something pregnancy related other than folate-laced pills or ultrasound co-pays. OF COURSE it preceded a bodily freak out.
This is not my first rodeo with bleeding during this pregnancy. It is scary, yes, but I've got good at ignoring it while I go about real life (ha. that and you know, thinking about my father). The knowledge that it is fairly common and that there is nothing I can do is not exactly reassuring, per se, but it makes me sanguine (wrong choice of word? oh well, it fits and it stays).
So I'm daring it to get worse. I walked around the baby section of Smith & Caughey today (oh christ no, I didn't buy anything, that shit is expensive.) I added to the list of what we might need. I looked at the DIA's top 100 names spreadsheets from '99 to '14. This is superstitious bullshit I'm engaging in, believing that a positive act of child-recognition could spell doom for my baby. I'm not doing it anymore. I'm going to wear stuff with elastic with pride. I'm going to be someone's mother.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Got knocked up. That's kind of a big one, I guess.
Eh. I don't really do resolutions because I don't need another stick with which to beat myself. There's usually a vague thought about getting fit, losing weight, blahblah but I know in my heart of hearts I'm quite happy to truck along eating a wheel of cheese and watching the development of my bingo wings.
27 October 2014. Labour Day, a Monday. Even though it was a public holiday, I needed to go in to work, so I got up early, leaving P in bed. I went to the bathroom. I started the shower while three minutes passed. I stopped it again. I climbed back into bed with P and broke the news. We lay there, quietly, for quite a while.
Freaking out, I suppose. We still cannot get our heads around the fact that we're going to be parents.
19 December 2014. The day of Dad's biopsy. It suddenly became real that my father is mortal.
Making it through the first trimester, I suppose, if that can be counted as an achievement? It sucked and then it got better. We thought for a while that I was going to miscarry, so it feels like an achievement to have got this far (15 weeks tomorrow).
9. What was your biggest failure?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Once again nothing changes from 2013:
House! Also getting piffled away on food and booze; we're just so GOOD at spending on that.
Oh, one other item - pregnancy tests. I wasted a loooooooot of those.
Seeing an embryo and then a foetus at successive scans. Unreal. Butterfly feelings. P wanted to go out for champagne afterwards, which is our usual celebratory reaction, but isn't particularly appropriate for me, just now!
Both P and I were promoted this year. While each of us felt a bit wrung out at the time of our own promotion, we were super excited for each other. I'm so proud of him - he sets goals, achieves them and is so diligent and hardworking.
b) Thinner or fatter? Oh yes, most definitely fatter.
c) Richer or poorer? Wee bit richer - promotions, plus we paid off a chunk of mortgage, even though we spent a bit on the house. Property values keep rising, so I guess in a very theoretical sort of a way we're a bit richer in equity too?
Debt reduction, as ever. With the beauty of hindsight, spending more time with my family.
The plan was to have a few Christmases with the family - on the day itself, we were meant to be at our house, with P's mother, brother, sister-in-law, SIL's brother and SIL's parents. That changed with Dad's diagnosis and we spent Christmas at my parents' place. We ate, played boules in the sunshine & napped indoors when it got too hot.
With Tabitha, Timothy and Cokes I most definitely fell in love. I wanted cats in 2013 and in 2014/first days of 2015 they have been such a joy.
As always, I fell a bit more in love with P. He has been so wonderful during the early stages of pregnancy and I don't know what I would have done without him over the past four weeks during Dad's diagnosis. He's upset and grieving too, but he's consistently treated me patiently, kindly and respectfully, when I haven't always been rational.
20. What was your favourite TV programme?
24. What did you want and not get?
Now? A positive prognosis for Dad.
26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I could not for the life of me recall what I did on my 32nd birthday! I actually had to check the post I wrote the day after (THIS is why I keep a blog!) - we had friends around for dinner and to watch the rugby the night before and P's friend P2 conned me into a night on the town in the early hours of my birthday itself. We spent the day of my birthday hungover and giggly.
Holy shit that's prescient. Or, you know, trite enough to apply to any life situation. Let's pretend it was prescient of me, shall we?
I've also learned that life really isn't fair.
Monday, 12 January 2015
I met Dad off the air ambulance in Hawke's Bay on a Monday. It was so sunny outside that I squinted through the waiting room window in the hangar to watch the plane taxi in. He was the first passenger to disembark, walking off of his own volition, shaking the hands of the pilot and onboard nurse. Just like him, but he'd lost weight and looked frail. The patch on the back of his head wasn't large, but it was obvious.
Mum and I drove him home quietly. He asked Mum if my sister understood what was happening yet. The burning in my throat intensified, stoked by a fear I wasn't yet willing to name.
He walked in the door and improved by the hour. Coming home was the best moment, he declared. It never felt so good as it did that Monday. His appetite was huge, his strength grew by the day. We talked, we laughed.
Days later, the specialist called with the preliminary biopsy results. Mum and Dad sat us down - K, P and I - and explained that it wasn't good. We'll be lucky to have two years, but we ought to plan on a year, they said.
My throat ignited afresh, the flames raging through the dry tinder of my heart and mind.
They'd known or suspected for days. They'd also suspected that no further surgery would be possible, or worth the risk. I think the fire in my throat knew, too. My heart and head had chosen not to listen.
There is a focus on early July. Dad's first round of treatment should be done, and we hope he'll be feeling well. My daughter or son will be his first grandchild. One thing I've always known is what an excellent grandfather Dad will be. That child will be so loved.
The burn in my throat shreds tissue and exposes the bones when I think about the fact that my child will never know his or her grandfather in the same way I imagined.
We spent a glorious couple of summer weeks there, in the middle of nowhere, at the end of the earth, on the hill in the paradise my parents call home. We watched sunsets on the verandah following meals eaten outdoors. We worked on projects together. We set up a Christmas tree and celebrated on Christmas eve and again on Christmas day. We laughed. We went wine tasting and out for a nice lunch. Occasionally, we cried. I cry in the shower, tears beating and streaming over my body like the water, cathartic. We made plans.
It's real. The burn in my throat tells me so.