I'm going to visit Mum and Dad this weekend and I'm a bit nervous. Fragile as he was two weeks ago when I saw him last, he's now lost his hair, is battling a burned/cracked/chapped face and is using a walking cane. If I've said it once, I've said it far too many times: this, from a man who three months ago was digging holes and fixing fences and lugging rocks for landscaping purposes. It's fucking brutal, is what it is.
My nerves arise out of the unknowns - I don't give a shit what his hair looks like, but I just want him to still be my dad underneath it all, you know?
These things (hah, cancer, a 'thing' - it's like I can't name it for fear of the consequences) come in batches. A colleague's father has just had surgery for prostate cancer. Another's ex-boyfriend has been paralysed from the chest down in a workplace accident this week. I find myself understanding and empathising properly to some degree for the first time (maybe that's why they're telling me?)
To top it off, I started fucking bleeding again last night.
It wasn't a major - no cramps, finished quickly, I can still feel the baby move (I think - I play a constant game of 'firstborn or gas?'). Still scary to turn around to flush and find your toilet looks like a murder scene at twenty to one in the morning. Afterwards, I lay still in bed for twenty or so minutes, burning with concentration at my stomach, hands wrapped around it. I got up again to check progress and things appeared to have eased. I slept, uneasily.
The good news, I suppose, is that the suspected UTI wasn't in fact an infection - just a raised bacteria level. I haven't really reported much good news this pregnancy - here we are: I feel mostly like a human being (albeit a human being with a sore tailbone) and I'm starting to relish having a belly. I want to feel this baby more often so I can enjoy the feeling of not being alone. I do enjoy being by myself, but it's nice to know someone is just quietly there with me.