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February 2010

all human life is here

I'm looking at the field behind my parents' house through binoculars. This is my nephew Spike's ritual no 8, to be rigidly adhered to when visiting Poppam (grandfather) and Granny.
Spike: What can you see?
Me, gazing at the tatty and bleak winter field: AN ELEPHANT!
Spike, eyeing me: Are you joking?
Me: Okay, you got me.

Me, pinned in by cushions: Oh no! I am stuck, now.
Spike: It's just pretend, Bobby. (His name for me).

What a relief. For a minute there, I thought I really was a jailed monster! We did some drawings of Wally, (aka Waldo) (Have you ever looked closely at the Where's Wally drawings? bit... nutty? The artistic equivalent of subconscious ramblings, seems to me. Like when you are asked to think of a word, any word, and all you can think of is PUBIC or something really embarrassing. (Not that this has ever happened to me!) All sorts of mad things are going on: half-dressed men push carts and princesses eat ice-creams.)

My niece Dazzle is getting quite no-ish, as she approaches two. She sings a no-no-no song, with great delight. She's funny. Are you my best girl, Dazzle, says her mother. No, says Dazzle, no, no, no, arching her back against her restricting car seat. She can say quite a few words now, but no generally seems the best fit, as far as she is concerned.

But yes, I am eating my way through Leinster. I have to eat every 3 hours, which is a lot even for me. Watch out Wales, I am going east! I'll toss down a few hundred of your sheep and drink your lakes for a pre-lunch snack! Technically I am a vegetarian, but the slavering giant within doesn't seem to care.


My mother is pleased with my news and gives me handy information. Like: You'll have to take iron, you know, and it's very (hushed tones) constipating!
Me: Oh. I think they've improved that now, Ma.
Ma: Oh good. I am glad to see things have come on in the last 40 years!

Ah, Ma. She is such a stalwart. So stouthearted, but my uncle's sickness and the undeniable change in my father since his stroke is hard on her. I am fonder than I used to be of my father, he is so much sweeter and less arg-ANGRY, but for her, the fact is her spouse has lost a part of his powerful and charismatic personality. He's just different, less capable, more befuddled, more stooped.

Those are the terms of life, I realise. The hard part is accepting them.

Ooh! It's racing up to 11.15. Time for elevenses!
Till later

not a figment

My 10-week scan was turned hastily into an 7-week one yesterday after a call from the EPU. I took the call in the made-to-measure curtains dept in a department store, oddly enough, as I stared unseeingly at the roman blinds. Apparently a mistake had been made, and I was to go along at my earliest convenience to confirm that Figment (as I have come to think of him/her) was in the right place.

How wonderfully relaxing last night was. Oh yes. Like a nice warm bath.


So this morning at 8.30 there I was waiting in the EPU in a famous Dublin maternity hospital, with those lino floors that curve up the walls of the long narrow corridors, and signs on the buildings saying things like: This is not the Early Pregnancy Unit. (A representation of an EPU, like the pipe? No, not even that). And I waited, and looked out the window where veils of drizzle were being lit up by the sun. I thought, this before part is so uncomfortable. I hate not knowing. To be suspended in hope and fear, like people whose loved ones have gone missing, and who never know what happened to them - that is the cruelest torture I can imagine. There were a few couples to go before me, so I waited and drank water. An hour went by. The couples seemed to be seen really very slloooowly.

The midwife took my history. I waited a bit more. A young couple came out finally, unsmiling. I was invited inside and my scan was over in about 10 minutes. All is well, Figment is in the right place and is the right size, and has the right heartbeat.
BIG MASSIVE SIGH OF BIG MASSIVE RELIEF. I left, wobbly with released tension.

I glimpsed the young couple again on the street. They were gripping one another's hand, their faces were set, hers was red with tears and it just pierced me. It is so high stakes, all this, it doesn't bear thinking about. It's not fair. Poor, poor young couple.

Words fail me.

Your over-wrought,

Now really must relocate my sense of humour, un-obsess myself with myself, and, you know, do some work. Really seriously. Really, really. But first, must celebrate. Going to be happy. Come back soon for a show of normality! (I hope).

Has anyone seen my mind?

I seem to have misplaced it. And my sense of humour, too.

Last night I got anxious and morose because I haven't been feeling as sick as last week, and this seemed bad.
Then I made the JB, poor man, wracked with nerves too. He was doing his wrinkly brow, and I had the temerity to be annoyed with him, because he didn't (somehow, magically) know the Right Things to say. He should have (somehow, magically) known I wanted reassurance! And (somehow, magically) should not have had his own feelings about the subject!
URG! I am a twit.

I am so sorry, JB, my only only.  On Valentine's Night too.


on the butler

There's a nice man putting insulation in our kitchen walls so we won't be perishing any more. He is called Marcel, most wonderfully. The JB can't resist doing a mime artist routine whenever he mentions him, which is quite often.
Oh, Marcel [waves arms around in vague mime of mime] is working really quickly!
I gave Marcel [doing something approximating charade-like actions] some coffee!

He's a bit excitable at the moment, and yet, lives to serve:

(Have you seen the waiter in The Belleville Rendezvous? Brilliant, that film.)

At first I found this a bit really annoying and would roll my eyes so much they could easily have rolled out of my head, but then I read May's comment, and remembered her brilliant description of H making her pre-work tea in the morning, and the two notions clunked together like magnets, and I thought, this could be good. Mmm, I like hot drinks. Since then, we are getting on like the proverbial house on fire, (though why a burning house should be an appropriate simile, I do not know).
He is able to express his lovely kindly nature, and I am able to express my latent dictatorial tendencies have a nice rest.

I do have a stinky cold (most unusual for me. The last time I had one, was due to post-wedding heebeejeebies, practically four years ago. Immune system of steel, I have), and feel just sick enough to sit around in my friend's house (2 mins slow walk from ours) while Marcel mimes being a builder in mine, but not really sick enough to actually suffer - which is the ideal amount of sickness. I feel much better today so work tomorrow and no excuses.

The EPU rang me back telling me they had received the fax from my GP asking for an early scan, but when they heard my history, they told me it was probably "just for reassurance" and have put me in for 10 week one. In a way this is okay. I am not as nervous as time progresses, and I don't know, am strangely okay.
On the other hand, I could get a scan privately, next week. I suppose I'll wait for the 10-week, unless anyone thinks otherwise?

You know many things, friends, and for this I am very grateful.



Hello dear friends, and hello to all the nice people coming over to visit from Lost and Found where kind Mel described my -em- condition in a way that perfectly reflected my state of mind.
I am still here. So far so good. Ferociously hungry, a bit crampy and nauseated (it's a strange turn of events when you greet every little wave of queasiness with an inner whoop of joy), but otherwise fairly normal-ish. I have calmed down quite a bit, thanks to the skillful subconscious-washing of these meditation mp3s, as recommended by PaleMother, who is really very clever. I am aiming for a what-will-be-will-be attitude that still allows a glimmer of excitement. After all, it is quite amazing we have got so far. So why not be happy? My being happy now will not make things any worse if things go wrong, or so little it won't make any difference.
All this is out of my hands.

I went intrepidly to the GP yesterday. She was nice, and acted like it was quite normal. (I was half-wondering if I'd imagined the whole thing. It happened to my friend's Border Terrier:

She had a phantom pregnancy. So why not me?)

But no, apparently it is possible. She even gave me a form to fill in so I can get something called combined care. The form required the following information:

FULL NAME: ____________

MAIDEN NAME: __________

..which is wrong in so many ways. What is it, 1953? I left mine blank in protest.

There is a slightly increased chance of an ectopic pregnancy because of my lap last September, so they are sending me in for an early scan. Arg. Blood pressure rising. Time for more meditation, perhaps. Breathing, breathing.

More later - the JB has landed a 5-year contract at his institution (associations with Victorian madhouses totally appropriate) - good news! and has morphed into a kind of excited, nervous butler, which is not so good. I will be needing guidance. Lots of guidance.

Till then, my friends,