sabato, aprile 14, 2012

This isn't just a pregnancy blog, I swear

And to prove it, dear readers, here's the funniest thing on the internet. Nothing to do with me feeling crappier than dung beetle shit. Nothing to do with how I've never been such a fan of a woman's right to choose abortions because there is no way a human being should have to go through all this just because a damn condom broke and she lives in a country without the morning-after pill. Just pure, unadulterated awesome.

giovedì, aprile 12, 2012


Annoyance the first: I've been asking for lots of advice, unashamedly, unabashedly, for getting through pregnancy. Nothing to worry about, readers, but it looks as though this pregnancy will not be the 100% uncomplicated push-it-out-in-a-manger romp through the hay all us Catholic girls hope and pray for. Because - it will turn out to the surprise of no-one who has waded through my frequent, inconsequential, but heartfelt rants - my blood pressure is bordering unhealthy levels and my third trimester will be a big fat pre-eclampsia watch. All that's not as bad as it sounds, but it's not so hot either. And in any case, I've never done it before, it's frightening, it's the first trimester so I feel like I've got fucking cancer, etc.

What I haven't been asking for advice for is how to live my fucking life when it comes out. Now, luck always plays its part, of course, but I've worked really hard to get to a point where I'll be able to breastfeed and cuddle whenever, besides some key hours on Thursday and Friday, and where the F-word only works part of the week. And he's worked hard to get to the point where he can probably take the full year of unpaid parental leave. I can't, or rather, I won't. I outearn him by 300% so it would be a ridiculous choice for our family if I did that.

And frankly, I don't want to. That might change, but at the moment I can't foresee a situation where I take a year off from a job I love, that I do from home and whose hours still let me cuddle, breastfeed, co-sleep, etc, so the F-word - a professional early childhood educator, BTfuckingW - can commute an hour a day to the next town over and support us on a fraction of the income my job provides, while my fucking brain turns to baby mush and I stop being able to afford wild-caught salmon.

Being in this state of mind, readers, being advised on attachment parenting being a woman's natural choice, and how I should take as much time off as I possibly can, is not what I want to hear. It is bullshit advice. It is highly subjective advice generalized to include my very specific situation. It is infuriating advice, frankly, when we've gone through what we've gone through to organize our present situation for ourselves. And it comes from a guy who I used to fuck and his stay-at-home wife who both reckon they're some sort of feminist and who don't have enough money, so it is also, to a degree, comical, I-dodged-a-bullet type of advice.

You know, people warned me that eventually the advice would start annoying me, but I wasn't expecting it until I started showing and strangers started telling me to stop running, or something.

Maternal slap-in-the-face of joy the first: to rule out anything wierder than a family history of hypertension causing my high blood pressure, we had our first ultrasound yesterday. It was lovely, the little thing. Heart beating, little limbs twitching, great big head. For the moment we're calling it Ren. For obvious reasons. Nine week old embryos do bear a certain resemblance to him. Suddenly what's happening to me stopped feeling like cancer and started feeling like growing a person who I'm gonna love more than I've ever loved anything.

lunedì, aprile 09, 2012

Doctors, midwives, nerves and judgements

I'm cued up now with a doctor and a midwife. Good news, all in all. The midwife comes recommended from a good friend here who had her better pregnancy with her . . . the doctor is an unknown quality, so we'll see how that goes.

I expect to be a reasonably demanding patient. For example, when I was in Canada, I got to spend lots of quality time with Lexie, my cat, who has taken to my parents like a duck to water. Which was lovely. And she spent the winter being an indoor cat, in a place without mice, which means she wasn't likely to be tracking around any toxoplasmosis - but then Mum let her out a few times the last days I was there.

It's fairly ridiculous for me to be worried about toxoplasmosis. I spent years in France and Belgium eating raw-ish meat, and I spent years living in close quarters with Lexie while she was running around outside assaulting things and chomping down rodents in my Cabbagetown dive like a boss. The odds of me not having contracted toxoplasmosis years ago (when it would have been perfectly safe as far as Fetus is concerned) and then contracting it during the two days out of the three weeks I spent with my sweet Lex when she would have been tracking around toxoplasmosis she picked up in a couple of ten-minute walk-rounds the garden, or the one time I changed her litter box in that time whilst holding my breath and washing myself down afterward, are really quite negligible.

Nevertheless I'm concerned enough to ask for a test. My guess is the test will show I have antibodies, because I have not let a toxoplasmosis-free sort of lifestyle (see years of raw meat in France and Belgium) and then there will be another test to figure out how recent my infection was and then Fetus will need to get a blood test once it's born, just to reassure me, and all this fucking shit will be on my mind for, like, a fucking year.

The good thing about me as a patient is that if Fetus is really just Fetus, Singular, and not Multiple Fetii (which would explain why I've been eating my own weight in meat every day), and all things being equal, I'm going to spend most of the second trimester elsewhere, away from my midwife and family doctor, so their most pressing job in the next few weeks besides the introductory appointments is going to be writing down what they reccommend I pay medical people in China, the UK, Belgium etc. to do. I don't know if I mentioned but I have quite a travel schedual in the second trimester. DV, Fetus will have visited 10 countries whilst still in utero.

He or she might as well get used to it. I don't think it's possible to be my kid, or the F-word's kid, without understanding that the world is awfully, painfully big but not as big as it seems, and the tricks behind straddling continents. Which I suspect is a very unAustralian outlook, BTW. Yesterday Squidsy told us his grandmother in Adelaide had died. Adelaide's a two hour plane ride away. He didn't go, not to see her when she was dying and not for her funeral, despite her appeals and his mother's appeals. No time - despite being functionally unemployed - and no money - despite having the cash to sink a bottle of quality wine a night. I guess I have to stop thinking of Squidsy as representative of Australians. It doesn't do them favours.