giovedì, aprile 26, 2012

All rather shocking

Week 11. Oh my god. That means I'm nearly a third of the way through this gestation, and given my blood pressure and the likelihood I'll pop some weeks early, more than a third the way through. What. The. Fuck.

Children have already made me aware that time operates differently. When I was herding Niece and Nephew around Europe, it got clear really fast the only way it was going to be nice was if I accepted Child-Time, and the fact that less gets done in more time when people are that age. At the same time the weeks with them whizzed by like a cheetah on meth.

And here we are - puking notwithstanding (I forgot to have a midnight snack last night so I was revisiting my misspent youth in the toilet again this morning), feeling like cancer notwithstanding (which I don't anymore), time has once more whizzed by and I'm for-realsies showing now. And soon - soon! - despite the worries, the preoccupations, the blood pressure - the odds are soon Ren won't just be a lovely little twitching white shadow on the ultrasound anymore, but will be a person who I'm holding in my arms. And soon after that, a person who's too big to hold in my arms. And soon after that, I'll be an old person who dies and leaves Ren without his or her mother. That's the optimistic projection, anyways. What a fucking world it is. I'm not complaining. It's just all rather shocking when you think about it.

On an only slightly lighter note. I have a lot more perspective in the BP issue now, BTW, since I got back in touch with Lexie's old mum, who is herself battling through the first trimester now. One of the reasons she had to give up Lexie was because she had a bit of a brain problem. Now she's got it all in control with medication. The problem, of course, is that the medication is contraindicated for pregnancy. Not just a little contraindicated, like the blood pressure medication I might have to go on if mine doesn't keep dropping, but quite contraindicated - like, won't-let-you-absorb-folate-and-it-is-quite-likely-there-will-be-problems contraindicated. However, if she starts having grand mal siezures again - well, that's not so hot either. Babies are well padded in there, I know, but having a grand mal siezure whilst driving or walking across something hard your head would make a jolly smash on - that's really not the way one would want to get through a pregnancy, to say the least.

I'm not facing any dilemnas or choices like that - my BP is too low right at the moment for me to need drugs, and since I'm almost out of the first trimester Ren's almost out of range for when BP medication has been suggested to occasionally cause problems. As generally futile as it is to make comparisons between people's problems, I understand - and draw some selfish comfort from - the fact that whatever choices I have to make about this matter are just not in the same league as the choices Lexie's old mum is going to have to make, or the choices women with chronic hypertension they've been on drugs for a long time for have to make, or the choices diabetic women have to make, or . . . well, most things, really. Perspective, Jessica, you fool. 

mercoledì, aprile 25, 2012

The perils of responsibility

I miss grass. A lot. It took awhile for it to really kick in - I haven't got high since I was in Belgium - but here it is. I think it's the blood pressure thing. I've always tested normal or low for blood pressure, and thinking back the main difference between all those tests and now - aside from the obvious little Ren in my belly - is that I don't smoke anymore. When all the breastfeeding is through - and since I'm hoping for long nursing followed by Ren's little brother or sister and more nursing that could be fucking aeons - I think I'll start smoking again. Or during business trips when I can pump and dump to make sure I'm not contaminating my offspring before they're ready to start contaminating themselves.

Of course, if my blood pressure goes back to normal after I pop, I won't have an excuse. Nor will I need one. I'm a big girl and I'll do what I like. Except I won't, of course. The deal I'll make with the devil inside, or the angel, or whatever the fuck my sociopathic excuse for a conscience amounts to, is that if I manage to keep not drinking coffee, I'll reintroduce the grass. One recreational carcinogen at a time's enough. And at the moment I miss grass far more than I miss coffee. At that, my dears, is a sentiment I never expected. I've always loved weed but I've loved coffee more. No interest at the moment, though.

Another part of it is the Great European Trip will be through the Netherlands for about a week, and I'll be stopping in towards its tail end with some people I used to do a lot of getting high with. And then Berlin. Most of this trip will be spent with friends and family but in aid of my blood pressure and just out of self-regard, I've decided to treat myself to three days on my own in a forest outside of Berlin. Not a spirit quest or anything. It'll be in a really nice B&B with awesome restaurants nearby. But I've always really, really loved being high in Berlin. I've loved being anything in Berlin, really. And gosh, going there for a few days in July is not gonna help with my nostalgia for it in the long term.

But that's fine. I just want to chill for a few days by myself in a forest in Berlin. This could be my last chance to do that for 22 years. And yes, a little weed would be nice with that. Oh well. The things I don't do for love.

lunedì, aprile 23, 2012


My blood pressure is noticeably down. It'd be nice to know which of the things I was doing to make it come down, if any, are working, especially given the acupuncture costs $50 a week (and that's mates' rates). But I'll just take the "down", and keep not eating salt.

I'll have to keep monitoring it over the rest of the pregnancy, but the one place in town that sells blood pressure machines - the place where I got my rental from - sells golliwogs too. I'm aware of the cultural arguments for golliwogs not being a disgusting memento of a racist past that hasn't quite ended yet. And you know what, if they were for sale in some other country with a different history with its black people maybe I'd be less utterly creeped out.

But considering European Australians have spent their history genociding all their black people off and otherwise being absolutely inhuman in a way that they don't need to face because it's been so thorough there's just a few thousand over left to complain and try to pursue lawsuits (ever heard of the Maralinga tests? I doubt it. A settlement of $13.5 million for a whole fucking community - that wouldn't cover giving one of them cancer in a country where they counted as human. Mind you, they fucked over their own white servicemen too in the service of the Mother Country's nuclear programme, so maybe it can't all be written off to racism).

Anyways, whatever the abstract rightness or wrongness of the continued commercial existence of golliwogs, I'm not giving any more fucking money to an Australian shop that sells them.

One of my colleagues in Shanghai, who I could make two of when I was still fit, had the same blood pressure issue I did, and she and the baby were fine after a non-induced three-week early delivery that turned into a C-section because the baby wouldn't take her silly little hand off its crown. Squidsy's wife, who popped over last night, had undiagnosed high blood pressure and descended into full pre-eclampsia - she got a C-section too, obviously - I guess when you're hemorrhaging and doing whatever other awful things happen at that point they don't wait for it to come out of its own accord. And she and the baby, ultimately, were fine.

I'm finding these stories, especially my co-worker's, incredibly reassuring. I know I could mess around on the internet and find unlimited happy and unhappy stories of how high blood pressure was or was not dealt with by pregnant chicks, and I've done a bit of that, actually, but when it's people you know, it's so much more believable, somehow. So much more real. There are a lot of things the internet can't do. It doesn't help that that all these forums seem to be full of messages from people who can't spell, punctuate, or otherwise write, and who I therefore find unreliable. God, the internet brings out the snob in me.