Month Thirty-Three

Dear Husband,

There was a mouse in our house this month! Actually, there were two mice but the second was a lot less of an event than the first. Now let me just say that despite having owned pet mice as a kid (which ended badly as I recall because they had babies which they then ate because we were trying to make them all more comfortable but ended up making them smell like us or something), I do not do well with mice. I think they are dirty rodents and I hate the idea that they might be chewing holes in my food packets. I hate even more the idea that they might be chewing holes in my clothes that have been left on the floor. I loathe the idea that they might breed and multiply and wreak havoc on the house. I imagine this may be slightly similar to what you feel as you seemed to have an equally strong reaction to the fact that there was a mouse in the house.

All of a sudden we were both looking for shoes and standing on the couches trying desperately to see the interloper and to not step on the floor in case the little bugger ran across our feet. The puppy just seemed concerned that the tension had just gone up astronomically in the room and we were acting weird. Which was compounded by the fact that we got out to vacuum cleaner to try and flush the vermin out. Now yes, in hindsight, the vacuum cleaner was not the best thing to use. It has been pointed out to us since that we could have opened up a whole new can of worms if we had been successful in that endeavour but all we ended up doing on the night was pushing the mouse from the kitchen/dining room to the lounge room anyway. Which was not an improvement.

So at ten to ten what proceeded was a trek to the neighbours to see if they had any mouse traps spare and the answer was none that they weren’t already using themselves. Then you went out to try and buy some, which on a Sunday night, was easier said than done. You tried Coles and Woolworths – which were shut, K-Mart at Stanhope Gardens – which was shut and finally ended up back in our own suburb at the 24 hour K-mart – which was as one would expect, open. You finally came home with mouse traps and rat kill packets which you got ready to distribute about the living areas. Then after I asked you to read the packet of the rat kill, you picked them all up because if the puppy got into either a packet or a mouse that had eaten a packet, there might not be a puppy at all.

We also realised at about this point that the only cheese we had in the house was the end of my father’s homemade 6 hour smoked cheddar. Beggars can’t be choosers however so in to the trap it went. On the plus side though, we did manage to catch the first unwanted guest in the first half an hour. But then the next challenge of how to get rid of it was also a problem. Since we were worried that having only trapped a foot, it might still escape and run away, I found a heavy bowl for you to cover it with and we could come up with ways to put it out of its misery. I’m all for being kind to dogs and cats etc but I’m not so liberal when it comes to a mouse in my house. You ended up with all the dirty work though and you were not taking it well. By the end, you were shaking and stuttering and completely wired. You drank the last of the vodka in the freezer in somewhat of a daze and it wasn’t until you had been sitting down for a good half hour afterwards that you started to relax enough that we could think about going to bed.

The next mouse was a lot more of a non-event thankfully. Since we had caught the one we had seen, it seemed only prudent to keep the traps out in case there were more and I think it was a day or two later that I happened to look down to where one of the traps had been left only to remark “there’s a mouse in there!”.

The rest of the month was rather less eventful. Truth be told, it was kind of like we were in a bit of a holding pattern because this month we knew for sure that I was pregnant but we didn’t know if it’d stick. I wasn’t feeling much like going out and doing things and we generally stuck close to home. We were just going with the flow and waiting on milestones. Past 6 weeks – definitely pregnant, past 8 weeks – over the period that we miscarried the last one, past 10 weeks – time for the first ultrasound. On the 30th. Since it seemed that I wasn’t having intense physical symptoms with this pregnancy any more than I was with the last, there was always a part of me that wondered if I would carry it through the month. I did though and then we finally got to see the OB who said that everything looked alright.

We got to see the first pictures and we also got to hear the heartbeat which was I think what finally made it real for you. You looked pretty amazed. Actually, I think you were amazed because you were looking at the OB’s monitor and you thought I wasn’t looking at anything at all when in fact I had a big screen tv on the wall at the end of the bed. You did seem pretty awestruck however that there was really a little person growing though and barring unforeseen and/or unfortunate circumstances, we were really going to parents by Christmas. As I like to tell people about that day, it was around this point that it was clear that I was having a baby and you were having kittens! You were kind of not quite together for a while there…When we went down to the café after the appointment you were feeling a bit more of the “oh ****” rather than “oh joy” emotion but I do know that you are happy. Scared, but happy. Which is kind of par for the course really.

So now it’s a wait till we’re out of the first trimester next month before we can start telling people. Officially. I may be particularly bad at keeping my trap shut about some things so I may have felt the need to let one or two people know what is going on “unofficially”. Although how one can be unofficially pregnant, I’m not sure. You either are or you’re not really. You can be not announcing or sharing actual information but at that point, you’re still actually pregnant. Except of course for people who are 1 or 2 weeks pregnant as there is really no such actual thing but don’t get me started on that…

Anyway, I think that’s all I have for this month. Although it probably doesn’t help that I wrote most of this not at the end of the month because I knew I was going to post later and backdate. I couldn’t have some people reading an announcement that we weren’t ready to tell them yet! That is all I have now though so onwards in this new adventure of ours.

Happily yours,

Your Loving Wife

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Week Ten

Dear Button,

So I added a couple of extra days into week 10 because today was the first visit with the OB. Today we saw you. And we heard you. I think this is what made you real for Sparky. I mean he knew of course before now. It wasn’t like he was totally bemused when we turned up at an obstetrician’s office and shocked when the midwife started asking me a lot of questions about periods and miscarriages and my current symptoms but still, I think you were a little more of an abstract idea until today. This was particularly obvious when we heard your heartbeat.

A lot of women I’m sure view this experience slightly differently. I can’t say that I was one of those emotional females that burst into tears or thought it was an earth moving experience. Sorry. The ultrasound was kind of cool but I think I was more amused by Sparky’s reaction to the whole proceeding. Basically because the overwhelming memory of the afternoon was that at this point, it was clear to me that I was having a baby and Sparky was having kittens. He had not prepared himself for this. And he wasn’t quite sure what to do about it now that it was here.

I suppose my first clue should have been when the OB said that there was just one of you. That you weren’t a twin or a triplet to which Sparky responded with a resounding “thank God!”. Then he seemed totally incredulous that I didn’t appear to be looking at the ultrasound monitor to watch what was going on. Which I wasn’t of course but that was because there was a big screen tv on the wall at the end of the bed which displayed the same thing. After we left the doctor’s office though, he also needed a little time to compose himself I think but I guess he really hasn’t had as much time as I have to get used to the sense of you.

Sure, today was also the first time that I saw you or heard you but I have been feeling things associated with you for weeks. I have felt queasy and tired and poochy in the stomach and whilst I have not had any wild aversions or cravings, I have definitely favoured the salty foods of late. I thought it was quite amusing when I was asking the midwife what I should and shouldn’t be eating. She said there were a few don’ts but on the whole it was about moderation. We all know that drinking 10 coffees in a day is not healthy (that’s ok – I don’t drink coffee) and likewise, too much Coke is not really a good idea (that’s ok – I don’t drink Coke either) but then she told me that I probably shouldn’t really overindulge in chocolate as well. Which if you’d told me before I got pregnant, I might have been disappointed but honestly, since I have been pregnant, I haven’t much felt like it. Easter didn’t even inspire me that much.

So yeah, since our OB visit:

You are:

  • Just over 4 cm long.
  • Apparently past the delicate and critical development period.

I am:

  • Only wearing my “fat pants”.

That was the other thing. Whilst at the doctor’s office he said since this was the first baby, I wouldn’t start to show, probably until the 2nd trimester. I was all like, that’s great, but I’m starting not to fit in my pants now and its really uncomfortable. Its amazing how much the bloat gets you! He was also telling me that I might be feeling a little more tired than normal. And I was thinking well that would probably explain why it now feels completely normal to go out on the weekend for a couple of hours and then come home and nap for a few more before dinner. Tired? Understatement!

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week Nine

Dear Button,

You are:

  • About the size of a grape, or maybe a cocktail olive.
  • In the possession of fingers and toes and eyelids and ears.
  • Becoming a little girl or boy with your own little external boy parts or girl parts except they won’t really be distinguishable for the next couple of weeks.

I am:

  • Now experiencing a uterus the size of grapefruit. Fun.
  • Still somewhat queasy.
  • Apparently pumping a whole heap of extra blood through my system to cope with you. Who knew.

Well this week there was nothing new to report. Except for maybe there was nothing much to report. This week the symptoms seemed to back right off which on one hand was quite a relief and on the other, did give me pause as to whether there was a bad reason for that. Since I miscarried last time at eight weeks, I was already past that point however there is obviously greater risk in the first trimester and so I was a little unsure.

The bloat was still there although I didn’t expect that this was something that could possibly go away overnight. There were also periodic bouts of…something. The indigestion/cramping/tight sensation that plagued me last week very occasionally reared its head but not really enough to remark upon if I wasn’t looking for it. I guess I’ll have to wait until next week when I see the obstetrician for the first time. Fingers crossed that its all ok. That means you too since you apparently have fingers now. What, they don’t bend like that? Come on, Sparky thinks you’re going to be a genius child fit only for the hallowed halls of Montessori or better yet, Steiner schools. This should be easy peasy.

Bis dann,

Lexelah

Week Eight

Dear Button,

You are:

  • About the size of a gummy bear now or a kidney bean or you know, something that size.
  • Extremely jointy, with fingers and toes and elbows and knees. You can totally now do the Hokey Pokey!
  • Almost finished with the tail.

I am:

  • An intricate combination of elements desperately seeking balance.
  • Embracing the bloat.

Well I am no longer treating my boobs like delicate flowers when I wake up, when I get dressed, when I take a shower and when I walk up and down stairs. This is a good thing. They’re still a little sensitive but not having the same level of obsession with boobs as a teenage boy is a relief. Seriously, I was thinking about them all throughout the day! Anyway, this week there was something else new to the table. This week, balance was key.

It seems my body has decided that there is a perfect balance of liquid, gas and food that it wants only it has neglected to tell me what it is. All I know is I feel remarkably uncomfortable when I don’t get it right. Which is practically all the time. I’ll be sitting on the couch with that tight feeling just underneath my ribs and I’ll be thinking ooohhh, I don’t feel so good, maybe I’ll lie down. That feels ok for a while and then ooohhh, I’m kinda hungry, I’ll get something to eat. I feel better after that then ooohhh, that funky feeling is back, perhaps I can burp? Yep, opening the front door did the trick. Ahh, not quite though, can I open the back door a little? Apparently so, now I feel ok. Wait, I need a drink…Now I need to pee…Perhaps I should lie down again?

For like the whole week!

You think as an adult that you have a decent amount of experience in being able to read what your body is telling you. At least the whole hungry/thirsty thing and a few other feelings besides but it was almost like going back to preschool. My body kept saying “I feel bad” and I’m like what do you want? Why do you feel bad? And my body just replies “feeling baaaadd”. So not helpful. Which means I try everything I can think of and then I just have to wait it out. I’d like to say that I’m more stubborn than my body but I’d have to say that either we are one and the same so I’m really stuck with it at that point till it goes away or alternately, my body is totally the winner and I’m at its mercy. As evidenced by the bloat.

Seriously, I feel like I’m starting to get a belly and you’re the size of a kidney bean. I’d probably have to describe my stomach as 5% baby and 95% body stuff, pizza, ice cream and kebabs but I swear I haven’t eaten that much take out recently! Maybe its because I am also losing the will to suck up my gut as well. I’ve gotten pretty good at that over the last 30 years. Stand up straight, push your chest out, tighten your stomach muscles…except now that is uncomfortable. Tight jeans are uncomfortable. Exercising is uncomfortable. Sigh.

My Pregnancy Misconception: I had grand ideas before I got pregnant that I was going to keep up (or maybe that was improve) my fitness level the whole way through. I was going to walk. I was going to do yoga and strength work and I was going to be really healthy but its really not much fun doing that when you’re queasy. All the time. I should probably just shut my mouth now and be eternally grateful that I haven’t spent the last couple of weeks with my head over a toilet bowl but theres still a part of me that goes can’t the bloat and queasy thing just go away?

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Pop Quiz

Dear Husband,

Pop Quiz.

1. You need to use the dryer for one of your business shirts because you can’t be bothered ironing it but the dryer is currently full. Do you:

a)      Give up on the dryer idea and quickly run an iron over your shirt instead.

b)      Remove the contents of the dryer into a laundry basket and run the dryer for only 1 shirt.

c)      Dump the clean contents of the dryer onto the dirty laundry floor and run the dryer for only 1 shirt.

2. You have just finished the carton of milk. Do you:

a)      Add milk to the shopping list.

b)      Rinse out the carton and place it in the recycling.

c)      Put the empty carton back in the fridge.

3. You need to clear the table for dinner and one of the items you pick up is the packet of dog treats. Do you:

a)      Place the dog treats in the designated dog box that is less than one metre from the table.

b)      Move the dog treats to the nearest surface that is above 4 1/2 feet (most likely on top of the fridge or the oven).

c)      Walk to the other end of the house and place the dog treats on a chair in the study.

Let me also say here that the object of this quiz is not to find the right answer or even the most appropriate because this is actually somewhat subjective and there could be several reasonable responses. No, in this case, the object is to find which of the three options is clearly the wrong answer or conversely if you prefer to look at it this way, what you actually did at the time.

As a hint for one of them, I’ll let you know that I am often finding little surprises in the fridge. Not the nice surprises like you bought me a chocolate mousse for dessert but the surprises like there is no more cake left because you ate the last piece without either telling me or offering to share, or there is now this empty drink container left behind so I’ll know that we need some more (like the absence of the drink container in the fridge in the first place wouldn’t be enough of a hint). You even like to leave me leftover containers that are empty bar a small number of capsicum pieces that you didn’t feel like eating. The bin is too good for these dregs that have now been heated and cooled twice. Its back in the fridge again in case some other sucker would like them. Or not.

Also, in relation to above, I had to laugh because I called you on one of them the other night. Or rather I said “Thanks for putting the clean washing on the dirty laundry floor where the dog could also get into it. That was a great help”. You had the grace to look a little sheepish at the time but then you said “I was going to go and put it in the bedroom but then I didn’t quite get to it”. To which my response was of course “No you weren’t!”. Seriously, the dryer is on top of the washing machine and you opened the door and pulled all of the contents out straight onto the floor. There was no time for a half effort in there and the on the floor at all bit was my problem. There were clothes baskets above the dryer so you could have put one of them on the floor first. You could also have bundled up an armful of towels and tshirts and walked to the dining room table (where they are now currently residing – I never said I kept a perfectly clean house) or to our bedroom where they could have been dumped on the bed, but no. I think the whole train of thought didn’t stop at your station that morning.

But I love you anyway because you put up with me when I point out the silly things that you do. All the time.

Lovingly yours

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at Feathertop Winery on our recent trip away

Week Seven

Dear Button,

You are:

  • Growing, growing again and growing some more. By rights you should have started this week at 4 or 5mm long and reached an amazing half an inch by the end.
  • Now in the possession of a two-chambered heart, air passages in the lungs and cerebral hemispheres in the brains. So you could be smarter than me already.
  • Also in the possession of an appendix which is pretty amazing until you remember that its also somewhat redundant because we don’t use them anymore.

I am:

  • Still missing the poop. Just so as you know.
  • Experiencing breast pain.

So, if I wanted an encouraging sign that you were going to stick around for the long haul, I appear to have gotten it this week. Because oh my God, my BOOBS. ARE. SORE. Like I woke up one morning and it was hello chest! Not like I all of a sudden have a set of DD’s or anything like that because I don’t. They haven’t doubled in size overnight but I can’t help wondering if this is what it might feel like to get a boob job. I now seem to keep running into them when I never did before, in the shower, whilst getting changed…every time I turn around, they’re just there. Yes, I am well aware that they are attached so they can’t possibly not be there but I have never thought much about them previously and now I can’t help but notice them.

Now they’re uber sensitive and I’m all DON’T. TOUCH. THEM. Which for pretty much the entire world population is not ever going to be an issue but it just so happened that this week, Sparky chose a morning to do something he has never actually done before. He decided it would be an awesome idea to poke both of his index fingers into my chest…and I nearly bit his head off. Not quite the reaction he was expecting. That’s what you get however for messing with a pregnant lady. I can honestly put my hand on my heart though and say that this was actually the position I assumed whilst walking down stairs because it greatly minimised the related jarring movement in my bust. That movement was painful. Underwire was painful. Undressing wasn’t that much fun either.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Epiphany

Dear Husband,

I had a bit of an epiphany today. I realised that “because I want it” is not sufficient reason for you to get off your butt and do anything. Over the years you have probably become immune to the stereotypical parental response of “because I said so” and now you seem of the opinion that the reasons for my requests all fall into that same bucket. Oh, I know that sometimes all I need ask is “can you do this for me” and you will try to do it forthwith but the reason, the real reason that you’re doing it is not merely because I want it or because I said so. Case in point, the other night I was coming home late and I asked you to record some of my weekly tv shows for me. You did oblige but I’m not convinced that you were thinking, she has asked me for a favour and I’d be happy to do it. I rather fancy that your thought process was more along the lines of they don’t repeat this stuff so she’s going to be really pissed if I forget. And that’s so not worth it.

So its not as if you won’t do things that I ask but unless there’s some other reason (ie not because I said so), you’re not one to spring to action. Like with the wine. We went away for a long weekend and you got to buy over a case of wine. Awesome, right? Last year you got less than half a dozen. Anyway, when we got back home, that wine proceeded to sit on the floor rather than being put away in the wine shelf. Like I asked. It was not until we were up to the we will have guests tomorrow and they simply won’t fit if that wine is still on the floor that the bottles were distributed to their rightful place. Therefore “because I want it” just doesn’t cut it.

Now I have been considering what would qualify as a decent reason for all of the other tasks I have asked you to perform over the last couple of months to no discernible effect. What would motivate you to get rid of the busted washing machine and microwave that are currently taking up space in the garage for example? Part of me has been tempted to put the microwave in the place of your pillow and swap your dressing table for the washing machine but I am seriously afraid that you would just put the microwave on the floor and leave things as they were. For ever. I could threaten you to do something within 48 hours unless you would rather I take it into my own hands of course, but I know you don’t like being pushed into doing things that way and I’d rather not have you stomping around the house in protest.

I have actually wondered though whether any old reason would do. You know, other than because I said so which clearly doesn’t work. Like it is actually imperative that you cull the amount of glass beer bottles you are keeping in storage for brewing because rabbits are highly attracted to glass. Therefore, the sheer volume of it towards the front of our garage could tempt some feral creatures to sneak their way in, breed like…well, rabbits, in the small dark spaces you have created and then wreak havoc. In a drunken stupor (they could easily find a way to actually get into the beer I’m sure) they might then burrow through the garage wall and under the house and then start gnawing on the very supports on which our house currently stands. So you must cull the bottles because you don’t want our house to fall down around our ears do you? I could say something like that to you but I’m pretty sure you’d look at me like I was an idiot.

Another option that crossed my mind was that I could offer you an incentive as your reason for doing the things that I ask. A quid pro quo for whatever task I require to be finished at the time. It sounds great in theory. Even fair on the surface but I don’t really like the idea that I need to bribe you to get anything done. I must also confess that I am a little unsure as to whether our values would align on the proposed incentives anyway. What would be worth it for me may not be worth it for you. At all. And vice versa. Although personally I think staying married to me should be enough of an incentive…

Anyway, I have realised that I may need to adjust my thinking. I can no longer assume that when I make what I believe to be a perfectly reasonable request, you will see it for what it is. Who knows, maybe when I say “can you please tidy that pile of floordrobe near the bedroom door” you hear “can you please increase the amount of floor space in the bedroom because you’re making my toenails hurt”, which is clearly a ridiculous request and indeed notion. Maybe you just need a reason that makes sense to you. One that will only enable you to see the question for what it is and not what it could be. Maybe a lot of the above and probably this epiphany won’t actually stop me from just plain asking you to do something without automatically offering a reason. But it’s the thought that counts.

Thoughtfully yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at last years Vivid Festival