Month Thirty-Four

Dear Husband,

Well May will certainly go down as a month full of ups and downs and all arounds. This was a big one for us. Intense lows, significant highs, a birthday, mother’s day and two lots of long distance travel besides. I definitely can’t say that I wish the month hadn’t happened but I can say that I’m not ready to repeat it in the near future. I guess it kind of highlighted a few things for us though. Like whilst we’re probably ok at dealing with most things…eventually, we are not especially gifted at dealing with them right when they blow up. The 12 week Nuchal Translucency Scan was a case in point.

Going into this, we had no real fear or notion that things might go any other way than without a hiccup. People had previously told me “I’d be surprised if you pulled a bad number” and I seemed to have had a comparatively easy run so far in this pregnancy caper. And then we got news that scared the bejeezus out of us. And I had no idea what you really thought. I knew “worried” and “unhappy” but beyond the surface emotions that anyone would expect, I couldn’t figure out what you really felt. I felt that I tried to talk to you about it. I tried to bring up the topic a couple of times and it seemed to me that every time, you shut me down. You told me on more than one occasion that you were trying to be “strong” for me but my overwhelming impression was more that you were being “silent” instead.

I was scared out of my mind. I was terrified that something was wrong. I was also frightened that nothing was wrong but that given how easily this blindsided us, something else could be just around the corner waiting to pounce. Whilst I think I’m strong enough to cope with a lot though, a special needs child was never part of my “plan” for motherhood, especially not from day 1, and I didn’t know how to process that possibility (or potentially that reality). I was in a complete tailspin whilst I was trying to stay calm and optimistic that the tests would come back and say that I had nothing to worry about (apart from the bank balance!), and I really wanted to talk to you about it all but I didn’t think that you would be comfortable with that. And in a way you probably wouldn’t have been. “Comfortable” that is.

Given that fact that I was already pregnant and hormonal, there was no way I was going to have a conversation about what was going on without tears. I still find it slightly difficult to have a conversation about what went on between us (now that we are over that particular hurdle) without tearing up a little. But I desperately wanted to talk to you about it at the time and I didn’t think that you would let me. As we have discussed it since I know that this was not your intention at all. You were on an emotional rollercoaster yourself but you thought I was the one more comfortable with things being left unsaid. You would have tried to discuss it with me had you known that I wanted to talk it through but it seems I didn’t make it clear enough. So I think we both get an “F” for communication on that one.

The rest of the month was fortunately somewhat less dramatic. Towards the beginning of the month we went down to my parents place for mother’s day and cooked up a tapas feast which was fun. Well at least I thought so. I apparently managed to fall asleep for half the prep work though (you don’t understand how much effort it takes to grow a person, dude!) and I wasn’t the one who singed my arm hairs off whilst lighting the gas BBQ. Please try not to blow yourself up in future. The food was great however and I think mum enjoyed her “home cooked meal”. There was more than enough to go round by the end of it and with one less person drinking the wine on offer seeing as I am no longer allowed to indulge, there was all the more wine for you too. Which was also the case on your birthday dinner.

I had grand ideas for your birthday this year. It was your 30th and also the last time we would be just the two of us without having had kids. I thought it would be great to have a big party with lots of friends. We could have had it at ours or at another venue but I thought it would be fun to do something major. Eventually though, I did realise that my initial thoughts for a large celebration were more for me than for you. You favour intimate events over big or flashy ones and you’re “not big on birthdays” as you keep telling me (which if you insist on feeling for yourself then I can’t stop you but I’m secretly hoping that “Button” takes after me and does get excited). We therefore entertained notions for a while of going away to the Hunter Valley for the weekend so I could drive you around the wineries. After a couple that we had invited to join us were unable to make the trip however, we decided to join them in Melbourne instead. And I got to drive everyone to the Macedon Ranges wineries.

It was a fun long weekend though, for me and for you I think. It was unfortunately preceded by you suffering from the flu for a few days which turned into a cold whilst we were away however. You were definitely not at your most perky for the whole trip (especially when the airline managed to get our luggage all wet) but you seemed to come into your element at Curly Flat Winery which you fell in love with, the Holgate Brewery which you have been hanging out to visit for ages and on the evening we spent for your official birthday dinner at Portello Rosso and Murmur. Since I was only allowed to enjoy the food and not the alcohol that weekend, I will admit that the food at the tapas restaurant was pretty damn good. And watching you at the end of the night was hilarious because you, my dear, were absolutely hammered! It was really the perfect evening out, especially as we had a third couple at dinner who made for more excellent people at the table.

By the end of the weekend though (and even through some parts of it), I was exhausted. The pregnancy is still taking a lot out of me energywise and it also appears that you delightfully have passed your cold on to me. So now of course, I’m sick and tired but I have to just suck it up because unlike you, I am not allowed to take either cold & flu tablets or the mini pharmacy you have had with you over the past ten days made up of zinc, ginger, Echinacea and multivitamin pills. Hopefully this passes soon and then we can maybe enjoy some time together when we are both fully on deck?

Other than that this month, we went to see a friend with a newborn so that I could take photos and we went to a Medieval Fayre to watch the international jousting tournament (not to mention the fencing, sword fighting, musket shots and other assorted visual oddities for Doonside). I got some great shots at both so I was pretty happy. The puppy got accosted by everyone at the Fayre so I think he was a bit overwhelmed (I also think we were an attraction in and of ourselves). I’m not sure whether it would be cruel to make him like a horse coat to wear to next year’s event or cool…and you…well I think you had a good time too. It does occur to me though that despite doing a lot of things together this month, we were perhaps actually just doing them at the same time.

I think both of us in our own ways try to talk to the other without putting in enough effort to realise that we’re approaching things in the wrong way – or at least not the best one. When I first see you after you pick me up at the station each night I like to talk to you about your day. Theres no TV to be missed or puppy trying to put a half chewed pigs ear on your lap and I can talk whilst driving so it seems like the perfect time to get your attention. You prefer to not have the distraction whilst navigating through traffic at night however and tend to save anything more complicated than “do we need to go to the supermarket” till later. Occasionally I might try to strike up a conversation at home that’s a bit more in depth but the aforementioned distractions are pretty detrimental (the tv was even on mute last night and you were still vague and half tuned out!).

Then we get to the end of the evening when you’re relaxed and I’m a couple of points away from comatose. We get into bed and I’m lights out and off to the land of nod to which I occasionally get a disgruntled “you’re just going to go to sleep then are you?”. Or sometimes you try to chat to me on the way to dropping me at the station when I’m a) not quite awake yet, b) mentally prepping myself for work and not my marriage, c) slightly peeved that no matter how many times I try to tell you that I’m not the nicest person in the morning, you still get offended if I’m short with you and d) frustrated that you choose now of all times to have a conversation that it is impossible for me to continue to its natural conclusion without us both being late for work. Our timing apparently sucks.

And it doesn’t make it any better that I have had a lot more going on at work and you have been wishing that you have. When I started my current job, I used to be in at 8:30am and by 5:15pm I was winding up and watching the clock till it seemed a decent time to leave without feeling like I was skiving off. Since we moved to the new office however and perhaps more so over the last couple of months, I am rarely out the door by 5:30pm and on a number of occasions, not by 6:30pm either. This never seems to go down very well with you however. I fully admit that I may be reading things into the situation that aren’t there but I have been feeling more resentment over the situation from you than concern that I might be working too hard. You seem put out that I can’t accommodate you by sticking to a routine. It has been a little frustrating.

But then I am trying to understand that you have been frustrated by your work too. You still want assurances from them that you are heading in the right direction for progression and perhaps promotion. You want to know that they have the same plans for you that you have for yourself but haven’t been able to get that confidence. You have just applied for an internal position that has become available as well. One that you were advised that you were too junior to apply for previously. This time around though you have more time behind you at the company and the commencement of relevant studies (not to mention the support of some individuals in the company already) and I think your equal parts worried that you will get it as you are that you won’t. I have my fingers crossed that whichever way it works out thought it is for the best.

Because I do want the best for you and for us. Despite the fact that I may have seemed a more little self absorbed of late and that I have definitely been less tolerant of situations in general (thats what more hormones will do for you), I am happy that we’re in things together. I think you’ll be a great father and I’m kind of excited about this year could bring.

Happy 30th and here’s to the next 30 (don’t groan!).

Lovingly yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at Feathertop Winery on our last trip to Beechworth.

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