Friday, February 26, 2010

the writer in me is wilting

in this INFERNAL heat. Seriously!! the mercury hit the 40s last weekend and is threatening to do the same this weekend. BRING ON WINTER.

The heat is my excuse for such uninspirational posts of late. I totally get why mediterranean countries go for the siesta vibe. I am pretty much useless come afternoon. The heat is just too much.

Last week I checked my weight and I'd gained 2kg from start of preg, but today the scale was down one and a half. Yes, I do realise the irony of me complaining about weight loss when just 4 months ago it was goal number 1 (BTW I did manage to lose all the pregnancy weight - 9 or 10kg - before this pregnancy). But in pregnancy weight loss is not good. I promptly SMSd The Band for perspective and the reality is that this bump is blossoming. Perhaps just our cheapass scale and the fact that The Guv is weirdly obsessed with it for some reason. Anyway, to be safe I had a MASSIVE breakfast and a largish lunch.
Suck on that, Scale!

Anyway, the next scan is on Monday so while the rest of Cape Town soaks up the sun and dreams of ways to lengthen the weekend I will be praying for winter and wishing away the days! Wish The Band was going to be there. Scans terrify me - at least until I see the heartbeat - and then they are awesome.

You'll be glad to know I have started (a little rudely even perhaps) to ask people at the start of their pregnancy stories whether it was a bad story and if so I certainly don't need to hear it. (Hell, much of the time I don't even necessarily want to hear the normal stories about babies - it still just hurts so much).

I have to constantly take my thoughts captive and give myself almost "out loud" stern talkings to so as not to lose my mind. My tendency when something really worries me but is more or less out of my hands is to shut it out and not think about it, but in this case, the "it" is no it at all, but a little princess who needs her mommy to suck it up, conquer her fears and pour love on her.

All prayers much appreciated!

Thursday, February 25, 2010



Tonight I will be meeting some fellow bloggers.

I've never met any of my blog buddies actually - except Tamara very briefly at a work type thing.
So it seems that Being Brazen has organised this get together in Long Street tonight (at Neighbourhood at 18:30 if any CT bloggers read this).

I am actually a little nervous. It's one thing having virtual friendships... it's a whole nother ball game meeting face to face but someone challenged me on this the other day in fact and so yes, I will take the proverbial* bull by the horns and off I go to Cape Town.

*I'd never be so mean to a bull - I'm a bunny hugger at heart after all!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Where we're @

A random, not particularly elegant update.

  • I have a bit of a bump starting to happen and I am sure that I am getting a few curious looks from colleagues - many of whom don't know that I'm pregnant coz I don't have the ----- (fill in every blank you can think of: energy, will, strength, bother, etc) to tell them.
  • I have gained 2 kgs
  • I am now 16.5weeks pregnant
  • I still haven't felt movement. I try. I lie on my side. I plead with her. But still nada. (It's just the placenta in the way, it's just the placenta in the way - I tell myself constantly)
  • Next appointment is in a week - next monday
  • The Band left today for a week in Madagascar. He gets back next Tuesday. I have been dreading his trip forever. Best Mate nikki is moving in in the mean time and will come with me to my appointment next week.
  • Some people have recurring nightmares of writing their matric exams, or appearing starkers in a public place. Not me. My recurring nightmare is that I wake up bleeding. It is awful. The start of the end of life as I know it relived again and again.
  • I seem to have a lot of people telling me terrible stories. Not quite sure how to get around it. By the time I could say something it's already been said... stories of repeated abruptions. Stories of baby tragedies. How about just letting me try claw my way into a bit of positivity?
  • eeeeeeeesh.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In loving memory of Phoebe

Yesterday the best dog this world has seen was put down. I am heart broken.

We got Phoebs when I was in high school. Every Sunday I took her to puppy training - she loved it. Pretty soon she became my dad's running partner. She'd stop to pee randomly (ussually, conveniently, on an uphill!) and they'd both enjoy the excuse for a quick break.

Phoebe was super intelligent. Her favourite place in the world was the beach. We couldn't say the word "beach" in the house unless we were about to take her, because she'd get completely excited and then you'd HAVE to take her. Once on the beach Phoebe would steal everyone's hearts. She would fetch a stick or a ball, but her favourite was a waterpolo ball which we'd kick for her. She would "herd" it back. Once I, or whoever had taken her, got a bit tired of this game and sat for a bit of a break, she'd simply deliver her ball to the next person who walked by and look on expectantly until they figured out the game.

She loved to swim and even on a miserable day if we went for a walk along the river she'd innocently drop her ball in the water and have a quick dip. If we threw her ball in the pool at home and it was out of reach of the sides, in she'd jump and herd it to the shallow end.

She usually lay with her front paws crossed.

Phoebe was very very patient with children and put up with quite a lot! At some point she managed to switch a game of fetch with my neice so that she was 'throwing' the ball and my neice was bringing it back to her.

Phoebe loved all of us - my parents, me, my brothers, everyone who met her fell in love right back, but without a doubt the person she adored more than anyone else in the world was my gran, Noon... and the feeling was completely mutual. They couldn't get enough of each other and each time my gran came to the house Phoebe would go beserk. They would play together for ages as my gran doted on her shamelessly "what a clever girl you are - black eyelashes on your black patch eye and white eyelashes on your white side"... and frequent exclamations of "oh I do love that dog!"

We regularly go to a house in Kei Mouth for holidays. The house has a deck with steps down onto the beach. I think for Phoebe this place was heaven on earth - most of the people she loved in one place and the beach RIGHT THERE. I think that she's somewhere like this now... back with Noon at last, waiting for us to arrive and throw the ball. I miss you girl.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stuck in the middle

I am now 5 months away from holding a daughter. It is 5 months since I held Sophia and it will be 5 months til I hold The Kernel. I have not yet felt movement - apparently the placenta is upfront so that may mean it takes longer to detect - and I have to say that I feel quite lonely and apart from them both.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Who killed binks?

When I was about 14 or 15 I got a hand reared cockatiel. Once it was born I visited him every other day and fed him so that in a few weeks he'd know me when I took him home. Finally the day came for me to take him home. I adored this bird (Binky) and he'd be on my shoulder from the moment I got home from school. His cage was in my room and even while I read in bed at night he would be wondering about exploring, only put back in his cage when I went to sleep.

The lady who reared him was a bit loopy. Passionate about her birds. She gave me all the instructions before I finally took him: get a heater in your room - young birds are sensitive to the weather. We thought she was a bit over the top - we lived in East London - very very moderate weather.

Anyway a few weeks went by and one night I was sitting talking on the phone (for ages - as girls of 14 or 15 are wont to do!). Binks was on my lap and I was eating a bowl of ice cream. I remember noting that Binks looked tired. He seemed to want to roost so I went and placed him in his cage and carried on with the call. When I checked on him afterwards he was slumped at the bottom of the cage not looking too healthy. I alerted my mom and we tried to perk him up. We tried to warm him but he seemed to just be getting worse.

We called the vet and the were told to bring him in (even though by now it was about 8 or 9pm). But by then he died.

I was devastated. I realised in that moment that even though I had loved that bird, I had killed him simply because I was too "me". My hands, cold from the ice cream bowl had cooled him too much and too quickly. I had taken too long to realise that something was seriously wrong. I killed him.

That sickening feeling. That feeling of guilt, confusion, incomprehension, despair came back to me that morning at the hospital. Somehow my body had resulted in Sophia's death. My one job was to be a safe place for her and I wasn't. At that stage, in the seconds after you've just been dealt the most life shattering blow, the doctor was trying to figure out what had happened (placental abruption could only really be confirmed after birth). She asked if I'd been sick recently (yes), when had I last felt movement (big eyes.. I'm not entirely sure.. the movement had changed. It was different. But that's what the books predicted. They told me not to worry. I'm sorry).

For days afterwards I sat believing it was my fault. It was because I'd had the flu and it was because I had taken so long to admit that something was not right. In the follow up appointment a few days later I asked all my questions. No - it had nothing to do with the flu. No - earlier detection would not have helped a complete abruption. But absolution has not come.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"Stop stressing - it's bad for the baby!"

Stop stressing? You might as well suggest that I don't breath for the next 5 months.

"Trust God, everything's gonna be ok"
Well, that's an assumption. What's your definition of ok? God won't give me more than I can handle, but I can handle a WHOLE LOT MORE than I want to have to.

Found this and love it:
"Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ" C.S. Lewis

5 months

It is cloudy and overcast today. Cooler than it's been in some time. I am glad.

My concept of time has changed since Sophia's death. I now view my life as "before her death" and "after her death". It has become a watershed. Almost like two "mes" - caz-before and caz-since. I can't believe caz-since has been around for 5 months already and I can't believe that caz-since was ever not here. When your perpectives fundamentally shift it becomes difficult to remember that they were ever another way to begin with.

The passing of time depresses me... I am further from the time I carried her. I no longer wake up shocked at her absence. Only occasionally do I sit, incredulous, startled that this could happen to us. For the most part it is now our all too familiar reality.

The passing of time is hopeful... while I am further from her physically, in this life, I am closer to her eternally. I don't think of my own death as a depressing thing anymore, nor should I. I have so much to look forward to in the next life.

I have much to look forward to in this life too. My jeans are a little tighter today - perhaps the first real "symptom" of pregnancy.

Both my girls have their own book of letters from us - filled with scan pics and love from their parents. I will write to both of them today, my baby girl in heaven and my baby girl in my belly.

Monday, February 01, 2010

It's a....

As always with a scan I was Stressed Eric until I saw the baby moving and boy was baby moving! So spasmodic - obviously inherited my lack of grace at this stage! :)

The scan was incredible. The technology is really amazing and the specialist was so reassuring all the way through that I now feel more confident than I have in a long time about this pregnancy.

Well.... we know the gender.... it is not what we expected!!

It's a girl!

We were pretty shocked to say the least. I have to say that it was hard to hear - another daughter. I teared up immediately. Everyone I know who has had a stillborn has lost a daughter. I asked the specialist about that and she assured me that that is coincidence. Girls are no more vulnerable than boys and in fact if the baby is coming early, a girl will be better off in terms of lung development.

The Band and I went to Cavendish after the appointment and shopped up a storm. We bought all kinds of adorable pink outfits. It was so good for us - we never found out Sophia's gender and so we never had this experience last time. By the end of the shopping I felt peace, and in fact, gratitude.

My heart's desire is to raise a daughter. If I had a boy now I know that I'd adore him, but I'd always be waiting for the chance to raise a girl - I had even decided that if I only had sons I'd adopt a little girl. And so perhaps there is some healing in this - tough though it is, conflicted though I am. I have to take my thoughts captive and not allow myself to feel somehow disloyal to Sophia - Sophia is in heaven and I very much doubt she knows envy. I think she is probably excited about her little sister on the way and perhaps she is happy for us.

I am glad we found out. We are such traditionalists and if we hadnt lost Sophia so tragically we would have always found out on the day with the ecstatic doctor announcing "it's a...". I had so so often dreamt of that moment with Sophia and I mourn the fact that I will never have that. I am labelled a high risk pregnancy and as such, naivete is out the window. But this, finding out there is a little fairy princess growing inside me, has been good. It is wonderful to say "she" instead of "it" or just "the baby". I feel I want to be gentler because of her presence, and The Band seems to be feeling the same way.

He always asks how "his girls" are doing.

It is such a precious time and yet still, always, I long for Sophia with my whole being and I fear for this little one. I am terrified of losing her too. All I can do is pray - millions of times in a day - for God to protect her and make my womb a safe haven for her.