Friday, July 18, 2008

Ups and downs

Yesterday I thought I might be losing a little fluid (as in amniotic), so I went to the midwife station at the hospital to be checked out. Apparently I wasn’t the only jittery pregnant woman as there were several other ladies who’d come in without appointments. So I waited patiently and read the book I’d luckily brought along (The Devil Wears Prada, deliciously detailed). The waiting room is right in front of the obstetrical ward and as I sat there I saw them wheel a clean bed through the swinging doors. A few minutes later a fairly tired-looking lady was wheeled out on the same bed. No doubt she’d just given birth. I didn’t want to stare but I couldn’t help wondering what she’d just gone through. Shortly after a nurse brought in one of those rolling plastic baby beds and then emerged with the same bed filled with a blue bundle. I could see his little fists agitating about and he gave out a few cries. A really brand new baby, probably the one who’d tired out that poor lady. A little girl who was waiting with her pregnant mom couldn’t keep her eyes off that new baby either, probably imagining her own future sibling.

I finally saw the midwife who did all the routine tests and decided it was nothing to worry about this time. At the end of the exam she put the small Doppler device on to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Nice and strong. I have to admit I am not as awed now to hear it as the first time. I remember reading about this in the baby book I bought my husband. The first ultrasound is amazing, the latter ones we’re almost jaded and more impatient to see the real thing. It’s not that I’ve forgotten how lucky I am to be in this situation, but there are always moments when we almost take things for granted. I’m sure that in a few years time (or earlier), baby girl will be whining or pulling a tantrum because I don’t want to buy her Kinder chocolate and I’ll wish I could put her back where she came from.

In fact it’s just like everything in life, love included. At the beginning you’re ecstatic to hold your boyfriend’s hand, this boy you secretly pined away for. His eyes are endless pools of blue and could only hold tenderness for you. Fast-forward to a couple of years (or just months!) of living together and you’re wondering why he can’t bend over to pick up his dirty socks that you, in your feminist move of the day, will NOT touch because they’ve been there for days, and, well, you get the picture. We always end up taking things for granted at one point or another.

And then there’s the cat. This time last week I thought Chat-chat was on his death bed. I was praying for him to just get up the strength to eat by himself again. Now I’m threatening to kill him. And I might have good reason. About a month ago my husband and I thought we were so clever to have devised a night-time plan for kitty. To prevent him from jumping on our door handle at four a.m. we lock him in the living room with his litter box at night. Husband even reversed the door handle direction so the cat couldn’t make that awful clanking noise. But the cat is maniacal. He scratches at the door and the linoleum. This morning I heard him scratching and thought I’d let him practice self-soothing (as they say is good for babies). Ten minutes later I check on him anyway and find that he’s torn up about a 3 inch patch of linoleum right next to the door! Evil cat doesn’t sum it up. We are renting, people! This is gonna cost us. So at 5 a.m. I’m on the floor trying to put the puzzle pieces of linoleum back together, slapping packaging tape over that to keep it in place. Followed by aluminum foil and more packing tape on the edges to hopefully deter the cat from further damage. Yeah, right.

My husband, of course, didn’t take the news well and started muttering in fast inarticulate French and proceeded to cut the cat’s claws really short. There is no tenderness in those blue eyes today. Ah, it will all calm down at one time or another, let’s hope.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

good post Milam...sounds like you've been spending a lot of time thinking about different things (as we all do when cooped up at home). I can't imagine how strange it must be to mentally prepare yourself for childbirth...I'm sure you'll do just fine though, and there's always an epidural!

Sounds like chat chat is back to his silly ways huh? Mine haven't destroyed any linoleum lately, but have done a number on my wooden door frame with their claws...do they declaw cats in France or is it illegal?

Hope to see you soon...keep us posted on BB!