Thursday, February 25, 2010

40 and fabulous - Part 1

Yes, it's been quite a week. An extra heartbeat and an extra decade - I've finally left my 30's behind. I don't actually mind getting older, and despite what we're going through at the moment, I believe my life is pretty amazing. So that is what I'm going to focus on. Here is Part 1 of my Fabulous 40 Things I Love about Life (in no particular order).

1. The smell of my husband's skin, especially on his neck
2. The sound of Poppy's laughter, and Daisy's giggles
3. The feel of the sun on my face
4. The way the first sip of Gin & Tonic tastes after a long day
5. The way I feel when I write something good (like standing on top of a mountain)
6. Standing on top of a mountain
7. The smell of M&S chocolate chip cookies as they are taken out of the oven
8. The possibilities of life
9. The purr of my cat at my ear
10. Baking
11. Looking at my babies in the dead of the night, their faces perfect in sleep
12. The smell of bread
13. The surprising sound of birdsong when I realise winter is over
14. The smell of tropical sea
15. The memories, so many, so varied, so intrinsic
16. The smell of the pages of a new book (and even better, the smell of an old book)
17. My mum
18. My girls, my oh so funny, smart, loving, beautiful, astonishing, wondrous girls
19. My girlfriends, without whom life would be a mere shadow of what it is
20. Colour coding, lists, and planning - I'm salivating at the mere thought of it.

I could go on, but this burst of bustling energy is slowly fizzling out as the fog of nausea returns, like a curtain announcing the end of the play. Time to retire until they open again. I might just drag my forty year old ass upstairs and look at my girls as they sleep. Always good to do something we love.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First hurdle

A heartbeat. A glorious, furious, tiny, fragile little heartbeat. We have reached 8 weeks (is it only 8 weeks?? I feel I've been pregnant for 8 months!) and our early scan showed a beautiful beating baby. I know it's still so early. I know we have a long way to go before I can breath a sigh of relief (about 18 years I suspect) but it's a start. A baby step. A baby heartbeat.

And while a little heartbeat wildly beats alongside mine, my other wild hearts continue to run riot amid my nausea fog. Today it was my make-up drawer. The sight of my Benefit liquid rouge spilt all over my bedroom, mixed madly with my mascara and nailvarnish would normally have me hitting the roof. But today, I sat on the floor, and laughed. A hearty, heartbeating laugh.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wild at Heart

I've been to the dark side - and emersed myself in some of the realities I might have to face over the coming weeks and months. But I didn't like it there, so didn't dwell, deciding for now that it is better for me, the girls and my baby to focus on the positive and take this rocky road one step at a time.

I'm having a good hour, so I've rushed to the laptop. (I should probably be rushing to do the ironing, hoovering, stocking the freezer and all those other neglected jobs but hey, I'm not feeling THAT well). Despite this being my 6th pregnancy, I had STILL forgotten how debilitating the tiredness is and how devastating the nausea. I must lie on the floor at least 6 hours a day, and then go to bed at 8pm. The girls have taken to talking to me with their heads tilted to the side, since they rarely get me in a position where they have to look up to me anymore. I groan a lot too. Not sure it's as affective as the ginger tea, but I do it all the same. And as I lounge (groaning) on the sofa, the girls are running a little wild. Yesterday, as I hugged the floor they floated into the kitchen. How much harm could they do? Quite a lot it seems. They decided to do the washing up (sad indictment of my lack of energy these day that my four and two year olds feel they need to take things into their own hands....) I finally dragged myself into the kitchen at the sound of shattering glass.... it looked like the early stages of the sinking of the Titanic, everything within a little arm's radius of the sink had been submerged in suds - including my radio.

Later, after I'd cleared up, I let them go upstairs to dress up, thinking "I'll just lie down...." When I eventually called them for dinner, I misinterpreted their sheepish grins - their outfits were a tad Vivienne Westwood. It was only when I dragged them upstairs for bed almost dead on my feet I discovered their secret. Their floor had disappeared. Completely. In it's place was a sea of clothes. Every single item of clothing from their two chest of drawers, their wardwrobe, their bedding, the (extremely full) laundry basket and anything else they could get their hands on. It was almost too tempting to just lie down on it, but I resisted and it took me 45 minutes to refold and put everything away. My pregnancy fog clouded my anger, and I had to even suppress a smile.

It's like they've been let off the leash, their imagination no longer constrained by my boundaries and presence. My good hour is up, I feel the wall of nausea wrap itself around me so I am off to lie (groaning) on the sofa. And they can run a little wild. I'd say it's good for us all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Swirling and Whirling

Firstly I have to say thank you. Thank you to all my on-line friends for your words of love and support. And thank you to my off-line friends for all your hugs, emails, and endless cups of tea.

This has been one of the most difficult weeks of my life. The Geneticist threw up more questions than answers. My head is swirling and every time I try to think of something else, I eventually come crashing back down to this dark unknown road all over again. As those of you who know me by now, know I'm a type A, list-upon-list, micro-managing, uber organising kinda gal. Having what I deem the most important parts of my life out of my control is like not being able to wake up from a nightmare.

It's not just that I have a rare chromosomal disorder anymore. In between getting the tests done and being called in urgently for the results, I found out I was pregnant. Delirious and determined, I absolutely believed this baby would stay. Three miscarriages was just bad luck, and my luck was going to change. And then the shocking news that it wasn't bad luck at all. It was bad chromosomes.

So now this doesn't just affect my beautiful girls, it also affects my unborn child - my dream third baby that I have fought and grieved so hard over. And this is what I know. I have a 40% chance of losing it. If I don't (and these days tick by slower than purgatory as I try and notch up enough weeks to make it more and more viable) I have a 50% chance of having a healthy girl or boy (with my good X chromosome). But I have a 50% chance of having a baby with my defected X chromosome. If a girl, she (and my two girls who we have not tested yet) have a 10% chance of having fertility and ovarian dysfunction. This ranges from the pretty bad (what I have) to the bloody devastatingly awful (no eggs, no ovaries and no prospect of natural puberty). I can't even take my head there. If it's a boy, because of where the chromosome break is, they suspect he would have significant learning (and possible physical) disabilities. I don't even know where to begin trying to figure out what I even think about all this. All day nausea (a good sign, right?) is draining me pretty low, not leaving much for this, the biggest thing I've ever had to deal with.

I write this because A) it helps to get it out, and if I repeat it enough it might start to make sense to me, and B) because I might be a bit distracted over the coming weeks and withdraw a lttle from my beloved writing world and women.

While I don't want this to take over my life - I have two beautiful girls to raise and an unborn child to nuture - I need to take time and space to work through this. So please forgive my silence while I try and deal with this. The other possibility of course, is you'll have to forgive my endless witterings - I don't know which way it will go yet.

So thank you again, to all my virtual and physical friends - I couldn't do this without you.