Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Baby who was Meant to Be (part 2)

It's at times of crisis that you really find out the value of your family and your friends. Ours rallied round us in the year that the Cherub was grown and born, and I don't think we could have made it through without all the help and support they gave us.

I was still in the first trimester of pregnancy while Fixit was dicing with death and some of you will know how lovely that time is, when even your earwax is exhausted and you constantly feeling like throwing up. Anyway, this means that I now know the following: stress lessens morning sickness and exhaustion, (in a I'm too worried to pay attention to myself kind of way) but pregnancy exacerbates stress.

In that first 24 hours when they wouldn't let Fixit out of Emergency because he was too touch-and-go to be sent to the cardiac ward, we had my Dad, and our friends Astrid, Mick and Nell all organising care of Climber who was only just 2, and taking care of me too in a here, eat-some-dinner, have you got enough money for phone calls, I'll wait and hear what the doctors say sort of way. And from then on, Dad and Kathy (his wife, a doctor) were constantly at the hospital helping us understand the doctors and terminology and risks and ... stuff! And my Mum dropped everything and immediately flew down from Sydney to stay and care for me and the Climber. And friends and family dropped in meals and rang me up and offered to mind Climber and went to Bunnings to buy sand for him to play in and fixed the buggered alternator in the car and sat with Fixit in hospital and brought him puzzles and motorbike magazines to read. And rang or visited us every day to find out how he was. It still overwhelms me to think about how magnificently people came to our aid, and gives me so much faith in human nature.

Apparently Fixit made medical history at St Vincents where he was so wonderfully looked after, there may even have been a medical journal article about him -woohoo! They told us the doctors were having shouting matches in the hall trying to work out how to treat him without killing him. (Just like E.R.!!) His heart had swollen up by that stage so speed was of the essence but Fixit has only one kidney so there were risks involved. They did explain everything really well to me but I couldn't take it in properly because I was frightened and pregnant. In the end they inserted a filter into the main vein to block any more clots and treated him with blood thinners and it worked and he's still with us today. It's probably just as well he's as tough as an old boot and strong as an ox. Thank goodness.

Once he was home and recovered we were able to announce to his family and the world at large that I was pregnant! I look back and wonder why we just didn't tell more people at the time. I mostly felt that I oughtn't pull focus away from Fixit's situation, but also we didn't want to burden his family and particularly his Mum and Dad with extra worry because they were in that excruciating position of knowing their child might die and now I'm a parent I can't think of anything worse.

The next thing that happened during Cherub's incubation was that I lost my job and we had to move and I got so depressed that there were days that I couldn't stop crying. The job thing is a long story, the gist of which is that the school where I taught tap got sold to an ethically-challenged pain-in-the-arse and I walked away voluntarily. The house thing was that we had been in a great location at very cheap rent but we didn't think we could fit another baby into it so we ended up paying more rent to live further away, and the hardest bit was knowing we'd never be able to afford to move back to that area. And I couldn't stop crying. Fixit had to come home from work one day because I was sobbing so hard I couldn't cook, my friend Astrid made her mother go for a drive so I could come over because I couldn't pull myself together on my own. God it was ghastly. My eyes fill up thinking (and writing) about it.

When moving day came Climber went to visit my Dad, and Fixit's parents, my aunt and uncle and our friends Mick and Nell came over and organised me. I'd done almost no packing, my heart wasn't in it. At least if you're 6 months pregnant people don't get too pissed off with you for not pulling your weight.

This picture is of us on our last day and that was the best smile I could muster! You can kind of see the curve of Cherub. Through all that stress and depression and angst, that little baby kept growing in me and hanging on. I never sat there and communed with my bump like I had for Climber, never insisted Fixit talk to the bump, barely remembered I was pregnant for most of it. So different from that first glorious excitement of carrying the Climber. But that little Cherub grew well and stayed with us and Astrid said "that baby is meant to be."

Only one more obstacle to get through, little bump. The birth. Which must be told tomorrow because again, this is too long!!


  1. Well done making it to six months - both in the posting and in reality, three years ago!

    Meant-to-be, indeed.

    And yes, I do think Granny Pants could survive a serial burner - just keep the water over the top of the meat!

  2. Wow, that's quite a lot of stress! Nice to know the story has a happy ending though :)

  3. Love the pic. Nature pulled out all stops for you, as you are glowing here.

    Man, what an ordeal so far. I have cried like that before - it's debilitating .. but .. all .. that .. stuff .. on .. your .. plate .. farque !

    Can't wait for the 3rd installment !


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