First Birthday of a Different Kind

Last week was my mum’s birthday. She would have been 62 years old. It feels so surreal to think that because she never aged past 54 in real life. She died of cancer 8 years ago, right before Mother’s Day. Since then Mother’s Day, her birthday and the anniversary of her death have been some of the hardest days to get through. At Christmas and my birthday and other important days, her missing presence is less intense, and I can distract myself fairly easily.

Every year on my mum’s birthday I call my sister. We talk briefly about what has been happening in our very different lives and then I tell her I love her before I hang up. We never mention my mum, even though we both know what day it is and why I am calling. It is easier not to talk about what we are still grieving about 8 years down the track.

This year was different. L and I went to our Ob appointment and met up with our friend T for brunch. T’s mum and my mum were friends in highschool and I have known her my entire life. T, L and I chatted about the baby, work, family, health issues and other stuff. We love T – and it was just so nice for the three of us to catch up together properly.

The next day I realised my phone had been blocked because I forgot the pay the bill. So when I paid the phone and the messages came through from the day before I got one from T telling me she had talked to her mum who’d reminded her that it was my mum’s birthday and she was sorry she hadn’t said anything at brunch. Except that for the first time in 8 years I forgot too. I didn’t spend the days leading up to it with a tight feeling in my chest and something catching in my throat. I didn’t stare at the date every time I wrote it for work. I didn’t count down the hours until bed so the day would be over. I didn’t make the obligatory awkward phone call to my sister.

And I feel ok about that.

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I Don’t Even Like Birds….

So can someone please explain why I am nesting?

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Last week was our 7th anniversary – we celebrated by eating take away on the couch – both of us were too tired for anything else. I spent the entire weekend before working on my uni assignment- which I finally finished just before 3am on the day I needed to hand it in. Add an unexpected early morning phone call, several hours at uni and the rest of the day at work, and by night time I was almost comatose. Thankfully, L was quite forgiving of my lack of consciousness – she has trouble staying awake past 9pm these days anyway!

On Tuesday night J made his debut at our birthing classes. We were running late and joined the class as the tour through the birthing unit was starting. You could see a ripple through the group as they realised there was a new dad-to-be in the class….but seemingly no new-mum-to-be! Once we got back to classroom and the three of us sat down together, you could almost hear the communal “ooohhh” of understanding as they realised who he belonged to. L, J and I were the last to leave the nursery area during the tour – there was a tiny baby in a crib just near the window and the three of us stood watching through the glass. Totally surreal to think that the next baby we see through that window will be ours.

A Whole Lot Nervous

Ok so we were the only lesbian couple in the class. But after a few initial curious looks we settled in quite easily. We even helped break the ice with a couple of well placed funny comments about which role I was supposed to play. The guy two chairs down and I bonded over shared disgust over a poster depicting what newborn’s bowel movements should look like. Seriously – TMI on the first night people!

The intro and first part of the night was relaxed and informative, and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself that L and I knew so much compared to some of the other first time parents-to-be. But after a short break for coffee and sandwiches – the night took a dramatic turn downhill. Let’s just say that the birthing video was not really what I wanted to see. I have watched things like that before and apart from thinking it looked messy and unpleasant, I didn’t particularly have strong feelings about it.

But watching it thinking to myself that in less than 12 weeks time that will be us – made me suddenly a whole lot nervous about things. I hate the thought of L being in pain, I hate the thought of people invading her personal space (strange considering they have invaded her personal space constantly over the 3 years of fertility treatment), I hate the thought that I will be useless, and hysterical and not be able to help her. She is adamant that she doesn’t want an epidural – I am adamant that I don’t want to see her in pain for hours of labour. Both of us are a little scared – but it’s too late to back out now right?

Little Bit Nervous

Tomorrow night is our first birthing class at the hospital. L and I admitted to each other today that we are a little bit nervous about it – mainly because we are not sure how the rest of the class will respond to the lesbian couple. It’s strange to even admit that – we are certainly not the types to shy away from being totally open about who we are (in fact it has been mentioned that I could afford to be a little less open at times).

It’s just that feeling of apprehension of not knowing what to expect. Perhaps being the only lesbians doing birthing classes at the Catholic hospital wont be a bit deal. Perhaps we wont even be the only lesbians there. Or perhaps we will run screaming to the nearest library to borrow all the birthing information we can find while vowing never to return to such a place of homophobia and bigotry.

Somehow I doubt that last part though.

Gifts From Friends

L and I are completely and utterly surprised and a little overwhelmed by the love and support of our friends at the moment. We are always saying what amazing people are in our life and how lucky we are, but lately they’ve been extra special. We had a really awful situation with two of our very closest friends when we announced our pregnancy – and although I don’t want to blog about it – it really caused us a lot of grief and hurt. The positive side is that our other friends have been really and truly incredible – and we feel so blessed (or whatever the non-god version of blessed is!)

Firstly, our friends B and R offered to drive our car around for a second weekend so we could have a break from the incessant travelling – so after a four hour drive to have breakfast down south and back, our car has now reached the necessary amount of kilometres and we wont get a huge fringe benefits tax bill. Poor B looked shattered when he bought the car back tonight – but all he could talk about was how much L is glowing. How lovely is he?

We then spent today with The Muriels after their trip to Tassie. L and I missed them like crazy while they were away (even though it was only 10 days) and we were so happy to see them again. Miss C just gets more exquisite every time we see her (even her 18 month old mini tanties are cute). They bought L and I (and the baby) the most beautiful gifts from their trip – so totally us in every way.

Firstly for the baby – a gorgeous little beanie and slipper/baby shoe set – just perfect for our trip back to the cabin when baby arrives!
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For L a beautiful hand knitted scarf – so soft and totally her colour too.
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And for me a new one-of-a-kind handmade bag, made with vintage corduroy and retro print fabric. I am such a bag girl (not handbags though obviously – that is L’s thing) and I totally love this one, the colours, the print, even the cute girl logo embroidered on it.
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So we loved the presents – but really the best bit was that they were thinking of us and realising how well they know us already. Their friendship wins as best gift over a funky retro bag anyday – but I am keeping the bag too!

A Tiny Wooden Cabin By The Water

The never-ending road trip is finally over and we made the kilometre requirements for our lease car. We have been either on long country drives or overnight trips every weekend for the last 7 weeks and I am totally over it. Two weeks ago we drove down south to spend a night on the coast – only to see the inside of our hotel room and the restaurant attached to the hotel. I was too tired to even do a scenic drive around town, let alone any other touristy thing. Luckily L didn’t want to do anything either – another unexpected joy of having a pregnant (and very tired) partner.

Then last weekend we headed to our favourite “local” holiday spot, a little cabin in the south-west that overlooks the river, is calm and peaceful and happens to be very close to where my godmother and godsister live. We managed a long overdue catch up with them for a few hours – where my godmother proceeded to gush over the impending arrival and ask a thousand questions and catch up on all the gossip. We overindulged at the bakery (best one in all our weekend travels by far) and bought a gorgeous set of wraps for the baby at the one toy shop in town. I even bought my self new converse sneakers at the little alternative boutique – much to the approval of 14 year old godsister who is a converse fan as well.

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Then L and I spent a cosy night in our cabin talking about the baby (our favourite subject) and decided that we would come down again for a few days before I returned to work after bub is born. Pretty game I think, to consider staying in a little wooden cabin in one of the coldest places in the state in the middle of winter with a newborn. But we’ve got all those gorgeous baby beanies and booties to get some use out of right? That cabin was where we spent hours talking, planning and dreaming of having a baby – it was totally surreal to realise that the next time we would be there – it would finally be with that precious baby we waited so long for. It’s enough to make you warm and fuzzy on even the coldest winter night in a tiny wooden cabin by the water.

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We’re On A Road to Nowhere

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Sorry for the hiatus in posting – sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

L and I have a lease car that we absolutely love – a cross between sleek urban wheels and family packhorse. The upside is we get to do all our trips and L commutes to work knowing that all petrol and other expenses is covered. The downside is, when your partner has 8 weeks off work with a high risk pregnancy, it makes it hard to do the minimum kilometres in time!

We found out that we needed to do 7000 kms in 7 weeks or risk a huge FBT – so the never-ending roadtrip began. Some friends borrowed and went on a Sunday drive into the country for lunch – 4 hours each way. Then we made a habit of heading into the bush ourselves for a trip to the bakery 300 kms away. Then last weekend we jumped in the car with 3 of our mates and spent 9 hours driving, talking, singing, laughing and learning.

We learned two lesbians, two poofs and a straight girl are not much help when American tourists are bogged in the sand because they went off-road to look at the “Christmas Tree Well”. We learned that the “Christmas Tree Well” is a crappy tourist attraction – well actually we couldn’t find it. We learned that thongs are not helpful when trying to dig a four-wheel-drive out of previously mentioned sand. We learned that most country pubs only served lunch until 2pm on a Sunday – and we didn’t arrive until 2.30pm. We learned that Corrigan roadhouse is not a suitable substitute for a country pub – corn jack anyone? We learned that you can really have the best time ever just doing nothing with the people you love – road trip anyone?

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Notice how helpful we all are!

And just because we have been totally slack about bump pics – here’s one at 25 weeks and 1 day!
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A Few McNuggets Short of a Happy Meal

Guitar Baby

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There’s a saying about lesbians and guitars. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s never stopped me from referring to it on many occasions. Usually in our social circle it’s a reference to a boring party or something like – “It was a bit lesbians-with-guitars-singing-Kumbaya”. I guess that is one of the side effects of having too many drag queens in your social circle – anything remotely folksy is immediately dubbed “Kumbaya-ish”.

But truthfully L and I love music – all kinds of music. And we really, really love lesbians with guitars. We love straight girls with guitars too. So when we were at the pub for dinner tonight with L’s parents and heard the live act warming up, we decided to drop off the parents and come back to watch the gig. This also could have been partly because my father-in-law told us over dinner how we wouldn’t be able to go out much once the baby arrives. Why run screaming for the hills when you can run straight back to the pub to hear girls and guitars.

So we watched this girl-with-guitar who was fantastic and in between songs we wrote plans for our “baby warming” (another story) on the back of coasters. We talked about our plans, we listened to great music, we giggled at the sight of the musos mums and aunties rocking out on the dance floor during the encore and L got kicked all night long. Seems we’ve got a guitar loving baby on our hands. Hmm, perhaps we shouldn’t have laughed – we could be those mums rocking out to our own guitar baby one day. Just as long as there is no Kumbaya!

A Room for Our Baby

Despite my best intentions of being totally organised before returning to work in January, the nursery was the one room I didn’t complete in my “nesting” blitz. L has been encouraging me to finish it, but I have struggled to find time and motivation.

But after our last scan on Valentine’s Day, I realised the time had come. So with some help from Aunty S who came to visit from the UK, this is now the room for our baby.

Little Corner Pic

Little Cot Pic

Little Wall Pic

Little Drawer Pic

We are still waiting for white wooden venetians to be fitted, and the white feeding chair to sit under the shelf, and once the baby is born we will add some blue or pink accents as well as the baby’s name is white wooden letters above the cot. But other than that, it is finished. And we couldn’t be happier.

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