The next morning we went for a walk to Nihotupu dam, and I worked all queasy day at the chip shop, where my lovely boss and his wife surprised me with trinkets and birthday hugs. A July birthday in New Zealand is midwinter grey, cold wetness. The fire was on when I got home, Rob had cleaned the house and left a treasure hunt of cryptic clues around- each leading to the next. Eventually I solved the puzzle and found my present- two tickets to an All Blacks V Australia rugby match in Wellington, in August- he’d planned the whole weekend away. I still have no idea how he managed to get the gold dust tickets!
Week 6 was struggle town in terms of symptoms and most of it I spent lying on the sofa, groaning in abject misery. Besides the “morning” sickness misnomer, I had also picked up a hefty cold from the kids I teach dance to. This was so annoying: NOO! I DONT GET COLDS! I have had one in the past three years of travel; foreign bugs, foreign water, foreign climates and foreign people withstanding. Rob is the opposite- half allergies, half a composition that made him that kid at school who would always be snotty- maybe I’ve developed a resistance by constantly being around him?
But it seems that this is super common, especially in early pregnancy, as your bodies immune system is weakened, so as not to fight the newcomer. Slather on the Vicks Vaporub and steam it out. I think I actually lost weight this week due to utter decimation of appetite, tastebuds, and general enjoyment of life.
BUT. We had our first scan this week and that was something to really smile about. The doctor had advised me to come with a full bladder, so as to pop your uterus out and make the image a bit easier to find. By the time we were in the waiting room I was bursting to the point of pain! I could not even speak, I needed to pee so bad. I’ve always had a useless bladder but I’ve noticed since being pregnant that it’s like a endless supply of slow-drip coffee!
We were called into the scan room and just like in the movies, roll down leggings, tuck this flannel in your pants, squoop of cold gel and then a TV up on the wall opposite flickers into pixels. “Woah!” the technician exclaims, “You have a really full bladder!” I nod. I literally cant- even- “Well done!” She rolls the thing around for a while but I sqiurm too much. “Go pee about half out so you can actually enjoy this.” My eyes water with releif and effort of getting off the bed again!
Back on the monitor, I could be looking at a picture of the universe- I have no idea. It’s black and speckly and really weird to be looking inside yourself. She checks my ovaries, one, two and checks for any other small black blobs- just the one- no twins this time! The technician zooms in several times- Spud is 1cm from crown to rump! All we see is a tadpole shape, the only distinction is a bulging forehead and a little tail wisping into nothing, all curled up. The gestation age was confirmed as 6 weeks and 4 days, putting the estimated delivery date at March 13th, 2017. A lifetime away and a blink away simultaneously!
I would be overwhelmed by these feelings, emotionally and symptomatically for the next few days, weeks, months I assume too, and check back to me in a few years- I’m pretty sure that is ‘motherhood’ in a nutshell.