If everything goes according to plan my baby will be borne in the same hospital where I was hospitalized for a month twenty years ago for being suicidal.
How weird a circle is that?
My girlfriend and I had our first appointment with the high-risk pregnancy group at the Ottawa General Hospital on Tuesday. Compared to the service and general competency of the rural hospitals we’ve been hanging around in so far, the OGH was covered floor to ceiling in crushed velvet and diabetic-friendly chocolate was pouring from the fountains.
The location of the birth is one of quickly growing list of things I haven’t planned for yet. My girlfriend’s three-year old son was meant to borne in the same hospital, but things happened too fast and now his birth certificate has the name of a town I grew up making fun of… our high school used to beat their high school in everything.
Once the idea hit me that where our child would be borne was a potential option I started thinking of ways we could get ourselves into a Montreal hospital. But I think we’re too late.
Listening to the nurses and doctor at the OGH explain my girlfriend’s condition, and what they were going to do to help us as the pregnancy develops, was like listening to the person who wrote the book compared to a student’s memorization. It was reassuring to me, but more importantly to my girlfriend.
And, according to the people at the OGH, our baby is healthy, and exactly where she should be at this point in the pregnancy. The technician working the ultrasound wouldn’t let me take photos of the screen, but did give me some screenshots.
My kid even still has an egg yolk. How messed up is that?
There’s still no indication of sex — I don’t really want to know, but I think I’ll change my mind later. My girlfriend wants to know right away. Apparently the kid doesn’t even have arms or legs yet. She gets those next week… how freaking cool is that? Next week my baby grows arms and legs.
We did see her tiny heart pounding away… at 175bpm. Which is exactly what I expected, what with her being superhuman and all. According to my girlfriend, her son topped out at 155bpm. I’m pretty sure that means ours is genetically superior.
After we were done at the OGH my girlfriend was having a craving so we stopped at her favourite restaurant so she could have shrimp and bowtie pasta in a creamy white sauce with about a pound of shredded cheese on top. She has started eating meat again, and dairy products as well. Even this past weekend the thought of milk or red meat made her gag.
I had a Chicken Caesar salad with no dressing and some water. I can’t stand her favourite restaurant, even the iced tea has more than 1200 calories.
While we were there we actually got into a discussion about my past, about how hard it is for me to set boundaries and schedules. I’ve told her bits and pieces before, but never all at once and in context. I think she was way more shocked about stuff than she let on, but she listened and asked questions. And told me it explained a lot…
I think it all started with her asking me what the Metformin did for my diabetes. She also told me she thought the baby was going to mean big changes in my life… but the way she said it made it sound like the first Big Change. Or, at least one that would be more difficult than the Others. So that’s when I started trying to put my recovery into context for her.
The kid will be a massive event, no doubt. I’m coming to understand that, but I was suicidal for eighteen years and I survived that. I think it’s the relentlessness of a child that’s the biggest change. The kid is always going to be there.
And at the moment I can’t even take her son for more than a dozen hours a week. Which is up significantly from when I started dating his mom. But I am learning his rhythms, and how to calm him down. And also what interests him… on Monday we took him to a small waterpark, which isn’t open yet but they have a playground and he had it all to himself.
We also took a drive along the Quebec side of the Ottawa River until we found a ferry back to Ontario. He loves boats. So, while his mom waited in the car because she has a ‘thing’ about open water, he and I stood on the deck, hand in hand, listening to the big diesel engines and watching the river.