Monday, February 27, 2006

Come sweet sleep...

I have a horrible secret power. When I look at people - strangers usually - they trip. Sometimes it’s just a small slip and they regain their balance. Other times, when I’m in a really dark mood, they fall completely over. I first discovered this power when travelling to school on the bus. Every time I looked out the window and stared - just so - at a pedestrian, they would trip. This was apartheid South Africa and there was usually a policeman prodding them with a baton and a rather unfriendly Alsatian, but the tripping still seemed only to happen when I looked. I don’t know the statistics on how many people are tripping at any given moment in time, but I would put money on the fact that there’s a concentrated amount around the times when I’m staring intently. On a visit to India it was worse than tripping. I would look out the window and dogs would projectile vomit, mothers would maim their children, young men would pee in the gutters.

I know for sure that this stuff never happens when I’m not looking. Otherwise I would see it. Which is good. Because while I’m busy stopping my life to breed, I am reassured that the world will simply wait for me. I don’t have to worry about the fact that I haven’t earned a cent in the last year and my ability to do so is currently impaired by the fact that I don’t get more than 2 hours consecutive sleep. I don’t need to be concerned by the giant gap in my CV or the worry that I may never be able to write a script again without being interrupted by crying children. I needn’t give a second’s thought to the tick-tick-ticking away of my life while I change nappies and feed and burp and shovel chocolate in a desperate attempt to fill the enormous hole that’s left now that my belly is empty and my life-giving purpose complete.

Someone offered me a job making an interesting doco with a good budget today. It’s not even 2 weeks since I’ve given birth. I want to scream and run away and also I want to do it so badly. I haven’t responded yet. I’m paralysed because I can’t say yes but I don’t want to say no. There is something so small and banal and shell-like about living according to a feeding schedule. But the babies are amazing and perfectly formed and needy. And this is their lives and I’ve brought them here so I can’t run off and make docos right now.

And I’m going for a walk and I look at myself in the reflection of a car window and I can’t recognise that person, that stranger. And before I can think about how saggy my tummy looks I’ve tripped.

And I’m lying on the floor laughing because I may be a hormonal, morose old hag with stretch marks, no sex life and a gaping nothingness where my career used to be... but at least I have a horrible secret power.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Don't know my arse from my elbow

In a second pregnancy, you always “pop out” earlier than in your first. With twins, you tend to burst out, rather than pop. When I was around four months pregnant, I noticed that I could feel twin one’s head and spine. R and I marvelled at this. As I grew, I started to show friends and interested parties where the body bits were. They would touch the little vertebrae through my belly and marvel – isn’t Mother Nature wonderful? Isn’t life a miracle?

Soon after I gave birth I felt my belly, saddened that I would miss the familiar feeling of that little head and spine, poking into my ribs. To my astonishment, I felt it. Still there. . Fearing there may be a triplet they’d left inside of me I asked my doctor “What’s this – this hard bit here?”. “That’s your bowel” he explained, “It’s distended and full of gas so it feels really hard”.

For the best part of nine months people have been feeling my bowel and cooing at it.

Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful?

It's a Boy! And a Girl!

They're fine! They're alive! They don't have any congenital abnormalities (I made the doctor check six times)! Hell, I can't tell yet if either of them have the tree-trunk legs but I have to admit I couldn't give a flying fuck either way. Did I mention they're fine?

Apologies for not getting this up sooner - we just got home from hospital on Monday and then had a small bris and naming ceremony yesterday (with a sleepless night in between) so have only just surfaced. The ceremonies were very moving and emotional and difficult (circumcision is barbaric, don't let anyone convince you otherwise). We felt totally surrounded by love, which was amazing. R made a suitably inappropriate joke about using the mohel's services for a vasectomy, we over-catered - all was well in the universe.

Wow! To those people who said having three children in thirteen months was ludicrous, I have this to say - bugger me, you're right! If the last couple of nights are anything to go by (one wakes, screams for 3 hours, finally settles, the second wakes, screams for two hours, finally settles, but not before waking O, who screams for half an hour, finally settles just as Pepper starts barking...) we're in for a long, hard road.

But they're fine. And there aren't any surgeons I have to see every week. And so what if I haven't slept in days and I called R my brother's name earlier and the chances of us ever having sex again are slim - THEY'RE FINE!


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Two more sleeps!

I'm teetering on the edge here, looking into a deep morass of colour and light and shade and the deepest, densest Unknown. Fear and excitement are twirling together, playing catch with each other and all I can think about is the health of the twins and the sweet sweet pethidine that will hopefully follow their births.

Goodnight friends. I may be some time in the abyss but I hope to emerge with good news for you. If I don't get a chance to post for a while, I will ask my friend Ova Girl to pass on the news.

On your marks, get set...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Best Laid Plans

Two hours before the Brazilian I have a fantastic idea. Emla cream! The numbing cream I use for O when she has her inoculations! Oh, the sheer brilliance of it makes my innards warm. To venture to Brazil pain free. Why isn’t every vain porno star as much of a genius as I clearly am? Two problems: 1. I need to procure the cream and apply it one hour before the ‘procedure’. 2. I can’t see my hoo-hah let alone reach it - I need a co-conspirator to help me apply said cream. Which is where my poor mother comes in. A desperate phone call and dash to the chemist later and my mother is crouched beneath my belly asking me how low I want her to apply it. I have clearly lost all self-respect. The last time my mother touched my nether regions was when she was changing my nappies, but here I stand, legs sprawled apart, as she applies the source of all my hopes to my la-la.

It starts to burn at the core of my womanliness. I want it OFF. My mother urges me to not do anything hasty. She grabs two wads of cotton wool and shoves them in my innermost sanctum. The pain stops. See, this is a brilliant plan.

I arrive at the wax buzzing with excitement. The cream’s only been on for fifteen minutes but I’m convinced it’s a winner. I don’t want the waxer to know what I’ve done because I feel like it’s cheating, plus I don’t think you’re meant to put cream on your skin before you wax. So I gently ask where the toilets are and take the emla patch off my snatch, securing it tightly in my purse. (This is my actual purse, you understand, not a euphemism for my poonda).

I waltz (ok, waddle) into the room, brimming with confidence.

Gentle friends. No matter what anyone tells you. DON’T. EVER. HAVE. A. BRAZILIAN. WAX.

This is not pain. This is a zone beyond pain, fear, hurt and torture. This is a cruel, violent place I have seldom been to and to which I hope never to return. This is a place where a woman I barely know asks me if I would like her to “do my lips”. And she’s not talking about the ones I speak with. What sort of barbarism does our society condone? Who are the people who do this regularly? Who am I? Why am I lying on a bed paying a grown woman to rip out my pubic hair as we chat about whether twins run in my family?

As for my astute plan to circumvent the pain, the good people at Emla should be sued for their promise of anaesthetising me against this horror. (To be fair, they don’t actually list ‘Brazilian waxing’ under the ‘Indications’ section). I am ashamed to tell you I made it only three quarters of the way to Brazil before the journey abruptly stopped. The waxer chucked me out just short of the border. The evil masochist in me asked her to please take me all the way, but fearing litigation, she explained that she’d taken off enough for them to do the C-section. Apparently I was sweating so much she couldn’t get the wax to stick anymore. And telling her to get the fuck away from me or I’d throw hot wax on her head also did little to encourage her to go further.

Yes, I’m a brave woman. And on Tuesday a group of men are going to slash into 7 layers of my fat and muscle with sharp knives. This, I can handle. But by God, if anyone so much as tries to get a piece of wax near my Velvet Underground ever again, I’ll be forced to return the favour. Strip by vicious strip.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Things Not to Do when About to Give Birth to Twins

1. Have a full leg, bikini, eyebrow and Brazilian wax.

Yet this is exactly what I have booked for tomorrow. I have never had a Brazilian. I just missed out on Generation Porn. I came of age in the eighties when bushy was beautiful. But I figure I have to have my mattamabobbamahubbamahoo shaved for the C-section, so I'd rather pre-emptively wax it. I had to get R to trim the pubes tonight and even that was too awkward and frightening for me to handle. Not sure I'm going to make it all the way to Brazil. May land up getting off in Argentina.

2. Take Your Landlord to the Tribunal

What choice do I have? The FuckShmuck is being belligerent and has served us with a notice of claim for $1640.00 to resand the entire house floors because there were a few scratches on them. Our attempts to placate him with polite letters and offers to pay for part of the wear and tear were unsuccessful. So Tribunal it is. Which I feel like as much as I feel like ingesting raw worms dipped in gang-rapists' saliva.

3. Have 6 doctors appointments lined up for your daughter in one week

This one I couldn't have avoided. Better this week than next, when, hopefully, I'll have three children rather than one.

4. Attempt to pretend you're not ashen-faced-terrified of what's about to happen

The amount of times I've heard myself say "I'm fine" in the last two days is evidence enough of how clearly un-fine I am. Sources of fear:
a) will the twins be born at all? (After my sister-in-law birthed a stillborn baby last year, I take nothing for granted) .
b) will they be healthy? (I remember the chilling words of the doctor ten minutes after O was born - We've found something wrong - and I dread hearing those words again).
c) will they inherit my family's legs or R's? Okay, this is a fickle one, but my foremothers and I all pride ourselves on our strong, shapely legs. R's three sisters and mom have stubby, shapeless trunks. No calf shape, no ankles, just flubberous tree trunks. Slap me across the face for being shallow, but could you love a child with your mother-in-law's flubberous trunks?
d) Trunks or not, how will I cope with three babies under 13 months?

If you don't hear from me for a while I'm either in Ipanema with a man named Felipe, or I'm wearing a state-issued white coat and repeating the word 'trunks' incessantly as I bang my head against a padded cell.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

He only comes out at night

My beloved R has gone nuts. The combined pressure of holding down a job as general manager, moving (did I mention that our former landlord won’t give us the bond back because he claims we scratched the wooden floors?) and coming home to a colossal, exhausted wife and frustrated, teething baby has flipped his hard drive into full scale crash mode. How has this manifested? Last week I criticised the way he was folding the baby’s clothes (folding is a euphemism for what he was doing. Clumsily Bundling with Menace would be a more apt description). He responded by calling me a Cunt.


A word he has never called me in ten years of marriage.

I responded equally calmly. I took his glasses off his face and broke them in two. And I delighted in the activity. He’s needed new glasses for years and the thought of him having to live with some impediment for a few days pleased me. I’m living with a belly so large I can’t even see the pants I’m wearing right now. Why should the fucker get off scott free? ‘Sides, he looks good with contacts. It highlights his Big Jewish Shnoz, which is meant to be a sign of a Big Jewish Shlong.

We screamed and shouted for a while, then took the baby and went swimming in the sea. When we returned I told him I would like to officially change my name to Glasses Cunt if it pleases him. He apologised profusely and swore to never use the word again.

The Hurling-Cunt-Epithet incident was a precursor to a far more worrying display of his recent onset of insanity. The 4AM This Morning Wanker Incident has made me fear I may need to bring in the men with white coats.

I’m sleeping. A rare event for me nowadays as it requires me to be in a position where my uterus isn’t being crushed by the two large beasties who have annexed it. Plus it’s been the hottest summer in Sydney since forever and it’s unusual for me to find the balance between dripping with sweat and being able to breathe while the fan blows incessantly in my face. Nonetheless on this very morning at 4Am I was happily asleep.
R shakes me angrily.
Me: What is it?
R: (agitated) I NEED to masturbate.
Me: What?
R (growing angry to the point that I fear the C word may emerge) I NEED TO MASTURBATE!
Me: Okay. Maybe you should go to the bathroom?
R: What?
Me: It might be easier in there.
R: (stirring from sleep) What are you talking about?
Me: Wanking. Tonking off. Beating the Jerkey. Go for it.
R: (Extremely angry) Why did you wake me? What are you on about? Don’t you know I’ve barely had any sleep in the last week?
Me: But you said you NEEDED to masturbate.
R: Is this your idea of being funny?
Me: Goodnight.
R: I love you. Don’t wake me again unless you’re in labour.

What frightens me about the whole thing is:
1. His subconscious is so polite it uses the official word ‘masturbate’ rather than the more casual ‘wank’. Is he repressed?
2. My response was to relegate him to bathroom, a not very sexy part of the house. Am I am a prude? Why do I equate seminal discharge with ablution? I’ve always thought of myself as sexually open and adventurous. Have I been fooling myself?
3. We last had sex when I could see my toes and we officially have to refrain from it for 6 weeks after the birth. If the man’s subconscious is waking him up now demanding that he spank the monkey, can you imagine the chronic case of blue balls he’ll have by the time I’m ready for rompy-pompy again? He’ll leap upon me like an ornery bull on a phere-moaning cow and my recently sewn together bits will rip at the seams.
4. I never managed to get back to sleep.

I’ve encouraged him to spend some time alone tonight. In the bedroom. Hell, I may not be able to offer him a hand at the moment (the carpel tunnel syndrome associated with pregnancy doesn’t make for light flickering of the wrists) but I’ll whack on the Barry White and sprinkle some rose petals if it works for him.

Sometimes I forget I’m not the only one in this house carrying a heavy load.