Colonel Duck, on the phone tonight: You've been a bit slack on the blog lately...
Yes, I have.
Talking to someone, a few days ago:
Me: It's the same old, same old, rushing around trying to get everything in order before I hit another deadline. But this time it's different, in that I *really* just have to drop tools and stop.
Her: I bet you're really busy trying to cook meals and freeze them for the boys, too.
Me: ... um, actually, no.
Her: NO? How are they going to cope?
How? They're going to cook their own meals, wash their own clothes, and make their own brekkies, just like they always do. I tell you, I am fully cognizant of the wonderful of being smitten with a man who can do his own washing, cook his own meals and wrangle a child, but never more so than now. He has freed me up fully over the past couple of weeks so that I can just get things done. And after next week, he'll be looking after me and Bumblebee as the primary carer. This is why I dubbed him Best Beloved. He earns it.
So. I can't really believe that I'm only 3 days away from a day that's been looming for so long. I feel a bit foolish, making such a long lead-in to an operation that isn't really that dramatic, but it's taken a lot of planning to make the space in my obsessively busy life, and now that it's here I feel a bit odd. Most people -- who have private health care -- just make the decision and do it within weeks, but we've been talking about this for so long that it's become a Big Thing.
Anyhoo, I've almost finished my duties... I've burned disks of layout work to pass onto editors and indexers, sent off files and invoices, now just have to finish up at the BookStud tomorrow, drop some books off to the Aged Poet on Wednesday, and run a few chores, and then pack and clean on Wednesday afternoon. Stop ingesting at midnight on Wed, then my number comes up 7am Thursday morning.
It really didn't feel real until last Thursday, when I had a pre-op clinic appointment with a leathery Barbie doll of a nurse with a name that is the American word for lollies. She was amazingly weird; very fun to talk to, but hypnotic to watch, with her dark wrinkly tan, fluffy white-blonde flippy hair, thick makeup, lashing of jewellery and teetery heels. Thin as a piece of wire, and skin-tight dress. I felt very surreal telling her that I had *no* idea what I weigh, haven't weighed myself for years. She, on the other hand, looked like she whipped onto the scales every time she was alone in the room, just in case.
She sent me off to have blood tests, and when the needle went in, reality finally connected. That's right, they're going to cut me... it's going to hurt. I got the shakes. I kept the shakes all day, until Bernice showed up with champagne to toast Obama's victory. Irrational, but realistic. I feel a lot better now, but I know it's not going to be the easy holiday I've let myself think it will be.
Still, there are probably worse ways to spend 6 weeks. I've got a fantastic pile of books, two new Nintendo DS games, the entire series of Deadwood to watch (courtesy of the kind people at Artwranglers), and a computer to blog with. Plus cats to train *not* to leap on my lap. Spoiled rotten, truly.
And a mindset to shift. Once I have no choice about my fertility, I have to work on the guilt of having failed to provide such a wonderful man with a baby of his own. He hasn't contributed to this guilt in the slightest, except for a bad habit of wandering around the house with a cat cradled in his arm, murmuring 'now, you have to be sure to support the head' that makes Bumblebee laugh but tweaks my tearducts slightly. No, the guilt is all mine, but I have to learn to knock it on the head, as I've tried my hardest, and also offered him many alternatives: leave me, & find someone fertile; have an affair; donate sperm to some lovely lesbian couple who will give him visitation rights; adopt; donate sperm generally & allow the result to look for him down the road; whatever else he can think of. He's thinking upon it, but his general philosophy is that he has a wonderful partner who pushes him to think differently, and a fabulous stepson who entertains him mightily, plus cats who fulfil his need for nurturing, so who is complaining? See? Best Beloved.
And I have to stop my habit of saying, when I love a man's work, that I'd love to have his babies. I said it aloud to myself on Saturday as I was binding books to the sound of Ben Goldacre talking about Bad Science on RN's The Science Show. Woof! I said, I'll have your babies, as he made some uber-nerdy sexy point about fish oil. Slap the wrist. Find a new statement of admiration. It wasn't very feminist anyway, and I'm sure I started saying it years ago very ironically. Well, I won't be able to have ANYBODY's babies soon, and won't that be liberating? Maybe I can keep saying it, just recover a more ironic tone.
So I've been enjoying riding the bicycle hard around the streets between home and the uni, enjoying walking freely and upright, and looking forward to the moment that the doctor promises will come, when I'll be a New Woman. Woot!
I'm sure I'll get a chance to blog before then, but if I don't, see you in the soup.