January 19, 2001
Averted Crises

Today's Pic
Hiding in my office, to avoid having to search through sixty little suitcases for a missing audio tape. Aren't I pathetic?
One year ago (or thereabouts): I didn't know how to grow up while living under the same roof as her.
   

I fully intended to write an update last night, complete with pictures of the new sofa, but the exhaustion and stress of the day hit hard, and Eric and I didn't even stay up long enough to watch ER.

I got a phone call on Wednesday letting me know that the sofa was scheduled to be delivered the next day between noon and four - news that was not pleasing to Boss-Lady when I informed her of my necessary extended absence. Since there was nothing to be done for it, though, we found a work-around, and I left for home as soon as I could, promptly at noon. Mind you, I live five minutes from the library.

I got home just as the answering machine was kicking off. The movers had already been and gone, and had left me a message telling me to call and reschedule delivery.

Frantic, I grabbed the phone and called. "I'm here; I just walked in the door!" I cried. "Can't they come back?" No, the truck was already too far away. "But it's only been five minutes! How far could they possibly have gone?" They would have to come back another time. "But this is the only time I can be here! I can't do this another time! It's today or nothing!" I was not happy.

Eventually, the woman to whom I was speaking contacted the delivery guys and persuaded them (for a surcharge, the money for which I had to scramble frantically about the place to find, not wanting to miss the truck a second time) to come back by my apartment with the sofa. I sat down to wait. After a few hours, the truck pulled up; two men jumped out, brought in the new sofa, took my money, and left. The whole exchange took less than five minutes. Of course, they could not be persuaded to take the old sofa out to the curb for me; it was pushed out of the way, causing my living room to begin to resemble the store from which we purchased the sofa in the first place.

I sat down on my new sofa and breathed for a bit. Experimentally, I toyed with the idea of trying to shove the old couch out the door myself, but one little push convinced me that the idea was a poor one. I called Eric, informed him of the situation, and requested that he please bring home a big, strong friend to help him pull the old couch outside, where the trash collectors had already said they would be happy to collect it.

"I can probably do that myself, Hon."
"No, you can't. It's heavy, and you'll hurt yourself."
"Honey - "
"Don't argue with me. I've had a rough day."

It was very late in the evening when Eric arrived with the recruited friend. I had already eaten dinner, due to a new rule I had just established (that being, "If Eric doesn't feel the need to call and let me know when he'll be home, then I am not obligated to hold dinner for him." Reasonable, don't you think?). Anyway, he walked through the door, they grabbed the sofa, and they marched outside with it. It was a completely unceremonious end to the nearly four decades of service that sofa had provided to the Richmond family.

And now we have a new sofa. I wonder how long our family will keep this piece of furniture; will it have its predecessor's longevity? Will our grandchildren jump on its cushions and explore their parent's antique scribblings on the arms? Will we pass it on to our grown children, as did Eric's parents, or will those grown children sleep with their mates on the pull-out mattress when they come to visit, as we do with my parents' ancient couch?

I can't wait to begin our own history. Last night I rested upon the couch and felt the baby wriggle and squirm.

   

Interesting turns of event (turn of events? Turns of events? How does one indicate multiples?) since Christmas. Over the holidays, we were able to spend some time with an old friend of ours from college, one I'm almost positive I've never mentioned. Suave (not his real name, of course, but an old, old nickname) dropped a bombshell on us when we announced the pregnancy to him: he was soon to be a father himself. His hitherto fore unintroduced girlfriend, now fiancee, is apparently due to give birth about a month after me; the wedding would be hastily held in January.

Other details spilled out: she was quite young, had just dropped out of her fundamentalist Christian college when the news of the baby arose, and was working with him in mall retail. Her parents were unaware of any of this; they were to be told the following week. I cringed inwardly for the sake of the circumstances, but wished them both well. They'll need all the well-wishes they can get, I'm afraid.

Last week, we got another phone call, this time from Protho. Another baby on the way, another hasty wedding (somewhat less hasty this time, as families were made aware of the situation much more quickly). Things were reaching epidemic proportions among our little circle of college friends. I joked to Eric that the other guys had better get on the ball, so to speak, if they wanted to participate in the 2001 Sprogfest.

Of course, I can be light-hearted about this at the moment. Thoughts occasionally flicker through my head, though: what if we hadn't managed to get pregnant on our own? What if we were still fighting the battle of infertility, with doctor visits and inseminations? How would I be reacting to the news of these unplanned babies and shotgun weddings? Would I even be able to look my friends in the eye?

I'd like to think I'd be able to recover from the initial shock with my emotional balance intact. I really would. Still, when I think of how horribly fragile I felt in those final months before our positive, and I multiply it by another half a year of agonizing failures, I don't like my own odds. I thank God that we conceived when we did; otherwise, I'd be fighting more than one battle right now.

At the moment, my only worry is the thought of traveling to Protho's wedding in April, when I'll be thirty-two weeks along. I'll be a house! Let's hope there won't be any vigorous dancing that I'll have to sit and watch longingly and jealously.

   

I got an email asking how the sick guinea pig was faring. Good to hear that I'm not simply boring everybody with these stories! Well, the short answer is "much better." She's running around, fighting with the other pig, and mostly back to her old self again. She still has a slight head tilt and a tendency to lose her balance to one side when we pick her up; I have no idea if she will ever get over any of that, but it's enough for us that she's finally able to live a semi-reasonable existence for a rodent. When food is in the bowl, she can hold her own against Cressida in getting a piece of the action. What more could she ask?

She's still on her medication, just to make sure every bit of an infection is gone. She's begun resisting the syringe once more, which I'm not sure how to take. On one had, it's wonderful to see her regain her fighting spirit. On the other, she needs this medicine. I guess I'll have to resign myself to forcing it into her mouth for another week and a half.



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