Inflection points

Yesterday morning, right after we got up, I did my weekly weigh in. Apart from one ultrasound in Thailand, taking pregnancy vitamins and stepping on the scale every Saturday morning has pretty much been the sum total of my prenatal care. I suspect that my return to Australia tomorrow is likely to mark the inflection point on this issue (though I must say I haven’t minded avoiding some of the tests that sound like they’re a routine part and parcel of the first 28 weeks if you live within, oh, 500km of good medical facilities).

After I stepped off the scale and Mike stepped on, it quickly became apparent that this weekend would mark more than one inflection point. Yup, I am now officially half a pound heavier than someone six inches taller than me.

That was only the start of yesterday’s fun and games, for we spent much of the day packing, with Zulu following us mournfully from room to room. We couldn’t tell whether he recognizes now that suitcases invariably mean departure or whether he was just soaking up the prevailing mood.

After I laid out all my clothes on the bed I asked Mike to look them over with me. We’re going to be tight on weight both going out and, particularly, coming back, and I wanted to make sure I was traveling as light as possible (which, in practice, I will admit translated to: I wanted Mike to tell me exactly what I wanted to hear with regards to the decisions I had made).

He did not.

And when I got surly after he told me that he thought I should cull some of what I’d selected he had the gall to laugh and then come over for a kiss.

“I know you don’t like me very much right now,” he said, “That’s fine. I don’t always like it when you think differently than I do, either.”

“Yeah,” I said. “But that only happens when you’re wrong. I used to get to make all my own packing decisions without any disagreements with anyone.”

“Mmmm,” Mike, now busy putting my shoes in plastic bags, chose not to engage on this topic. He also chose not to point out that I used to have to do all my packing by myself too, instead of sitting on the bed and watching him fit stuff into my suitcase.

Inflection points. There have been a couple of them lately.

Three weeks ago the belly started to swell faster than a desert cactus after once-a-decade rains. Two weeks ago I suddenly got ravenous (mostly for junk food – can anyone say nutella and ice cream?). Last weekend we transitioned from the second to the third trimester. Tomorrow Mike and I go from together to apart, from hugs to skype, as we separate for ten weeks. I will go from summer to winter as I cross the equator.

At Mum and Dad’s place even my dinnertime conversation will change. In Australia we may not spend an entire meal trying to work out itineraries that might get Mike to Australia in time for the birth if I go into labour more than two weeks early. Then again, that might be because Mike and I have researched this equation every which way and figured out that unless I have a hellaciously long labour, there are none.

There are some silver linings to this whole situations – I am quite looking forward to winter weather, and spending the most time in Australia that I have in a decade. I’m also very glad I have a beautiful and happy home well staffed by my parents to go hang out in for months on end (fully a dozen years after my poor Mum and Dad must have thought they were safely past the risk of having one of their daughters turn up on their doorstep alone and pregnant).

Empty dinner table overlooking the Khan

But there’s grey this weekend, too – a great big cloud of it. I don’t like this whole separated for the third trimester thing. I would quite like Mike to be with me for pre-natal classes and for us to be able to discuss things like birth plans across the dinner table instead of the equator. I would quite like to be with him when he’s procuring things like cribs and change tables and figuring out where to put them. I really don’t like the fact that Mike is sitting across the table compiling the results of last night’s exploration of every conceivable flight route out of here into a document called, “Flight info-Mike to Aus in emergency.doc”


Many of my friends tell me that all of these inflection points will pale in comparison to the one that’s about to hit us when the baby arrives. Of course, some of my friends have also suggested that it will make a far better story if I go into labour the night before Mike flies to Australia and he skids, sweaty and disheveled, into the delivery room just in time to catch the sucker as it pops out.

Nope… as much as I love stories, I think I’ll be far happier if Mike arrives well before that particular inflection point.

I’ll keep you posted. Catch you from Australia.


16 responses to “Inflection points

  1. Safe trip Lis. Hope we get to see you 🙂

    I’m sorry you have to be apart from Mike, particularly at this time – that really sucks 😦

  2. Well. You are an amazing writer (I’m tearing up right now). So, you’ve got that going for you. And you have a fabulous and supportive family. And access to Nutella. But, wow, I just want to give you a big hug and tell you it’s all going to be OK. Because I really believe it will. But I also know it might be a bit lonely. And I really want to fix that for you but, sadly, I don’t posses that power. If I did, oh baby! I would sooooooo use it on you and Mike. So, for now, traveling mercies, Lis. Traveling mercies.

    • Oh that would be a lovely power to have, wouldn’t it??? Thanks, friend. Yeah, I’m sure it will have it’s moments over the next few months, and I already miss Mike (and Zulu) like crazy, but have just unpacked on this end and starting to feel nice and settled, at least. And there’s a glorious almost full moon rising over the water out the bay window to my left and glinting off the ocean. That’s pretty cool. Not Mike, but pretty cool. Sending hugs. (PS, as for traveling mercies… there’s a post about this upcoming, I’m pretty sure).

  3. Hi Lisa,

    I’m an Australian expat living in Tanzania and I’ve been doing a bit of research into travel and pregnancy as I also plan on coming back to Australia to have a baby. Like you, I want to spend as little time as possible away from my husband. Most airlines that I checked stated they would allow women up to 35 or 36 weeks pregnant to fly. Were you aware of that rule? (Not that I spose it’s much help now!) But maybe for the next one it’s something to keep in mind 🙂

    p.s. I absolutely LOVE your blog to bits and I’m always thrilled to see a new entry arrive in my inbox. Hoping all goes fantastically for you over the next few months.

    • Thanks Katie!! Yes, I was aware of that rule (though Air Asia told me very seriously today that they wouldn’t have allowed me to travel past 34 weeks, so really, really, do your research on the particular airline you’re going to use). I needed to come home at 28 as I have a number of risk factors at play with this pregnancy and although things have gone pretty well so far, the doctors here wanted me within reach of medical care for the entire third trimester (oh, and another point on airlines, they also wanted to see a medical clearance for me to fly even at 28 weeks – when I didn’t have it the woman at the check in counter put 27 weeks on the waivers I had to sign and warned me not to tell anyone on board that I was 28 weeks without medical clearance documentation). And, good luck with that final assignment for masters! Hang in there.

  4. Best wishes for the next few months! Yes, too bad Mike can’t be with you but thank God for skype. Think about a century ago and you wouldn’t have had any means of communication except mail that may have taken a week to arrive! Mind you, a century ago you probably would have had your baby in Laos! May God bless and protect all three of you!

    • Thank you! Yes, I seriously thank the good Lord above for skype. The mind boggles when you play the “100 years ago game” doesn’t it? Helps keep things in perspective when I’m feeling glum. Thanks again.

  5. All the best! It sucks that you have to be apart, but here’s hoping you aren’t early (something I don’t think many pregnant women hope for :P) and he’s there for the delivery!

    • Well, actually, I want him to be a LITTLE bit early – arriving four or five days after Mike does would be perfect, but I have my money on mid August rather than late July. I hate it when you have to put your hopes and your money in different places 🙂

  6. happy travels, Lisa! I was pregnant with my Julia in Afghanistan and left at 8 months pregnant for her to be born in USA. crazy days, those. You’ll do GREAT!

    • Ugh, traveling even 28 weeks pregnant wasn’t super fun. Eight months would have been decidedly more… unwieldy. You’re a trooper. Thanks for the long distance cheerleading!

  7. Merrilyn McKay


    • Well, you know, only in the sense of, “we exist to cater to your every whim and need during this challenging phase of your life, child of ours.” That’s all. Oh, and when you do the grocery shopping tomorrow can you please pick up some passionfruit yogurt? And nutella?

  8. I agree with your mum, Lisa! ‘Staffed’ may stretch the friendship a little… though made me smile… Can’t wait to visit…

    • Oh, that friendship has a lot of give in it. I think it’ll be fine (well, until she reads my reply to her comment, that is). Looking forward to seeing you!!!

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