Friday, May 10, 2013

Who knows how old I am!?

Today I got woken up by Leo holding a shiny 'BALLOOOOOOON' against my sleep creased face.  I had porridge for breakfast (I never have that) took Leo on his first ever train trip, drove two naughty kids around town and weirdly thought I was turning 38 only to be rudely told otherwise.  I met up with great friends and their crazy kids for sundowners by the yacht pond, shared a delicious cake made by my sister, saw my nephew eat a candle, knocked back several glasses of Prosecco, hugged lots of sticky faces and gave Chris a big fat kiss when he strode in through the front door. 

I love my family and adore my friends the world over.  But it's the friends who have been with you since the beginning of time that can tell you like it is and make you roar with crackling laughter at the stupid, the great and the downright ugly.  Honesty breeds love like nothing else.  I've needed this, I've needed to let loose the raw love inside and be nourished by the ridiculous and the beautiful moments these last two weeks have given me.  And through the eyes of Leo it doesn't get any better, 'TRACTOR OVER THE FIELD.  YESSSS MUMMA, THAT ONE!!!!  THE RED ONE!!!'  In a word.  STOP.

The weather today was skittish, but the clouds eventually cleared in time for us to watch 11 dirty kids roll down a bank of tufty grass and loose a boat on the pond.  The river sparkled a bit and I thought of Ella.  She was there in the wispy ends of a dusky evening as her little brother held on tightly to the hands of the older girls.  He is like his father in many ways.  Simply I've had a birthday to remember including wonderful messages via every bit of social media I can bear to check - the internet's too quick here - but it's been cool turning 39 and to bring the night to a close Chris and I are listening to a new muscial find, Seasick Steve. 

Check him oooooooot, he's bloody great. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Look me in the eye

Beneath our very feet world's collide and continents loose chunks of unclaimed land to angry oceans and relentless winds.  North, South, East, West the compass spins as our lives continue to gallop furiously forward.  Loved ones let go, magic explodes, babies are lost and babies are born.  Night becomes day, lovers embrace, hearts heal, scars reveal and tender souls drink in the beauty of a hopeful future silhouetted against a burning past.

Grab the pointy hands of time and slow them right down.  Stop.  Please.  Tomorrow I turn the last year of my thirties and I ask you out loud, 'When the hell did Mr Time whoosh past me so fast'?  In the blink of an eye you might say and I would have to agree.  So much so that if I blink again I'll be 90 and drinking a roast chicken dinner through a plastic straw whilst wearing a lavender dressing gown and lemon fluffy slippers.


Rewind five weeks ago when I flew from Uganda to Johannesburg to finish off what I had begun.  I arrived on Tuesday, had a hysteroscopy on Wednesday and returned to Uganda on Thursday.  Looking back now I can't quite believe I did that, but the care I received was incredible (of the kind that's difficult to find) and the surgery was successful, allowing for a quick recovery.  The morning before I flew back I had an appointment with the consultant to discuss the surgery he had performed, my pregnancy future and the options available at this stage of my dwindling fertility life. 

I leaned across the table to get a better view of the colourful images on the screen.  The Asherman's lay exposed, like a piece of pink fishnet stocking, over one small area of my womb.  With each click I saw how it was gently removed, bit by bit, allowing for a clean area of fleshy tissue to be freed up.  The procedure took 25 minutes and so precise were the experienced hands within that there was nothing left to show for the intrusion except a simply repaired uterus.  This man is a living legend for any woman with fertility complications plus I didn't have the horror of a cannula for which I am forever grateful.

Immediately afterwards I changed offices and discussed with my counsellor the options I had been given.  She knew I had wanted the facts and the details and I had received them straight up without the sugar coating or the hard nosed reply.  She unwound the worry and the fears, allowing me to remove the time frame I'd given myself of when to give up on hope, luck, or the whisper of promises. We spoke at length and I now have a clear idea of what I can and can't do and what is and isn't possible, all of which is more than I could have anticipated a year ago. 

I flew back that evening staring over Lake Victoria holding tight to my chest the answers to the questions I'd so painfully wanted to be told, and breathed in and out, over and over.  The bottom line (no matter the truth and no matter the facts) is that none of us truly knows what the future holds, but for us there is a grain of sand, a small pearl of wisdom that means over time we will be able to look Leo in the eye and say, 'we tried........and.......'  And right now that's worthy of raising a glass to.


Not to put a finer point on travel, but Leo and I are back in the UK (we have someone great working with us so the administration side of my life is covered) for a trip to see family and friends.  And Chris?  He has been in Murchison completing the steel fence around the swimming pool - to keep hippos out - and flys in tomorrow night for the last two weeks of our stay.  Happy Birthday!?!  As long as we don't discuss the car.