Dette Vs Norm

In building my new blog I’ve been updating my old blogs. Here is the one where we nearly got divorced over swimming…….

Someone copy this in case I ever go missing.

For some time now I have been trying to get Norm to accompany me on the boring exercise routines that pregnant women are encouraged to carry out. So far he has accompanied me on one walk around the local park where he complained of being bored half way around and sat on a bench waiting for me to finish walking. This obviously led to a massive row and me crying in the street.  Norm then started walking a lot faster to try and get away from me (note from the future: what a tool. I hated him so much that day).

When the pregnancy was first discovered 3 months ago he promised to come swimming once a week. But so far he has not been. To be fair he has been away a lot and not really had much opportunity but he was off work on Monday and therefore able to swim with me. So as soon as he was awake I said “will you come swimming?” and he unenthusiastically said “all right then”

The next few hours passed quickly with me researching an article and Norm playing on his PSP (his new PSP as he punched his old one right in the face for not working properly and broke the screen – effectively killing it) (PSP? I’d forgotten that they even existed! How far technology has come in 7 years). By about midday Norm had graduated onto the Wii and was playing tennis and boxing. That is when the warning signs began.

Norm: “Pass me a towel Dette”

I.e. look how hard I am working on this game.

Then a bit later.

Norm: “My arms are sore now. I have done loads of exercise today.”

I.e There is no need for me to go swimming.

I was ready for him. “We are not swimming for you, we are swimming for the baby. So have a rest ‘cos we are going at 3. And we are walking there.” (have a rest? This concept is hilarious now that we have two children. Come to think of it so is the idea that Norm can have mid week time off where he plays computer games all day)

Norm: “I am not walking home with wet hair. I just had a cold.” (pussy)
Me: “Fine, I will walk up and meet you there.”

By 2.45 I was ready to go. Norm was still playing on the Wii, with no signs that he might leave the house. “I am going to measure the floorboards we need in the spare room now,” he said and put down the Wii controller as I picked up my swimming bag.

I saw red. The bastard was not going to come. He was going to pretend to meet me there and then not turn up. “Fine.” I shouted. “Dont come. I don’t need you. I don’t need you now and I don’t need you when the baby is born.” And I slammed the door so hard the windows shook. (I should have poured my half drunk cup of tea over his Wii)

By the time I got to the leisure centre I had my life as a single mother all planned out. I would live in my house up north. Pay my brother and Mum to babysit and earn lots of money and never be lonely and never miss Norm. And when people asked where the father was I would say “I had to leave him, he wouldn’t come swimming with me.”

Had I overreacted? Probably. But the point was quite serious. I just wanted a bit of support. Norm would hate it if I gained 5 stone and sat on the sofa eating cake.

I had calmed down by the time I got into the water and set off. Swimming is boring but it was nice to be weightless. And then 6 lengths in a miracle happened. Norm got into the pool. Hooray. He does love me after all I thought. He didn’t look very happy to be there, but he had come and after about 10 minutes I think he was enjoying it. It was much less boring and he tried to teach me to do handstands.

After we finished swimming I was very glad I didn’t have to walk home, it was freezing. Norm had redeemed himself and I didn’t have to leave him after all. (phew, the kids quite like him and he is pretty handy when the car breaks down)

Enough is enough

This post is a tribute to my friend Caroline who will give birth any day now, and to the thousands of other pregnant women who are being told to “get lots of sleep and enjoy the peace and quiet”.  Continue reading “Enough is enough”

June 2008: the one where we found out that I was pregnant

Me to my boyfriend: “Norm, I don’t think I am going to have a period.”

Norm took a deep breath. “Whatever, you are paranoid, you always think you are pregnant.”

Me: “No I do not.”

Do I? I wonder to myself. I must do. Norm doesn’t make stuff up, even to help him win an argument. He is quite honest and principled. The bastard.

As Norm had clearly already washed his hands of the baby I decided to ignore him and do a test. I went and fished through my box of girl stuff and found a cheap old Boots pregnancy test that came in a twin pack. I am 30 and there have been scares before. I don’t have the instructions anymore but I remember that it tells you to wait until the morning as your hormone levels are the strongest then so I put it in the bathroom – Norm ignored it. The next morning I weed on the stick.

A symbol came up in the window. What does that mean then? Am I up the duff? I try and remember what the instructions said but it was years ago that I used its partner. I realise that I have no idea what the result means. I decide that I can’t be pregnant. Norm has been away a lot and I have been on the pill forever. Although I did run out in March and decided to have a break from it. We have been using “other things” in the two months since – namely condoms and the rhythm method (I am catholic after all).

Hey ho. Off to work I go.

Norm and me, back in the day when goatees were fashionable and Norm was funny
Norm and me, back in the day when goatees were fashionable and Norm was funny

Three days later

I still haven’t had a period and I am starting to feel a stirring in the pit of my stomach. I have these intuitive moments from time to time. They are usually wrong so I take some comfort from this. Nevertheless I buy a pregnancy test at lunch time at work.

I get the Clearblue one that says the word “pregnant” or “not pregnant” on it so that there can be no mistaking what it means. I may be a bit slapdash sometimes (as my sister frequently tells me) but no-one can say I don’t learn from my mistakes. I do the test in the office toilets. I am a few days late by now so I decide that I don’t have to wait till morning. I wee and then I wait….. Pregnant

Well there is no mistaking that. The word stares at me accusingly from the white plastic tube. “Look what you have gone and done,” says the test.

“I know,” I say. I give myself a few minutes and look again. It is still there. I am still Pregnant. I cram the test, the wrapper, the instructions and my increasing sense of panic into my bag and I go back to my desk to ring a man in Saudi Arabia about solar power. I am like a professional machine. I am very proud of my ability to keep working through this crisis.

When I get home I break the news:

Me: “Norm, I think I am pregnant,”

Norm: “Oh God Dette, what makes you think so now?”

Me: “This stick that says pregnant on it,”

I show him the test.

Norm: “Oh,” Then he looks at me with a twinkle in his eye and says “Is it mine?”

He saves himself from being murdered on the sofa by laughing out loud. He is joking and I am quite glad that he is already laughing about it. I have had the whole afternoon to digest the information and this is the first time I have smiled. I am a total worrier. The baby already has a conjoined twin in my head – and comes out sideways at 96 weeks. I make a doctors appointment. He will know what to do about this Siamese twin pregnancy.

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