Category Archives: Uncertainty

We’ve all had it, most of us live through it. I’m doing my worst at doing my best.

New beginnings & old brains

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So here we be. 37 weeks and counting down the days. How did I even get here?

After months of worrying that maybe I couldn’t get pregnant (well years in reality, but months of rolling the dice and crossing our hearts) followed by the act of really, truly, biologically, scientifically trying…to the fears of making it to 7 weeks, 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 24, then that magical number of 32, and better yet, here we are at 37.  Full term, safe and sound, made it through the wilderness to the other side….or did we?

The hard part about this soon-to-be parenthood thing is there are so many pitfalls and booby traps, so many hurdles and instances of jumping over quicksand, you can hardly stay on your feet, or (as you get more pregnant) catch your breath. The oodles of testing, the hours of worry, the nights of unrest, the vomit, aches, pains, fears, the thunder-stealing, heart-wrenching covid… and the worst part….this is just the beginning.  Now I’m faced with labour. This is an eventuality that I have barely begun to fathom because there was so much to tackle and attempt to control on the way to this very moment.

We have an almost packed hospital bag, the car seat installed, the stroller and playpen built, crib and bassinet all ready and waiting…but what about me?  Am I ready, or am I waiting?  This whole thing has been such a mindfuck, such a rollercoaster of emotions and physical strain, I just tried to make it to this space and time. But here I stand, still, uncomfortable and unsure – so now what?

Work was awful, covid awful, the pregnancy has been (I don’t want to say awful, it might be the right word but we will rename it to “challenging”) and me, I’m just ready for a week or two of downtime.

But, I am so big. So very, unbelievably, in my belly, ridiculously round that I don’t know what’s right anymore – finish off the pregnancy and hope for an early labour or earlier inducement, or wait it out to have a week to myself. A week of naps and snacks and TV. A week without so much worry or so much work. But, in that week I will be horribly uncomfortable and infinitely irritable. I don’t know the answer, because you know what – nothing will ever be the same again. To alleviate the uncomfortable is to rush the next phase.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg…..9 days from now, well we have a baby girl, one whom I don’t want to bend, break or fail…and that’s an entirely new kettle of fish. One that I have no recipe for, one extremely large pot that I have no idea how to boil.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” 

The Ginga Ninja

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The hard side of being up and the soft side of being down

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Precursor to this post. I haven’t written in a while. Well, untrue, I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve been going through a wealth of wiley emotions, even before quarantine hit. So though we are isolated now, I was feeling isolated even before this began. Welcome my friends, to the unremarkable journey. My unremarkable journey.

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Have a little faith. Think positive thoughts. Only worry about what you can control.

That..is..so..hard. Over and over as the years go by, I’ve tried to look on the bright side of life. TRIED being the operative word. I’ve tried to be positive about my new friends, old friends, future loves, hopeful jobs and slowly growing finances. Through every breakup, makeup, change, hurdle, ailment, broken promise, I just… tried. Hell, I try. But, things aren’t always my way, things are seldom my way, even when I try.

There are so many moments of unlucky. The trains missed, the loves lost, the doors closed, the quittings, the firings, the debt, the taxes, the broken bones and broken hearts. Not to mention the health scares, the family dramas, the lonelies, and loseries and the general feelings of envy and FOMO, isolation and introversion. That dark fear of failure and worry, the sinking great unknown and the aching void.

But, every once in awhile, every once in a small while…I have these moments of lucky. Just made the elevator, got my purse back, found my phone, free parking, free coffee, good song, cute guy, fluked a raise and wrangled a promotion. The mystery that is my life gives me little signs that maybe just maybe the universe isn’t out to fuck me after all.

And things you dared not say out loud start to happen. Things like paying off debt, falling in love, buying a house, keeping a job, building a partnership, living your vision, hoping for a future. Some of these things start to happen. More so, things like coming off the pill, tracking apps, testing with strips, peeing on sticks…things like seeing two solid lines and knowing that nothing will ever be the same again happen. Things you never thought that YOU, unlucky old you could have, well those things start to happen.

Well, turns out life isn’t fair. And all that worry you put into friends and sports, health dynamiteand school, careers, finances, getting houses and splitting couches….well that was nothing. From the moment those double lines show up on that small white stick, every worry you ever had feels like it never existed. I’m not saying that life only means something if you have kids, or experience pregnancy…do not get me wrong. What I am saying is that the journey is a difficult, unfair sequence of events and emotions. Nobody should have to go through it, let alone almost everybody.

Timing out sex was hard. Tracking in an app is hard. Peeing on sticks and trying to get it down to one day..is hard. Waiting to test is hard. Spotting at 6 weeks is hard. Spotting at 7 weeks is hard. Getting not one but two rounds of emergency ultrasounds and bloods is hard. Nausea is hard. Migraines are hard. Insomnia…well, that is really hard (even when the bed is soft).

And guess what – that is just the beginning. Getting your nuchal ultrasound is hard, especially when you have to get it twice. Waiting for your chromosome testing to come back…well, you guessed it…hard. Particularly if you are over 35, because in terms of childbirth, you are a geriatric dinosaur. I repeat, geriatric dinosaur, so I also repeat…hard.

But what’s even harder you ask? Getting a bad reading. Getting a very bad 1 in 9 high-risk, panic-inducing reading. And being told not to google. But, not googling is hard. And when you do, well you read about people with 1 in 11 and 1 and 5 who were okay, people like you. So you think, maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard. Maybe I’m them, maybe they’re me, maybe it can be okay. Maybe I can be okay.

But, want to know what gets hard again?  Not thinking about it until you go for that next round of bloods. Not knowing what those bloods will say. Hearing  some people getting better odds and for others, well they rule out all risk. But not all. And guess what, not knowing if you need amniotic testing – that is hard. Trying to decide whether to complete this potentially miscarriage-inducing procedure or going into the unknown with a big fat 11% chance of a positive outcome…is hard.

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And that my friends is where I am. I am researching my odds. And trying my best not to freak out. While of course freaking out. I didn’t know if I would meet someone, if I could or would get pregnant, if I would make it through the spotting, the first heartbeat, the first trimester. Right as I cleared the miscarriage hurdle I came smack up to the chromosome one. And even if I clear that too, well then there is gestational diabetes, prechlamsia, early labour, c-sections, epidurals and breach births to think about. And all of this before you even have a newborn to deal with.

Just one damn hurdle after another. A mental, physical and emotional mindfuck of the trickiest kind. And there was nothing I did, or can do to fix it. And that my friends is the hardest kind of hard. 

The Ginga Ninja

 

The Christmas Crazies

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I haven’t written in awhile, a long while. And I don’t know if that’s good….or bad…or really either. Maybe I should. Maybe writing is good for me, a good cathartic outlet, kind of like a good cathartic cry. But, again, most of the times I’ve written it’s because I had something on my mind, too many things on my mind, a mind that couldn’t be decluttered or reorganized. It couldn’t be wrapped, or frosted or hung by the chimney with care.

Well, maybe I’m there again. Maybe a new kitten destroying my new chair, job applications and taxes, mortgage approvals and house hunting, secrets and lies, affairs and separations, divorces and engagements, sore muscles and migraines, new babies, new birthdays and simply a case of the winter blahs are on my mind. Maybe I’m there with too much in my brain and nowhere for it to go.

Except here. It can go here. For you, the few that may or may not still be interested in my fledgling writing and non-credentialed thoughts, well here is your ever non-impressive and non-ground breaking thought explosion in all of its glory.

It’s Christmas…and some years that fills me with joy, others with dread. For some reason this year I just don’t know, I’m stuck somewhere in between the two and though in between is better than down, it’s not better than up, so in between I will stay.

For anybody like me filling the mixed stocking of anticipation and dread, excitement and fear, then I feel for you, or fear for you…hell, one and the same really. A Merry Friggen Christmas to all and to all a mediocre night!

I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind. – Edgar Allen Poe

The Ginga Ninja

Feeling left behind

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It’s a feeling I’ve had on and off over the years. As have you, and him, and her. And probably my brother, and mom, maybe one of my good friends. Hell, maybe all of them. But, it’s not something openly discussed. Mental health and sexuality are now diagnosed, talked about, named and acknowledged, but feeling “less than” is something still in the closet, lurking behind closed doors, a Voldemort yet to be named.

Well, I’m sure we’ve all felt it. But, what do you do when you feel like others have moved on. And not always in a good way or bad way, but just in a different way? I’ve seen people move out of the city, buy houses, get married, have kids and in all orders imaginable and irreversible. Now, I’m not saying that everything works out for the best, some of those people move back or never even made it out in the first place, some are divorced, some lose their job, some lose their will, but what happens when you feel like you are standing still. I’ve got my cat, my plants, my goals to lose weight, but nothing else is on the horizon. Life just….is.

The funny thing is that is how I always wanted life to be. I didn’t want a neverending to do list of benchmarks and milestones, I just wanted to be okay in the everyday, in the mundane and in the now. And for the most part I am…but get a little case of the “wait for meeees” when my Instagram is littered with new dogs and babies, strollers and renos, wedding rings and honeymoons. There is nothing wrong with my life, but I feel a little left behind, not invited to the old gatherings, not cool enough for the new mom’s cool kids group, too old to party, too young to afternoon tea.

What to do? Do I wallow in my self-pity and think about all the friends I used to spend time with, do I fast-track my life plan to fit into my peers, do I think about all the times I tried to lead that pack with trips and adventures, new cities, new risks, new dates and new friends? I guess none of the above, because no amount of thinking, wishing, envying, or worrying is going to change the outcome. Tomorrow is what it will be and their plans are theirs, not mine. I can only hope that the world I fit into is the world that doesn’t forget to let me fit in. And the world that does forget, well I guess it’s not my world anymore.

“Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

The Boogie Man or Boogie Mind

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The night seems so much longer

The sky so much darker

The world so much lonelier

When the sun has finally set

The problems seem so much bigger

The worries so much deeper

The fears so much more real

When the sun has finally set

Okay, okay, I’m not a poet. I’ve really never been one, particularly in the non-rhyming category, but there is something about poetry and lyrics, and making them up on the spot that carries a certain charm. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s sad, it’s desperate. It is whatever it is to whoever is reading it. Art, writing, music, they are subjective things. And though my serious attempts at poetry aren’t as cool as my remakes of’ “T’was the Night Before Christmas” http://www.thegingergirlchronicles.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/twas-a-modern-day-christmas/ you still gotta give a girl a cookie for trying.

The real reason I am writing isn’t to share my simple poetry or pump  my own articles, but to dwell on the empty. Many nights in my paltry little life I have stared into the abyss. I have wondered about why we are here, I have questioned what my life holds, and I have fought against the ache. The weird ache you get at night, where you don’t know what’s wrong, but something maybe is. Maybe it’s simply the breeze, the dark, the open window, the October nights, or maybe it’s night that brings out the worst and best in us.

Night can bring out your deepest darkest fears. It can lead you to do unspeakable things, and think unthinkable thoughts…it can lead you to truly believe you are alone, that tomorrow won’t come and that the night seems so long (enter song lyrics anytime). But, night is also when inspiration strikes. It is when the crazy get brilliant, the genius get sane and the ordinary become, for a fleeting moment…extraordinary. It is when night owls thrive and the creative shine, it is when writers write, singers sing, and dancers dance. Its when the interesting, the artsy, the eccentric and the daring make the world their own. They belong to the night, and frankly, the night belongs to them.

But, all that said, what hit me tonight, was the sheer amount of nights I sat in my tub, and thought deep thoughts. Wondered if I would fall in love, I would find my calling, I would live alone, I would bring life, I would choose lonely. All those nights, those crazy nights (cue 1970’s songs again), there was an empty. A wonder, an unknown, a feeling unexplained, a thought misunderstood. The empty.

So, tonight had me wondering, why do all our fears come out at night?

The Ginga Ninja

The Curse of the Dreamer

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Take a deep breath and don’t panic my girl
There is little to control in this crazy old world
You think and you plan and envision all day
You make up scenarios where it does go your way
(What is your way?)
(What would you say?)                                                                                                                                                     What could truly ever make it your day?                                                                                                                                   If you could even get it, what would it be
Would it be freedom, stability, kids or just we
Do you want a house, a pool, a dog and a cat
Or maybe a jet, a whiskey and designer brimmed hat
What really matters, money and cars
Or loved ones, liked ones and those far away stars
Is there a right and a wrong to your entire life
A definitive moment, pure man and wife
Do your actions always determine your end                                                                                                                             Or in your own story, can you be villain and friend                                                                                                               Inherently evil, deliriously mad, endearingly simple, to the bone just plain bad
Are these all just faces, all feelings we show
What’s the real outcome, what’s the real low
Everybody can say it, anybody can think                                                                                                                                   I should be writing my plan on the edge of this brink
(But what if I sink?)
(What if I blink?)
What if I yawn and my breath, it might stink?
So you dreamers go lie awake late at night
Try not to think, try not to fright
Life it is scary, life it is hard
It can also be wondrous if you play the right card
The deck it is big and so hard to predict                                                                   There are times you’re winning and times kid, you’re licked
But try as you might to stay out of your mind                                                           Try your best to be honest, your best to be kind                                                       Know you will fail and that it’s okay                                                                           Just try to remember, start again the next day
Because sometimes you fall and sometimes you win                                       That’s the game of life and it wears you quite thin
It plays with your mind and tricks your own head                                           Where maybe some days you won’t leave your own bed
But keep on believing and doubting and breathing                                                                                                       Because when it’s all over, we are all still just leaving.

 

The Ginga Ninja

Just goes to show, you never can tell.

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You never can tell.

There are times I feel like a crazy person. Times I feel ostracized, outed, unsure, uncertain and just straight up envious of others. And you know what, I have wondered, do you think anybody ever feels jealous of me?

I guess I believed that as a kid they might. They just might. Over sports…or my house…certainly not my parents’ parenting or my ginger looks. And I guess I believed they just might when I picked up and moved across the world, littering Facebook with my uber amazing couply travel photos. And I guess I believed it when my beotchy coworker said “Sorry I’m not as perfect as you” immediately after she was reprimanded. And I guess I believed it when I accidentally lost a bunch of weight and suddenly looked good in a bikini and could rock a small.

But, those are all one-offs right? That coworker actually ended up crazy wealthy and on TV. Those sports skills? Well, they created these multi-surgeried, excessively scarred 70 year old knees. And those looks? Well, I’m still a ginger. And that weight? Well, I gained it back…and then some.

So, why would anybody envy me, lil old me, right?

Wrong. That perfect-post, quick to commit, new dog, skinny bod, wildest dreams come true girl you envy? Well, for reasons you may not know, for reasons you would never know from the shiny, bright, outside Instagram perspective…they envy you. They envy your nature, your honesty, your jokes, your ability to understand, they envy what you’ve learned, or the love they think you have. But, who knew?

And there is life summed up as a girl. We all want to believe somebody else’s life is better, purer, prettier, surer than ours. Nobody feels how we feel, nobody doubts how we doubt, nobody envies how we envy, nobody cries how we cry. But, here’s a secret…they do.

“If we knew each other’s secrets, what comforts we should find.”  – John Churton Collins

The Ginga Ninja