My pregnancy is advancing. 3 months already… I realized that pregnancy came with its surprises and I wondered, how come so many women got through the same thing but so little is told about some experiences throughout the whole process…
A few days ago turned out to be a landmark of surprises for me. I finally met my obstetrician, who seems very nice. I was expecting to be brushed off after a brief look at my blood tests… but I was actually asked if I wanted get an ultrasound done… Something I thought was unreachable here in Canada. As far as I can tell, most clinics do not have ultrasounds… And even if they do, it is hard to meet all the requirements to get to one, to feel the cool touch of one on the tummy…
So I thought the soonest I would be able to have the cold, transparent, semi liquid thing squished on my belly and be used as a skating ring for an ultrasound gadget would be in a month, at four months, that is…
Well, apparently, I was supposed to have gotten my ultrasound sooner… As told by my obstetrician, no other person I saw until I finally made it to her said anything about that! Come on, this is once in a lifetime (for me) experience and you guys are making me miss out on stuff…
Plus, I paid 130 dollars for it… The result: There really is a living thing in me!!! It was incredible… I shed a few tears, and could not believe, though it may sound cliché, that my hubby and I could have unprotected sex and produce a living being!
I never thought much about human’s or any other creature’s ability to procreate, but since that day at the obstetrician, this has changed for me… I cannot believe that the body whose only function was to move around, eat and shit until 3 months ago has now taken on a new mission, producing the right environment for a new living being to flourish…
Cheesy but still, it all gets one to wonder…
I was also astounded by how much that little thing of 5 cm, a tiny replica of the smallest baby, complete with a set of legs and arms and a huge round head (much like my husband’s) was moving! No one ever had told me that babies move no matter how small they are. I thought it would be sleeping and resting like a sea cucumber!
But no! It was so active that the doctor had difficulty making some measurements. Now I see why every parent to be, on seeing their kid on the ultrasound decide it will be a footballer…
Mine will be a dancer… despite the giant daddy head 😛
Hormonal resentment of the week: Of all the screenshots my dearest doctor (whom I will be seeing maybe 6 more times?) before labor only to be greeted by a completely strange person dressed in green to be by my side as one of the most valued parts of my body are being ripped apart…
Frstly, why have I been away for the last few weeks?
I have been having morning sickness for some weeks now. And anything I do during this time ends up being associated with nausea… Including blogging, story writing, eventually trying hard for anything…
I am 2,5 months pregnant now, and hormones are everywhere. I am sticky with hormones.
My boobs are huge, well, actually they have finally attained normal boob sizes… I feel terribly embarrassed when I bend down to get something and from the corner of my eye, I see this cleavage I used to stare at on other women…
Well, at least I am not in Turkey anymore, so I don’t really have to feel shy when I accidentally show popcorn (suddenly popping) boobies… They just happen to be inserted there. What do you want me to do?
And why am I angry? Hormones! I am pissed at a lot of stuff… I had never realized how many things can make me lose it… I am exasperated with people, systems, elevators but mostly tiny behaviors that could be overlooked but are making my life harder these days!!!
Well, yes, I have been rather at the extreme end of annoyance recently, but I am sure there are a few people out there, probably not reading my blog, that would agree with me.
So here is item number one that pisses me off:
– that dear friend/colleague who keeps saying something quite useless, like “what’s up!”, whenever you are concentrated on some work you have to finish asap. To respond, you have to raise your head, take your earphones off, “Sorry, didn’t catch that?”, hear the useless words, smile trying to be polite and hiding you are greatly annoyed, put your earphones back on, concentrate, write a few more words, only to be shaken with a finger pointing at you with a boogie dancer’s expression for no reason by that same colleague/friend… And you have to repeat the process, again…
In the end, for some reason you are pointed out as a slow worker… NO! I am only kind and rather than hurting anyone’s feelings, I choose to smile, grind my teeth and lose time…
– How about that friend who finishes your sentence before you have even started it? Usually their version of the sentence has nothing to do with what you meant to say, but they carry on with that topic and ask you a question, reprimand you for making such a wrong choice and start giving you a lesson. I was NOT going to say that! The sentence I began with “Smoking is hard to give up, even during…” was not supposed to be continued by pregnancy and followed by a lecture about what an awful potential mother am for not quitting and harming my fetus! I don’t even smoke!!!
– When you are trying to tell a serious story, being pregnant and tired and all, sometimes a slip of the tongue makes you mispronounce a word… But not a big deal, you want to continue with the story, but your listener, the person you are trying to confide in is already in tears from laughing out loud… You try to smile politely, grinding your teeth, and wonder if you will ever be able to finish that major issue of yours you need to get off your chest.
– Another one in your audience gets so inspired by the first few words you uttered to introduce your story that they start telling for the 50th time an anecdote of theirs, showing how great, how brave, how incredible they were, while you try to shut your ears with invisible pillows and try to think of unicorns until the sentence ends.
– Then there are those who come up with the weirdest questions that make you wonder about their IQ. For the first time in my life, feeling nauseous and not being able to retain much of the healthy food I loved as a normal, non pregnant person, I was eating a lot of weird stuff I would have normally stayed away from, just to be able to survive the fidgety stomach days. Then comes along a lunch buddy, a person you only see during lunch, and asks me, a hormonal preggo woman: “Are you sure it is not all in your head?”
Please, see me puking my guts out, and I dare you to ask me that again!
So, these are just a few people I have been pissed by throughout my short pregnancy till now… It feels great to let them go now, at least until my next encounter with them… Thanks for bearing with me till the end. Apparently that is a rare quality these days…
Two Women by Egon Schiele
The author died in 1918, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 90 years or less.
Adrenaline tickling my body, I crossed from one landing to the other. My ecstatic screams subsided only when I reached the other side.
It was Jeima’s turn. Others were teasing her. She had let her turn pass a few times, and watched many of us walk on the thin rail to the other roof, probably telling herself it was not a big deal, that it was one straight step she had to take after another. Had she not, so many times before, practised walking on a straight line on the pavement, pretending to be walking up in the air, with everyone watching and marveling at her courage from below, their eyes reduced to thin lines with the sun shining just above her?
Sometimes we played the acrobat game together, imagining we were world famous artists, walking on ropes above all city chaos, defying gravity, smiling and shining with the confidence we gathered from the inaudible applause below our feet shaking buildings with its intensity. Brunette Rebellion, the name we had chosen for ourselves, rebelled against gravity and fear!
I saw her, with her arms already lifted, balancing her weight, although she had not yet taken a step towards the edge of the roof. She seemed tense, much more different from her jolly, mocking self in our games.
I looked all the way down, focusing on the half of my foot resting emptily on the nothingness between the roof top and the grey pavement 7 floors below.
I imagined the one slight moment when I would push my foot forward and place it on the emptiness. It was as if I could keep walking to the other side where Jeima was still waltzing one foot forward one foot backward, trying to find the courage for the big adventure. It was as if all would unravel like in cartoons, where the character does not fall until it notices it has exhausted the cliff and is standing over a huge gap.
I wondered what difference it would make, my landing on the pavement and never getting up. I wondered what would change for the tiny people rushing in between tall chaotic buildings…
I wondered how my parents would feel and what would change for my friends, whether they would ever come back to this rooftop and carry on with their daring games.
A dress with dark hair rustling and dancing against gravity passed through the corner of my eye, followed by a thump.
And I received the answers to my questions.
People on the streets without a second to waste would quickly gather and stand still around my body. My parents would lose all motion in their body, maybe to go back to a time when they could hold me from climbing up to the roof top.
My friends would never visit the rooftop again, and the fun teasing would be diminished to an unbreakable silence.
I know all this, because it all happened when Jeima stepped quietly away from the cliff.
Daily Prompt Frame of Mind: If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?
They were using new paintings, the type that comes out alive AND touches you, affects you personally.
And there was a special exhibition, full of such paintings framed and displayed on walls, it was a first time ever trial.
Such an exhibition had never been tried before due to fears it might cause an overload on the spectators’ perceptive sensors, unaccustomed to such visual stimulation, and lead to a coma.
The first visitors to view the paintings were allowed in with great caution.
At first, the paintings took their breaths away and they had to close their eyes until their heartbeats subsided.
When they opened their eyes, they found themselves surrounded with the depictions on the paintings, living them.
They were enveloped in yellow paint of the prairie, green touches of the flowers, brownish grey of buildings, white bright drops of rain, pink of flushed cheeks and blue of wide skies.
They were exhilarated, taken by the colors, a brand new environment of oily plastic brush strokes that surrounded them all around. They had become part of masterpieces, their existence had taken form in art, they had been transformed to a superior being.
Within the wondrous smiles of each spectator, a few started losing their mesmerized gaze in their trance, doubled down where they were standing and threw up.
A few others showed crippling cramps in their body while the rest felt sickly overwhelmed.
Thus, the first enrobing art exhibition proved to be futile, and was cancelled shortly afterwards.
The audience who have had the chance to experience the enrobing art show later reported that most of their senses had weakened, and could not no longer enjoy tastes, smells, views, colors they used to care for before the show. They added that a major gap had opened in their senses distancing them from stimulants that could invoke happiness, pleasure, excitement or any other emotion.
Following the reports, people were once again left to their own devices to observe their surroundings, appreciate their skills and enjoy their existence.
For this week’s writing challenge, shake the dust off something — a clothing item, a post draft, a toy — you haven’t touched in ages, but can’t bring yourself to throw away.
I have this friend I love very much, but sometimes while talking to him, I feel like I am crashing into a wall and cannot advance any further, so I switch to “yeah”, “sure” whether I agree with him or not just to keep the friendship rolling.
But I am not rolling anymore, and am stuck a great distance away, back in my solitude, in between the little fences I remember having built as a young girl.
It is surprising to still find them there, that they have not disappeared after such a very long time, and sad that I should need them after so many birthdays…
( I think hormones are making me a little melancholic)
I had to register for the TEFAQ, the French exam to prove that I am Francophone enough to live here in Quebec. Well, TEFAQ is sort of the French equivalent of TOEFL… Have you ever registered for TOEFL? You can do everything, I MEAN everything ONLINE from one particular website, without having to search all the different establishments that may be giving the exam, while registering. For TEFAQ, I had to google search all establishments giving the exam, plus the prices were different (how is that even possible?) and figure out how to get to their online registration site. Well, most did not have one, or dates or something was missing! Except for McGill! Thank you McGill, for figuring out the internet.
Plus, I have registered for a few classes and applied for CSQ, the first step of permanent residence and am paying rent on a regular basis in Montreal. I have undertaken similar endeavors in different countries, it was never a big deal. I have used the internet to make my payments for exams in Turkey, for work permit and rent in Australia, to register for a number of things here and there. It was always simple, use your credit card, and voila! You do not have to do anything else! Worst case scenario had always been depositing the amount into a specified bank account and sending the proof of payment, which, needless to say, can also be done online!
But here, for some reason, old school checks are a favorite. You have to send a check for course registrations, rent (!) payments, governmental applications (which LOVE payments) and anything else you can think of!
And of course, if anything goes wrong in the mail, or if the recipients happen to lose that little piece of paper representing a certain fraction of your account balance, you are the one to be blamed and miss your chance for whatever you were sending your money for.
Now, here is another little experience my friend and I had: He won tickets for the Just for Laughs festival here in Montreal through the company we work for and since I am such a great friend, he picked me as his plus one. It is a big deal! He already has tickets that have been paid for, right? All we have to do is choose the shows we want to see and everything will be fine. That should not be so hard once you have your registration ID number, right? A very easy task that can be done online; time and nerve saving!
Instead of a huge web address to get the easy task done, they have inserted a huge phone number, so that we can easily reserve places for the shows we want to see.
I called them. On the phone, I learned that most shows we wanted to pick were already sold out. So making a representative wait for our decision, still on the phone, with major difficulty, we picked the shows and paid for the delivery of the tickets.
Oh nothing is ever free in Canada! Not even a show ticket you may have won!
Then we waited… Nothing, no mail, no ticket, no e-mail for a month…
So we decided to call them… No answer…
Now my friend has given up on the show and does not care for any other prizes that might take a toll on his time and energy. Side effect, I am not being taken to a comedy show…
In an era when plane tickets can be bought online and printed, when tiny codes are used as entrance tickets or even as currency, why is it so hard to make online registration and payment available?
But I still love you Canada. It is this naive side of you that makes you so attractive, and safe, as I like to believe.
Not quite finished, yet. More to come: Health and Banking…
“What?! You have to be joking! If any one of these happened here, there would be a lot of suing and TV shows to follow!’
This was my mother’s reaction earlier today to my one hour ranting about things that carry only the vital aspects of life to somewhere between difficult and almost impossible here in Montreal, Canada.
I love Montreal, and I can see why it is supposed to be civilized. I am not getting harassed at all, there is a greater equality between man and woman, I can express freely that I am an atheist without getting reprimanded for it, I can bike almost wherever I want and most drivers are respectful and patient, when anything goes wrong, I no longer wait for a fight to break up but smile only to be responded by an understanding gesture and a warm approach by people I have never seen before.
Yes, these are reasons why do not want to leave this city.
However, when it comes to vital aspects about life, such as medical situations, banking, taxes or even intercity transportation, I am more homesick than ever!
Here are my experiences in ascending order of importance:
Phone: When I got my first mobile phone line here, with Chat-r to be precise, I waited for 1 hour!!! STANDING! Another woman with her kid, waited at least 1,5 hours, if not more. In Turkey, it takes 15 minutes, max.
Internet: My husband applied for an internet connection with a little known internet provider. They did their end fairly quickly, but because all connections are dependent on a few huge companies, he had to wait for BELL to pass by and get him a line for the internet to function through, in the simplest terms. Around the same time, a friend of mine who had been assigned to a tiny village in the south east of Turkey, a part of the country considered to be not quite developed, applied for her internet connection with of course a Turkish provider.
2 weeks later, she had already been updating her facebook status and doing skype calls, while I could reach my husband only when he went to St Hubert, the fried chicken shop, and managed to connect to gtalk. It took Bell about 4 weeks to do the job with one appointment rescheduling.
One more tiny addition, if you opt for something ultra technological, like internet through a cable connection (wow!) it might take you a few months, as was the case with my colleagues.
Transportation, namely Greyhound:
So the people who work with Greyhound have learned one sentence by heart: First come, first served.
I have had to use Greyhound on two trips, on my way to Ottawa and New York.
Coming back from Ottawa, naturally like a lot of people who wish to be seated as they please together with their company, we made it there about 30 minutes earlier, which is a needless waste of time, but who am I to talk, I come from a third world country, right?
Just as we left the garage, the driver noticed that a window was open and would not close. The first thing he did was to blame the passenger sitting there, the exact reason why I had chosen not to sit there. Thus, we went back into the garage and the bus was changed.
Yet, this time, rather than first come first served, it was front seats first served, because all the people sitting in the first rows were the first to get off and thus the first to get on the new bus and sit wherever they pleased, leaving a woman with her baby and toddler to be seated on seats quite far off from each other.
Of course she got mad. She had arrived there 1,5 hours earlier, just so that she would not have to encounter such a splendid challenge to stimulate the ride and wanted to get off the bus. Some people had to give their seats and problem was solved (!).
Greyhound experience number two unraveled thusly: On our way to New York, the problem started before we got on the bus, even before I got the feeling we were being carried to a high security prison with a plastic indoor door to prevent us from approaching the door to reach for our freedom unless it was unlocked from the outside by the guard/driver who kept calling us folks, but rather treated us like a flock.
We had arrived 1 hour before the departure and got to waiting. While waiting, unless you are one of the first 5 people to be in line, if you get too tired, you can always sit on the floor, please, by all means. Make yourself at home. As we got closer to the gate to get on the bus, I realized there were two busses, and was relieved that we would get proper seats no matter what, since we had been there much before many others. I got on the first bus with my husband, but there were no seats left, except for two aisle seats, one next to a very large scary man, and two seats that would allow us to be together for the next 8 hours, but they were all the way in the front and contained large suitcases. I figured they had been reserved for the driver.
So since we had arrived there much earlier than a lot of people getting on the second bus, I asked to be seated in the second one. But there was this harsh answer that you get from people “in control”, with an undertone reminding how worthless I am. So, not to show how uncivilized I was, I kept quiet and headed towards the separate seats. You know, with one that had the pretty present of a large scary guy, with compliments from greyhound.
However, when a few minutes later, a pretty blond couple wanted to sit together, and the suitcases were removed for their sake, I got mad, as did my husband. The response from the Greyhound guy was: First come first served.
Wow, how could I not think of that?! What a logical and sensible answer and what a problem solving attitude! Our problem persisted until we made it to New York, that is, no special treatment for us. Next time, either I will not be using Greyhound, or there will be a MAJOR scene to follow!
In Turkey, the underdeveloped country, you know where many people still think have camels on the roads, while buying our tickets online, we can see the seats we are buying on the screen, check the type of bus we will be riding in. Thus, even if we arrive 5 minutes before the bus takes off, we know our seat will be safe! And there are ALWAYS free snacks and drinks! Thus, the driver is always kept awake by the in-ride attendant. Oh, did I forget to add? The driver snoozed a few times with his foot on the gas pedal, but we survived.