Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Game of Risk

Thursday I bought maternity clothes as you know.

Today, I bought pillows for the new couch and drapery rods for the living room and the hallway, after months of wavering on colors and fabrics and styles, not to mention my attempts to hire professionals to make drapes! No luck then, but I think I just might have found the right ones.

Friday I spent the entire day at the Ashley Sale shopping for so much stuff that I had to store boxes of it, until I got to the cash register and set my debit card on fire to pay for it all. (Kidding actually, debit was fine...discounts are shockingly fabulous there.) I bought several gift boxes of Riedel stemless wine glasses, silver picture frames, Oilily wallets and cosmetic bags, toys for the kids, designer mats for front walk, Christmas decorations, a La Crueset ceramic kettle for Mr.Cotta, a crystal flower vase, and 8 full place settings of Wedgewood Strawberry & Vine China.

My funny little husband had a slight urrrkk when I came home, until I pointed out the several broken plates we have thrown out this past year, the banged up ancient half-rusted kettle he has used for years, the bent portrait frames on the piano, and the dollar store crap decorating our house. I cajoled him a bit, and last night, we eventually both had fun throwing out the junk, and replacing it with some much much better quality items.

Ironic moment of the day? Wearing maternity clothes, I was ten times more comfortable than normal, but also obviously pregnant, as in, all the salespeople made sure I had help carrying things out. (I worked it, I'll admit it. Gotta be some advantages, right?) So pregnant-looking that when I picked up Maddie in the morning to go there, I walked in, twinkle in my eye and said, "Mr. Cotta thinks we can hide the pregnancy for another couple of months or so from our family. What do you think?" and she fell over laughing. In fact, she laughed so hard, she almost peed her pants, and I laughed right along with her.

I know he's afraid to tell people, because he's afraid of failing again, in front of the whole world. Public failure really is the hardest thing to endure. I'm afraid of failing too, and the public aspect is something I'll have to deal with as a woman more than him. But I'm a tiny person, and my stomach is proportionately bigger than the rest of me. Right now, I look further along than my kid's piano teacher, a first-timer currently 22 weeks pregnant. She's barely looking more than plump.

We're all in now, every card dealt, all bets on the table. On a business level my husband can understand taking huge risks and losing a lot of deals, but sometimes, just sometimes getting huge rewards in return for taking all those risks. He has to go up against lots of other people who never have to take risks and just get handed everything as a matter of course. Like the "Lucky Sperm Club" - AKA trust fund babies. Or the normals, 9 to 5 jobbers with steady incomes who have a pension & benefits, 2 kids and a dog, or my faves, the Golden Boys, who are simply always in the right place at the right time, and get handed opportunities like gifts. We've never been those people in any aspect of our lives, personal or professional.

We gambled hugely when we had our two boys, and it paid off. We risked with Matthew and Mira and Georgia, and so so many other cycles in between and they all ended in disaster. Once again, we aren't part of the Lucky Sperm Club, or the Golden ones, and I'm sure as hell not normal.

But this year has been different, really truly different. Two years ago this time, we were close to bankruptcy, and this year everything shifted, dramatically. For six months I've had money in the bank, specifically for shopping, just sitting there, and I've surfed loads of websites, gone shopping in lots of stores and managed to buy only a bed, a sofa, and this computer, after agonizing over each and every one of them, as if merely purchasing things would tempt fate and ruin any possibility of our finances staying intact. (Okay, we got a TV too, but that was Mr.Cotta's decision.)

And this year my health improved, and I discovered DHEA and started the new regime, and after months of it managed to ovulate, and get pregnant. I'm taking a very different tack with this pregnancy, heparin, progesterone, aspirin, and all. So the question is, will any of it matter a damn?

Will the risk pay off? Will this all be worth it in the end, or am I just a fool?

This Wednesday is my nuchal test, and it was good news with Mac, and good news with Georgia, but terrible news with Mira. I can't help but remember the negative moment somehow, the damn technician refusing to show me the screen. And I can't help but wonder if the good news with Georgia was almost like a nasty setup for the disastrous ultrasound on amnio day with her. Lying there on that table, thinking about all the terrible news that could result from an amniocentesis, never believing that the bad news could happen even before the needle went near my uterus.

In the last week, I finally broke through some of my financial magical thinking and managed to spend a little without heaving in terror.

So at what point in this pregnancy do you think I'll be able to break through my baby related magical thinking and finally stop heaving in terror? 12 weeks? 16 weeks? 18 Weeks? 21 weeks? 32 weeks?

I'm thinking it may take even longer. But at least I can shop my way through the risk, right? I hope....


  1. I wish I knew.

    But still, it puts a smile on my face to know you're finally beyond at least financial panic. We live there right now and I fantasize about even basic comfort.

    Good for you though, for putting on maternity clothing and getting some joy out of it. I wish I could promise you all will be well, but I am so full of hope for you.

  2. Still praying for you and wishing you well! I'm so excited for you! I don't know about this magical thinking thing - I've thought about it a lot since that one post you wrote about it. I definitely have this problem. I think the good and the bad in my life turns on my totally unrelated behavior - it's ridiculous sort of yet it makes so much sense to me. Like I can cause something at work to go well by not eating chocolate, or something like that. It's just an anxiety reliever and control thing for me. The way for me to control the uncontrollable. Be well and I'll be thinking of you!

  3. Dang, that sounds like a great sale. My dh recently decimated the red wine glasses in one fell swoop...sigh. Well, we still have two...

    I think shopping is a great way to deal with all sorts of issues. Unfortunately my credit card bills reflect that... ;)

  4. It may never happen. I was on pins and needles throughout my whole pregnancy with A. I thought I was keeping him alive through my own sheer will and diligence. Hopefully, you are not that crazy about it and able to relax soon.

  5. I know that I shopped through my pregnancy - BB ended up with literally dozens of outfits in the 0-3 month size range because, in my magical thinking, he couldn't die if I kept buying clothes for him. And my husband did it, too. That kid had way too many little outfits.

    Your house is sounding fabulous with all of the new purchases, et. al.

  6. That china sounds so pretty. I luuuurve china but I made myself stay home as I did similar damage last year. Seriously the deals are amazing. I got dishes for less than what I payed at a wedgwood outlet in London.

    I think once you know of, or have experienced loss or complications the best that you get are those wonderful moments when someone carries your stuff to the car for you because you are pregnant. I am glad you had that moment and I wish many more for you.

    After I brought Julia home I found out one of my neighbours works at BloorView kids rehab. Her area of research is mothers of children with disabilities. I keep coming back to something she told me when she met Julia. I don't tend to be an optimistic person but I told her we were hoping for the best with Julia. She told me the price is the same so why not hope.

    It doesn't make you a fool. You are nobody's fool.

    I'm hoping for you and I'll be thinking of you wednesday.

  7. Hey, I'm willing to shop through the risk with you!

    So glad you're into maternity clothes and feeling comfy. You know that as far as I'm concerned, every women should have a pair of maternity pants, for PMS bloat days and trips to the buffet.

    It'll probably take you longer than it took me to stop heaving in terror - for me it was somewhere around 24 weeks. I think once you get past the age where you'd have a micropreemie, you'll be ok.

  8. Having been through IF and a M/C, I found that I was nervous all the way through the pregnancy. I hope that your anxiety will ease up before 40 weeks!

    Your shopping trip sounds like fun. Enjoy your stuff.

  9. Whatever gets you through, my friend. Whatever gets you through. {{{hugs}}}

  10. I don't know if my fear would abate before bringing a live baby through my front door.

    If shopping helps, shop!