Singapore Adventure

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Six Weeks And Four Days
by venitha

I had to add Master Soon's pedal conclusion to the mounting evidence: three positive pregnancy tests, including one performed at my doctor's office. But having been told for years that this was just plain, well, if not impossible, then highly highly improbable, I was holding out for visual evidence: an ultrasound scheduled for the following morning.

"Very early," Master Soon had elaborated knowingly in English, and I'd nodded sagely in response. That would jibe with when I'd started feeling like complete hell, a couple of weeks ago, shortly after we'd returned from Cambodia. Pregnancy certainly was preferable to some obscure Angkorian disease, which is what I'd been thinking before it occurred to me that, pun or no, it was not inconceivable that I was pregnant. Pregnancy was also vastly preferable to cervical cancer, which was my doctor's answer to my first post-positive-pregnancy-test question: What can fool this?

The strictly-business ultrasound technician would tell me nothing, would not even let me look at the screen. But when she turned on the audio, I heard a heartbeat, a heartbeat that definitely wasn't mine. Criminy, I thought, if the baby's an unknown life-form, it probably means Ricky wasn't from West Hartford either.* Giggles and tears merely moved Nurse Ratched to desert me, a sweaty popsicle propped on the alarmingly long vaginal ultrasound wand, while she checked with her supervisor that I'd been poked and prodded and printed sufficiently.

So hours later, when the phone finally rang just as the rush hour traffic started to build on the CTE, I was unsurprised to learn of the pregnancy, relieved to hear of its viability, and stunned to hear of its length.

"So that puts you at a few days past six weeks, with a due date of... let me check here..."

"I'm sorry, did you say six weeks? One two three four five six?"

"Yes, here, I've got it. Due date of 8 June. Six weeks, four days."

"Six weeks, four days."

"Six weeks, four days."

After the echo died away and I'd been reassured that yes, I could still go to Vietnam the next day - but absolutely no street food - I hung up, my rock and roll lifestyle of the past six weeks and four days slam-dancing in my mind.

On my computer, I clicked back through my calendar, back from our scheduled next day departure to Hanoi, back through our Cambodia trip and its - Oh, no! - malaria medication. I clicked past a severe bout of insomnia conquered by Ambien, through daily doses of xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx and weekly xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. I clicked through six weeks and four days of running outside in Singapore's heat, not only dehydrating but also overheating, easily the equivalent of daily hour-long immersion in the hottest of hot tubs.

Click. Sushi. Ai yah! Does this mean no more hana maki?

Click. Hair coloring. Ai yah! Does this mean no more red?

Click. Alcohol. Ai yah! Does this mean no more Cafe Iguana margaritas?

Ai yah! Cafe Iguana margaritas! With horror, I thought of late August and the egregious alcohol abuse that kicked off the night of WOMAD. With relief, however, six weeks and four days of clicking came to a halt just clear of August and entire days clear of WOMAD. Days I spent alone in Singapore. Days Jim spent alone in Taipei. Days at the end of which we were reunited on September 1st.

My doctor, regular ultrasounds, and, strangely, brutal morning sickness have gone a long way toward making me feel better for being such a horrible mother.

* The following quote, written on a narrow slip of paper, is one of the few items that journeyed across the world from the door of our refrigerator in Colorado to the door of our freezer in Singapore. It received honorable mention in a contest of opening lines; alas, no, it is not mine.
Criminy, thought Francine as she left the birthing center, if the baby's an unknown life-form, it probably means Ricky wasn't really from West Hartford, either.