The main thing

Ok now this is the main thing. On Monday we drove to Fredrikstad for a scan. I was terrified. On Saturday I was so nervous that I felt nauseous all day. But this time, Michael was with me. He lent me his iphone and I played Stoneloops of Jurassica in the waiting room, which so successful at distracting me that I didn’t even hear them calling my number. Then we went in for the ultrasound. And there’s a little one in there! It’s alive! It doesn’t seem to have the same problem as last time.

I was so relieved I went out of the hospital and I cried. For the little one who will never be born, and the little one who in all likelihood will.

And then we met my parents for coffee and cake in the old town.


After lunch I called my Grandma. Eventually I managed to interrupt the flow of family news.

‘I’ve got some news for you too’, I said. ‘I’m pregnant again!’

‘Oh!’ she said. ‘Someone else is pregnant too!’

Not exactly the response I expected, but anyway… ‘Who?’

‘Well, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to tell you, but Caitlin rang this evening and she had her scan this morning and she’s twelve weeks!’


‘How – where are you…’

‘I had my scan this morning and I’m twelve weeks!’

Many breathless phonecalls ensued. Caitlin is the wife of my cousin Joseph. They are living in London at the moment. All going well, these babies will be the first great-grandchildren on this side of the family. My Mum and her sister will become grandmothers together. Everyone is ecstatic. Apparently my Grandma was so excited she gave herself a migraine.


I had the scan on Monday. Wednesday was the estimated due date of my previous pregnancy. And on Friday, two of my closest friends in Adelaide had a baby girl. So, for me, it is slightly bittersweet. Yesterday and this morning I felt this piercing, heavy sadness. This new story is wonderful, but it is coloured by the old one. And it feels so unreal. In my (very limited) experience, pregnancy doesn’t mean a baby. My parents have driven off for a few days holiday in the mountains. They will be back next weekend, but then they head back to Australia. I think I also feel sad about that. About living so very far away. But I have learnt, too, that sadness passes. That it is like a thick mist, damp and cold, touching and clouding everything. But it lifts. Already I feel a little better. I made some rather strange but fairly tasty brownies this afternoon, and I go back to work tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting into routines again. I feel rested. I am looking forward to writing and thinking on my Fridays off. And we are looking forward to our new stories, to all their colours.


14 thoughts on “The main thing

  1. And so am I! Congratulations – the beginning of a whole new chapter in your lives.

    I have two children, and somewhere between them lies a third. I even know his name. Your writing is so vivid: and it is so true that the two stories I have running around here are coloured by another who, for me, will always have a place.

    I look forward to reading more of your story another day 🙂

  2. Oh Meli. You’re tags read like a poem.

    I am happy for you, congratulations. You know, life should be complex and difficult or we’d never recognise happiness. Or miracles. But the sorrow is hard to bear.

    Love to you.

  3. Congratulations Meli. You know, I am the ‘second’ baby of an unsuccessful pregnancy — if my brother/sister had come to term, I would not have made it into the world. There was a four month gap between loss and a new beginning.

    Mum says — and this is why I mention it — that my birth made it hard to mourn so keenly over what could have been.

    Hugs to the both of you, I wish you so much joy.

  4. Melanie, I know exactly how you feel. The due date for my lost one passed on June 30th, and it was completely confusing. If it weren’t for that loss, I couldn’t be growing the one I am now. It made me feel, overwhelmingly, that it is all just utterly random and the only solace is to cleave to impermanence. Not much help, but I know!!!!

  5. Congratulations, Meli.

    I know this feeling of which you speak, an if I could lay my warm hand on that cold spot on your heart, i would.
    And I would tell you that in the end, it won’t hurt, but you will hang onto it, because you are meant to.

    And Bless you, because you will hold it, like a flower in the pages of your life’s book.

    You will make the most wonderful mother imaginable.

  6. thank you everyone! (fifi that is very sweet of you – i’m not sure which kind of mother i will be!) it’s strange to think of all these hidden stories, so rarely spoken of, that exist along side of the living and the real. absences, and gaps, and things – and people – that didn’t happen. it’s not good to pretend they aren’t there.

    it’s also funny how much art and literature are built around absences. i have been thinking about the divine comedy lately (partly because my friends named their daughter beatrix), and how the whole poem hangs upon dante’s yearning for his lost love. and then of course there is that beautiful middle english poem ‘pearl’, about the infant who dies and then tries to explain eternity to her father but he really cannot understand…

    but i am feeling much better: really very hopeful and relieved. i have another scan in a couple of days just to double check everything, and, all going well, by the end of next week i should be further along than i got last time, and all of that feels very good indeed.

  7. I know what you mean about missing people. It’s definitely hard being in a different country from loved ones. Even with the visits, it’s not the same as living closer. It is sad, but it also makes us value and appreciate the time we do have with them.

    Just think, s/he will learn Norwegian, English, and German! That is so neat. =)

    I’ll be praying for you, Michael, and the little one. *hugs*

  8. Mel I’m so happy for you both. I know this time it will be OK for you, You’re going to be a great Mother. I can understand the bittersweet feelings, but this new little life is beginning its journey into the world. Take care of yourself. Lots of love xxx

  9. Pingback: Bye bye 2010! « northern lights

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