Recap for Blog 47 – No more he or she-ing : Zani can hardly wait for D-Day, when she and Jake will find out whether Baby is a boy or a girl. But then Jake phones to say that he will be out of town – and will miss their appointment with the midwife and the obstetrician.
I can hear the exasperation in his sigh. “Nothing, Zani, and you know that. But this is a big deal – a huge contract that is about to be cancelled unless I can sit with the client and iron things out … and the client is in a remote area, and, as I’ve told you, quite eccentric and only deals in person.”
“Jake, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your baby and hear if it’s a boy or a girl!” I resist the urge to swear.
“My love, I know. I know! And I’m disappointed too, believe me. But please understand I have to do what I have to do. If I could get Pete to go in my place, I would. But it’s my project, and my client. Only I can sort out this mess and–”
“No, Jake, you do what you want to do! But remember this: it’s just money.”
Breathe in. Breathe out. “And this is about our baby. Our baby!”
“But if I don’t do this, I could lose the account. And then what? Zani, we can’t risk my job. We need the money. We need money to have a baby and, in a way, me doing this is for us and the baby. Please understand.”
“It’s fine. Go. Just go.” I make sure my voice is clipped and to the point.
“Okay, then,” he says, although I can hear he is not at all appeased. “Just let me know the moment you’re done at the doctors’ tomorrow.”
“Yes. Fine. Have a good trip.”
I can’t help it. I knew I am being mean, and I really do understand. But my heart is broken. Is this what it feels like to be a single parent? It takes me many more self-pitying one-liners to snap out of it and see the situation for what it is – an unfortunate clash of schedules over which neither of us has any control. It isn’t Jake’s fault, I know that. He is between a rock and a hard place.
An SMS: Why don’t you ask Vee to go with you? I am really sorry! luv u
I immediately feel better. What a brilliant idea. I’ll ask Vee! That man of mine truly is my saving grace. The rock that anchors my sometimes volatile existence.
I text him: I can be a bitch sometimes, I know. Sorry! Luv u, luv u, luv u! xxx
Then I look up the number for the Two Tarts and give Vee a quick call. I can hear the catch in her breath as I ask, but she is ecstatic and immediately agrees. No hesitation.
“I’d be honoured, Zani. Truly.”
When morning comes – at last! – I dress to look as smart as I can with my little bump, tuck the list of questions in my bag and set off to work. The morning drags as only those terminal mornings can when you’re looking forward to something, but finally Julie points to her watch.
“You’d better go! You’re making me nervous just watching you tap your fingers on your desk like that … You’re driving me mad. Just go! I’ll cover for you.”
I blow her a kiss, grab my bag and hurtle out of the building as fast as I can manage with bump and bag and beating heart. The traffic is maddeningly slow, but I make it into the foyer of the surgery with a minute or two to spare. Vee and Miriam are already there and I quickly explain that Vee is my foster mother – both Vee and I like the term … very much.
Once we are called in to the doctor’s rooms, I can immediately tell why Miriam has been so positive about the gynae – Dr Marais is very kind and understanding, a woman with a passion for the wellbeing of babies … and their mothers. She launches straight into a routine check-up and eventually announces that all is well. And then it is show time! Oh, I wish I could capture the moment Vee sees our baby the first time – the awe, the love, the excitement!
Baby was beautiful the last time, but this time Baby is perfect – as if he or she knows there is an adoring audience. Baby pulls faces, sucks thumb, moves the umbilical cord, kicks, turns and then turns again with the little legs wide open as if to say – you see, 100% top-notch grade-A male.