Well I survived the holidays and I’m relatively back in the swing of things. I had a bout of homesickness and a wave of irritation and I think I’ve reset my body to where it was before we left, where I have that constant feeling that I’ve forgotten something important. Not to worry, it’s a state of being that I’ve come to terms with and one that I keep promising myself, I’ll sort out when the weekend comes.
The trip was magnificent as usual. Having Lucky meet his cousins and uncles and aunts and all his baby friends and my friends was… I don’t think I can articulate that feeling. We had his 2nd birthday party there. Again, I am speechless. I’d say it was like a warm shower/bath after coming in from being out in icy rain. Like everything is right with the world. I had thought that this feeling would make it impossible to leave but Lucky kept us so occupied on the flight that I barely had time to get depressed. The only down side was that Lucky got pneumonia a few days before we left. It was the worst but he was thankfully well enough to fly. He also got another upper respiratory infection while we were there. My nephew and nieces also all had some sort of infection. It was awful. But we all survived.
Let’s see if I can quickly break the holiday down, for posterity :). Feel free to skip over. Important thoughts are at the end.
Saturday 14th: Land in Cape Town at 7am. Try to stay awake and catch up with everyone but fail miserably. Some friends come to visit but mostly just resting and family time.
Sunday 15th: Everyone comes to visit for lunch. My bestie from Switzerland comes over as well and she and I stay up drinking and catching up until 4am.
Monday 16th: My brother, N and I go to a shooting range of N’s Christmas present. I’ll take this opportunity to say that I hate guns. They make me very uncomfortable and hence, I am the best wife there ever was. He shot a few rounds of different killing machines and then the 3 of us each did one round with a 50cal cannon. It was frightening and I’ll happily never do that again. But N was happy and that makes me happy.
Tuesday 17th: Spent the afternoon with my parents at various wine farms and then had a lovely dinner and visit at my friend V’s house. She’s one of my staunchest IVF supporters so I was really excited to have her meet Lucky and her second son was born just before I got pregnant and it was a dream come true to see them
fight with each other play together.
Wednesday 18th: Lucky’s 2nd birthday. A much needed rest day. We just did a cake and some lunch at home.
Thursday 19th: Last day in Cape Town. My bestie L and I got matching musical note tattoo’s. Yay! We umm’d and ahh’d about it for a few days because of the price but ended up just peeing into the wind. I’m glad we did. I love her. Big pre-christmas dinner at home with friends. My other bestie flew in from Jo’burg. We stayed up late having drinks. I wish we’d gone out that night but we had to be up at 4am for the road trip. We also did a secret santa swap with a few friends and kids.
Friday 20th: My brother and SIL and niece and nephews and my parents and the three of us drove (7+hrs) to Port Elizabeth (my home town) for the 2nd half of the trip. Arrive safely to my eldest brother’s house and rest.
Saturday 21st: My nephew T’s blessing. All our friends are there. It was lovely seeing everyone. Lots of drinking and catching up. That night we did a ladies night. All of us went to a club for a 90’s party. The best! I think we got home around 1ish?
Sunday 22nd: Lucky’s birthday party! We had a jumping castle (bouncy house) a little bike track where kids could ride their bikes and a jungle gym. It was outdoors and it was a beautiful, cloudless, breezy day. We had a little dinosaur egg hunt for the kiddos, ate some food, sang happy birthday, fought off ants and caught up with each other. The food was good (ish). Everyone had a blast (I hope). I certainly did. I saw everyone I’d hoped to see. It was just perfect.
Monday 23rd: I took Lucky and N to the beach front so we could walk on the pier and grab some lunch and spend a little bit of time just the 3 of us. I think this was the time when I felt the most in love home and when I realised how difficult it would be to say goodbye this time around.
Tuesday 24th: Christmas Eve. My family (parents, brothers, wives, kids) went to a restaurant for quick lunch. It turned out to be the best bit of family time. We usually all go to midnight mass but I had an interesting discussion with my mother about where she, a ‘staunch’ Christian, stands with the church now. Long story short, I didn’t have to go to midnight mass and she almost opted out too because she was tired lol. We went to our friends’ annual stoep party (stoop party). Met up with some other friends I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Lucky stayed with my dad. We stayed pretty late, I think we got home around 2am. Another one of the best nights.
Wednesday 25th: Christmas. We had lunch at home. Again, just our family and a little bit of extended family. Guys, I love Christmas. I love it!! I got a picture of Lucky and all his cousins and I almost exploded right then and there. After lunch all the married ones went to visit their in-laws. My cousins came to visit and one brought her fiance who is lovely. Then afterwards we all went to my SIL’s sister’s house to do another secret santa in our friends group and the kids again. And then just hung out for a while. This was the best and worst night because Christmas! but also because it was ending soon.
Thursday 26th: In retaliation for ladies night, the boys did a boys day. Us ladies decided to spend the day at L’s house with the kids to swim and have our tequila prawn day. This is something I started years ago with my friend S. We just bought a bottle of tequila and a kilogram of prawns and ate and got drunk. It evolved into something that I do every time I visit. There’s not much else to it than that, except now with the kids we couldn’t get blackout drunk. And this time instead of shots of tequila we made grown up margaritas that were sipped them responsibly. We ended up leaving around 9pm to fetch the boys.
Friday 27th: Last day :(. 6 of us in the girls group went to get another group tattoo. We all got the Friends logo on our forearms. This is what my friend L wrote about it, in case you’re wondering why we would get a tattoo about a tv show, which I believe is problematic now, depending on how woke you are.
Afterwards, we all went to lunch and then N and I had to rush home so we said a very teary goodbye to everyone at the restaurant. At home my brothers and their families were there to say goodbye as well. I’m getting teary just thinking about it. My parents drove us back to Cape Town and we slept over half way in Mosselbay at my parents’ holiday house. Amidst my sadness I was reveling in getting spend another day or so with just my parents.
Saturday 28th: We made it to Cape Town around lunchtime. Enough time to pack and buy a few more last minute gifts and food items for home. We had lunch with my parents at the airport and at 3pm and said our final goodbyes. It was teary but I think I held it together okay. The flight back home was uneventful and we made it back into our warm house at 5pm on Sunday the 29th.
It was perfect.
I do have one regret though. Just one.
One of my close friends back home is going through some fertility struggles. They’ll be embarking on a second IUI soon. And I deeply regret not engaging with her properly about it. We’ve spoken briefly about it on group chats and I reached out once or twice privately to let her know that I was around if she wanted to talk. But further than that I didn’t know what else to say. How is that possible? And I wish I could say I never had alone time with her but there were opportunities. I could’ve asked how she was holding up and if she wanted to vent. If I’m being honest with myself it’s because it was too hard for me to be face to face with infertility, I think. This is the first person who’s close to me who I know and saw in real life who can relate and I felt extra fragile around her like everything I’d had neatly locked away was coming to the surface. One of the nights she touched my pineapple necklace. As soon as she mentioned it my eyes started prickling with tears and I quickly changed the subject. I changed the subject! This was probably her moment where she wanted to talk and I couldn’t do it. I froze and I choked and I couldn’t be there for her. What. The. Fuck. The truth is every time I saw her I wanted to cry with her and hold her and but I felt like I needed to be strong for her and since I have Lucky, it wasn’t my turn to cry and be sad. It’s my turn to be supportive and strong.
I don’t know. I feel like I owe her an apology. This isn’t about me, it’s about her journey now and I know how isolating it can be and I don’t want that for her. I need to fix it. About the necklace. I had wanted to buy her one and take it with me but I ran out of time and, I think subconsciously I couldn’t do it because I knew I would break down if I gave it to her. On our last day when we were getting our tattoos, while she was getting hers I quickly ran away with another friend to look for a pineapple charm somewhere but couldn’t find one anywhere. I have bought her one now in addition to a few other things in a care package that I’m going to send her with a note (or a letter) with my feelings expressed a little better. Maybe I should just link her to this blog too. I just want her to know that I love her and I get it and I’m here.
Infertility sucks y’all. But you already know that.
I hope you all had a good Christmas and New year. I hope 2020 is going to make all our dreams come true. and I want you all to know that I love you and I get it an I’m here.
I’m too tired to re-read and check this for errors. So good luck reading :).