Monday, April 28, 2014

The Fertile Coconut

This post might be all over the place because I'm kind of all over the place.  I think I'll start with the sad stuff first (which is not pregnancy related) and then go into my Indian baby shower.

Over the weekend, I was out at my in-laws' place and Saturday was so busy I wound up not getting to check in with Dad, but my sister talks to him most days too, so I knew she'd let me know if there was an issue.  On Sunday I found out that Dad has been having some trouble with urination (as in, feels like he has to go, not much happens).  It was very bad Friday night into Saturday morning, to the point where he thought about going to the ER, but then it resolved and he felt better.  Today when I talked to him, he sounded pretty down.  He's going for chemo tomorrow, and he'll talk to the doctor about what happened and about getting it checked out.  We're both concerned that it's his pelvic tumor, perhaps applying pressure to his bladder or urethra.  It's hard, knowing that you're dying, and I know that it makes Dad sad, especially when he thinks about his family.  Yesterday I felt terribly sad thinking about the reality of losing Dad in the near future.  I kept thinking "I'll be all alone, I won't have a family anymore."  I know this isn't true - that I have my husband and (hopefully in 7 weeks) my son, loving friends, and despite how different we are, my sister.  And I realize it's kind of whiny to be talking about "what about meeeee????" when someone else is dealing with the reality of his or her death, but I think it's probably normal when it's your parents.  I just wish we had more time.  I wish it weren't happening now.  I guess that would always be the case, but now feels like just the worst.  For so many reasons.

After I got off the phone with Dad, I found out that a good friend of my mom's from where she used to work died yesterday.  He was a really nice man.  I'm sad for him and his family, but I also just feel sad in general because it's one more person who knew and loved my mom who's gone.  I hate that.  My parents had me kind of late - Mom was almost 40 and Dad was nearly 43.  If you're having your kids later, or you know what, just in general - take care of yourself.  Try to eat healthy and get your colonoscopies and exercise and quit smoking.  Try to be around for a long time for your kids.  They want you around.


So, it was my Indian baby shower on Saturday.  I kept calling it that because I didn't know the actual name for it, and neither did Jeeves.  I think it's actually referred to as Godh Bharai, though different parts of India have different names for it.  Unfortunately, early last week I came down with a nasty cold (thank you, co-worker, who is always sick and never ever stays home when he's sick and coughs and snots all over the place.... I really appreciate the gift).  I took it really easy at the end of last week so I'd feel okay on Saturday, but Saturday rolled around and I still felt like turds.  My doctor warned me that in pregnancy, colds tend to last longer.  Fun.  Adding to the fun on Saturday - Jeeves had a fender bender (not while I was in the car, and no one got hurt) and our nephew A (age 5) discovered an engorged tick in his head.  Despite all this, the Godh Bharai was really, really fun and everyone had a good time.

My mother-in-law did not give me a hard time at all about what I wanted to wear, probably because she was so busy with other party preparations.  I decided to wear one of my own dresses, but paired it with a very pretty scarf she brought back for me from Calcutta, a necklace she got me, and then I borrowed some bangles from her (very large) collection.  She seemed really happy with the final look.  The next day I tried on the one Indian top I have that she thought would still fit - she was right, it does still fit me.  But it's a lot more casual than what I wore for the baby shower, so I think it worked out for the best (and I promised to wear the Indian top to the rehearsal dinner for Jeeves' uncle's wedding in two weeks).

As for the ceremony itself, it went the way most other ceremonies go and I felt pretty chill about the whole thing even though I don't love being the center of attention.  Here's the basket I had to hold on my lap - a little blurry.  Ammie told me that the coconut in the center represents my fertility and my womb.

Jeeves asked me what it represented and I told him and we had a good snicker about that and whether the coconut was defective.  It reminded me of a bib Wendy gave me that says "Home Grown" on it.  I remarked to her, "Home Grown.... and with the assistance of the lab technician who washed my husband's sperm, and the doctor who injected it through the catheter into my uterus."  Anyway, Ammie did her part of the ceremony and she cried, because she always cries at these things.  Then the other women present bestowed blessings on me and Manuji.  It was nice.  Then we ate!

The only downside to the evening was that I felt pretty crummy from this cold.  By Sunday, I felt even worse because I just can't sleep in strange beds anymore - I have to sleep in my bed, with my memory foam mattress pad, and my pillow fort.  My in-laws sent me home with a jar of crushed ginger and strict instructions to steep the ginger in hot water and drink three cups a day.  I have to add a lot of honey to it, but it does seem to help loosen my cough.

And now a funny story about my nephew, A, who is very excited about his new cousin.  You may recall that A is the one who came up with the name "Manuji" in the first place (and I should add that he's kind of sad that we're not actually naming the baby Manuji).  He really wanted to see Manuji moving, and when the little fetus finally did move a bunch for A, he shrieked and ran to tell his mother.  Later on, I mentioned that Manuji was head down, A poked my boob and said, "Are these his feet?"  I wish, kid.


  1. What a relief the shower went so well!! I bet you looked gorgeous :)

    I'm so sorry about your parents, though. I can't imagine the pain you must be going through, must already have gone through, but I hope you're able to have your father with you a while longer, and that as many of his days are pain free as possible. Thinking of you <3

    1. Thanks, Adi. I hope we have a little longer and as much as possible is without pain for him too. And thank you so much for being such a stalwart commenter - it means a lot to me.

  2. Anonymous5:26 PM

    The shower sounds so lovely! I'm thinking maybe I need my own fertile coconut, maybe that's what I'm missing from the IVF picture :). So sorry about your Dad, it is so, very, very hard and I hope that the process is as kind to your father and you as it possibly can be. Your note about parents taking care of themselves for their kids definitely resonated with me, as my dad pretty much died of diabetes and strokes all because he never took care of himself and was obese for much of his life, so I echo that sentiment.

    1. Thanks, Smile. YES, that's exactly what I meant - my mother didn't take care of herself and she was so stressed from work the last year of her life, and Dad refused to get the colonoscopy until it was too late (I never mention that to him because he beats himself up about it enough). But from losing Mom, and now with Dad, all I can think is how important it is to take care of yourself so you can try and be around for as long as you can with your family and loved ones. We need to get you a fertile coconut! That is clearly what your infertility journey has been missing. ;)