So, a few days before I knew I was pregnant (hah! Pregnant, indeed), I called my sister Trouble about my niece Minx’s upcoming 6th birthday. Was there a party? Was there a plan? And Trouble thought it would be nice for us all (i.e. Minx, her daddy Formerly-Known-As-Fucktard-With-An-Option-On-The-Nickname-Being-Reinstated-If-He-Doesn’t-Grow-A-Pair-Sharpish, Trouble, Diva, my brother-who-doesn’t-have-a-stupid-nickname-because-he’s-too-nice, my Mum, my step-father, Minx’s bestest friend, bestest friend’s parent, H and I) to all go to a sushi bar and then to see ‘Up‘.
(Yes, I did say Minx was turning six, but seriously, the little eccentric adores sushi with the same fervent passion her mother and aunts do).
I thought it was a lovely idea. H and I both wanted to see the film, family outings with raw fish emporia in them are good (we always behave better in public. Like most toddlers, really). And, secretly, I was hoping that the famous opening sequence, which is about infertility (infertility! Dealt with sensitively and In a kids’ cartoon! I know! I was so pleased!) would perhaps assist some of the more relentlessly clueless family members to, umm, get a clue. Or possibly not, but it’s harder for them to argue I am making a fuss if the almighty Pixar thinks I most certainly am not.
And then… And then. Yes. Arse.
I was all prepared to pull out, because a) I am tired and sore and still a little feverish, b) there is a good chance I will bawl hysterically during the movie, c) the six-year-old’s birthday treat is, um, not a good place for bawling aunties and d), well. Family. Duh.
Anyway, I did some pre-emptive ground-laying by calling my mother and just right-out telling her what had happened (novel tactics!). To her credit, or, possibly, to my credit, I did not feel the violent urge to reach down the phone and rip her a new one. We’ve both learned. She has learned not to be such a colossally insensitive runaway juggernaut of Stupid Things To Say. I have learned that I won’t get much support and understanding from her. Love, concern, generosity, gifts, hugs, and mothering, yes. But she had three easy, easily-come-by pregnancies, three full-term easy labours. She does not get it. And, I suppose, never will. (My MIL, on the other hand, burst into tears when H told her the news. But then, she lost a baby between H and his younger brother, so. Poor MIL).
Mum’s one stupid remark of the conversation, just to prove she hadn’t completely lost the knack: ‘I know it’s hard for you, but it’s actually quite exciting that you can get pregnant!’
Err. No. Not if they keep dying.
But at least she acknowledged it was hard for me.
Anyway, there I was, all braced to back out, when Trouble called to finalise plans. And I realised Mum had not shared the news with her at all (WTF? My family normally elevate gossip to a vocation). So I did. And, to my shock, my absolute shock, Trouble said all the right things. She said she was sorry. She said that it sucked. She said that she understood if I couldn’t face family and movie. She asked anxiously if I was OK now, and recovering. She asked how H was doing. She sympathised about all the rushing in and out of hospital. She laughed at my jokes, especially the one about having mastered getting pregnant, so, now, how did staying pregnant go? And we talked about my mother’s relentless jollity in the face of disaster, with daughterly wry amusement.
So, you know, I thought I might go after all. Especially when Trouble said we could hold hands and bawl at the first part of the movie together.