The main thing that I remembered about being pregnant was that I was tired and out of breath, and oh yeah, I was emotional. My emotions were so close to the surface that I found it embarrassing.
On the first day back to school, Bob and I biked up to the university. We had spent a lot of the summer biking around. We had biked about 120 miles to my hometown, we had biked to my friend’s wedding and we had biked to his parents place. These were all long rides.
There was a large hill between our apartment and the university that we had to go up. I noticed that I was short of breath. I figured that it could be the increase in traffic on this particular road up to the school, but it was not. Before I even knew that I was pregnant, I was short of breath.
On one day, Bob asked me if I was going to the library. I said no. He replied, “That’s great!” and I started to cry. Sad commercials, normal interactions with people were all making me weepy.
The other great difference was that I needed way more sleep. We were living about a half of an hour walk from the university when I first got pregnant. Bob wanted to take dancing lessons and even though I tried to attend with him, I was exhausted. I was a full time student. We did not own a car. Walking for an hour to do a dance class seemed unreasonable to me.
Bob was upset. He wanted to take these lessons. He had a good friend, an older man, that danced with his wife and that was what Bob wanted. He invited another woman to take the classes with him. To him, this was a great solution. I did not need to go and he could go with someone that wanted to go.
In baseball, when the batter goes up to the plate, the next batter goes into a spot beside the batter and warms up. This is called being “on deck”. The advantage is that the next batter is there and ready when it is their turn to go to bat. The position of this warm up space allows the batter, that is on deck, to see how the pitcher is throwing from a perspective that is closer to the perspective of being up at bat. Essentially, it means that the next person is ready to step in as soon as the play is completed.
Bob always had someone “on deck”. This sounds so much worse as I write this story. In my own defense, my world had been reduced to going to class, doing homework and sleeping. The fact that Bob now did not even come home one evening a week—it was easier to stay on campus before the dance class and only come home later after the class— did not have the significance that it actually had both at the time and in hindsight.
It was all that I could do to make it through the work that I had to do without babysitting my husband and questioning his motives. By the middle of the school year I was exhausted and ill. We had moved to a smaller apartment closer to campus and the move was an additional stress.
The day of my small animal final exam I had the flu. I remember vaguely Bob being there and me having to say to him, “Could you call med services?” Med services was the on campus medical facility. It was a doctor’s office for all of the students that attended the university. They were the official people to call if you were going to miss one of your exams because of illness. I was vomiting so frequently that it was difficult to make the call myself. Bob left. He said that I was sick and that there was nothing that he could do for me, so he left.
I made the call, leaving the phone twice to go to the washroom to vomit. It became clear while speaking to this woman that the option of crawling back into bed was not open to me. I either had to come into med services and actually vomit there for them or I had to write my final.
With the option of going back to bed off of the table, I decided to write my exam. I explained to the professor that I was sick and my conversation with med services. They put me in a professor’s office that had an adjoining bathroom and I wrote my small animal medicine and surgery exam in a haze of fever, vomiting and this surreal out of body feel that made me think that I was about to faint. I passed, but I did not do very well.
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