We made it to Canada safely.
We were at the airport an hour early for our 45 minute flight to Newark. Bryn and I got to see my brother and his wife for most of our 4 hour layover in New Jersey. That was really nice. The big brother gave me grief about my grey hair, but I smacked him, so it's all good now.
We sat on the tarmac for over half an hour while the ground crew hauled out all the luggage looking for bags from a family of four who were not on our flight anymore. The pregnant lady with the tiny bladder was not amused. Two hours later, we were in Halifax. Two hours later, we were at the house.
Three hours in the air, two hours in the car, four hours in Newark and we shaved nearly seven hours off the usual time to make it up here. Bryn said he'd have rather driven. Aside from getting to see my brother and his wife, I'm inclined to agree. I like the scenery, the navigating, the Tim Horton's. But I do like flying, even after 9/11. I was positively giddy leaving the runway the first time. Bryn kept telling me to calm down, but he smiled when he said it.
We are here to settle Bryn's father's estate. Bob died last August, three weeks after Bryn and I had started trying to conceive, one week into our frantic move to Burlington. Needless to say, this has been a really rough time for Bryn. His father will never meet our son. His father will never see us settled into a real home. He will never have Yankee Thanksgiving with us. Nor will our son get to ride on the tractor with Grumpy Bob (the nickname Bryn's nephew gave him many years ago), or go fishing with him, or just sit in the truck having an ice cream cone. Grumpy Bob will never teach him to drive a nail or change his own oil. Bryn had obviously planned on teaching these things to our son (and Alex), but they were the things his father had taught him, and the values that his father had instilled within him that will never be shared in person. I was very fond of Bob. We had a very comfortable relationship. I am very pissed off that he is dead.
Bryn and I were pretty stressed out come the second day of this trip. Things were missing, feelings were hurt, and I haven't been sleeping well. Bryn's sister decided we needed to go to the beach. As much as I hate my bathing suit, I had to agree with her. Cool water fixes many ills.
There is something wonderfully practical about Nova Scotians. They farm or they fish, historically at least. The shorelines are largely undeveloped and the water is cool enough that very few people go to the beach. We were there two hours and about fifteen minutes before we left a couple of girls showed up with a blanket. That's it. Two hundred yards to the western point and as far as I could see to the east - no one else. Just us.
Let me describe the beach. We parked just off the "road", which was really two ruts through the rough. Climb a slight rise through the sea grass to a swath of rocks that go all the way that way and all the way the other way, but it's only about thirty yards wide. The rocks are almost all rounded with a few pieces of rectangular sandstone and all between softball and kickball sized. The rocks in Nova Scotia are wonderful. They are completely colorblind. Pure white ones nestled amongst the blue, grey, black and pink ones. Pale blue, slate blue, dark blue; pale pink, rose pink, orange-pink; light grey, dark grey, grey with stark white stripes all there together not caring who they trip. Then there is a coarse sand beach with small rounded pebbles thrown in for good measure and one or two bigger rocks just so you can't put down a blanket without covering one. Then the water line starts. Lots of the little pebbles with the rough sand for about five feet. Then the bigger rocks start again for another five to ten feet. Then sand. Not rough sand, like the beach, but soft silky sand like you want to dig your toes into or make sand castles with - except it's at least three feet underwater.
The water. Bryn, standing chest deep, could see his toes. Me going in as far as my toes made me gasp. I did brave it though. Walking across the rocks under the water was a little scary. They shifted with the waves and under my weight. Not knowing the beach and how far out the rocks went and how shallow it was further out made traversing them scary and a little dangerous. Gratefully, I am buoyant. I got to my navel and made a very shallow dive. After having been in the warmth of the sun, with it beating on my shoulders, that water was COLD! My fingers hurt. Oddly, my toes were fine.
Swimming in the ocean is so different than swimming in lakes and ponds. Rivers are close, but salt water cleanses the soul in a way that no other water does. Just bobbing and floating along healed a lot of what needed to be healed Tuesday afternoon. Maybe we can stop again Saturday morning.
I was buoyant and happy. Coming out of the water over the rocks was awful. Not only were the rocks shifting, but I was suddenly much heavier. The baby seemed to be riding much lower. I was off balance and scared. I actually plopped down in the water and told Bryn I was staying because I couldn't do it. I couldn't walk across those rocks with all that off balance weight. Bryn came and gave me his arm. I was still unhappy.
We sat on the beach for a bit and then decided we should head back to the house. We all jumped in for one more quick dip. This one was quicker, but it took no time to get submerged. Cold Northern Atlantic waters be damned. We all got soaked and happy.
Getting out was even worse this time. My pelvis started the separation thing the instant my stomach was out of the water. My hips hurt. I wanted to be on my hands and knees and just crawl. I was in a lot of pain. And I still needed to get back across the sand and the rocks and more sand to get to the car. Bryn held my arm and nudged me to walk in the sea grass rather than on the sand where my shifting weight on the shifting sands made my pelvis scream and terrified Bryn that I was going to fall. My mantra, "I'm fine," was repeated for both of our benefits. I tried to say it with conviction. I told Bryn it was a good thing. He started saying, "Peeled grape," with as much conviction as he could muster. We made it back to the car. Getting in hurt, but sitting was good.
We had to go out to dinner. The realtor was showing the house at six, so we decided to go to an Indian restaurant in town that had been getting rave reviews. I was slightly uncomfortable on the trip into town, but the worst part is that the trip takes about half an hour and I stiffen up in less time than that. Bryn has taken to giving me the passenger seat and sitting behind me because he is convinced it's easier for me to get in and out of the front seat. I don't know if he's right or not, but it's nice having him behind me to hold my shoulder.
We parked just beyond the restaurant and Bryn heaved me out of the car. By the time we got to the restaurant I was pretty limbered up. It was closed. No hours were posted. No Closed sign in the window; just dark and locked up tighter than a drum. So we debated going back the way we came to an Italian restaurant or keep going to the restaurant that we had eaten at after the wake last year. We went to the one with a bit of history for us.
The walk went well. Dinner was lovely. Dessert was fantastic. Turns out that it was bought by new people in May and they just reopened a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if it's the pregnancy or what, but I got halfway through my sandwich and decided that I wanted Bryn's mashed potatoes. He switched plates with me. Something about denying the incubator of his only child nothing. I'm glad he liked my sandwich.
I was stiff from the restaurant, so everyone went on ahead of us. Bryn, as usual, stayed by my side and walked the extra five feet to the button for the crosswalk. He held my arm when I was wobbly and helped me down into the car.
When we were about five miles from the house (thank you Mother Webb for your roadside signage) I got a sharp constant pain from what I can only assume was my round ligament. It went from my groin, around my hip, and all the way up my left side to my rib cage. It hurt so badly that I couldn't speak. I just gasped and clutched the armrest. My toes were curled the entire ride home. Bryn had his hand on my shoulder, as usual, and I just clung to it. There was nothing else to be done. It ebbed a bit after a few minutes, but the pain remained until after we arrived at the house. I remember saying something about delivering in Middlebury and Bryn conversed with his step-mother and sister about where we will be delivering, where our closest hospital is, etc... It kept the focus off of me, which is all I really cared about.
We got to the house and I was hoisted out by Bryn. I sent him into the house to get my belly-strap and I walked up and down the driveway as well as I was able. It occurred to me that it was the first time in a long time that I hadn't worn a belly-band, or something similar, all day. Bryn was disappointed in me that I had left my brand new belly support at home. It had come in the mail on Friday and I misplaced it almost immediately.
I slept poorly. There are swalls in the upstairs bedroom. I had to get up four times last night and I hit my head on the slanted ceiling/wall at least once. The rise on the stairs is such that I have to crawl up them with my hands on the step ahead of me. I have to go down them sideways. And the railing is so loose that I want to pull it like a tooth. I'm sure it would come. And the bed is tiny and creaky. It's a double that sags a bit in the middle and the frame is not built to support the weight of both my husband and myself. Bryn has offered to put the mattress on the floor, but that would just make it harder to get up out of it.
This morning, just as Monday morning, I got my last two hours sleeping on a loveseat because I couldn't bear the thought of crawling up the stairs, ducking my head, creaking into the overly hot bed, and trying to fall back to sleep again. I just couldn't do it one more time. I was rewarded with screwed up pregnancy dreams. They were very weird. I may post about them later.
Anyway. Canada. I love Canada. I will gladly return when all is said and done. Right now. I really want to go home.