Lord Miros and other animals

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Annus morosus

I am living in capricious times. Events this year have moved like quicksilver; it's funny how you can sit on your arse for so long expecting nothing much to happen, and then pretty much everything seems to happen at once. Whichever divine shit-stirrer is pulling my strings is certainly having some shits and giggles with me this year.

January was off to a fine start; Alice got the ball rolling early by hacking up in a Stars tournament for $10,000. Which was nice. Vague thoughts played in my head that maybe she should become a poker pro and I could follow my inevitable career in burger-flipping or telesales. Then came superbowl night, and I got one over on the jammy tart by winning the Sunday Warm-Up for $109,000. Which was nicer.

Just as it seemed life couldn't get much sweeter, a mere 4 days later Alice discovered she was pregnant and, despite my skepticism, she insisted that I was the father. This was especially impressive as we had only just started trying, yet somehow one of my booze-addled tadpoles had hit the bullseye at the first attempt. There then followed several days of me strutting around referring to myself as The Inseminator, along with offering to impregnate Alice's sister (for a small fee), and earnestly warning other females not to stray within 3 feet of me, lest I inadvertently knock them up too. I'm sure Alice and pretty much everyone else soon tired of my incessant lewdness, but the important thing is that I never did.

Anyway, the next few weeks were all very exciting. There were blood tests, visits to the midwife, peculiar e-mails from websites telling us that the baby was now the size of an olive / grape / avocado or basically any other bite-sized fruit or veg you can think of. I predicted a girl; a name was decided. We discussed designs for the nursery. After a while I told most of my friends, who seemed surprisingly pleased for me. I felt like a big man.

Well, then of course it happened; the world caved in around us. We were delighted to get to the 12-week stage as after that there is very little chance of miscarriage, so we thought the hard bit was out of the way. We were wrong. Alice had been skittish leading up to the 12-week scan, but I wrote it off as hormonal and told her not to worry. As it turned out, maybe her body was trying to tell her something. The 12-week scan revealed what the doctor described as 'major problems'. I won't bore you with the details. What's worse, even though we were in tears and essentially given no hope, the doctor wanted to wait another 2 weeks, just to make sure. That wasn't much fun. The next fortnight was the most agonising of our lives, especially as we knew that there wasn't really any light at the end of the tunnel. It was especially horrifying for Alice, which was in turn especially upsetting for me, knowing that I was powerless to help. I didn't play much poker in that time; probably for the best. My supernova status on Stars can go fuck itself.

When the fortnight finally passed, we were told what we expected; the poor little mite had zero chance of survival. Further horror awaited, as we then had to spend an entire day in hospital with Alice undergoing a very traumatising procedure, and me missing a great deal of the snooker. Eventually, just before madness set in, we were home. It felt like a much emptier place.

That was in April; time has passed, and we are recovering. Our friends found out in dribs and drabs, and have been wonderful. We inadvertently staggered telling them, which happily meant a near-constant supply of flowers arriving at the door. Frustratingly we were told we may have to wait up to 3 months to find out the results of the blood tests and post-mortem to determine whether it was a genetic problem or a developmental one-off. Just a few days ago the initial results came back, and we were informed that it was, in all likelihood, a one-off. There is a renewed sense of hope creeping back in to our lives.

In fact, June seems to be progressing on a nice upward curve all-round. I fluked my way to winning a step 6 for my seat in Vegas, and on Saturday Alice followed up in a $650 satellite. For the first time we will both be playing the World Series Main Event. I don't fancy my chances in a last-longer. Now all I need is for us both to make the final, and that when we return in November Alice is once again heavy with child, preferably mine. Is that too much to ask?

I think I'd better start going to church.