Dear Diary, as you can see from the slideshow above, the past year has been busy, if not fruitful. We’ve spent most of our time working to fix our place up and the result is pleasing to me even if Ruby joked on her last visit that I had a “grandma house.” But you’ll see that in a minute.
In the pictures, you can see that we’ve cleared the land, repaired the fences and brought everything up to snuff so we could have a couple cows, some chickens and a decent garden. This years’ harvest isn’t bad at all.
The best thing, in my book, is that we also managed to get two horses. If you know me, you know this makes life complete!
Without further ado, these are the pictures of my “granny house.” Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why Ruby teased me about the decor. It does look old fashioned and matronly. But when you’re watching every simoleon, you tend to buy things second hand. This requires a lot of sewing for furniture covers and the like.
The wallpaper is used throughout the entire first floor except for the kitchen because it was an old pattern that was discontinued, meaning, we could actually afford it after some saving.
While it may look like a little old lady decorated it, Matt and I are very proud of our accomplishments so far. It feels like home to us and in the end, that’s what matters the most.
As the sun rises, I gather the eggs and begin making breakfast while Matthieu milks the cows and feeds everyone. It wasn’t long before we had our routine so well timed, that I’m putting a hot plate of food on the table as he’s coming in from washing up.
After breakfast, he rides to the fields to work until lunch time which again, I try to time just right so when he comes in starving, the bread is still warm. For me, there is nothing like the cozy aroma of bread baking. When I turn it out of the pan to cool, there is something so comforting in knowing that my kitchen smells like “home.”
Behind the house, I found a hollowed out tree full of bees. At first, I was leery of approaching it, so I asked Alice the best way to get at the honey. She began describing to me, in Alice fashion, very detailed instructions of steps to take until she realized I wasn’t catching on quite as fast as she was talking.
The thing is, I’m more of a hands on person, so I was very relieved that she went with me and showed me how instead. The first time I got the honey on my own, I walked away pretty stung up, so there was definitely something I was missing! It’s a good thing I’m not allergic.
When Alice came over for tea that day, she saw my bee stings and taught me how to make a paste from baking soda and water which we dabbed on the stings. It did seem to help, but I sure looked weird with white pasty dots all over. She said rhubarb juice right from the stalk works, too.
Anyway, I’m getting to be an old pro at the honey thing now, thanks to Alice. She truly is a human encyclopedia.
Evenings are my favorite time because Matt and I have had dinner and can relax for a while together. We usually do the evening dishes together and then retire to the living room.
And we do a lot of that!
Tonight, though, there was something I needed to tell him since I was now certain. I had always dreamed of this moment… looking into his eyes and romantically saying….
” – Are you pregnant?” he exclaimed.
I couldn’t stop my jaw from dropping about ten feet. Then I clamped it shut and hit him in the arm. “Honestly! Why did you say that?”
“It was the way you were looking at me, I guess. Am I right?”
“I wanted to surprise you!” I loudly complained with a huff.
“You did!” he grinned. Then he looked at me all googly-eyed. “Do you feel okay? When do you think you’re due? Have you seen the midwife? There’s so much to do!”
“Slow down there, cowboy,” I smiled, getting caught up in his excitement, not that I didn’t have plenty of that on my own. “I feel great, I think I’m due in about six months and I’ll see the midwife soon.”
After that, we agreed not to tell anyone right away. Not just because there was always a chance of miscarriage early on, but because it felt really special having this secret with him. It was something only the two of us knew and for a while, it stayed a secret since I didn’t show right away. However, every time we looked at each other, something passed between us… a smile, a “knowing.” It was when the people around us began to notice these special looks we had with each other that they began to suspect a baby was on the way.
By my fifth month, I didn’t realize how much I was showing until the morning I went downstairs to make breakfast and it was suddenly more difficult to tie my apron behind me. It was as if, all of a sudden, I’d popped or something!
This didn’t distress me in the least, though. Instead, it made me more excited to meet my baby. I could feel him or her moving around or poking a foot in my side and it filled me with so much anticipation, I couldn’t hardly stand it.
That was also about the time, Matthieu came home from visiting the St. Cyr farm with a new little companion who we called Bootsie. He was the sweetest Beagle and quickly became a part of our family, going everywhere with us.
I’ve often heard women discussing how uncomfortable pregnancy was for them. Granted, I had no reference for comparison, but honestly, even though I had less energy than usual, I’d never felt better.
After what happened with Audrey-Ann’s last pregnancy, I was concerned about having a baby at first. She was gravely ill throughout the entire process. When I would go to see her, there were times she couldn’t even lift her head off the pillow. The midwife called it hyperemesis gravidarum. Whatever it was, Audrey-Ann lost weight and became very dehydrated. Elliott was so distressed that one morning, he scooped her up into his arms and took her to the mainland where she was hospitalized. I believe he saved their lives and so I instructed Matthieu to do the same if I became ill like that.
Although everything was going swimmingly for me, unwelcome thoughts sometimes found their way into my head. What if all pregnancies were as difficult as hers? In the end, she and the baby had come through fine, but even with the most experienced midwife on the island, Audrey-Ann had nearly lost her life.
Matt had found that if I was at all troubled, I had a picnic basket ready for dinner instead of staying home. He always went along with the flow, not questioning it. He never pried but he didn’t seem uninterested either. Just being near him, knowing that he loved me and this child as much as I did, was enough to quell any doubts or fears I had.
We returned often to the spot of our first kiss and also where we were married. I was getting so big, my apron didn’t even fit anymore, but Matthieu said he found that very attractive.
My back was beginning to ache more so, he would stand behind me, letting me lean on him which relieved the pain some.
Either my bladder had shrunk or the baby was resting on it because I spent most nights getting up to relieve myself. This may be TMI, but there were times I didn’t think what I urinated could fill a teaspoon, yet I couldn’t hold it either, so up I got.
Because of this, Matt was really quiet in the mornings so as not to wake me.
One evening was particularly hot and humid and I’d been feeling pretty uncomfortable. There’d been this strange tightening off and on around my middle. It didn’t hurt and it was randomly happening throughout the day, so I just tried to ignore it.
Just before sunset, Matthieu’s parents, Christophe and Helene, stopped by to see how we were doing. By then, the tightening had become more persistent and also moved into my lower back. I was not happy.
“If you’re looking for Matthieu,” I told Christophe, “he’s bedding down the horses.”
“Blue, dear, what’s the matter?” Helene asked, her voice full of concern.
“Oh it’s nothing, really. I’m just not feeling my best today. It’s probably something I ate.”
“Are you sure that’s all it is?” She waited patiently while I explained what I was feeling. As I spoke, she smiled wider and wider. “My dear, I think we’d better put the midwife on alert.”
“Really?” I gasped. Shakily, I put my hands over my abdomen and smiled. Well, it was a smile, but what I was feeling was more a mix between panic and excitement. Would I really meet my baby soon?
As it turned out, I would! I was feeling too uncomfortable to eat supper and went upstairs to get ready for bed instead. When Matt entered the room, I was in serious pain, nearly doubled over as my water broke.
“Oh wow!” he yelled. “I’ll fetch the midwife!”
Real panic began to set in as the contractions became stronger and more regular, filling me with such dread, I didn’t know if I could get through this. “No! I want Alice! Get Alice!”
“B-but what about the midwife?”
Glaring at him through clenched teeth, I said, “You. Get. Me. Alice!”
I’d never looked or spoken to him that way before and boy did he hop to it!
Matt returned with Alice in record time and she was as calm as ever.
“Everything is going to be just fine, Blue,” she assured me.
To my relief, she was right.
Just before the sun rose, Matt carried our newborn son downstairs….
… to meet his waiting grandparents.
Welcome to the world, Charles Matthieu Larochette!