31 March 1983

Letter: Waiting in Darwin

Letter 31 / 3 / 83

On Monday I had an ultrasound and a pelvic x-ray - the doctor couldn't turn the baby. Yesterday I had my last clinic visit. They said according to the 'rules' this baby should be born by Caesarian section ... all rather depressing. The baby is very big, its breech, its sitting well above the pelvis, and its "flexed" (got its knees bent and feet down) - all very bad signs. He said there is no such thing as "trial labour" with a breech baby, you have to decide ahead of time whether the baby can make it rather than risk hanging the baby and having to decide to have a CS at that late stage. Then he had a look at my pelvic x-ray ... he said its a long time since he's seen one that big!

James is like a cat on hot bricks - he tends to be over-sensitive at the best of times. His poor little face is covered in blotchy red prickly heat. He won't let me out of his sight, and he wakes up umpteen times a night to make sure I'm here. I guess we haven't been careful enough about what's been overheard. He's sleep-walking again too, so we have to leave a light on and make sure the outside doors are well fastened.

12 March 1983

Letter: Darwin

Letter 12 / 3 / 83

Its so WET here. The wet season has truly arrived at last. It has rained continuously for about four days and nights now. Anywhere else in the world we would be under about four feet of water by now. Fortunately the "soil" around her is so gravelly it all just keeps draining away. The other night we are told we had a mere 7 1/2 inches - I think last night would have beaten that. It would get boring except it manages to vary between heavy, very heavy, and camels and buffalos falling out of the sky ... with or without thunder and lightning. Most of the thunder comes at night - not only does it terrify James so we have to bring him in with us, but its just not possible to sleep with an express train roaring through your bedroom (not like these quiet steamrollers that creep across your mattress...in the adverts).

The boys (James, and Nathan from next door) love the water, of course. As long as its not actually cameling and buffaloing (which would hammer the little tikes into the ground) they run around out there and 'swim' in the drain. Actually you can practically swim on the 'lawn' too, and they love the 'splat! splat!' sound and feel as their little feet sink ankle-deep in watery grass. The 'drain' is just a wide, shallow, long indent by the road - not like the Sydney storm drains. The bit across the front of our place has grass growing in it, which makes it nice and soft when you spin around and around until you are dizzy and fall over in the water. Everyone who is passing stops to watch and laugh at James and Nathan.