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Rory Gardiner's Webpage

14, Jul, 2010

Wednesday 14th July 2010


We have had fantastic weather for the past week.  It has been below 0 degrees in the morning, white outside with thick frost.  The snow is low on Mt Taranaki, and we have had a clear view across to the central North Island mountains; Tongariro, Ngaruhoe and Ruapehu. 

We have been busy during the school holidays.  Rory had his first haircut in a year, getting the fluff trimmed by the hairdresser who tidied up Sam’s thick Gardiner hair.  The boys have been playing independently; building with the lego, drawing, reading, playing board games (Rory loves The Moa Hunt), baking (pikelets, cakes, scones), tackling puzzles, playing on the trampoline (which we finally got up as a team effort), and engaging in Nerf gun war.  They have spent considerable time out the back with Sean shooting a target with their bows and arrows.  The boys and I have been bike riding regularly, discovering and investigate Inglewood.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to stretch my legs, and the boys have needed the exercise.  Rory is enjoying being mobile (with speed) back on his bike, and is easily recognised in the community because of his trike.  We had a visit from Dainne Kissick, the Taranaki Support Worker for the Child Cancer Foundation (CCF).  She brought the Beads of Courage so we were able to update Rory’s collection, and two new sibling beads for Sam.  Rory threaded his new beads, and he now has close to 900!  We have made several trips into New Plymouth; shopping, visiting Nana and Poppa Honnor (Poppa had an operation on his hand and nose last week so has been out of action), and attending the Taranaki Children’s Extravaganza at the TSB stadium for children who have been through a hard time in their lives.  Sam spent an afternoon with cousin Logan (who is still out of action with an elevated broken leg in a cast) at their villa under the mountain, and we joined everyone in the evening for an extended family dinner (thanks Wendy and Jas).  On a frosty Sunday morning we visited Barrett’s Lagoon to record and count birds with the Taranaki branch of OSNZ (Ornithological Society).  I loved seeing and hearing a large group of Tui in the bottlebrush.  On Monday night we had dinner with the Inglewood Lions, and gave a half hour presentation, as they were interested in hearing about Rory’s (and our journey).  We have made one trip to the movies to see Karate Kid with Wendy and Logan. 

We are all well, but I am a bit unsettled.  I keep waiting for something to go wrong with my pregnancy, and the baby.  I never felt this way when I was pregnant with the boys.  I never worried about whether they would be born healthy.  I assumed they would be.  I think my current feelings have a little to do with being 10 years older, and much to do with Rory’s cancer diagnosis.  I had an amniocentesis at Taranaki Base Hospital last Wednesday.  Sean was with me.  The Obstetrician used the ultrasound to locate the baby, and a pocket of amniotic fluid, then plunged a long fine needle into my tummy.  When he tried to draw amniotic fluid nothing came out.  Sean started to sway and I had to get the Nurse to help sit him down as he was close to passing out.  The Doctor used a smaller syringe to draw back and slowly the fluid came.  I felt tears rolling down my cheeks, not from the pain, although it did hurt, but because of what we have had to do, and the risks to the baby from of our actions.  I think I will always wait for the next bolt out of the blue, one so powerful, frightening and catastrophic it shatters your world into small pieces.  These feeling have made this pregnancy very subdued.  There has been limited celebration because of what might be around the next corner.  I don’t want it to be like this, but I can’t help it.  As the time for Rory’s return to Starship draws closer I find myself becoming more anxious about what might be ahead for all of us.  We went to the midwife yesterday and listened to the baby’s heartbeat, and apart from my excess of glucose everything was fine.  This was reassuring.