The third trimester is where things got real. Before then, the pregnancy was just one thing that was brewing as we got on with our lives. It was only at this point, around the 28th week of pregnancy, that the pregnancy started to take over. It’s trite to say that there’s a lot that happens in the third trimester, but it’s a little more involved than that – there’s a lot that you have to make happen as well. And, the whole time, you have no idea what you’re doing!
The rhetorical “you”, in this case, is us. We had no idea what we were doing. We reminded ourselves that this sense of total bewilderment is part of the proud tradition of parenthood, but somehow knowing that did not make the process any easier.
In my earlier entry, I explained the mechanics of my impending move to an in-house role at D-Wave. This entry is all about why I’m making the move: the factors I considered and the balance I tried to strike. I had a lot to think about – it took nearly six weeks to come to a decision.
I get asked about the whys of my departure a lot – by my colleagues, by the partners, by my friends (lawyers and non-lawyers alike). It’s hard to condense into a couple of points or a brief sound bite. Fortunately, this is the Internet; we’ve got all the time and space in the world.
I am naturally suspicious of change. I think that this is a trait that a lot of lawyers have, since precedent is often the only safe road in a world of dangers and liabilities. I’m a firm believer in progress by increments, and I prefer to chart course adjustments in arcseconds rather than whole degrees.
So I might be the person who is most surprised to hear that I’m changing career tracks. I’m leaving employment at my long-time firm and starting up somewhere new. I am excited, sad, hopeful, and terrified.
The second trimester started with something that we unashamedly call a babymoon — a trip to Hawaii! We had travelled to Hawaii five years earlier for our honeymoon, and we’d wanted to go back ever since. The pregnancy seemed like as good an excuse as any to go (and it occurred to us that this might be our last chance for some time).
We were not disappointed.
Imagine, for a moment, that the title of this post is not “The First Trimester”. Imagine that you have no reason to suspect that this story involves a pregnancy at all. Imagine, having cleared your mind of all preconceptions, that the story begins thusly:
The Missus’s vomiting started out of nowhere. Well, not nowhere exactly — she had developed some spontaneous stomach issues a few years before, and so this had the smell of a recurrence. The symptoms quickly worsened, to the point where she was heaving up all the food in her belly a dozen times daily. Not even water would stay down. This was a severe episode, even by The Missus’s standards, so we scheduled an urgent appointment with our family doctor. Our urgency only got us an appointment next week, though, so for a few days we were on our own.
Our remaining days in Hong Kong were spent on school and socializing. It was a pleasant shift from the pell-mell touristing and travelling of the previous few months. Our little apartment on the eighth floor of a low-rise (for Hong Kong) waterfront building had begun to feel like home.
Among our friends, we were living in one of the more luxurious apartments — its spacious 550 square feet somehow managed to fit two separate bedrooms and a “dry” bathroom (i.e. a bathroom where the shower is separated from the toilet and sink by a glass enclosure). We paid handsomely for this privilege — our monthly rent was HK$22,500, which (at the time) was roughly CA$3,000.
Our visit to Cebu followed in the grand tradition of our adventures through Asia — The Missus and I slept in while Kat went off adventuring. Specifically, she set out at a truly unpleasant hour to go scuba diving. The Missus has a deep mistrust of the briny deep (she’s still upset about the time I threw her into the surf during our honeymoon in Maui), and I am skeptical as to the moral justification for alarm clocks, so we were OK with giving this one a pass.
It looks like she had a pretty great time, notwithstanding our naysaying. Surely the psychological cost of facing the malevolent seas with leaden-lidded eyes was a great one, but Kat overcame the odds and returned to us alive and in good spirits.
[Editor’s note: The previous post, detailing our last days in Japan, omitted a rather crucial detail — our nearly-botched mission to return Shawn to Canada. The first few paragraphs have been updated to include that story.]
Our last big trip during our time in Asia was to the Philippines, the source of half of The Missus’s genes and a startling variety of deep-fried foods. Unlike our previous trips, we didn’t have much planned beyond “show up in Manila and see what happens”, which is The Missus’s preferred method of itinerary construction.
Our last few days in Japan were each dedicated to a single purpose. The first was a day of leisure (or, at least, that was the plan). The second was less about the usual monks-and-temples and more about mice-and-castles. That’s right — we were off to Tokyo Disneyland!
The third, and last, was all about Kat’s birthday. You may have noticed that people the world over celebrate this late-October event by dressing up in elaborate costumes and begging strangers for candy, two of Kat’s favourite pastimes. But we’ll get there.
On our third and last time in Kyoto, The Missus and Kat were possessed of a single purpose: wearing fancy kimonos. We also planned on seeing the sights and introducing Shawn to our favourite parts of the city, but all of this was secondary to our central kimono-related goal.
Fair warning: This post consists primarily of photographs of The Missus in a fancy kimono. Occasionally there will be photographs of Kat in fancy kimonos (including an especially fancy mid-day costume change!), but for the most part this post is an extended exercise of my spousal prerogative.