Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Melancholy

It's Olympic time again.  A time when the world comes together to play and to celebrate athleticism. Where people gather to cheer on their country or their favourite and hope to see them collect a bunch of precious medals.

Except me.  I'm not watching.

The last Olympics were held in Canada, my home country, in the winter of 2010 from February 12th to 28th.  At those Olympics, Canada won the most gold medals of any country, and placed 3rd in medal count over all. It was a proud time for Canadians and thrilling to watch.  I remember those Games very clearly because I watched almost every Canadian winning performances LIVE.  I didn't hear about them second hand, or watch a replay...nope I was glued to my TV, reveling in every moment.

The reason I could spend hours and hours watching round after round of eliminations and finals is because I was on medically ordered bed rest. 14 weeks pregnant with Aidan suffering with (what we thought was only) a subchorionic hemorrhage.

It had been a scary January 2010.  Lots of bleeding.  Multiple trips to Emerg.  Finally I was told by a kindly ER doc near the end of January that I needed to be off work, resting, so the blood clot in my uterus would bleed out/reabsorb, shrink and disappear.  Leaving behind a healthy, growing baby.  It was just a matter of time. This advice was confirmed on February 10th by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist from the high risk pregnancy program who even questioned why I was there to see him.  My pregnancy was normal (aside from the giant blood clot)...lay down, rest, everything will (likely) be fine.  See you in a month....

So it was with this comforting information that I sat for two weeks and watched the XXI Winter Olympics unfold.  I watched my countrymen and women slide, jump, skate and shoot to earn an amazing 26 medals.  I loved watching all the drama unfold only a few short (okay actually quite massive) provinces away.  I knew I would never forget Alexandre Bilodeau win Canada's first ever gold medal on home soil by sticking the landing on that amazing final jump. Or Clara Hughes win her 6th medal in speed-skating, the only Canadian to win medals in both the summer and winter Olympics  Or Jon Montgomery as he marched through a crowd of fans after his gold medal win singing the national anthem and drinking a beer. Or my personal favourite: the replays of crowds of Canadians from coast-to-coast leaping to their feet milliseconds after Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in the men finals hockey game against the US. It still makes my heart swell with pride.

And I couldn't wait to share it with my baby.  

To say "I know you were born in the summer, but you and me baby...we watched those games together! While protecting you and making sure you were safe, you were right there with me. When those amazing events occurred, you were the size of a lemon...but you were there".

Little did I know, that even while I was watching, and feeling confident that (probably) eventually things would be was already too late.

You see, on the morning of the February 12th, unbeknownst to me, my water broke. At the time, I thought it was the clot, bleeding out, leaving me and my baby unharmed...  But it wasn't.  I know this for a fact now because my water breaking felt exactly the same way when it happened a year later with Kaia.

So while I was watching the opening night of the Olympics, happy, thinking "oh good, I'll have something to keep me busy while on bed rest the next couple of weeks" baby was in trouble...and I didn't even know it.  I wouldn't know it until over a month later when the Olympics were over and an ultrasound showed something very, very wrong. That opening night, I was blissfully unaware of the events that were about to unfold.  That in just over a month the same doctor who had been so positive just a few weeks earlier would look at us with a completely different expression on his face as he explained what he was seeing on the screen.


It's 2012 and it's Kaia's first Olympics.  She hasn't watched any of it.  Neither have I.

It's just not the same. The Olympics are in England, not Canada.  It's summer, not winter.  We no longer have cable in order to save money because we rarely watch live television anymore (who has time with a baby?  Plus with Netflix and the internet it's kind of redundant).  I'm too busy.  I'm planning my back to work schedule. Working out babysitting arrangements.  Sending lots of time outdoors with Kaia, soaking up the good weather.

The Olympics are here again.  

Too bad the 2010 baby isn't.

But the Games will always remind me of him, because during the winter of 2010 we watched them together.  Back when I thought everything was possible.

Was there a big event that sticks in your mind back from 'before'? What does being reminded of that time feel like?


  1. I watched a lot of those Olympics also. I was off on "maternity leave". After losing G.

  2. The Olympics are huge for me. Huge. I lost Hope in the middle of the Beijing Games and the Olympics just make up so much of our sorry experience.
    I totally get this post.

  3. Thanksgiving. Christmas. In general, that time of year currently and continues to reign is a time that the world stood/stands still. Losing Andrew smack dab in the middle of holiday wonderland. Bah.

    Should be interesting how this year goes.