27 October 2008

Just untangling

I’m beginning to settle into my sequestered life now, in spite of the fact that our midwife looks at me sometimes like I should be committed. She oscillates between telling me that everything I feel is completely normal, and (conversely) that if I continue to feel the way I do, I’d better tell her straight away.

“The way I do…”

“You know what I mean,” she says in a ‘no-nonsense’ tone which makes me feel that we both know I’m trying to pull a fast one on her, even though I legitimately don’t know what she’s talking about.

After our last appointment, Bruce said, “I don’t know if she can see straight through you or if she’s just getting the wrong impression.” When I told him I didn’t know either, he laughed and said, “I was hoping you’d tell me which it was.”

The last few months have been rife with such contradictions, and between not being able to get a handle on any of it and gaining a zillion pounds in less than three weeks, I guess it’s no surprise that I prefer to keep a muzzle on the outside world and hide out in bed with a good book whenever I get the chance.

I’m still working from home, even though it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage - both in terms of keeping my stress levels down and finding the energy to keep up with tasks that are no less demanding than they were before the pregnancy. It’s not just the commute that takes it out of me, I’ve discovered, but the very act of sitting at a desk for 8 hours, however close that desk is to my bed.

The economy here is in real trouble, and companies are folding left, right and centre. Mainly we’re talking financial sectors, but everyone is feeling the pinch, and businesses are less inclined to waffle about redundancies. Nearly every week we get an email from one of our directors, who tells us which colleague or product or job function is now off the menu, making the rest of us feel very vulnerable indeed.

One friend from work tells me I picked a good time to be pregnant, though I’m not too sure. There’s a clause in my contract stating that if my role is made redundant before I return to work and they’re not able to re-house me, I’ll owe them back every penny of their terrific maternity package. Even though Bruce says we will always manage, the idea that I might have to look for work in this climate, and well before I’ve had a chance to help our little guy settle in, is still worrisome.

And this brings me to the next major rotation of the wheel occupied by my frantic hamster brain, which is that I can’t in good conscience go running to my parents for financial aid. Aside from the fact that they are both retired, there are also far too many strings attached to that scenario – strings that would knot themselves into one massive tangle of familial neuroses I’m not prepared to take on.

I suppose there’s still a chance that I could develop a convenient amnesia about the reality of our relationship between then and now. It was only last week that I was mentally drafting a break-up letter to my mother because I could see no other option. Bruce came up with a better solution though, and through the power of Skype, I’ll never have to be alone in a conversation with her again. In fact, she’s always on her best behavior around others, so I can’t see any reason not to keep up the happy family ruse on my end, if she can keep it up on hers. I don’t know, it might come in handy one day.

Anywhatever, I’m 29 weeks along and everything else is progressing exactly as it should.

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