I’ve been looking forward to finishing up at work for a while now. It seems great, right? Fantastic, I don’t have to drive in peak hour traffic any more, I don’t have to get up early, I don’t have to do that 9-5 thing every day! I’m free! I’ve always been very lazy, lacking in motivation, and if I had the chance to avoid any kind of work or effort, I’d do it. But now I have the chance to potentially not work for the foreseeable future, just in the last week (my final week at work) it’s begun to get scarier!
It’s really crept up on me, suddenly I realised this is it, this is the end! Everyone says, oh but you’ll have plenty of work when baby arrives, but it’s not the same. As lazy as I am, I’ve been earning my own money since age 18 and I’ve been self-sufficient for so long. I might have written about it before but I felt growing up like no one was there for me, and I had to fend for myself, at least emotionally. I wasn’t happy to go along with the way my mum did things, I didn’t want to eat what she ate or do what she did, so I found my own way. And she didn’t rein me in, she let me go as and when I felt like it. I’m not sure if this was good or not really, it might have seemed like the right thing to do for a kid like me.
So this is the first time in my life when I’m really going to hand over the practical reins to someone else. And I couldn’t have chosen a better person that my husband to do it, he is so incredibly organised and so supportive, just an awesome person all round. But wow, is it hard or what! I’m not going to be earning any money (no maternity leave, given I was on contract), so any bills and payments for my house will be my husband’s responsibility. Which is okay, given it’s his house too, now we’re married, but still, I feel uncomfortable about placing that burden on him.
Today was officially my last day at work. Last night, it really hit home in a big way. Husband was off at happy hour at the pub, as he normally is on Thursday nights, and I encourage him to do it if he wants to, especially as he might not get to do that stuff for a while once baby arrives. But I really needed him to be home and comfort me, just tell me the money situation will work out, somehow. I was poised for one of my famous meltdowns, which have come upon me at random throughout pregnancy. And the absolute worst thing I could have done is watch Revolutionary Road… but because I wanted to delete it from our digital recorder, where it’s been sitting for many months, and I knew husband wasn’t too interested in watching it, I decided to watch it.
Great movie, don’t get me wrong, good acting from both Leo and Kate, although I was slightly unconvinced by them as a couple – she seems a bit older than him or something, I can’t quite work it out. But wow, I couldn’t have chosen a more upsetting movie to watch in my fragile state. Imagine, I’m almost 36 weeks pregnant, and I’m watching a film which ends *spoiler alert* with a woman attempting to give herself an abortion and bleeding to death! Not to mention the comments the movie made about relationships, communication and trust… it was great, but not good to watch.
So by the time husband finally arrived home, slightly intoxicated and armed with a couple of meat pies he wolfed down upon arrival, I was in a pretty delicate state. All I wanted was for him to ask me what was wrong, to listen to me, to hug me and tell me everything would be fine, and take me to bed, but instead he began one of his ranty, drunken one-way conversations which involves me just shutting him out, due to sheer frustration. The problem is, when he’s drunk, he thinks he’s fine, but really he’s completely impossible to deal with and his conversations make absolutely no sense although he is completely adamant he’s saying something really important and profound! Normally I just roll my eyes and ignore it, but this time I stormed out after shouting at him and took myself to bed. Of course he came and apologised, and he apologised again today, and I forgive him, it wasn’t entirely his fault. It was just the intensity of my fear around finishing work that really frightened me, and I needed some help to deal with it in the moment. Which is rare for me, I usually just get over things alone.
Today was an odd day, strange to be finishing work and knowing I’m not going back, not going to another job, saying goodbye to a really great bunch of people and an easy yet interesting job. I have been extremely lucky really, to get to where I am, and it’s just not getting maternity leave that’s contributing to the freak out even more.
As I parked and got out of the car this morning, and I heard a hissing noise; I looked down and noticed the back tyre had a huge bolt stuck in it, and was going down in front of my eyes! I couldn’t believe it, what random bad luck, and why now, why here? I’ve had that happen one other time, almost ten years ago now, when I was driving manically to be at the birth of my good friend’s baby. I heard something and felt the steering change, and I knew my tyre was flat but I had to get to her place, so I just kept driving on a flat tyre and somehow I made it without damaging the wheel (even though there was a scraping noise every time I went round a corner)! I remember I called my boyfriend at the time and he and his dad came round and changed the tyre for me. So this time, I realised I’d have to call roadside assistance. Normally I’d never dream of it, I can change a tyre; but being so pregnant, it’s just not an option. So I thought, well, I’ll worry about it at the end of the day.
I gathered my things together, submitted my final timesheet, and called the NRMA about half an hour before I planned to leave, thinking it’d take a while for them to get to me in peak hour traffic on a Friday afternoon. As I prepared to leave, my phone rang and the guy was only a few minutes away! I told him I’d be there as soon as I could. I said my goodbyes, feeling entirely surreal and not having enough time to take in my last views of my office and the university grounds, and I walked as fast as I could to the car, parked about 10-15 minutes away. The guy was there when I arrived, having already jacked up the back side of the car, and I handed him my keys. I noticed straight away he had the kindest, loveliest young face, and his manner was so calm; he wasn’t in the least bit put out at having to wait, and was more concerned that I stayed curbside and away from any oncoming traffic. Of course he asked about my pregnancy, saying he’d ‘been there, done that’. And then something clicked; he began to tell me that literally days ago he’d turned 30 and the day after he’d found out his wife was pregnant! Only 4 or 5 weeks along. What was especially interesting was that she has Crohn’s disease. I don’t know a lot about it, but I know it’s debilitating and doesn’t go away. We just got along, chatted about having babies, and contraception – he blamed the ‘franger’! He said they’d been together 10 years, never had a problem, but suddenly the world had shifted and somehow she was pregnant. He said she’d also recovered from leukaemia, so had a bad run of things health-wise. I normally would think things but not say them, however this time I just blurted out, ‘well you never know, maybe the pregnancy will help her Crohn’s,’ and he said funny you should say that because pregnancy actually cancels out the disease all together; that had happened during the last pregnancy. It was an incredible connection we had because we didn’t know each other, yet we were telling each other these relatively intimate things. Normally you’d wait and not tell people about pregnancy until that magic 12 week mark. I ended up telling him about how random our conception was, how I couldn’t believe that it is possible to be on the pill for 18 months solid and get pregnant within four days of being unprotected! And we both talked about how we know lots of couples who are trying so hard to fall pregnant, seemingly nothing wrong, yet somehow it just doesn’t happen for them. It was an incredible conversation we had, as he changed my tyre, quite surreal, and I know he had the same experience. When he was done and we said goodbye, he looked like he wanted to hug me, like we’d bonded in a few minutes, had this amazing connection! It was just utterly bizarre.