9th November 2017
When they say the world works in funny ways, it really is true. Today I woke up early with this strange burst of energy. I jumped out of bed leaving Christian sleeping. I had reached a good part in my book, so I was keen to read the next few chapters in the bath. There was a great twist in the book that got me so hooked I even forgot about my pregnancy bath phobia. Of course the moment I realised that I had been in the bath for more than fifteen minutes, lying on my back, I jumped out immediately. Baths are a tricky one to navigate when you are pregnant.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you will like your baths scorching hot. You know those baths that are so hot, that you have to sit on the bath ledge and slowly dip your toe, then ankle, then up to the knee, one at a time, just to acclimatise yourself. When pregnant, this kind of bath no longer exists. A very wise and wealthy Jewish lady from Ascot told me to imagine ‘boil in a bag’ cooking… I needn’t say anymore. Whilst being pregnant your body temperature is not allowed to reach more than 37 degrees centigrade, 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit, for more than ten minutes, so baths need to be tepid. But then there is the whole other issue of pregnant women not being allowed to lie on their backs. Now, I am sure nobody in their right mind bathes sat up right, do they? I mean, when I used to take baths with Christian, in our hey-day, I actually did sit up right, because for some reason or other it would just so happen that I would end up sat at the end of the bath that would have the bath plug, that would embed its outline into a bum cheek and the taps that would jut out into the back of my neck. Like I said, nobody in their right mind bathes sat up right, nor do they sit at the end of the bath with the taps! They advise for pregnant women to lie on their left side to enhance blood flow, but there is no way in hell anyone is doing that either! I mean, I know I am not.
As neurotic as I have become throughout my pregnancy, I do take baths and I do take them whilst lying on my back. Some people still drink and smoke throughout their pregnancies, a warmish bath, taken while I lie on my back for no more than twenty minutes isn’t going to harm me or my baby. At least this is what I try to tell myself each and every time I find myself in the bath. The paradox is this; I take baths to relax myself, mentally and physically. Baths are the only place that I can actually be at one with a book and read endlessly, completely distraction free. My muscles and my bones are also screaming for a bath, because the weight of the pregnancy and my general lack of strength and exercise have caused my muscles to shrivel up and die and my bones to grow as stiff and as brittle as rusty metal. The bath momentarily loosens things up. However, being pregnant means you can’t relax in a bath. No more than three minutes into my bath I will Google:
CAN PREGNANT WOMEN TAKE WARM BATHS?
Then once I am satisfied with Google’s responses, I lose myself in a couple of pages of my book. Then the baby kicks, I think she likes baths, but then I think, why am I so naive to assume that these would be kicks of pleasure? So I Google:
WHY SHOULDN’T PREGNANT WOMEN LIE ON THEIR BACKS
Then, I do actually attempt to sit up right. Then I realise how freezing cold I am and how much I am not enjoying the bath anymore and I get out. I think I have totalled fifteen minutes in the bath since I have been pregnant and it was today. You may ask, so why do I even bother? But the comfort a pregnant woman receives from water when she is pregnant is what I would imagine crack cocaine is for a junky.
By the time I was dressed in my standard maternity loungewear, read pyjamas that look like I have robbed a seven year old of their nightwear, Christian had woken. I was not sure if I was glad that he had the day off work or not today. It would mean that we would have to spend the entire day together and of recent, I had not been enjoying these days so much, because they would crash and burn at bedtime if not before. To be fair, I did not expect much from the day. I was simply going to attempt to forget that I was signed off sick from work and in the midst of one of the worst weeks of my life.
‘So, how much do you think we can afford to spend on a new car?’ I asked Christian, while we chilled on the sofa.
Whoa, whoa, whoa – now hang on a flipping minute. WHAT?
‘What do you mean? It has always been on the cards to get a new car,’ I said, trying to sound as grown up and level headed as possible. We need a new car for the sake of our baby and as a token of our success and happiness – neither of which I was feeling.
‘You are going on maternity leave in a few months. How can I commit to buying a new car at a time like this?’
I knew he was being sensible. I didn’t even know how much money I was going to make at the end of the month with my sick leave and whether I’d be able to pay my share of the mortgage. How could I expect to have a new car? Was I really that irresponsible and stupid that I would put myself in debt for a new car?
‘But we have a three door car. How are we going to cope with a three door car? I mean, our car is not even built for the new Isofix base,’ I reasoned, maybe a little pathetically.
‘Well, unless I get this new job there will be no new car,’ he said, completely unphased by the fact that my dreams were being shattered.
His phone rang and he spoke in Italian. A glimmer of life and maybe even a glint of happiness appeared on, what would be his miserable, face. It was the recruiter from the Christian Dior job and it looked as though it was good news. What on earth? This shit does not happen. But it does happen – it always happens to us, to me, to him.
‘You got the job?’ I scream, completely disregarding the fact that he was on the phone.
I was aware that I could have come across very uncouth, but then again she was just a recruitment agent and this shit could be life changing.
I watched the colour come into his face and he laughed – he got the job.
Naturally I screamed, in fact I screamed so loud that the cleaner came running from the kitchen with her headphones in hand and asked if I called her.
I don’t know how to begin to describe the happiness I felt at this moment, but I want to. Forgive me if I am not able to do this without sounding completely and utterly corny. It is true when they say the world works in mysterious ways. Some people call it god, some people call it being spiritual or having faith – I am not sure what I call it. I like to think that Christian and I are just good people and we are deserving. Had he not of got the job, I would have been reminded myself that we have so much and are so fortunate already. I mean, we are bringing a child into this world. We didn’t struggle to get pregnant, we have each other, we’ve recently bought a beautiful home and we have amazing family and friends. However, because he did get the job and he got it at a time when things are a little low for us with my work situation, when we are about to have a baby and our income is going to take a hit with my maternity pay, this job offer feels pretty powerful and symbolic of life. I do feel that strongly about it. If I were religious, the two sentences I would use when sharing this story with family and friends is, ‘God is good’ and ‘We are blessed’.
I don’t like to use the word ‘blessed’, but it is a word that has been used to describe me throughout my life. I suppose it means lucky, but I am not entirely sure I like the word luck, because it means people achieve without deserving. I digress….
I suppose my life lesson here is, us pregnant women will have our battles. I mean we have battles every day, just as women. But if we have fallen pregnant we are already blessed and we are already winning half the battle. No matter how much we strive for perfection and as unachievable as that may be, life will look out for us and give us no more or no less than what we can handle.
Dolce and Gabbana gave us some great years and some great clothes. But now a future waits at Christian Dior. My Italian husband will be leaving behind his beloved Sicilian affiliated fashion house for a French heritage brand and I’ll be swapping my Miss Sicily bags for Lady Dior.
Stranger things have happened.
The world works in funny ways.