The fire was warm and crackly and the view from the house was beautiful but the sky understood me and we cried together most days. I had somehow been convinced to get a lawyer to fight the losing battle of ‘wrongful dismissal’ and the ‘right to stay’ in the UK. I knew that it was a lost cause but the doctor strongly advised against going back to Trinidad thanks to Zika – and just like that the 2 week trip to Ireland turned into indefinitely in Ireland. And I definitely didn’t like it.
Zika Shmika, that shit was the last thing on my mind. I’d done a project on the Zika virus in uni and wasn’t convinced that it was directly linked to microcephaly anyway but my nightmares were vivid and I woke up breathless. We took the letter and went to the lawyer.
The Home Office was getting antsy and required me to check into the police station every 2 weeks so they could keep track of me, as if I was some sort of terrorist. I was just a pregnant girl, Jesus. They then took away my right to drive my car, refused to give me my license (even though I’d passed the test – third time’s a charm ha) and disallowed me from even volunteering in the vet clinic, all while keeping my passports and vet certificates. Everything that I had left, really.
We tried to make the best of our situation. We went on countless beautiful walks, trips around Ireland guiltily sampling a Guinness every now and then (it truly is better in Ireland) – “Very high in iron, great for pregnancy” the Irish mothers would urge. We had some great times together but as the bump grew bigger so did our stresses.
…Then one day, appendages start poking out of your stomach in the most unfathomable way and you wake up to this:
If you are not creeped out by it my guess is that you probably aren’t creeped out by spiders either, ya weirdo. So scary! I had a constant fear that something had happened to the baby, especially when the alien body parts jutted out all over the place. But once I pushed the appendage it would move and that always brought relief. You know that ‘flutter’ that people talk about when the baby moves in your tummy? That must only be for girls. Charlie did par cor and especially loved 3am training sessions.
And that was when I kissed my sleep goodbye forever.
It isn’t easy watching your body expand uncontrollably, painting marks so that you never forget how massively you’ve stretched (no matter how much cocoa butter or bio oil you use). Oh and the big black line that presents itself all the way down the middle of your tummy, right where your abdominal muscles are torn apart as your stomach grows, doesn’t add much good to the pregnant look.
.Back to the story.
He paid the expensive-as-hell yearly fee for me to use the spa at the fancy, stunning hotel down the road and I was deeply grateful. Thank God, something to occupy my time as he left again for work, and I went there most days. Spin, swim, sauna, repeat. Luxury. Until you leave the warmth and delicious scent of massage oils to endure the elements and head back home. Alone. And so painfully bored.
Being a couch potato makes me feel filthy. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes binge watching a show is totally necessary (The Alienist, Alias Grace, Sisters) but by no means should it be done daily! That would send anybody’s brain into airplane mode. I felt like my brain cells were shriveling up, like my head was becoming dead space. And the boredom gave me a lot of time to criticize myself.
The 8 years of studying was for nothing. My parents wasted their money. They must be so disappointed. I’m such a failure. An embarrassment. A waste. I’m also so fat. OhmyGod am I a loser? Negative Nancy and her drama-queen-self was overstaying her welcome.
My mind was a tornado. Destructive, unpredictable and uncontrollable. My mental health was slipping away.
Thank the good Lord for great friends (and Skye but that’s obvious). They came and visited and comforted (and have no idea just how much it meant) and we all felt the love that weekend… But I was hanging on by threads and when they left I plummeted back into that spiral. Not to mention the ongoing relationship struggles.
No way in hell was I going to stay in Ireland without family and with a baby. It was time to leave. So I waddled back to Trinidad big and pregnant, the anxiety never lagging too far behind.
Above. Who needs yoga when there’s cows? So relaxing.
“When you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.”