I gave myself an electric shock again.

That’s two shocks, one near-fire and a squirrel bite since I became pregnant.

If I actually get to give birth to a healthy girl, this will be funny some day. But right now I am feeling all flattened and upset by my own ridiculousness.

I know this is probably a total overreaction. But part of being pregnant and feeling so goddamn grateful is being stalked by the fear that it’s all so fragile and easily lost. I suspect this is how parents feel quite often.

After last night’s shock – in which I fiddled about with the rice cooker plug like a total moron – I called Dr E, who assured me that if I was ok, then she was more than likely ok. So I carried on making dinner, trying to maintain calm and will little Fonzarella to give me a good internal battering.

When Rufus came home I greeted him at the door like the confirmed lunatic I am quickly becoming and confessed. He sang into my belly button to try to get a reaction, but – much as I love him – he’s no Pavarotti.

No kicks until after 11.30pm, when I felt a feeble flurry and fell asleep. Another few feeble nudges this morning. And now nothing again. Maybe I stunned her. Maybe the shock did something weird to her developing body (almost 23 weeks now).

More fretting, more little internal monologues about how it’s all going to be alright. No really. It is.

The thing is, I had a strange day yesterday and before I shocked myself I was feeling so proud to have pulled myself out of a horrible boss-induced funk.

He-who-must-not-be-named had messaged me blithely that morning to say he’d appointed someone to cover my maternity leave. This someone, I know, is very ambitious, and just the kind of person (ie man) my boss loves. He’s also someone I’ve helped a lot in the past, and I had a feeling they have been cooking this up for a while now, so add betrayal to my list of work woes.

He is going to stay on when I come back from maternity leave to cover one chunk of my job – a major sore point for me because I just know that with almost anyone else as a boss, my infertility troubles and pregnancy would never have lead to this scenario.

Yes, I am feeling victimised. And a bit sorry for myself.

That’s deeply unfashionable I know. “Don’t be a victim!” all the self-help books say. But what if you are? Or have been? Can I just feel like a victim for a little while?

Deciding I had to do something positive to combat this general crappiness I called a former colleague to pick his brains about his career changes since he left our group. I am so glad I did. He’s done some amazing things, from strategic communications to activist campaigns to crisis management in Haiti. At heart, and in outlook, he says he’s still a journalist, but he’s had a grand time exploring other options and skills and independent projects. Now I have a list of some project ideas of my own, and have signed up for a few skills courses in the meantime.

I also called my former boss about a project he is getting off the ground to register my future interest. Working on your own, far from colleagues, can make a person feel isolated. It was great to be reminded that I do indeed have a strong network of contacts and friends and colleagues, and I have a lot of options.

If I can just steer clear of wild animals and electrical appliances, things will work out.


3 thoughts on “Superklutz

  1. I’m going to have to go back to your past blog posts… I don’t recall hearing about a squirrel bite. You are so funny!

    I can kind-of relate when it comes to the job front. My current assignment was supposed to take me to maternity leave… well, now it’s ending – likely this month. I’m looking for a new role in the company, and technically they have to place me somewhere – you can’t lay off the 6month pregnant lady. But it’s going to suck for any new boss and for me to move to a new role for 2 – 3 months before I’m on leave for 12 weeks. I’m putting feelers out to try to find something on my own, but I know I’m going to end up slotted by upper management into ‘anything’… which will likely be yet another crappy role.

    Good for you for being proactive.

  2. I know I’m hormonal now because reading your response made me cry! So lovely to connect with someone else who is going through similar things at the same time. I’m not sure that I’ve completely shaken off victimhood! I’m pretty pissed off about my boss, but I am trying to see the positives. The most positive – of course – is the baby! But then having a baby makes you so much more aware of the importance of $$$

    I love your squirrel story, your poor friend. And I hope you’re feeling good and find some inspiration, too xx

  3. Hi there! I’ve been lurking around your blog since the beginning. I’ve been on just about the same trajectory–I too lucked out in November and now I’m expecting in July. I run my own business and it seems like everyone is yelling at me this week and sales are slow and I feel a bit isolated myself. Thanks for setting the example in not dwelling too long in victim-hood. I better go do something positive myself.

    I was eating dinner outside one time at a lovely restaurant that had beautiful large oak trees. The friend I was with was 8 months pregnant and naturally the squirrel in the tree picked her to pee on! So maybe squirrels just have a thing for pregnant ladies.

    Well, keep away from the electrical appliances and good luck!

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