Saturday, 19 February 2011

Silence of the Sisterhood - part 5 - Months 3 & 4

Months 3 & 4

You vow to keep it a secret until you’re safely past 12 weeks – after all, mustn’t tempt fate.

But you are also aware of how everybody at work must be wondering why you are obsessed with a certain toilet cubicle, why your bladder seems to have the cubic capacity of a gnat’s stomach, and why you have been off ill a couple of times with “a bug”.

So you come clean at work, even though you feel a bit of a prat making the announcement.  I should have just stood up and said “Hi, my name’s Debbie and I’m naïve”; it would have been closer to the truth.

But then once you’ve told work you realise you should have perhaps told your family first, even though you are pretty sure your eardrums are not designed for the decibels that will greet your news (5 minutes later you will notice all the dogs in the neighbourhood surveying the area, wondering why no-one else heard that damn noise).

Everybody is thrilled for you, everybody is excited.

Everybody except you.

You, well you feel sick.  Not just mildly sick, but all day nausea, puking, inability to swallow even water kind of sick.  Whoever called it morning sickness obviously slept all through the afternoon.

But look, the sisters crowd round to give you comfort.  Don’t worry, they coo.  It will pass.  It gets better at 12 weeks (later they will reassure you it gets better at 16, 20 and any other nice number weeks; rather like the dream of the never-ending race, the finishing tape of sickness is always just around the corner).  Have you tried ginger ?  Have you tried crackers in the morning ?

No, but I tried celibacy once and it never made me feel like this.

It will be several weeks yet before you realise they have lied.  How they have listened, nodded, empathised and then reassured you that you only have a couple of weeks left to endure, that this is the worst moment.

Yeh, and I’m an Alsatian in disguise.

It will not get better, but you don’t know that yet, so you use your formidable talent for positive thinking to convince yourself that soon you will feel better, soon you will glow.

Meanwhile you are signed off work for 2 months with extreme nausea and exhaustion.
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