Wednesday, February 11, 2009


As I listened to NPR this evening while picking K up from daycare and B from work, I became progressively more aware that every single thing I heard was making me feel more stressed until my forehead began to feel like it was being squeezed in a vice. As the evening has gone on, I've begun to realize that it's not so much that the feeling isn't going away as it's just a slightly worse version of what I've been feeling for quite a while.

Part of it I know is a combination of pregnancy hormones and February. The useful approach would probably be vitamin D, exercise and staying away from the various internet discussions I can't seem to stay away from that cause a stabbing pain behind my eyes every time I read a new comment. What I feel like doing is curling up on the couch and ingesting many carbohydrates. Hopefully I can find a compromise in there somewhere.

Part of it is that we've realized that we can't go to Acen this year. Driving out would take a minimum of six vacation days for B, and he only gets 10 a year. He used to be able to significantly augment that by working Sundays, but thanks to the budget cuts, there is now only one public library in Philadelphia that is open on Sundays. If we weren't having a baby, we would probably go anyway and make it our summer vacation. But we are, and he only gets five days of paid paternity leave. That could conceivably be used up almost entirely while I'm in the hospital if I have a c-section, so we really need to hoard vacation days for when the baby comes. So no Acen, and it will likely be quite a long time before we see some of the friends we see at Acen again.

Part of it is the state of the world in general. I know so many people right now struggling with lost jobs or jobs that are in danger. The general stress level as I do my daily internet level is enough to give you contact high blood pressure.

And then there's our own financial and job worries. The mayor has asked all city departments to prepare proposals for cuts of 10, 20 and 30 percent. B would probably survive 10 percent, but almost certainly wouldn't survive 30. And even if he keeps his job, his contract is up at the end of June, meaning we have some highly contentious contract negotiations ahead of us with a good chance of strike. I would really like to know that I can quit one of my jobs without worry after the baby comes, but as things stand at the moment, I'm going to have to wait as long as humanly possible to make a decision, and possibly have to go back to work three weeks postpartum.

You know, there's been a lot about this job and living here that we haven't liked. But the one saving grace was supposed to be that B's job was secure, dammit.

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