Monday, October 02, 2006

Stressing Out the Pregnant Woman

What a day.

If its true what they say about babies feeling the same feelings their mamas feel while in the womb, then my poor girl has had a very stressful day!

I went to pick up a package from the post office that I missed on Saturday this morning before Allison, my midwife, came over. It was my documents back from the Immigration office. I drew in a deep breath and opened it.

It's a funny thing about letters - you don't even have to read them before you know what they say. Key words that pop out of the page at you tell you all you need to know. In my case, the key words "attempted application" and "rejected" gave it all away.

My application for Indefinite Leave to Remain was rejected.

Now, I tried hard to keep calm as I read the letter fully, to find out what had happened. It turns out I'd filled in an out-dated application. Little did I know that a new form had been issued in June of this year, presumably to include the new civil partnership/same-sex marriage laws. So my application was invalid.

I remained calm (ish) as I drove home and phoned the Advice Bureau. I was connected with a somewhat snooty woman who was very little help at all. All I got from the conversation was it would be best to leave the country and reapply from abroad, or I could try reapplying from within the UK but she refused to say if that would hurt my chances or not. So I got off the phone and did what any reasonable person in my situation would do.

I cried my eyes out.

Soon after that, Allison arrived. Neither of us were feeling great, as she'd had a rough time this morning too, but I must say, having her over for my appointment did brighten my mood. I love Allison, and I love talking about my baby! However, in my emotional state, I allowed myself to get a bit upset afterwards over what she assured me was NOT wrong with me, I think simply because it reminded me of what COULD HAVE been wrong with me or what COULD happen in the future. Gah. But in reality, my pregnancy seems to be going fine and my self-diagnosis of SPD is probably wrong and my mom's diagnosis of a sciatic nerve something-or-other is probably right. And I've been somewhat concerned about my baby's placenta which is "anterior low lying", but again, it seems it will very likely move upwards as my uterus expands. So all good news.

Anyway, I went to work, but on the way I started worrying about my residency issue again. I kinda got myself worked up. I planned to not say anything about it at work, but when Lynda asked me what was wrong and why I looked so distressed, I poured it all out. "My visa application was rejected and I'll probably have to leave the country and my midwife told me that this ISN'T whats wrong with me but instead I'm probably perfectly fine but it upset me anyway to think of the very idea!" Lynda insisted I go ask the rest of the afternoon off to sort my stuff out.

I went to talk to my boss (the girl one first). She said we ought to talk to the other boss (the boy one). He's Dutch, he immigrated years ago, I figured he'd be understanding. Which he was, by the way, but he's also a man and kept saying things that he probably thought were helpful but instead got me even more worked up. By the end of the converstation, I was a bit of a wreck. They told me to go home and sort things out.

I came home (in the pouring rain, listening to sad girly music) and phoned the Advice Bureau again, hoping for someone a bit more helpful. Thankfully, that is what I got, as the woman ASSURED me that I could stay in the UK to reapply (I asked about three times in three different ways to make sure) and assured me that the records would show that my application is still "in process" as long as I reapply within 28 days and they won't recharge me the fee. She was so nice, I wanted to hug her. So I got off the phone feeling much more relaxed and much less afraid of being an illegal alien (my visa expiry date was yesterday) and also much fatter as I ate a whole tonne of chocolate as I talked to her in my shaky voice.

Now let's just hope that they don't reject THIS application.

*Signs off the internet to go take a much needed nap and drink another pint of milk and finish off that soul-soothing chocolate.

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