The Much Needed Break Away
It had been a long time since I had felt a part of a family, and Daniel’s family have certainly made me feel very welcome. His parents are amazing people and I can’t believe how kind they have been towards me. I would be very proud to call them my Mum and Dad if they were mine, and I feel very honoured to know them. The last time I felt part of a family was with Caz’s Mum in Manchester, the Christmas I stayed there, she told me that she would be very proud if I was her daughter which made me cry. Caz has been like my Sister as long as I have known her, and that’s why Josie said I was part of their family. Before them, I had never felt part of a family or experienced that feeling of togetherness. I had always felt alone. Daniel’s parents had taken us all away to Cornwall for two weeks. The specialists at the hospital were extremely dubious about allowing me to go, considering I was 32 weeks pregnant. I know they were just being cautious but I needed to get away as I was getting extremely stressed at home and needed this recon to chillax and calm down. I had to sign off from the Job Centre and made up a story I was visiting family in Yorkshire, giving them Dad and Jean’s address as a point of contact. I was starting to get really stressed because I was getting close to full term, had developed Gestational Diabetes, high blood pressure from Oedema and was worrying because my JSA contributions were due to run out in a few weeks so didn’t know where the money was going to come from. I’ll be honest with you, I was scared. I was lucky to an extent that I had won a claim for PPI compensation a little while ago and that was tying us over, but I knew that £800 wouldn’t last forever. My redundancy pay ran out ages ago, a pitiful £900 for three years of hard graft, and I still dispute they taxed it when they shouldn’t have done, even though they said they didn’t. I managed to calm down enough the day before we were due to go to Cornwall. Everything was riding on this one blood pressure check. I’d had my ultrasound scan and then was sitting around waiting for my test. The midwives were being very calming and helpful as they knew it would do me good to get away. She did the test three times and wrote down the lowest reading in my pink notes so I could go on holiday. I was so happy and the following day we headed on down to Cornwall. The place we stayed in was a lovely farm house with a huge open plan kitchen/diner, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, sitting room and a conservatory. It was a mile away from the sea front and tranquil. We went on days out and had a really good time, it was just what I needed to wash my stresses away. When we got back, Mark and Juliette had arranged a buffet for Edna and Dereck as they had celebrated their anniversary while we were away. I was starting to get tired after a little while, and although I didn’t want to, I had to go home and get some sleep. On the way home the thought of it was making me feel sick and depressed again, as soon as we got in through the door, I sat down and burst into tears while Daniel unloaded the car. I did not want to be back again. All the calmness, relaxation and stress free I was feeling the last two weeks was suddenly replaced again with depression, agitation, stress and worry. The following Monday I phoned the Job Centre to arrange an appointment to come in for my return meeting. They asked me to come in that afternoon and said it would be with Alison. I had no idea who she was as the name didn’t sound familiar. When I got to there I told them who I was and that I had a meeting with Alison. The Security Guard pointed me in the direction of the rude, abrupt and unhelpful lady I was greeted with on my first outing to the Job Centre. I sighed as I walked over towards her desk. She gestured me to sit down and gave me a form to fill in. Then something happened. She suddenly became extremely helpful and told me that I should never have been on Job Seekers Allowance in the first place, and that I should have been receiving Maternity Pay. I looked confused and said that I hadn’t worked for my ex-employers since February. She told me that didn’t matter and we worked out the dates I was there, which fitted in to the table that NSI had to pay me Maternity Allowance. She said it would be more than I was receiving for JSA and meant I didn’t have to keep coming back and forth to the centre to sign on. She couldn’t believe none of the other advisors told me this beforehand and said she would be having words about getting the staff retrained. So the scary lady turned out to be the only helpful one out of the lot of them. I downloaded the form and filled in the pages. It wasn’t as in depth and scary as I thought it would be, it was pretty straight forward. I checked through it a few times before popping it in the envelope ready to send off, but needed to get my MatB1 certificate signed by the midwife when I next saw her.