The time has come for me to slow down at work and start getting ready for Baby at home. I thought this would be an easy transition for me, but it's proving to be a bit more challenging than I thought. At this point, I'm planning on working for another two weeks full time and then concentrating on the final weeks of pregnancy. It's all a little more daunting than I expected.
I had picked a date to be my "last day" at work a while ago, and have pretty much been able to stick to it. But no matter what type of work you do, there's probably going to be something that comes up, or something that you have to finish, so I'm trying to be flexible. The question of the week has been, "When are you planning on coming back?" I've mastered the phrase, "Let's see how it goes." I'm really hesitant to commit to a future plan when I have no idea what this whole thing is going to be like! I've been given tons of advice—everything from moms telling me they couldn't wait to get back to work and three months was more than enough home time for them, to other moms still at home with preschoolers. Whatever works best for your family is the right thing. I just don't know what's going to be right for me yet.
Conquering My Inner Workaholic
My biggest challenge this week has been me! I'll admit it—I'm a workaholic. Even though I'm a preschool teacher, I find myself going beyond expectations and will often put in time outside of school. I have a hard time turning off the teacher role, and my husband even gets me on telling him to work on "using his words" every once in a while. I don't think I've taken time off or really used a sick day in many years. I've worked since I was 16—the idea of waking up and not going somewhere to work is a little challenging for me. I'm going to be the one who's going to have a hard time letting go, and it's time to start—I just have to get used to it.
This week I started thinking about a plan for my days when I stop working. I'm trying to be realistic about setting some goals for what I'll do during the days before the baby is born and I have some time away from work. I envision long walks to the library, baking organic whole-wheat cinnamon muffins, sleeping past 7 AM, and cleaning my house from top to bottom! My days will be full of contemplation of what my future baby will be like. I'll be able to wash and fold all the wonderful baby clothes we've received. I'll take the time each night to be attentive to my husband when he gets home from his long day at work and we will spend hours talking and imagining our future with Baby!
Time to Relax
I ran into a friend the other day who's a new mom of a three-month-old, and I asked her a couple of questions. I knew she had taken a full month off before the birth of her baby and was curious if it was a difficult time for her. She told me that the first couple of days she scrubbed the oven with a toothbrush, organized all the clothes in the house by color, and was cooking three-course meals for dinner. Then she found herself going to movies by herself, hiring someone to clean her house, and just staring into space for hours and having to order pizza for dinner. It was the best time she had had in years, and she was relaxed. Her labor was six hours and she had a home birth, without any pain killers. Wow.
I know I'm the biggest problem in this whole relaxing thing and just need to allow myself to let go of feeling that my purpose in life is going to work and having a job. I'll be starting a new job in a couple of weeks and it will be one that will last for many, many years.
Waist measurement: 43 inches
Weekly weigh-in: 172 pounds
Pregnancy symptoms: It's getting hard to get up and sit down. You know in the movies where you see the big pregnant woman having to slide in or out of her chair? Well, I'm there. I thought it was just pretend, but this week I even found myself crawling on the floor just so I didn't have to get up at times.
My pregnancy advice for the week: Most people work up to two weeks prior to giving birth. My advice: Do what's right for you.
Pregnancy "first" of the week: We got an infant car seat/stroller and put it together. It took us a couple of hours and then even a couple more hours to figure out how it all works together. The next step is attempting to strap it into the car! That could be an all-day event! Check with your local fire station, they usually offer help in making sure car seats are installed correctly.
Doctor's visit: Yes, regular visit.
About the Photo: The above picture of the author was taken during her 32nd week of pregnancy by Dean Lipoff.
Read the next installment: week 33