As people return to work after their New Year celebrations, I’m writing the next chapter of my life. Maternity Leave.
When is the right time to finish work before having your baby? Like many pregnant working women today, I didn’t want to take too much time off before the birth, preferring to have longer with the baby when it comes. But bouts of breathlessness have caused me to bring it forward by a fortnight. It seems to have been the right choice now that I’ve developed symptoms of Carpal Tunnel too. The joys. It did, however, get me out of cooking Christmas dinner – so every cloud and all that…
It was strange to meet my replacement before the Christmas break and adjusting to the idea of not returning to work, especially as my replacement was an immediate hit with staff and the students I teach, “He’s the best teacher ever, Miss!” Steady on. I haven’t even gone yet.
You find yourself in transition between the life you are leaving behind and a new life that it is exciting but unknown. It’s a somewhat strange, redundant feeling but I’m told I won’t give a sh*t when the baby arrives and I’m sure that’s very true.
In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed lunch out, opened surprise gifts and spent time with friends and loved ones. I’ve also been busy buying contents for the hospital bag. I’ve purchased ‘fat’ pyjamas, obligatory big maternity pads and a pair of comfy slippers. I was even given a box of disposable knickers in the work’s Secret Santa which made me laugh out loud. Although, joking aside, I’m assured there’ll be a use for them. My previous Secret Santa gifts were alcohol related…how times have changed!
I’ve been nesting as they call it; titivating in the nursery, washing the bedding and looking at mini-me baby grows. I’ve read all the pregnancy books cover to cover. There have been many trips to the loft to move things no longer needed. Him, not me. Watching reruns of one born every minute. Me, not him.
The Final Countdown
We’re counting down to the due date and becoming increasingly curious as to who the baby will look like. People have divulged their war stories about labour and birth (some more graphic than others) and it leaves us wondering what our story will be.
With a few more weeks to go, I keep wondering if these menstrual cramps are Braxton Hicks or Labour? My partner insists on reassuring me that it’s normal in pregnancy…how the chuff does he know?
I intend to spend the next few weeks catching up with friends and family and watching crap TV, before our lives are turned upside down with our first baby.
We just can’t wait to meet her now. Who knows when that’ll be?