Maternity holiday… ahem, leave

What even is work? What are meetings? What are deadlines? What is traffic?

Yes! Desired outcome accomplished. Now what?

I went on maternity leave at 37 weeks. It wasn’t to have a holiday, even though some may think it was. It was due to discomfort and lack of wardrobe options in my life. There was also traffic, work pressure and baby’s growth (or lack thereof). Mostly it was because I was convinced that baby would arrive early, and I desperately wanted to get my toes done, my hair done, and the baby’s room finished… to be ‘ready’. Officially.  There was also some wanting to get emotionally and mentally ready for this whole ‘becoming a mom’ thing. But it was more about the pedicure.

So…  my toes are done, my hair is done and the baby’s room (like a lot of our house) is ‘almost’ done.

And now… I’m waiting. 39 weeks and waiting.

Maternity leave, the pre-baby part which I suppose to most of my office (and friends and family) is seen as a holiday, is however, far from holiday. I mean sure yes – I’m doing… nothing. I’m sleeping in, watching series and shopping at Cavendish… so it sounds like a holiday. It sounds like paid leave to sit around, not think about work and chill. In essence, it would be a really divine holiday. If, you know, I wasn’t a waddling whale with sore hips, painful braxton hicks contractions and if I had something to wear every day (in black).

Getting out of bed, which as I’m sure you’re all aware someone at 39 weeks pregnant does about 7 times a night, is – exhausting. Walking between the parking lot (via a lift) and Cavendish, is – exhausting. Carrying a somewhat rather light basket around the food section of Woolies – you guessed it, effing exhausting. Yesterday, after sitting with foils in for 20 mins (chilled), I needed to ‘make my way to the basin’ where I looked at the reclined chair in despair. How was I supposed to ease myself backwards into that chair? Or worse still – how was I going to get out of it? This maternity holiday, is – exhausting.

And I know, new moms (and old moms) will tell me that this part is the easy part because once baby arrives, my life will be upside down and I’ll be surviving on so little sleep I won’t know what day of the week it is, but really. For now – shut up because anything must be better than this!

I’m waiting for my baby’s arrival. Every movement, every moment, I’m wondering if its the start of labour. I’m trying to be patient about it, while I keep eating blocks of chocolate to ensure baby keeps moving (and because I like chocolate and I’m on holiday and I’m already a whale so let me eat the damn chocolate, ok?). I’m trying to remember that the longer they’re inside, the healthier they’ll be outside (but by the stories it sounds like no matter whether they come at 37 or 41 weeks – either way it isn’t easy!!). I’m trying to ‘enjoy this time out’ with no work, no baby, no husband around.

Besides waddling around, only getting out of bed past 9am and eating Milo cereal for lunch, I am grateful for the time off. The me-time. The time to look at the pile of ‘paper I need to file’ and sit down at my laptop and skype my work-wife instead.
The time to create headspace for our miracle baby. The headspace that really bounces between two thoughts – ‘Get this baba out of me’ and ‘I’m not ready yet’. Also includes ‘I’m so screwed’ and ‘when last did baby move’. In fact ‘when last did baby move’ tops the pile of (four) thoughts.

Thoughts. Thinking. Which in itself is exhausting, the constructing of sentences I mean – I’ve actually just opted out of talking lately or if I do engage in a conversation, I take a nap afterwards.

Or perhaps its just the exhaustion from walking from Seattle Coffee to Woolies.



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