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As I mentioned in my last post, I am officially on maternity leave.  When I was pregnant with Justin, my last day before starting my leave was my due date, March 5, 2008, he wasn’t born until March 19.  That was one of the longest 2 weeks of my life.

This time around, I promised myself I wouldn’t subject myself to that kind of anxious boredom and committed myself to working until labor started (fully aware that I would very likely run late with Miss Georgia as I did with Mr. Justin.  It turns out there’s a difference between working part-time with no kiddo at home and working full-time with a sensitive and ill-sleeping 4-year-old Autistic boy at home.  (Who would believe it?!)

So far, maternity leave has not been the burden it was last time, for which I am thankful.  I’m working hard to keep busy, not thinking too hard about being past my due date – and I’ve been successful.  This morning I actually had to count on my fingers how many days past my due date I am (3).  My kitchen is clean enough to cook in.  All the bottles, pacifiers, nursing support gadgets (nipple shells/shields, etc) are sterilized.  Laundry is caught up.  Heck, even my bed is made!  My kitchen floor is disgusting (swept, but needs about an hour with a magic eraser and some elbow grease) and my tub could use a scouring – both projects I’m sort of saving for the bout of hormonally induced nesting that is sure to find me in the next week or so.

The crazy part?  I was in bed last night for nearly 11 hours (minus of course the few trips to the bathroom and my 45-minute, middle-of-the-night cuddle session on the couch with my sweet boy at 4am).

My anxiety is as low as it can be and I’m as tired as a woman in her 40th week of pregnancy should be – as opposed to simply being an exhausted puddle of irritable grossness.  Sure, I have moments where I think, “What if my body will never go into full labor on its own?!”  But all in all, I’m actually enjoying being home and able to focus on getting and keeping my house in order, spending time with my Little Turkey and getting my head around the whole idea of having another little person in our home.

I have been, and will continue to try all the usual methods of encouraging labor to get going.  Many of the things I’m doing I did with Justin (fruitlessly), but there’s no harm in them so I figure, why not?  I’m also trying some new things too.  Here’s my shortlist of things I’ve been doing so far:

– Evening Primrose Oil

– Blue and Black Cohosh Tinctures

– Rest

– Walking (particularly carrying something heavy – like a bag of groceries)

– Red Raspberry Leaf tea

– Greasy meals (on occasion)

– Rebozo Sifting (oh man, that felt so good!  like a belly massage!  I’m so thankful to my doula for offering this!)
And things I’ll be likely to do in the next few days:

– Hiking the stairs

– Having my membranes stripped

– Balloon Catheter induction (which I’m going to push to have done early next week at the latest)

– Taking the new breast pump for a spin

Then finally, the ultimate natural induction technique:  tempting Murphy’s Law!

On Facebook today I tossed out requests for activity recommendations so that I can build a schedule for the next week or so.  I’m thinking that if I can build a full calendar of activities, then our little princess will have to interrupt with her arrival, right?  The trick is coming up with activities that don’t wear me out, cost a fortune, require childcare, or aren’t schedule-able.

So far I’m thinking I’m going to schedule a day to finally take Justin to the FIG at the Whatcom Museum (Friday), and go on a morning coffee date with Matt (Thursday while Justin is at school).  If we can arrange childcare for Justin, I’d really like to go see The Hobbit at the new theater in town, and go have my Red Robin Birthday burger (which might happen on the same day as seeing The Hobbit).  I’m thinking tomorrow would be a good day to give Matt the haircut he needs and finish the detail on the hat I knitted for Georgia.

I have a few things in my freezer for postpartum time, but I hesitate to trash my clean kitchen only to wear myself out midway through.  And there are a few other things that I could prep, but I wouldn’t want to just make waste by prepping too soon.  Plus, a lot of the deep-cleaning sorts of things won’t work with Justin around.  Hmmm…

Any other ideas for fun day-time things to do around Bellingham with a hyperactive kiddo?

Hi everyone.  Thought it was time for an update!

I went to work on Friday feeling pretty okay but tired.  Definitely feeling the tired the last few days.  As each day progresses, even thought I’m not have a lot of pre-labor contractions, I’m feeling more and more pressure on my cervix:  there’s no question as to whether or not I’m waddling now!

Quack indeed!

Friday night I started having some good crampy contractions which petered out as the evening progressed.  Saturday morning (my due date) I woke up with the same period-like crampiness.  Contractions came and went all day, but I am noticing that in the evenings I’m feeling more and more HARD ones where I can really feel pressure being put where it should go.

All that to say: still no labor but my body is absolutely getting ready.  I have even less heartburn now than I did last week when it was determined that baby was all the way down at -1 station, which tells me she’s even lower and better engaged now than she was a week ago.

Even had a little scare this morning as I was getting ready for Church!  After fighting my way into a pair of tights (which took nearly 15 minutes!), I felt a strange sensation like a full balloon painlessly tearing and a very little gush.  I ran to the bathroom to find that no, my water hadn’t broken, but (over-share, I know) a whole lot of thin mucus passed at once.  I mentioned it to my friend at Church and she offered that what likely happened was that Miss Georgia swiped her little hand right across where the amniotic sac is pressed against my cervix – which makes sense, since she’s jammed down there so tight now that it would take a fair bit of pressure to make that sort of movement!

In other news: we met with the maternity support nurse yesterday.  They visit you at home after the birth, do baby weight checks and provide breastfeeding support, as well as check to make sure you’re not slipping into postpartum depression (which I’m at risk for).  After talking with her about how my body and mind are feeling, I was prompted to call my midwife.    The result?  I’ve been officially over-ruled in my attempt to work until I go into labor and instructed to start my maternity leave as soon as possible.  The worry is that I’m getting too stressed, tired and worn out before labor which, in turn, increases my risk of exhaustion in labor.  So, I called it in to the short-term disability folks on Saturday and left a message, and will be calling in to work officially on Monday morning.

Now my plan is to take one day at a time, then one contraction at a time, and try to stop thinking so much about “when” I will actually start labor.

Today I’m digging in to my regimen of Blue and Black Cohosh herbs (known to help stimulate contractions – I took it with Justin too), Evening Primrose Oil (EPO), and meeting up this afternoon with my doula and some of her doula friends for a Rebozo sifting session.

Tomorrow (Monday), I’m planning to continue the cohosh and EPO, and am looking forward to a visit from my dear friend,Holly Jean who has a tiny baby girl who shares a patron saint as our Miss Georgia (St. Nina of Georgia).  I’ve found over the last month or so that holding and cuddling tiny ones helps stimulate contractions even though I’m not nursing them, so I’m hoping that may help too.  Also I’m hoping to take advantage of Justin being at school in the morning to tidy up my nest.

Lots more to be doing at home than I had when I was waiting for Justin to make his entrance, and I have no illusions about going into labor by a certain date or time.  I may suspect sooner rather than later but I’m trying to focus on each day as it comes with no expectation of anything other than Miss Georgia’s timing!

39w1d

39w1d

Dropping much?!
Dropping much?!

 

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