I am ready for maternity leave

I am currently struggling with myself and my abilities. I am at home today, and not at work where i should be (or should i?). Therein lies my dilemma. If I feel like I am ready for maternity leave, will I be letting my boss, employer, husband or self down? Am I being weak, and a whiner?

Today marks my 36th week of being pregnant, and starting about half way through last week- I started to feel pretty run down. I don’t mean like I am getting a cold, or something like that. I mean-I am starting to really feel this pregnancy. My boss starting asking me last week, on daily basis when I thought I would be going out of leave (as if i can just set the date and go-I tried that and he shot that idea down). He is obviously worried about the transition, who will train our clients while I am out, and the like. But, inversely-he has known about my pregnancy almost as long as I have-and has had plenty of time to prepare.

Let me list of some of my complaints, hopefully it will make me feel better, and in my attempt to feel better through venting, perhaps win you over to my side.

  • Elliott’s favorite place in my womb is tucked nicely under my rib cage. I don’t mean just a foot either. I mean him whole body is nestled in there. This of course, means that I can not look over my shoulder when driving, I cant sit up straight or lean forward, nor can I breathe or eat with ease. It is also triggering painful BH. This position is especially comfortable for my son when I try to sleep lying down (like in bed). I have been sleeping on the couch, sitting up for the last few nights( which also helps with my chronic acid reflux and heartburn-a bonus).
  • The lack of sleep hasn’t affected me too much up until this point. I didn’t have any energy loss during the first 2 trimesters, and always managed to get enough rest and not feel too tired. Well, apparently those days (and nights) are over. I am now fatigued just as a matter of daily practice. So fatigue along with lack of sleep is a double whammy for me. And it is starting to grade on my patience and my nerves, as well as my energy levels.
  • Since my lack of restful nights, I am having increasing trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I rack my brain thinking about all of the lies and ways I can get out of going to work. But, do I really need to burden myself with this? I am ‘sick’ and am entitled to time off if I don’t feel well, for whatever reason, right?
  • I cant go to the bathroom (number 2). I have taken all of the midwives advise-eat a bowl of oatmeal with prunes every day. Take a DHA supplement, take a magnesium supplement. Walk or get exercise. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day (what pregnant person who works full time can actually do this, although god knows I try). In addition to this daily regimen, I also eat a high fiber diet loaded with fruits and veggies. As a last ditch effort, I take a Colace or two every few days….but nothing seems to help.
  • Which brings me to my next problem that is triggered in part by the previous one…hemorrhoids. Yup, I have them. And from what I hear, they will only get worse with a vaginal birth. Yippee! Sitting for 8 plus hours a day at work doesn’t make them feel any better either.
  • Now this one is more superficial than anything…but, I have gained 40 odd pounds since the day I conceived (feelings regarding this is a post all on its own-which I will spare you). And even maternity clothes are uncomfortable. Is it OK for me to wear sweat pants everywhere? And when do I draw the line between comfort and just plain trashy.
  • Of course, there is my waddle. Now, I know that this happens to most pregnant women. It is inevitable, or so I hear. But, it is also unsightly and quite uncomfortable. I am grateful my body is releasing chemicals to aide and help in childbirth, trust me I am. But, try to get out of bed from a dead sleep, with an extremely full bladder, trying not to grunt and wake your husband-and make it to the bathroom before your sleep inertia wears off and you up for the next 1-2 hours. I look like a sumo wrestler when I first stand up, legs with a wide stance, trying not to put pressure on my back and throw that out of alignment. Then the wide leg walk/waddle to the RR starts. My legs, hips and lower back are so unstable I feel like I just ran a marathon.
  • Swelling on my left foot and ankle is a new thing. Although the more appropriate term would be cankle. And my plantar fasciitis is acting up (with the increased weight, lack of good shoes that fit, and swelling-no doubt).

I don’t want to complain too much, and scare any prospective parents to be off. I also realize that the 9th and final month is the last push, before the real pushing begins. So, I also want to mention some of the things I am grateful about, and feel joyous not to have-

Backaches, I only get them occasionally. I have a very supportive, loving and helpful husband. Sick days-I have a few saved up. A comfortable couch. I don’t have to work right now, since we managed to put a few bucks in the bank to prepare for this event. I got my first official stretchmark only yesterday (although my sister said she could see it in a photo from 2 weeks ago…but, she also told me I was fat-so I ignored most of what she said after that).

So, after all of that-here is my problem. I don’t want to be at work anymore. I am too tired, and when I am there I don’t have any strength left to do my household chores at home. But, I feel guilty about mentioning all of these reasons to my midwife, and asking her to write me out. But, I am 9 months pregnant, and working full time, and tired.

I feel silly complaining about this to you, my midwife, my husband, my boss, and my friends. But, I need to take my health and feelings seriously and not let my own inner guilt and drive push me beyond what I comfortable with. But, I also don’t want to be perceived as wimpy and weak. On the inverse, my Doula said that I should take this time to rest, and that if stress from work is causing me worry -to go on leave. She said that women who worry and don’t relax are more prone to late babies because you haven’t given their bodies a chance to relax and prepare for the birth.

I have my next appointment on Friday, and have a busy schedule at work this week. So, I have a few days to decide how to proceed (and by then I will be 37 weeks). Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated and carefully considered prior to Friday.

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