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Ocean View Verandah
Wednesday, 13 March 2002
I'm writing this in a text file on my laptop as our computer is temporarily offline, so apologies that when it gets posted it will already be out of date.
I am on MATERNITY LEAVE and I LOVE it! All those people who tried to tell me I'd be bored if I took too much time off before the baby was born must have rocks in their heads. I have too much to do to be bored! For instance, this morning I had to sleep in until after 9, then get to a massage by 11. I now have some time to write a journal entry and perhaps have a nap or do a little tidying up around the house before I go pick Chris up from work at about 4:30 (he has a massage client tonight so has to come home a little early) and then I have a yoga class at 6:30.
Aside from all that I do feel like I have an almost overwhelming amount to get done before the baby is born, although after 2 weeks of leave I am now at a point where if it came tomorrow it wouldn't be too much of a panic. We still don't have enough basic baby clothes or cot sheets and stuff, but we have enough to last the first few days, and then Chris could run down the woolworths or target and get some more. Plus I suspect we will be given more stuff once the baby's born. We have already been given quite a lot of stuff which has been so lovely. It's amazing how excited I can get about a cute baby outfit that the kid will probably grow out of in a month!
Most of the other stuff I want to get done is nonessential - like painting some more walls, cleaning, unpacking some more boxes (there's one I'm dying to go through of stuff from my childhood that hasn't been unpacked since we moved into our last house 6 years ago - I thought it was gone until we found it in the garage when packing to move here).
I haven't, clearly, kept a very good journal of the 3rd trimester of this pregnancy. But I have high hopes of remedying that. Over the last 2 months of work I was pretty uncomfortable at work, and also bored. Partly because for most of January I really didn't have enough to do, and party because what I did have to do didn't have anything to do with the baby. So, during that time I wrote a lot of emails to my friend Sabine. Hopefully I managed to send most of them to myself at home as well, and my plan is to take bits of those to piece together a more complete picture of the last few months.
Suffice it to say for now though, that I have a great deal of sympathy for women who have to work right up to their due date. I was so uncomfortable sitting at a desk all the time, but now I am at home I am loving being pregnant. Oh I still have the muscle strain and the pubic symphisis pain, but they are much less when I'm not sitting at a desk. My back does start to ache after very little time in a shopping centre, and I do feel clumsy and unwieldy. And I do groan every time I turn over at night, get up every hour or two to go to the loo - though as much to give my body a stretch and a rest from lying down as because I really need to go - and find breathing rather difficult at times. And then there's the heartburn, don't even get me started on that! But, none of these things are as hard to bear now that I don't have to spend the days sitting at a desk at work, watching the clock slowly ticking. Now that I can take afternoon naps, go for morning swims, do a little bit of shopping, washing baby clothes, or cleaning here and there, I feel heaps better.
Also, I feel so much sympathy for those people who do this alone or with an unsupportive partner. Chris has been absolutely fantastic, and still is. Even though I am home all day he is still cooking dinner and stuff like that, because he realises that a) by that time of day I am exhausted, b) standing up and cooking is really torture on my back pain and abdominal strain and c) the better rested I am when the baby comes, the easier the birth is likely to be, not to mention recovery there from. I mean, I am doing more now I'm at home, but he is still really taking care of me.
Someone asked me the other day if I wake up each morning yet and wish I'd gone into labour the night before. The answer is a resounding NO. Apart from the fact that we still have heaps to do, I am absolutely loving this time. It's so wonderful to have time to myself and to be doing some things for myself. I have rediscovered swimming which is wonderful, and am going twice a week (since last week) after dropping Chris at work. I'm doing prenatal yoga on Wednesday nights, which is great although I've only been to two classes so far. I'm having massage. After the baby's born I hope that I can keep these things up - do mother and baby yoga, go swimming a couple of times a week, and walk to the shops with the baby in the mornings. Not all straight away you understand, but this is my vision. But in the mean time I am having a great time being at home by myself for the first time in - well, ever really I suppose.
The other thing is, while I am really looking forward to seeing my baby face to face, holding it, nursing it, being able to stop saying 'it' and start saying either he or she, I am also really liking this part of pregnancy now that I'm not miserable at work all the time. I like talking to the baby as I drive, playing it different sorts of music, feeling it move about. So while there are times when I can't wait for the birth, there are also times when I am just content to be here now. Which isn't something I'm usually that good at - living in the now - so I'm going to try and enjoy it while it lasts.
Something the observant reader may have noticed is that I am talking about driving, where as last time I wrote an entry I was still unlicensed. Yes, I got my license finally after all these years, the Monday before I finished work. In other words, just over two weeks ago. It is a wonderful thing. I really wasn't prepared for the amazing flexibility it creates. Of course, if I didn't have it I'd be resting at home a lot more. But I also wouldn't be going swimming in the morning, would be worrying about not getting stuff done, and would still have to have my massage therapist come to me instead of vise versa, which would make fitting it in harder (for her) so I wouldn't get as many massages.
Maternity leave. Oh how I do love thee!