The evolution of the bump.
The major development of this week is the fact that I have officially started my maternity leave and ahead of schedule. The original plan was to work until I went into labor and it could have been done but not without a great health cost, specially to my emotional and mental health.
My work performance was being affected and I was having a very hard time completing my shifts. On Tuesday I found myself feeling both physically and mentally unwell and the pressures at work were making things worse. Thanks to my experience with social anxiety disorder I could tell that I was exhibiting all of the physical warning signs of an anxiety attack and that it was only a matter of time before I snapped.
It would have been easier to stay if it wasn’t for the people. These are nice, well meaning people that just happen to be highly irritating by being nice. When it’s not even 9am and I have over 10 people saying “how are you feeling?”, “you look ready to pop!”, “any day now” and “you must be exhausted!”, I had to run to the bathroom and have a mini breakdown to release the tension and avoid letting hormonal bitch respond to them.
I was so on edge all day that it was hard to keep it together and I knew that I couldn’t hide my general discomfort and that would just trigger more “how are you feeling?” questions that were now coming from more and more different people, including men who had never cared before and employees from the other side of the building that had never ever talked to me.
That’s when I decided that it’s best to start my leave early even if it means a potentially larger financial impact than risk getting fired for workplace violence for biting some innocent soul’s head off for trying to be nice. I am glad to have my husband’s support in that decision as I felt very conflicted about it at first.
Communication channels were not on my side to have a smooth transition though, the head of HR was not available to see me, my direct supervisor had the day off and the program manager was too busy to talk. After sticking it out for over 3 1/2 hours just waiting to do the right thing and talk to someone I ended up just giving up and sending an e-mail to the HR manager, dropping my leave paperwork in her inbox and sending an e-mail to the program manager after I got home. I didn’t even say goodbye to my agents as I couldn’t handle more of the same that made me want to run for the hills, as far as they were concerned I went on break and didn’t return.
After all that communication still sucked and I end up getting a text message from my boss the next morning asking if I was coming to work today because apparently nobody got the memo or if they did they didn’t bother to tell her. Geesh!
Within hours of leaving I felt validated in having made the right choice, after taking some time at home to clear and relax all traces of anxiety and fears of looming panic attacks dissipated and I feel so much better on all levels, physically, mentally and emotionally. I don’t care about the cankles anymore, I feel better and even people now comment about how good I look. I feel happy, relaxed and I am even able to sleep better.
Speaking of sleep, I mistakenly thought that I would have more energy now that I’m not working full time but it’s been the opposite! Despite sleeping more hours at night I’m also becoming short of narcoleptic during the day being hit by sleepy spells that naps don’t fix. It’s a miracle that I haven’t napped yet today but it certainly isn’t for lack of sleepiness!
It almost feels like baby is readjusting my sleep patterns to train me for what’s to come as I now wake up once or twice a night and have insomnia for 30 mins to 1 hour before going back to sleep and have become more reliant on daytime naps as well.
So apparently I’m next in line as being due for the midwife so she waits for my call in between our weekly appointments, the birth tub is set up so it’s only a matter of filling it up once I go into labor… whenever that is. My due date is 1 week from today but I could go over 2 weeks past that and only Baby Fox knows his/her birthdate.
But if the departure of National Geographic nipples and the gradual return of the normal ones I remember in addition to suddenly having a teenager’s skin complexion are any signs of impending labor then I must be getting close!
And yes, there will probably be an update on Facebook once labor starts but it won’t be until things are well underway, I don’t plan to be posting things like “could this be it?”, that way anybody that cares can be informed when it’s showtime and we don’t have to activate a phone tree as that is so 1990.
Another recent physical change has been on my belly. After 9 months of smooth skin I have now started to get stretch marks. Everything was fine as long as my belly was stretching outwards but when the dropping started that’s when they showed up. So it sucks that I ended up getting some marks after all but I’m not heartbroken, as far as I am concerned these are similar to battle scars and I’ll wear them with pride as badges of motherhood.
It’s kinda funny how people that don’t know me comment on how high I carry as I still looks that way but I have indeed dropped quite a bit in recent weeks, I just have a tall belly (midwife thinks that I’ll be pushing a decent sized baby).
In addition to the stretchmarks this is evidenced in the fact that my belly button now tries to look down instead of straight ahead and the fact that any elastics roll off my belly until they come to rest on my pubic bone, lol. This means that I either have to wear maternity clothes with a full belly band or make sure that my shirt is long enough to avoid a case of peek-a-boo bump.
I do regret not getting more maternity clothes earlier in the game, it’s now too late to do anything about it short of wasting money but I wasn’t warned about maternity clothes being irremovable stain magnets and didn’t plan on so many dresses and tops being unwearable as a result of the fact that pregnancy clumsiness results in the belly catching food drips because it gets in the way of the napkin placed on my lap for that purpose. I even tried to put the napkin on the bump itself but it would just fall off.
I tried to do the oxy spot cleaning but either those stains are permanent or I just don’t have the interest of putting enough elbow grease in the process. It’s ok though, I don’t have that much left and I no longer have to worry about work dress codes so I don’t have to worry about wardrobe crisis when we get close to laundry day.
I thought that being at home would allow me to nest but I guess that I still have a backlog of exhaustion to recover from as I haven’t been able to be anywhere near as productive as I’d like, my body just wants to sleep and eat but I don’t want to spend all day in bed either. Striving to find balance…
On the activism front, I’m finding that I can’t stand women that are not honest with themselves and others. When a woman is unwilling to breastfeed, but tells people she was unable, it inflates statistics and seeds fear in other women that breastfeeding is an unreachable ideal for most women.
Bottom line, if you choose not to breastfeed, be proud and own up to your decision, don’t be making lame excuses to get others off your case or try to get sympathy from them by lying.
A recent incident has reawakened the activist letter writer in me as according to Lisa from the “Russ and Lisa Radio Show”, breastfeeding mothers need to take their hippie granola nonsense to the bathroom.
Maybe you’ve heard about this piece of work online already, but for those who haven’t, here is a transcript thanks to “Code Name: Mama” from the broadcast about seeing a mother discreetly nursing in a Chick-Fil-A, and how Lisa felt about it. And here are a few excerpts if you’re not up for reading the whole thing. Try not to have a stroke, it sure was a conscious effort for me.
“It’s just bad manners as far as I’m concerned to hike your blouse up and have a baby’s head underneath, even if you’re not exposing yourself.” (I think it’s bad manners to nosh on some fast food but expect an infant to be denied HEALTHY food)
“I hate it. I just don’t understand why in a public place you want to – and she was covered by the baby’s head, you know her shirt was partially – I just, to me it was sorta just in such bad taste”
Why is this not indecent exposure? And I don’t mean that she had her breast out and that you could really see it”
(Even nursing covered isn’t enough for Lisa. I guess we should all just hole up in our homes until our children are off the boob.)
There was more, including Lisa’s opinion that even covering up the baby with a blanket it not “discreet” enough – she wants it to be completely out of her sight. She went on and on, but I’m sure you get the idea
The actual broadcasts of this show used to be online, but the station has taken them down. I heard much of it myself, and she truly is as awful as the quotes make her sound, and then some. I am all in favor of freedom of expression but still find it incredibly saddening that people like her have the public’s ear.
I sincerely hope that no women were listening to her and were impacted in a way that would harm their current or future breastfeeding. Imagine a new mom staying shut in her home for fear of bitches like Lisa, or maybe even never nursing at all!
What disappoints me most is that these comments come from a woman, I guess I’m used to men being insensitive and ignorant pigs when it comes to this and to them I can just say “I grow people and food, what’s YOUR superpower?!”
I think that’s why I enjoy going to La Leche League meetings so much, it is the only place that I can go to and not have to be on the defensive about subjects that I am passionate about and instead get to meet and share with mothers that have similar parenting styles to mine.
I feel that just like any parent considering circumsicion should watch from beginning to end at least 1 video of the procedure being done without looking away, closing eyes or throwing up. I feel that any woman considering feeding her baby formula should attend at least 1 La Leche League meeting. Radical? yes, doable? unlikely but since people are so lazy that they don’t bother to make informed decisions I would like to find a way in which they can put just as much effort being informed about things that impact their current AND future health as they do in researching what hotel to stay at at their next vacation.
Time to roll up the ranting carpet, at this rate this is going to turn into a book!
Sorry there is no new belly picture, we should fix that soon while there’s still a belly to photograph!