During my first pregnancy my husband was posted to a new city when I was just 15 weeks pregnancy. So that was that, I finished up work and became a lady of leisure.
This pregnancy, I am 34 weeks pregnant and still have two weeks left at work. I am still commuting 2+ hours three days a week and spending 8 hours per day attempting to be as productive as I can.
Working up until term sounded like a really good idea at the time… In fact, I initially wanted to work up until 38 weeks. Thankfully my GP talked me out of it.
And whilst it is pretty tough hauling this belly o’ mine around and acting like a normal human being every day, working so late in pregnancy does have its upsides…
It passes the time. During my first pregnancy, I could have told you exactly how many months, weeks, days- heck probably hours- pregnant I was. Which is lovely and everything, but it sure makes the time drag. This pregnancy when people ask me I’m always about 30 something weeks. Between work, motherhood and everything else I really don’t have time to count the days, which sure has made the last eight months go a LOT quicker than those from my first pregnancy.
I can always sleep. I remember from about 25 weeks in my first pregnancy, I found it really difficult to sleep. I am a tummy sleeper, and I just found myself really agitated at night. I would also nap throughout the day, which sure I would still LOVE to do, but it really messed with my night time routine. This time, particularly on nights after work, I am pretty much asleep before my head hits the pillow.
Adult conversation. During those first few weeks of parent hood, adult conversation can be really hard to come by. In fact, even at this stage in pregnancy all people want to talk about (me included) is the baby. And whilst I do a lot of talking about the baby at work, I also talk about other things, like, you know- work! It really keeps my mind from turning to complete mush, and reminds me that there is a life outside of pre-school fart jokes, baby shops and swollen feet!
Money. So this one might seem really obvious, but it didn’t really occur to us how much that loss of a second income would affect us the first time around. And we adapted, of course we adapted, but stopping work so early in pregnancy gives you less time to work out a saving plan. And that ‘rainy day’ bank account can really come in handy when all your bills come at once.
Appreciating maternity leave. I am so excited to start maternity leave. I am really going to make those 12 months count. We have a zoo membership and I have looked into music classes for the bubs. And yes, I have a sneaky hitlist of cafes I want to check out. But mostly, I am so excited to spend 12 months with my kids. I know that it is not a walk in the park (although I plan to do a lot of that too). But these kids, they grow so quickly. I was out of the career game for so long with my first, and I was so eager to get back into work I really couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself that I didn’t have a job. This time, I can relax, I know it will be there waiting for me so I can really enjoy watching my kids grow over the next 12 months.
When did you commence maternity leave? And what would you do differently (if anything) next time?