The scariest part of going back to work on Monday is what to wear. I’ve spent the past three months in pajama pants and a nursing bra. And I’m still at highest baby weight.
Day 3 of not being at work. No baby. No sign of baby coming any time soon.
My due date is Friday. There is every expectation that I’m going to be late, first time mom and all. But seriously, any time now. Any time. OMG.
Regardless of baby, I also stop working after Friday, and honestly, I am so relieved. Things are super busy, I’m training my replacement and I don’t have enough hours in the day right now. I’m cleaning major tasks off my plate, but it’s a lot. The idea of being able to be home, sleep 10 hours, walk the dog whenever, take a nap, make more burritos (… we may have dipped into the freezer stash a bit…), god damn, it’s a relief.
Baby’s room is nearly done, though the crib is more storage than anything else. I’ve told the wife I won’t go into labor until the room is finished. I’ll post pictures when it is. The wife has done some serious work on it and it’s beautiful (she thinks it’s the best decorated room in the house… and she might be right!). She probably won’t even sleep there for the first 3 months (we have a bassinet I’m keeping next to our bed, the closest compromise we have for co-sleeping), but knowing that it’s done, that I can duck in there at 3am and feed the baby while rocking on the glider… it’s going to be a huge relief.
So, basically, right now, I am Jessie Spano.
But, you know, without the need to go to rehab. And if I wasn’t a little scared, frankly, I should be. We’re bringing a people into the world. There’s no takebacks, no undo button, no reset. This is huge (but also she’s going to be very tiny!). I can’t wait and I’m terrified I’m going to screw it up tremendously. You know, the way every new parent feels, except for the part where I am an incredibly unique individual and my experiences are different from everyone else’s.
When your feet swell daily, so you want to elevate, but need to keep your feet even with your hips so the baby isn’t sunny side up. Clearly, the answer is to steal the office stepstool and heaven help those who object.
Departmental supervisor was told and had a very positive reaction. While I am still trying to make sure he wasn’t replaced with a pod person, I went ahead and told the rest of my department this week. I thought I’d finished yesterday, but then I remembered I forgot two colleagues at the end of the hall. Never believe that pregnancy brain isn’t a thing! I’ve also screwed up an email by renaming a Robert to Roland and had to send out a correction letter after I mistyped an amount.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I either need my second, midwife-approved cup of coffee for the day… or a nap.
I told my immediate supervisor today and it went just fine. I still have to discuss it with my department head, which may be difficult, but still. No one panicked. No one made wildly inappropriate comments. I still get to tell Facebook on Thursday. Not sure how I’m going to tell the rest of the office, but yes. Much relieved.
I’ve been referring to tomorrow as P-Day among loved ones. Otherwise known as the day I tell work about my fetus. I. Am. Nervous.
I have no reason to think that it won’t be accepted with anything other than grace and kindness by most of my colleagues. And despite all of the assurances that I’m not going to quit, that I’ll be back and better than ever, I worry about things like mommy tracking or underplaying the work I’ve done this year in my upcoming review because they’re assuming I’ll quit when my paid leave is over. Never mind that work knows that I’m primary earner and need the health insurance. Or that I’ve worked my ass off for them for the past 22 weeks, despite being pregnant and having morning sickness, heartburn and unending fatigue. I spent basically all of Friday night and Saturday standing and working (and trust me, I’m so glad I took today off to recover, I’m really feeling it today).
I don’t have a set plan right now for how they should cover my maternity leave because I thought they’d probably want input for it, but I have suggestions. And overall, I’m not taking that much time. It’s going to be about three months. Unfortunately, it’s going to be during our busiest season, but don’t blame me – we started in June thinking that I’d deliver in March, right during one of our slower periods. My ovaries didn’t agree. If it was Canada, I might be taking a full year.
But yeah, I’m nervous. I can control a lot in my life, but I can’t control their reactions. Or the potentially awkward questions I’m going to get about fatherhood and working plans. I’m sure it’ll be fine.
I’m also so glad to let the cat out of the bag. To start wearing maternity clothes instead of hiding my changing stomach under blousy dresses and blazers. To explain why I’ve had so many doctor appointments lately. To let my colleagues know when the baby is kicking, show sonogram pictures and debate baby names.
But still. I’m nervous.