In preparation for attempting to return to work, I've been a little more lenient with bed rest over the last week to see how I felt. I've done a little more standing and walking around at home. I went to the doctor on Tuesday, and Thursday afternoon was big! I went to the plant nursery with Brian and his parents to point out the plants I wanted for the planters in our back yard (I was standing for about 15 minutes) and then we went out to dinner at Mi Cocina (where I was seated the entire time!). Friday evening, Brian drove me to a store to pick out mats and frames for some artwork we wanted to hang in the nursery. I was probably standing for about 30 minutes this time. Saturday was the shower, and I did a fair amount of sitting and standing over the course of the afternoon.
During these "adventures" I started to notice a few things. First, walking has become quite awkward and uncomfortable. (I believe the word "waddle" has been used around our house on more than one occasion). I'm also having some pelvic joint issues that are causing me a lot of pain when I move from sitting to standing or when I shift positions. Second, standing for more than a couple of minutes has been producing a definite sensation of increased pressure in my lower abdomen which is accompanied by some crampiness at times. Third, I have the stamina of a 90 year-old residing in a nursing home which I'm told is caused by prolonged bed rest.
These things were really circulating through my head as I tried to decide whether or not to return to work on January 19 at 34 weeks pregnant. Deep down, I knew that it was not a good idea, but I kept trying to figure out ways to make it work. Last night, I started to realize that if I did go back it would be for selfish reasons such as: 1) proving to my supervisors and co-workers how dedicated I am to my job, 2) proving to myself and others that I can do it all, and 3) satisfying my Wonder Woman complex. Some gentle nudging from God made it clear just how selfish all of these reasons were. It helped crystalize this new concept called motherhood for me--you know, the whole "another human is relying entirely on me for survival" thing?
The doctors can't tell me whether returning to work would cause imminent labor and delivery because they just don't know. I don't know either, but I am quickly learning---learning to listen to my body, and learning that I am a mom (weird!), and that my needs and desires no longer come first.
All that to say: I'm not going back to work....until after the baby is born (hopefully 12 weeks after the baby is born).
And I honestly can't say I feel perfectly content and peaceful with this decision. I'm still learning to let go, and I feel guilty/lazy/weird about staying at home for the duration of my pregnancy. Part of me is also relieved.
And one huge thank you to my awesome husband who has been so supportive throughout this pregnancy and the making of this decision. In fact, this morning, when I woke up and announced that I was not going back to work, his first words were, "how can I support you in this decision?" Wow! Of course, he also said, "...not going back to work until the baby is born, or EVER? We'll make it work either way, but I just need to know..." Poor guy...I guess I should have made my 7:00 a.m. announcement a little more specific!