Archive for April 13th, 2008

31 weeks.

today, i am 31 weeks pregnant. i just got off the phone with my midwife (who, incidentally, has 2 broken wrists from falling down stairs. yikes.). i am beginning a new regimen of kyolic garlic, hawthorne tincture, daily epsom salts baths, and more consistent 20 minute daily walks. why? over the past 2 weeks, my blood pressure and heart rate have shot up. for instance, right now, as i lie in bed, my heart rate is 120 bpm. my blood pressure was 146/9something last week at the doctor. it was 139/86 a few days later. i’m usually about 115-120/70. not. good. michele still thinks that stress is the biggest culprit, alongside my ever-increasing blood supply.

the biggest change michele requires is that i begin maternity leave now. as she pointed out: i sit in a chair all day and get stressed out. bad combination for a pregnant woman with an elevated heart rate and blood pressure. and so, i need to tie up a few loose ends tomorrow and begin my leave…two months before my due date.

i confess that i’m really wrestling with this new reality. on one hand, i’m really grateful that i will have an upwards of two months to transition from working not-mother to not-working mother. i’ll have time to savor my last days on my own. i’ll have time to properly nest. it’s a gift.

however. i’m really good at the self-guilt, and already (all along) i’ve struggled against the voice of “if you were stronger/more disciplined/a better mother, you’d be able to work until your due date”. silly, right? i automatically compare myself to other pregnant women who work harder jobs than me and stay longer. but, as h constantly reminds me, every pregnancy is different. and i have gotten through my pregnancy without bipolar medication. i have worked as much as i could. i bought a house. i’ve done my best to keep sparky alive and well in my womb. there is no part of my pregnancy that has been a failure. and i’m not leaving work now as an excuse to be lazy. i’m doing it to protect my pregnancy, my baby.

so why do i feel like i’m playing the pregnancy card to get out of working? probably because i mostly feel okay (aside from the heart beating out of chest thing). i always imagined an early maternity leave to look like premature labor and bedrest and preeclampsia etc etc etc. for me, it’s iffy blood pressure and heart rate. we’re keeping it from getting worse. over and over, i remind myself of this. preventative leave is just as valid as an emergency leave.

and so, yeah, i’m leaving work now.
oh heart of mine, slow down, please.

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