Monday, May 9, 2011

Maternity Leave

It’s my first official day of my maternity leave.  I gave myself a bit of time off, because I know myself.    First, it would have driven me crazy to not have a set date.  Second, I would have never been able to do the amount of lesson planning and prepping without the date in mind.  As it stands, I left an enormous binder filled with every possible bit of information my sub will need, as well as every sheet of paper she should need photocopied through the end of the school year.  And the keys to every assignment, as well as whether to check it for credit or to grade it for real.  And my very detailed instructions on how to run each of my classes and what sort of personality/discipline works best with each.  And I had all of that finished last Monday.  Anal retentive much?  So…yeah.  I honestly made myself fairly sick the last two weeks preparing to be out for the next three.  It didn’t help that the other ninth grade teacher had emergency surgery last Monday and was out sick the whole week….so I took care of all of her lesson plans and checking on her sub too.  So, you know, I added a bit more to my already full plate.  But now it’s over.  Of course, I’m itching to know what’s going on in my room right now…if everything is going okay, if everything I left makes sense, etc.  But I’m not checking today.  I need to give myself some distance, to calm down.  My blood pressure was steadily creeping up at my last few appointments, and I think my work crazy was probably a part of it.

So now I’m home.  This week it’s just Ollie and me.  He is laying on the sofa trying to take a nap, and he keeps looking over at me like, “Woman, what are you doing here?”  It’s a bit funny.  I have a list of things to accomplish this week as well—groceries, license branch, bank, and a few last minute baby things.  Nothing too terrible, but enough to keep me busy each day this week.  At my appointment this Thursday, my doctor will decide when to do my c-section.  It will either be Saturday or Wednesday (as in…..this weekend or middle of next week).  Andy and I would prefer Saturday for a lot of reasons…. but I’ll do what she says.  It’s a really bizarre feeling.  I know that I’m pregnant.  I know that I’m about to have a child.  But it’s like my mind can’t quite fathom what’s really happening.  I kind of remember this feeling from getting married too….it’s like I knew I had a wedding coming up, and I could focus in on the details of that because everything that came after seemed so inconceivable.  Only here, even the birth details feel inconceivable….so I’m just kind of a mess :)

And speaking of being a mess….I think I’m coming to terms with having to have a c-section.  I really didn’t want one.  I really wanted to be a good mommy who did everything right and had a great pregnancy and delivery.  And then I got a rash that has made me miserable for over a month.  And then my blood pressure started creeping up.  And then I found out I had the strep thing that would require antibiotics if I was delivering vaginally.  And then my boy was “as breech as breech can be.”  And then it was really too risky to turn him because my fluid is lower than it should be for that, and my placenta is in the wrong place and could be more easily ruptured if we tried to turn him.  And then we settled on the c-section.  But it wasn’t an easy thing for me.  To be honest, I left that doctor’s appointment, walked out to the car, and started sobbing.  I felt like a failure.  Like my body was working against my child, and I couldn’t do what the whole world says is best…so I had to settle for next best.  Hear me out here….I know that my emotions were wrong.  I know that my feelings were the result of hormones, exhaustion, and lies in my head.  But it was something I had to deal with, to work through.  I have come to a place where I am fine with having a c-section.  I recognize that there are a whole lot of babies born that way (including my own husband) and that there is nothing wrong with it.

It has made me realize that there really is a fine line in a lot of things dealing with childbirth and even baby care and especially in the way that information is presented and things are said.  I think a lot of times people will say things in hopes of encouraging others…but they don’t come out that way.  Everyone has their own opinion on every topic under the sun, and pregnancy/birth/baby care decisions seem to be so controversial.  I am so thankful for a husband, a mom, and a mother-in-law who have been so supportive in these last few weeks.  I have talked this over with each of them a few times as I’ve struggled through what’s going on here.  The sweet teachers in my hallway at school were wonderful as well…encouraging me when I felt the most discouraged.  Because there are people who will say things, who will be rude, who will question the decisions you have made.  It’s happened.  And it’s taken every ounce of willpower inside of me not to shout “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HEAR ABOUT MY AMNIOTIC FLUID AND MY PLACENTA AND WHY I CHOSE WHAT I CHOSE BECAUSE THOSE ARE NOT TOPICS FOR POLITE CONVERSATION BUT I’M GETTING CLOSE TO LOSING EVERY BIT OF POLITE INSIDE OF ME.” Thankfully, that’s really only happened once.  And it was a person who has often made me think, “Some people just don’t think like I do.”  So it was fine.  

But you had better believe that I am going to be careful in how I treat other people—because I never want anyone else to feel like I am judging their decision.  I want to help and support other mothers and mothers-to-be in the same way that the women in our small group, the teachers in my hall at school, and my sweet moms have helped and supported me through these last few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps God is working thru you being a freshman teacher your students learned a little about pregnancy. Can't wait to be a great-grandmother lots of love.

Rebecca said...

You're doing what you have to do for everybody to be the most safe and healthy you can be.

If the C-section is Wednesday, Liam can share a birthday with me! But I understand wanting to do it Saturday :)

Anonymous said...

Good thing you didn't have to fret about it too long! Loved the pictures on facebook. He's so sweet, lady!

Lauren O.