I am now on maternity leave from work and what a relief! I have had so much on my mind that I was struggling to focus on work. I finished my secondment with the 2012 Games team a week before my leave started (the team thought my project management skills were brilliant extending as they did to having the baby soon after the Games). I was due to be back with my regular team for three weeks before my maternity leave began but took two additional weeks of annual leave. This left me with a week to do a handover to the two people who would be covering my job. It turned out to be an intense week which thankfully flew by with two-hour handover meetings daily, me creating an enormous file of what my job entails (I made a copy for myself, along with saving all of my logins and various passwords somewhere). It ended with a team lunch, baby shower from kind colleagues and gifts and flowers.
The gifts below were from a former manager who thought it would be nice to give me something to pamper myself, a very sweet gesture.
I had been so shattered the last few weeks that I was barely fit to function at all let alone work. The first few days at home made no difference at all, until a good friend suggested I try the pregnancy supplement I recommended to her. Seriously – the difference overnight was astonishing. I have my energy and strength back and get through the day with none of the horrible exhaustion I was suffering from before. I had used the supplement through my previous pregnancies and tried a different one this time, not realising it had much lower doses of most of the nutrients, leaving me low in Vitamin D and Iron for the first time in my life.
I was desperate to be off work, because I wanted to get my house in order and prepare for the baby. The “nesting” syndrome always kicks in with me big time and sends me slightly crazy. I have been cleaning and organising the house and stocking up the kitchen.
I have moved my craft stuff downstairs to make a craft area of sorts for myself and reorganised my wardrobes and the children’s room. I have been clearing out lots of my books to make space and hunting around for baby stuff (I managed to find a Moses basket, bath set and change mat within the value of vouchers which were gifted to me and two places where I can get a free change bag, I’m currently hunting down a pram and hubby found a baby monitor). I also packed my hospital bags and now I am thinking about Eid preparation as I my due date is around Eid day (25th October).
It’s been strange getting used to being at home all the time. I am getting used to this space I know share with mum-in-law and with hubby coming and going throughout the day. I never had to worry about lunches and breakfasts before and I have had to reset the family’s routines for the day – something I am finding very challenging as everyone already had their own little routines and ways
I was dreading the school run and hubby has helped by doing the morning drop-off and letting me sleep in the morning as I am up every two hours or so during the night. I do the occasional morning and each afternoon’s pick-up. I thought I would hate standing around but its growing on me and I made a friend this week. A niqab-wearing sister approached me and told me she lived across the road from me, I asked if she had just moved in and she said no she had lived there for four years! She too had seen my husband dropping the kids off each morning and wondered what had happened to their mother. It brought home the fact that I hardly knew many of my neighbours whereas my hubby knows most of the street.
Little Lady also signed me up for a five week henna course organised by the local college at her school, which we will be doing together. I attended the first session and have been trying to get some practice in. Little Lady was very excited, but half way through the first session decided it was boring. I am going to make her stick with it; I just hope I manage to get to the end of the course.
Aside from that one of the main things that is occupying my thoughts is preparing mentally for labour and trying to deal with my fears of how I will be treated. I plan to go to the local hospital, but will have one more chat with my midwife before I make my final decision. I am fearful of who I will end up with helping me at the hospital – someone helpful and supportive or nurses/midwives that are rude, impatient and careless. Part of me feels I have to be strong and refuse to put up with poor care, the other part knows I will be at my most vulnerable – it really is at times like these it helps to have a strong and knowledgeable woman around to fight for you. Alhamdulillah, I keep telling myself to turn to Allah (SWT) for help and trust that what he has planned for me is what is best for me and this certainly helps settle my fears.