Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Swiss Chard

Full term, baby! 37 weeks! Though, anybody else think it's weird that after several weeks of comparisons to melons, we seem to have taken a giant leap backwards to leafy vegetable?

My appointment today was every bit as uneventful as I hoped it would be. Blood pressure lower than last week, weight up a respectable amount, urine still clear. Baby Barack is still head down, and is now officially engaged in my pelvis (ie, he's dropped enough that his head is now "locked in." At least, that's how we've been talking about it... turns out that "locked" is probably the wrong word, since we know at least one baby that managed to dis-engage right before labor, which is apparently no fun at all).

I haven't had more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep all week. I keep waking up from a number of factors: (a) needing to pee; (b) intense pain in my hips, legs, and hands; and (c) hot flashes. I had thought that I'd be finished with the hot flashes, at least for the next few decades, when I stopped the fertility treatment, but apparently not. They're no fun at all. When I wake up, I'm usually up for an hour or more, if I'm able to fall asleep again at all, so I am now seriously sleep deprived. I'm working from home today in the hope that I can take a nap this afternoon.

On the topic of work... I've heard from a lot of people about how they were incredibly efficient at work for the last few weeks before their maternity leave. How they were so anxious to leave things in a good place before disappearing from work for several months that they had a huge burst of productivity. They accomplished more during those last few weeks than they normally do in twice the time. Leaping tall buildings in a single bound! That sort of thing. I image it's tied a bit to the nesting instinct -- wanting to get everything arranged for the baby at home isn't that far from wanting to finish everything possible at work so that it can all be safely ignored during maternity leave.

My problem: I've had no such work-related energy boost. In fact, I am now in the position where finishing the project that I desperately wanted to finish before my maternity leave is an impossible goal. And by "impossible" I don't just mean "unlikely that I can finish it in time." I mean "my last day of work is Friday, and there are enough outside dependencies for this project that it cannot be completed in one week, even if I had superhuman endurance and strength." Some of this isn't totally my fault -- some of those outside dependencies were, um, less than dependable lately. And even if I had been 100% focused on this project for the last month, the terrible state of my hands and wrists due to pregnancy carpel tunnel would have prevented me from being very efficient. But if I'm totally honest with myself, I have to admit that a large part of why the project isn't finished is that I've been finding it impossible to focus on work lately. I've been less efficient than I have ever been in my entire professional career. I just cannot seem to focus on anything. It sucks. I go to work each day with the best of intentions, and by the end of the day, I find that I've accomplished very little. Blame my painful wrists. Blame my lack of sleep. Blame the frequent interruptions for doctor visits and delivery guys and baby-related phone calls. Blame my sudden inability to multitask. Whatever it is, it's killing my work life.

So, who are these people who get so much accomplished before their maternity leave, and how do they do it? Because I have three days left to get everything in order at work, spread across both my university and my two outside jobs. My goal has switched from "get everything done" to "get everything in a state where I won't feel TOO guilty about it for the next four months." And maybe that was a more realistic goal all along, but for someone whose main identity has been related to work and study for a long long time now, in a lot of ways, that goal also seems like a harder one.


  1. Oh honey it will be OK. In a way its good that you're in this state before barack arrives. The hardest adjustment for me, was not having control. Not getting everything done and no longer being the woman who can multi-task 2 jobs, school etc. It sounds like a large part of your identity is your professional life, which you may have to let a part of go. Not all of it, but just a part. Congratulations on making it to the full term. Looking forward to seeing Barack

  2. I don't know who these people are either. It has been impossible for me to concentrate on anything but baby for months now. In fact it may all really date back to TTC.

    Congrats on reaching full term! I can't believe that we'll be reading about Barack's birth story so very soon!

  3. happy full term to you!

    Work shmwork .. in a few weeks, you will not care at all ;)

  4. Wow. Full term.

    As for work, I am definitely in the same boat -- I know *some* people get this burst of productivity, but I am decidedly lacking in motivation. And, like Jen, mine dates further back than just the past few weeks. The pregnancy carpal tunnel makes it a lot harder. As does the case of the stupids I've developed -- one of the partners I work with called it "milk brain" (referring to the weeks leading up to when her kids were born).


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