Hi, there! Just like that, we’re at 35 (and ½) weeks. Last night we had our final childbirth education class; this one was on breastfeeding and newborn care. As much as I’d have liked to meet other couples at the hospital classes, I’m glad things worked out the way they did. The instructor is really nice, and I’m sure we’ll keep in contact in the next few weeks and after Baby M is born.
On Tuesday, I promised a story about my near-panic attack in the benefits office, so here it is.
Several months ago, I emailed our benefits administrator to find out the standard maternity leave process. She did a great job of explaining the protocol and clearing up any misunderstandings I had from the handbook.
Well, flash forward to last week, when I learned that she and her assistant were gone. They’d been replaced by 2 new women, so I figured I’d better talk to one of them sooner rather than later.
Perhaps I was unclear when telling her what I knew already (something about how I worded “FMLA leave” and “being paid”), but she nonchalantly stated my leave would be unpaid.
My jaw dropped and my heart started racing!
I argued that, no, 6 weeks of my leave is 100% paid and that I needed a # to file my claim (maternity leave at my company is covered under short-term disability).
She just kind of thought out loud, confused, saying she wasn’t sure. Luckily, as I grew more and more panicked (and angry), she vowed to resolve this and told me not to leave. Luckily, she figured it all out and gave me the forms I need.
I know that it’s not her fault for being inadequately trained, but the way she said all of this was incredibly frustrating. I apologized for reacting how I did and we kind of laughed before I left, especially after she mentioned that she could understand how I would feel panicked. I told her I was fine being the guinea pig if it meant that the next person wouldn’t have to go through the shock and horror I did. All is well now, and calling to initiate my claim was the easiest thing ever.
With that out of the way, let’s see how Baby M and I are progressing this week!
What’s Baby M up to this week?
- Baby M is over 18 inches long and weighs around 5 ¼ pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon)
- Due to his size, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same.
- His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products.
- Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.
How am I feeling this week?
According to the gym’s scale, 30 pounds
Walking as much as I can (but staying out of direct sunlight) and my Tuesday night barre class.
- peeing often—duh?
- a tiny bit of pelvic pressure, but nothing major, and lower back pain
- a tiny bit of sciatic pain (I think?)
- stuffy nose
- fewer leg cramps (which is nice!)
- some minor foot swelling last Friday evening (that went away quickly after I elevated my feet in the recliner)
I’m neither excited about nor averse to food. I eat whatever is available. I still enjoy cold things, though, and fruit, sweets, etc.
Mostly good. I still fight to get comfortable and am getting up once a night to use the bathroom, but I usually go back to sleep quickly.
Still haven’t noticed any
Wedding rings—on or off?
On, but a little bit snug
Belly button—in or out?
Flat (and so weird looking!)
Signs of labor?
Happy or moody?
Happy, although I’m slightly paranoid and incredibly aggravated at people’s comments about my belly!
Should I remove this question? Yes, I’m still wearing them; no, I don’t plan to buy anymore.
Nothing—our shower is this week so I’m super excited!
Looking forward to:
- our baby shower
- our good friends’ baby’s 1st birthday party next weekend
- my doctor visit next Thursday (not that I enjoy going to the doctor, but I’m anxious to know how I’m progressing, especially since every John and Sally I talk to is an expert on my body now)
- The lack of paranoia every time somebody comments about how I look!
- Being comfortable and having energy—the usual that comes around this time in everybody’s pregnancy, I imagine
- SUSHI AND BEER AND WINE!!!
Oh, so many!
Let me first say that I do realize that most people are being kind, friendly, and curious when they make a comment or ask a question about my pregnancy/bump. Likewise, I realize that pregnant women will always elicit reactions/commentary simply by virtue of being pregnant; we’re curious people, and we’re fascinated by new life. It’s actually kind of awesome when you think about it.
On the other hand, though, I’m feeling really paranoid due to the several comments I’ve received this week concerning the appearance of my bump, the replies of “are you sure you’ll make it that long?” or “I think he might come early” or “be careful, he’s coming.”
I was on the verge of tears a couple of times because of these comments. I know they meant no harm, but what makes them experts on my body? Why do they insinuate that DELIVERING 5 WEEKS EARLY would be a perfectly normal and good thing?
I *think* I feel a few changes that come in the last month of pregnancy such as: my belly does feel a bit lower (especially when sitting) but not extremely so; I feel minimal pelvic pressure, but nothing like “oh my god, he’s going to fall out!;” my bowel movements (TMI—sorry) are a little slower/less frequent; my heartburn isn’t quite as bad/frequent as the last month or so; and I’m sure there are a few more.
On the other hand, though, I can’t tell if half of these “symptoms” are in my head because of the comments I’ve received or if they’re real. I do know that I haven’t shown any warning signs like loss of amniotic fluid, a color change or increase in discharge, or contractions. I still feel fairly comfortable (as much as one can after gaining 30 pounds and being 35 ½ weeks pregnant), and I really, really, really want Baby M to continue baking till he’s full-term (39 or 40 weeks).
I realize that a pregnancy can be going perfectly and then change suddenly, but I honestly just want to see my doctor and have her reassure me that all is fine or confirm whether I should be more careful/expect to go early.
Anyway, I guess that’s it for this week. Here’s hoping things continue to go well and that Baby M bakes as long as he needs to.
Questions for moms & moms-to-be:
- How did you deal with the “suddenly-a-medical-expert” type of commentary?
- I’m venturing into TMI territory again, but what are your thoughts on perineal massage? Did you do it and did it help at all?
- What are your thoughts on paid maternity (and/or paternity) leave?