It’s been a looooong time since I wrote on the blog, so I thought a little update/explanation post might be in order.
The big news around here is that Andy and I are expecting baby number two in June 2018! So that is all very exciting (and a little scary). I am about 15 weeks along now, and am super happy to be out of the first trimester. Pregnancy has been much harder this time, or at least harder than I remember. Before I launch into this “poor me, pregnancy is hard” post, please know that I feel extremely fortunate that so far the baby seems to be developing normally and all of my early screening for chromosomal abnormalities have come out “low risk”. I had more in-depth screening tests done this time, as my age (I will be 37 when baby two is born) puts me into the “geriatric mother” category. What a label!
Anyway, back to me shamelessly looking for some sympathy. Andy and I found out very early on that I was pregnant. As we were “trying”, a late period signalled time to pee on a stick, and low and behold, two pink lines appeared! That was during our September school holidays, right before we went to the Sunshine Coast. For a good six or seven weeks after that I felt nauseous ALL.THE.TIME. Not just in the morning - apparently the whole “morning sickness” thing is a myth, and can actually last all day, as I found out. I was simultaneously very hungry, so a lot of the time I would look at food feeling like I wanted something to eat, but the thought of eating anything made me feel like throwing up. For someone who usually looooves food, this was pretty annoying.
I was also exhausted… there is no downtime with an active 2.5 year old! After work I would just crash, feeling like I wanted to do was lay on the sofa. I wasn’t doing very much exercise, and I felt like I gained a lot of weight very quickly. I was so unhappy about it that Andy starting googling, and would try to assure me that it was normal to gain weight and look pregnant quicker with your second baby. That didn’t stop me feeling gross and frustrated when I couldn’t fit into most of my clothes by the time I was eight weeks. I’ve since spent a small fortune on maternity clothes from ASOS and ebay. I did dig out my bag of maternity clothes from when I was pregnant with Ella, however I seemed to manage to get through the whole summer last time in my “normal” sized clothes as I could only find winter maternity clothes. Not helpful when we were going through the hottest November in over 100 years here in Melbourne! (On the plus side, I got the most gorgeous maternity dress from Ripe Maternity on ebay. I would never have spent this much on maternity clothing normally, but buying it second hand on ebay made it a steal and I feel just lovely in it when I wear it! Win!)
On top of all this, I’ve felt really stressed about work lately. I was promoted in July to a position that started in November, and to accept the promotion I had to return to work full-time. I was initially told I could work at 0.9 and have one day off each fortnight, and then that was retracted. I’m not sure how I feel about that… On one hand I understand, as it is difficult to be in a leadership role in a school and not be there everyday. This is simply because it is not done regularly and so people expect that you will always be there. You end up feeling like you are constantly inconveniencing people when you can’t meet on a certain day because it is your day off. For the last two years my school has supported me in working part-time, so I suppose I can’t really complain. But on the other hand, schools are not really as family-friendly as people think they are - at least not during term time! I do know that when my children are school-aged we will be lucky to have the school holidays off with them and not have to search for childcare, so you can’t have it all I guess!
Anyway, the timing of going back to work full-time wasn’t great when combined with the stage of pregnancy I was in. I felt really negative about work and was regretting taking the promotion, wishing I had decided to take a step back and “just teach” for a little while. I know, how very un-Lean In of me. But seeing mummy friends of mine who have stayed off work for longer, or who have been able to work the ideal “three days per week” makes me feel like I am missing out on Ella growing up. She spends about 50 hours per week at daycare and so probably has more awake time with her carers there than with Andy and me, which makes me feel really sad and guilty. She does love it there, which somewhat helps. When having these thoughts I can totally understand why there is still an unbalance of men and women in leadership roles in society… your career progress starts to feel a lot less important when you start a family.
Side note: I have been listening to a four-part series on the podcast “The Longest Shortest Time” about mothers in the workplace (episodes 141-143 and 145). The podcast is recorded in the USA, where maternity leave and discrimination of mothers in the workplace seems to be a much bigger problem than here, but there are still a lot of parallels. If you are a working mother, or someone who works with working mothers, I’d encourage you to listen!
Anyway, I did know that deep down these feelings of dissatisfaction with work were partly due to the hormones of pregnancy. And I’m glad to report that I’ve come out the other end of the dreaded first trimester and am feeling much better. I’ve started doing some prenatal yoga videos at home on a regular basis, and I’m trying to go for walks in the evening once Ella has gone to bed. I am looking forward to my mom and dad getting here in January so that I can have a walking partner in the evening!
Ella knows that “mummy has a baby in the tummy” and I think we are going to get some books for her for Christmas that talk about becoming a big sister. I am looking forward to her first Christmas where she really knows what is going on. She is obsessed with our Christmas tree and her first job when we get home from daycare is to turn on the Christmas lights. Her second job is to take a look inside the two tiny stockings hanging on the tree to find her daily “treat”... our version of an Advent calendar for her. Sometimes there is a strawberry in there, sometimes a little chocolate, and I’m glad she is still just as happy with fruit as she is with a “real treat”! Yesterday Andy went all out and put a Kinder Surprise in one of the stockings, which I thought was going overboard… but I ate half of the chocolate egg so she didn’t get too much of a sugar high! With only four days left of the school year, summer holidays are in sight, so things are definitely looking up!
|Soon we will be four!|