Week 39 Update + My First Week on Maternity Leave

Wednesday 26 August 2015


Hello my lovelies

So I'm at 39 weeks pregnant, my due date is less than a week away and the baby, according to my pregnancy app, is the size of 'a small watermelon'. Just how small are we talking here? Because every inch counts when you're facing the prospect of squeezing it out of the unmentionables.

I finally started my maternity leave last Tuesday after leaving it as long as I could, and although I was extremely glad from a physical viewpoint - I literally do not have the energy for a full day's work at this point - I have been struggling quite a bit mentally with stopping work.

It might sound dramatic considering I've only been away for a week so far, but I've found the adjustment into the housewife life far harder than I thought.

Part of me is aware its also hormonal, but I'm getting quite down in the dumps, feeling this sense of purposelessness and beginning to get quite scared about labour. This was precisely why I left it so late to leave work - I can't imagine having already been sat about for a month or so!

There was no gradual wind-down. We're so busy at work, I was going full tilt until the last minute. My final day in the office was 8am-7pm, trying to tie up all the loose ends, so to go from that to the most pressing issue being what to cook for dinner each night has been hard.

Due to a recruitment freeze at work, they are not currently getting any maternity cover for my position like they were initially going to, and its been especially daunting knowing that all the activity would essentially stop dead with no one to pick it up.

I think they're just adopting a policy of replacing people with pot plants. It wouldn't surprise me if I went back and there was a large rubber plant in my boss' chair instead of a person.

Despite the frantic rush, my last day was nice and passed in a blur. I'd very much specified no fuss (feels very fraudulent when I am planning to go back to work) but my director defied orders and I had a little presentation. I got two beautiful bouquets of flowers, some cute elephant baby grows, a Wax Lyrical deluxe candle to help me relax, and a £50 John Lewis voucher, which was so kind of them all.

The most lovely part was an email the director sent round the day after (which my boss forwarded, bless her) saying I'd 'done a huge amount' and had been 'invaluable' over the past few years, which was very lovely.

The next morning, the reality really sank in that I won't be back there for a year. Without a baby to care for yet, I immediately felt blue and useless, so I've been overcompensating and trying hard to stay busy - in fact, I haven't had a morning at home at all yet.

It helps that my mother in law- who's a teacher and currently on school holidays- has been off work too and she is equally restless and bad at staying home, so we've been entertaining each other.

On my first day off, staying in bed while Seb got up and ready for work was odd. I tried to take my time with a leisurely shower and breakfast. My neighbour Victoria (who had a son in February and is on maternity leave herself at the moment) popped round with her two kids, which was lovely - I got to have a good cuddle with her baby Alfie.

In the afternoon, my sister in law invited me to go to my niece and nephew's nursery to watch their sports day. So many cute littlelies doing the egg and spoon race!

I felt quite broody watching them all, which is something that's never really happened to me before - ironically I've never been very maternal before expecting myself. So that was quite a nice day. It won't be long before we're at sports days for the little man - Seb is going to be so competitive in the daddies race, its unreal.

The next morning, the health visitor came first thing.I'm not quite sure what they come for other than to assess the state of the house and see if anything is amiss, but she was a nice enough lady and certainly liked our chickens!


Afterwards, I headed off into town. I'd booked an appointment for a gel pedicure at H20 Hair and Beauty. It was long overdue as I can't see my feet at all and haven't sorted my toenails out for a good few months, I bet they were absolute hooves!

The salon is one I hadn't been to before, but it was beautiful and they did a great job, so I'll definitely be going back. At least my feet are decent for hospital now.

I also had to pick up a wedding present for my younger sister in law, I did a little sneaky haul of drugstore make-up products while I was there, and I met my mother in law for a coffee in John Lewis (ladies that lunch, eh!).

In the afternoon, I also had a midwife's appointment, so it was a fairly busy day. I was fuming when I got in there though, because they kept me waiting 50 minutes!

I understand its not their fault when things run behind, but not to even notify people what's going on (especially when those people are 9 months pregnant and sat on a stupidly hard plastic chair with a dying phone battery) is rude. I'm never normally the type to make a fuss but I was so annoyed when I finally got in there that I did say something. If I kept them waiting 50 minutes, I'd probably be blacklisted from the surgery!

Everything is fine with the baby though and he's in the right position so far thank goodness, although my bump measures a week behind, which I really hope doesn't translate to being a week overdue.

The next day was a Friday, which feels better than other days even if there's no office to escape from. I met up with my mother in law again and we went out for another coffee at a local restaurant called Signature (ladies that lunch, eh!). When I got home, I decided to clean out my wardrobe, literally, and chuck away lots of worn out shoes and things. It will definitely be the kitchen cupboard next.

The weekend was tonnes better, because of having Seb at home with me. I miss him so much when he's not there at the moment, it must be annoying for him how super-clingy being pregnant has made me.

We have a bit of a routine going at the weekend, so that part passed quickly and felt normal. We kept hoping the little man would make his appearance, but not a peep, despite a couple of long walks (well, as long as I can manage now I'm waddling and getting PGP, and needing the loo every five minutes) and a lot of clary sage application!

Monday was a very low point. I met up with my elder sister in law to take the kids to the park and she managed to comprehensively terrify me about giving birth.

She thinks she's just being honest and trying to prepare me, but I feel more like she's projecting her negative experiences on me. I don't expect it all to be sunshine and roses, but I think you need to be positive around someone who is literally about to give birth and boost their spirits a bit, because it is massively daunting. Not bang on about stitches and pain.

I felt quite downcast after that and had to message my work friend Amanda, who never fails to make me feel more positive about the whole thing, because she's got such a lovely, open minded attitute. She should seriously be a birth coach, because after you talk to her you just feel that anything is possible.

That evening I went into quite a dark place, just feeling scared, overwhelmed and a little bit useless. I hate all this waiting around, too. I burst into tears on the sofa and just couldn't stop crying.

Seb was brilliant, said all the right things, and whisked me off on a walk blackberry picking on the nature reserve near our house to take my mind off it.

That man has been an absolute angel throughout this whole hormonal rollercoaster! Seeing him wake up with a little smile on the corner of his lips because he's looking forward to meeting his baby so much makes my life complete.

The next day, I met up with my mother in law again and we took my niece and nephew to an indoor play centre as the weather was so awful. She's back to school tomorrow though, so I'm going to lose my companion. I enjoyed it but I did get very tired out towards the end.

In the afternoon, my Dad popped round and we spent a good few hours chatting and drinking tea, which was lovely. The bad news is that my Nana is not very well and Dad's also got to have an operation on his eye on Saturday. He'll be home the same day so its not a massive procedure, but I do hope it doesn't coincide with the baby coming.

Tomorrow I'm planning to take it a bit easier (especially as the weather has turned to torrential downpours). A short walk, making some cookies and a soak in the bath watching Netflix on the iPad sounds good.

Hopefully I'll feel a bit more adjusted to life after work shortly. Well done if you made it through this super-long entry, what an outpouring of emotion -  talk about 'Dear Diary'!

Until next time xx


  1. I have just stumbled across your blog and have loved reading through your posts so far, you have a lovely writing style. I am not pregnant nor planning but I enjoyed reading this - we share the same hatred of being bored stuck at home. Like your mother-in-law I am a teacher and this 6 week holiday has dragged as I don't have a permanent job to start in September, just supply, so I have been trying to get out the house as much as possible! Good to hear that you have kept busy though and here's hoping that your little one makes an appearance soon! x

    1. Thank you Jo, your comment has really made my day, far more than you know. Sometimes I think everyone feels they want to give up on blogging, so that's super encouraging. I know exactly what you mean about trying to keep busy.....the baby is due today but no sign of him so far! Thanks ever so much for your kind words x