The Purposefully Slow Pregnancy: Taking Care Of Myself and Slowing Down0
I’m starting to countdown my remaining shifts at the hospital! I can’t believe that I’m actually at the point of being able to countdown and that there is indeed an end in sight. It feels a little bit surreal actually and I’m now in single digits of remaining shifts. I’m so excited and determined to finish things up and plug through the chaotic 12 hour shifts.
I feel like I’m being rather smart this time around by going off of work early and am really happy with my decision. Of course I am also really fortunate that I am able to do this and know so many women who have no choice but to work up until the very last minute. I’ve got some paid vacation and some pre booked paid sick time and live in a country that has a pretty awesome maternity leave. One reason why I’m leaving work early is super obvious, taking care of my health, but the other reason is that I’m really wanting to enjoy the Holiday season nestled snugly at home with my family! Surprisingly, I am getting a lot of support and love from people about my decision to leave work early. Quite different than my last time around!
When I was pregnant with Ben I heard a lot of opinions from fellow mamas. They told me how they had worked up until the day before they gave birth and how they didn’t use up one single sick day as they grew their baby. They told me how they didn’t start their maternity leave one second early and worked worked worked through their own long hospital shifts. One person told me how she was up and about shopping 2 days after having a Cesarean birth (ridiculous in my opinion!).
Through my professional practice and my personal experience, I’ve come to learn you don’t win any special brownie points by pushing yourself through pregnancy, especially towards the end of it. Instead, pushing yourself and not giving your mind and body a break can actually make things harder for you and your labour and your ultimate recovery. Not allowing yourself the opportunity to slow down can even effect your pregnancy and how you deal with stress.
This time around I’ve become really excellent at saying no to various things. I’ve said no to traveling out of the country in my third trimester, even though it would have been lovely to see my husbands family and enjoy some time with them. I’ve said no to going out of town over Christmas to spend the Holidays with my own family in our usual tradition filled way. Instead, I am putting myself, my health and my little family as first priority and for me that means to slow down.
The sweet sweet slow down captured amongst minutes from the past
Creating slow moments by reading a book with children piled all around
Bedtime rituals have a way of making you change your pace
Most likely this will be my last pregnancy and I want to savour my growing bump with quiet afternoons lounging at home with Ben while marvelling at baby kicks and movements. I want to slow things down and live in the moment of right now and not have to be filled up with worry from external stressors, like travel or getting through one more long shift with a huge belly.
I am so aware that life is soon going to change in a big way and I am so appreciative that I have the means to say no and the ability to take the time to slow things down. I wish all pregnant mamas could change the pace in their life and increase the moments of stillness while they can.