Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Last day of work

Well I made it – my last day of work. It seems to have snuck up quickly but I’m very glad it’s finally here!

It seems so long ago I was sitting in the obstetrician’s office, listening to him tell me to finish work early, and fitting my next appointment with him is tomorrow! As I reflect on the resistance I first had, I realise the valuable of medical advice. My original plan was to finish before Christmas so I would have been around 33 weeks. So technically, I’m only finishing 3 weeks early, but at this stage of the pregnancy, 3 weeks feels like an eternity.

At first, I felt like a failure finishing this early. All the other pregnant women worked up to 36 weeks and here I was not even being able to manage to get to 33! I felt weak and like a quitter. It took me a while to realise my pregnancy experience has been totally different to theirs and I cannot compare myself to them.

Now, as I sit here with just a few hours to go, I am enormously proud of myself for making it to 30.5 weeks. When I think of the other girls who soldiered through another 6 weeks, I remind myself that as far as I know, they hadn’t lost a baby as part of their pregnancy, or suffered stabbing pains, or dealt with pre-natal depression. I am not suggesting their experience was easy because I know it wasn’t, but it’s those things, unique to my experience, that has made it hard for me to soldier on. But, I did soldier on.

Now, I’ve reached the stage where I just can’t soldier on anymore. The whole way through this pregnancy I’ve tried not to complain but to be honest, I’m starting to get over it. The third trimester is without a doubt the toughest and I know there are more challenges ahead as it progresses. I’m ok with that because I know they will pale in comparison to the ones I’ve already had to overcome. But, in order for me to overcome them, something has to give, and that’s work.

I no longer feel like a failure – I feel like a success. I overcame all the challenges to keep going for as long as I have and that is something to pat myself on the back for. I know that by finishing early, I am doing the right thing for myself and my baby and that’s all that matters. I don’t care what others think or say because they haven’t lived in my shoes. I realise I don’t need to take other’s opinions or judgements on board because they have no idea what my experience has been like. I will walk out of here with my head held high, knowing I deserve to go home and put my feet up!

In saying that, I will miss coming to work.  I work with such a great group of supportive and loving people and we have a good time. This was the cover of my farewell card they gave me yesterday. God help me if something that big pops out but at least she’ll be good looking!

I will miss the banter and conversations we have and I will miss the friends I’ve made who take time to ask me how I am. Social interaction has always been an important part of my life and I do worry about how I’ll handle the lack of it. But, I’m hoping I’ll still get it through other avenues and the same friendliness and banter will be waiting for me when I return next year.  See you then ladies!       

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