Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Calling it quits

I've mentioned before that I'm a member of an online forum - although it's not specifically about pregnancy or babies, a number of us are pregnant or have recently given birth, and they've been a wonderful source of support and encouragement for me. Over the weekend, I had a meltdown - exhausted, in pain and crying, I posted this:
Things have gotten so hard in the last week - just so incredibly hard. Physically I'm at the 40-week point, and it's starting to wear on me. I'm in constant pain from one body part or another...the inflammation in my ribs, the strain that my stomach muscles are under, back aches from hell, the insane pelvic soreness that actually brings me to tears (it's so bad that I had to ask Mr Bibliosaur to lift my legs onto the couch and onto the bed last night because I couldn't do it by myself). I started crying hysterically at the foot of the stairs when I looked up and realized that I had to walk up them before I could take a warm shower or get in bed.

I think about the fact that I have about another 7 weeks to go, and the idea of trying to cope for another two months makes me want to burst into tears. I feel so incredibly miserable right now, I have no idea how I can keep going for that long.

I feel so weak complaining. I feel like I'm letting down the team, like I'm not being as strong as I should be. Women in third world countries in grass huts have twins, and I feel like such a loser in my inability to cope.

And I feel guilty for wishing I wasn't pregnant anymore. I wish that I could magically skip ahead another two months and have this be all over and done with. I know this will get even harder and I'm dreading it. I only have another 2 weeks left of work, and I'm sure it will help when I stop, but it still won't be that much easier.
The wonderful women of the forum gave me support, they gave me encouragement, they gave me advice. A number of them stressed that I'm human - I'm not a superhero, I'm not Wonder Woman, and I shouldn't feel ashamed or like I'm a bad mother for feeling the way I did. I feel like there is this terrible pressure for pregnant women to keep up an "everything is wonderful!" exterior, when the truth is that it's often not. Some women have an easy run, but for a lot of others, pregnancy is hard.

The Bibliosaur belly two weeks ago, at 27 weeks. See what I mean by the same size as a singleton at 40 weeks?

Something several of them asked was if there was any way I could stop working earlier than scheduled, to try to take some of the pressure off. I said no - I had a plan and I was sticking to it, to try to make the most of my vacation/sick days and maternity leave. It was just two more weeks - I could do it, right?

But as it turns out, no, I couldn't.

I saw my OBGYN on Monday. He asked me when I was finishing work and I told him the end of this month. And he said, "Bibliosaur. You are the same size as a full-term pregnancy. You just told me that you can barely get in and out of the car by yourself. Frankly, I'd like it if you finished today. I'll give you this week, but you need to stop working after this Friday. NOT two weeks from now."

So it turns out that this is my last week at work. I don't have enough sick/vacation days saved up to cover the extra week, so I moved my maternity leave up a bit to take care of the gap. Obviously it would be nice to only use the leave when I have a good chance of the twins actually being born, but on the other hand, I'm getting 28 weeks off, so I can afford to use a week or two of it in pre-baby time!

After this was all arranged, I felt (and still feel) so incredibly relieved. I didn't realize just how utterly miserable the idea of going to work every day was - even though I love my job and even though my boss has been incredibly supportive and fantastic with giving me the easiest possible tasks every day, just the sheer effort of getting up and making it through the day was killing me. And now I only have 2 more days of work to go! WOOHOO!


  1. I am so happy for you! I hope that it helps, and I'm sure it will :)

  2. I am sorry you are feeling this way. Its a good thing you are done with work in 2 days so you can get the relaxing started.

  3. I am the mom of Citysaur, and I just want to tell you to hang in there and don't beat yourself up about being a bad mom for having the feelings you are having. This is a really tough time for you, tougher than I can even imagine. You are bringing two new lives into this world. How wonderous is that? You keep taking care of yourself and you will be a great mom. Don't ever doubt it, OK?

  4. My sister had twins and she stopped working after 16 weeks because she couldn´t handle it--I´m amazed that you´ve made it this long, and I think you should be so proud of yourself for sticking it out like you have. Enjoy having that extra week to relax as much as possible!