I had my performance review yesterday. It was mediocre. I have been mediocre. It was also a probationary review, because I started here just over 6 months ago and that's how long my probationary period lasts. After that I'm fully unionized and, you know, unions. Love them or hate them, it is true that it's harder to fire a union employee. So they make sure they like you before it's too hard to fire you.
So, despite the fact that I’m mediocre and very pregnant and about to leave for several months, they are keeping me. There was a small part of me that almost wanted them to let me go so that I have an excuse to not be here. This is probably part of what makes me mediocre. Also, I’m only here 75% of the time, so I simply don’t get as much done as other folks. And I’m just not that excited about this job. It’s good but not great. I still see the potential for it to get a lot better, and part of the reason it hasn’t been great is just circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Projects that haven’t gone as planned. What is great is the hours. And the flexibility. It fits in so well with our family. I feel like I still get to see my daughter a ton, and yet it keeps me sane and keeps my skills up. Even though I don’t love it, I never dread it, so that’s something. And, like I said, I keep hoping it will get better.
It is a new thing to me, though, to be mediocre and be 100% fine with that. While I’ve been okay with not being the best, I like to do good work and earn awards and accolades. Now? I just don’t care. Does that do a disservice to women in the workplace? I don’t really know, but it’s something I think about. I hate to fit the stereotype, but here I am, fitting the stereotype. Does that bother anyone else?
The other reason I’m mediocre right now, is that I’m just very pregnant. I’m uncomfortable. I’m distracted. I don’t want to start new projects. I hope that each day at the office will be my last for a long while.
Things are starting to feel very close. As I may have mentioned, I have it firmly lodged in my head that I will go early. I wish I didn’t have this in my head, because I may still have a month (or a little more!) left. This is, I think, the hardest part of pregnancy. The discomfort isn’t great, but it doesn’t mess with my head. The waiting messes with my head. Each day could be like any other, or could be completely life changing. If you walked out of your house in the morning and had a 0.5% chance (my current odds of going into labor on any given day) of your life changing in a dramatic, important and permanent way, wouldn’t that be hard to live with? And what about when it becomes a 5% chance, the odds once I get closer to 40 weeks? It’s not enough of a chance to plan for, and not enough of a chance to ignore. That’s where my head’s at.
I recently found this awesome website:
If you are as obsessed with labor statistics as I am at this moment, check it out. This woman has a simple survey to compile statistics, and currently has over 2300 respondents. Although there are some statistical issues with this method, there are with any method, and as her number of respondents goes up I think it becomes a more and more powerful tool. Among the more interesting parts is her finding that second time moms actually go into labor, on average, later than they did with their first. This means I would go into labor close to 41 weeks, not early.
I pulled out my birth books the other day. I read through MJ’s birth story. That’s the first time I’ve read it in a long, long time and I came away feeling a lot more upbeat about the whole thing. I forgot how low her heartrate got. I forgot how much distress she was in. One thing I have decided is that puking was the worst part of labor, not pain. I avoided anti-nausea medications last time, because I didn’t want meds, and this time I’ve decided I’ll do whatever I can to avoid the nausea, because that’s what put me over the edge.
I’ve also started to become a bit nervous about my water breaking unexpectedly. It’s fairly rare (~10%) for your water to break before labor begins, but that’s what actually started my labor last time. It may have been a random occurrence, or it may be how I labor. I won’t know until it happens, and I’m hoping it won’t happen in public. In addition, once my water broke, my labor was on. So I’m nervous that I’ll get stuck somewhere, with hubs working an hour away in the middle of a long shift he can’t just leave, me with MJ and in so much pain I can’t drive. These are the things I fret about.
My mom visited for the past week and left yesterday. It was so nice to have her here. The help and the distraction were much appreciated. We got the nursery ~85% complete; I’m excited to post pictures but want to wait until it’s done. So you may have to wait for some finishing touches.
And now that my Mom has left MJ must just deal with me. I’m just a lump these days, and I feel bad for her. Yesterday I tried to take MJ and Vito for a walk. I seriously made it two blocks and nearly cried in pain. Round ligament pain, I think. I had to sit down on some random guy’s lawn to collect myself, then hobbled back home with dog and toddler, barely containing myself. I’m sure that most people who saw me thought I was having contractions, because I am that pregnant and was clearly in that much pain. But what kind of crazy person would take their toddler and dog for a walk while having contractions? So my abilities are severely limited right now. My legs feel restless from lack of activity, but the rest of my body just can’t handle it.
Also, lots of cramping this week, but no real contractions. At my midwife appointment yesterday I was 4-5 cm dilated at the outside and 1-2 on the inside (so essentially 1-2 cm). It’s nice to know that all this pain is at least getting me somewhere and accomplishing something. Up 43 pounds. Down a lot of sleep. It happened suddenly, but starting about 5 days ago sleep got really, really crappy. I have discovered, though, that since the weather cooled down I can deal with this pregnancy thing a lot better. Just trying to take it one day at a time. One week at a time. One midwife appointment at a time. Trying very hard not to wish this time away, because I know full well how precious it is. Like I said, it’s just the not knowing. It’s not that I don’t appreciate this time, but the suspense is sometimes too much. Coupled with the discomfort.