Thursday, August 14, 2008

15 weeks

Ho hum!

When will the tiredness end? I expected to get to 14 weeks and suddenly have all former levels of energy restored. But it was not to be. Certainly, in general my energy levels have sky-rocketed from what they were a month or two ago, but it has been quite a gradual thing and I still experience dips. I suppose it's a bit much to expect to experience the kind of energy I had before I was pregnant, especially as I was reasonably fit. Last week I was getting to bed too late, which didn't help things, and then we spent another weekend painting, which, although not as full on as a couple of weeks ago, still took it out of me a bit.

Swimming and other achievements

I should, however, make note of the fact that I am able to do so much more these days, so whilst I might still get tired, I probably have good reason. Yesterday I managed to swim 550 metres at lunchtime, not much I know, and certainly not up to my usual ability which is around 7-800 metres, but I was incorporating some new techniques I have been picking up from watching the Olympic swimmers. I think I was going much faster than I usually would, I was putting a lot more effort into lengthening my stroke by incorporating a slight twist, and for the last 150 metres I attempted the wide hand stroke with my fingers slightly apart. I'm not very good at it but I could feel how the power and speed would increase if you could perform it effectively. There hasn't been enough Olympic underwater footage for my liking; you really can learn a lot from those guys.

To continue my achievements of yesterday, on the way home from work I filled the car with petrol and then went to the fruit shop and the supermarket. By the time I got home I was a bit tired and had a rest but was able to get up 15 minutes later and help Toby make dinner. This is so much more than I was capable of 6 weeks ago.

As for other symptoms, even though the nausea has stopped I still feel icky some days thanks to a strange taste in my mouth, apparently to do with hormones, and occasionally the headaches and sinusitis still occur.

Expanding waistline

But I really don't want this blog to be a big whinge-fest listing the awful ailments that pregnancy bestows upon you because it really is a magical and exciting time. Watching my body change shape is quite astounding. Every few days my uterus just suddenly expands and when I look at my naked body it amazes me that no one can tell I'm pregnant once I'm dressed. I have invested in another couple of long tops that nicely hide my expanding waistline as it isn't quite at the attractive baby bump stage. The safety pin has become my best friend as maternity trousers are WAY too big for me at the moment, and a couple of people have now mentioned clips that you can get for your trousers to expand them a bit. They probably won't quite fit yet either though. It's annoying being at this in between stage.


I started pregnancy yoga on Saturday and really enjoyed it. I didn't find it as challenging as my usual sessions but there were a few new poses in there that should be helpful during pregnancy and labour. As you can probably imagine in a room full of pregnant women there was a lot of talk about pregnancy and babies. I do hope that isn't all they talk about as although it is interesting to hear what other people are going through I find an hour and a half of that kind of talk a bit much. I'm concerned that I might get a bit bored with the pregnancy sessions but I will give it a few weeks and see how she changes it around each session. If it is a bit dull or non-challenging then I'll double it up with my usual Monday night session.

Brain melt and other exercise

My brain is still struggling. This morning I was incredibly impressed with myself as I actually managed to leave the house on time for my 8am pilates appointment. I was slightly embarrassed to be arriving on time as this is my first independent session and for months now I've consistently been a few minutes late when meeting with my physiotherapist. Still, it was no mean feat as I had to feed the cats, empty the bins and recycling box into the outside bins and then place them out for the bin men, as well as getting myself ready. Driving down my street, I was pondering on how I was on time for once, and the slight embarrasment at being on time when not actually meeting my physio, when something caused me to question the time of my appointment. I checked the card in my wallet and discovered that my appointment was actually at 8.30am tomorrow morning. GODDAMMIT! Instead of turning right I turned left and drove right around the block back to my house. I was surprised to learn that was 2km! I'll probably end up being late tomorrow.

It was damn disappointing though. I'm trying to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every week day and after changing into my work clothes I wondered how I would achieve that today. I shoved my pilates gear into a bag along with my trainers and decided a lunchtime walk would be good. But once at work I began to suffer from cubicle complacency, where it's really too much effort to move from your desk, got distracted by the thought of last night's left-over curry for lunch, and thus far haven't managed to go anywhere other than the toilet, the fridge and the microwave. Perhaps I'll sneak out after I've finished this blog. Hopefully the fresh air will pep me up a bit as I'm feeling a bit sleepy.

I've been trying to get to bed a bit earlier this week to help with the tiredness. I expected an immediate improvement but it doesn't seem to be working like that. I want to start getting up earlier in the mornings and doing things before work but it seems like a lost cause at the moment.

I have my next obstetrician appointment on Monday and I'm feeling nervous and excited. I just want to hear that everything is okay... but I guess I'm a bit worried that I won't. I thought about telling my team during tomorrow's meeting (if it happens) but now I'm thinking I might just wait until after my appointment. They don't need to know yet.

Maternity leave

I've also been trying to get my head around maternity leave. It all seems surprisingly complicated. I was already aware that I could take 6 months full-pay, or 12 months with 6 months full-pay and 6 months unpaid, or 12 months at half-pay. Today I discovered that you can't actually take maternity leave before the bub is born, which seems insanely crazy to me. What use would you be when 9 months pregnant and all whale-like and huge? Would you even be able to reach your keyboard? I doubt it. And do they really want to risk the waters breaking in the office? In an office full of men who love their toilet humour I can only imagine the repulsion.

I've been advised that it would probably be fairly easy to acquire a doctor's certificate and take sick leave in the final weeks but that's a bit difficult to plan for. I also learnt that you can't take more than 12 months in total but I'm waiting for confirmation as to whether this is just maternity leave, or whether it includes recreation leave and sick leave. I suspect it may include rec leave but not sick leave. I suppose I can't complain - 12 months off is better than a kick in the face - but it does make planning the whole thing more tricky than I first thought and has possibly thrown a spanner into my leave-at-christmas idea.

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