This week marked the one year anniversary of my Maternity Leave.
Or, as I should more appropriately call it, “The day I went to work, had to leave, and never came back.”
You see, like everything else in the Land of Mom, my maternity leave did not go as planned.
I had intended to teach right up until D-Day.
I had grand visions of my water breaking in the middle of circle time,
and my adopted-Jewish-mother of a partner hightailing me to the hospital.
I believed that I’d be spry until the end and go when I was ready.
I was wrong. Oh how wrong I was.
And so, on a normal Wednesday morning when I was 34 and a half weeks pregnant, I got dressed, went to school, sat in my high-backed classroom chair and was drawing crayon pictures with my students who had arrived early when I was hit with a dizzy spell to end all dizzy spells. I literally couldn’t move. I was scared. I was the only adult in the room, so faced with the choice between seeking help in whatever way possible or passing out in front of my four year olds, I chose to ask one of my little girls to go grab the teacher from the room next door. I remained calm on the outside, as my brained raced towards fear.
When I was finally able to stand up, my mom picked me up and we went to the hospital, where I was checked into Labor and Delivery.
Visiting L&D before DDay is a very strange thing.
On one hand, you’re in the place where you know you will be when it is time to meet your baby.
You see the incubator in the corner of the room.
You feel the rough hospital gown with the crazy, confusing buttons against your belly.
It all feels real.
Except, it isn’t. It’s a dress rehearsal.
Which is disconcerting.
I was treated as if I was in labor; hooked up to the fetal heart monitor, an IV and an anaconda of a BP cuff, and was introduced to a woman who would later become instrumental in the birth of my daughter: The infamous MJ. MJ is the nurse to end all nurses. She is tough as nails. She is strong as an ox. And, if I had delivered my daughter the good old fashioned way, there is no one who would have made a better cheerleader and hand holder than my MJ. But, as you know, I did not have a normal birth, nor was MJ in the room with me during my C-Section as she was not on duty during those wee mornings hours, but you better believe that she came to visit me the very next day in my post partum room. That’s just the kind of woman she is. But, she’s just one of the many warrior women I had as nurses when I was at the luxury hotel that some may refer to as the hospital.
I know I’ve said this before, but when I look back on my hospital stay, it is like reminiscing about my honeymoon. Maybe even better. It was one of the best times of my life; blood, guts, gore and all. And those nurses, those devoted, amazing nurses, whom I will never forget: MJ, my captain and champion; Gina, who taught me to breastfeed; Tana, who scratched my back for me, at 5am, when I was able to stand for the very first time since my surgery; Joy, who smacked some sense into me when I refused to let her take out my IV and stop my pain medicine drip; Lisa, my Labor nurse, who, when I told the doctor I needed a C-Section in the 11th hour, told me how smart I was for a first time mom, and that she would hold my hand the entire time. And she did. I will never forget looking into her big brown eyes as the doctors worked on my body in the OR; Ginny who made me smile and pretended to not see my sister as she snuggled up next to me in my hospital bed, long after visiting hours had ended. I’m telling you, I had the dream team.
But. I’ve digressed. Let’s rewind 6 weeks, back to 34, when I was being treated at the hospital for extreme dizziness. Dizziness is not something good for a hugely pregnant woman. Or so they told me. Not only can it be an indicator of some serious health issues, but it is also quite precarious for a small person carrying an unwieldy bowling ball on her midsection.
During my examination, the doctors saw that I was contracting regularly every 5 minutes. However, these contractions were not causing me to dilate, a fact that ultimately came into play, as you may recall, quite seriously during my birth story. So, after hours and tests out the wazoo (pun intended) I was sent home…
on bedrest.
No warning.
No goodbyes.
Just me,
my fetus
and the couch
for six weeks.
And, would you like to know a fact that I now find completely amazing?
I was bored.
BORED, I say!
I no longer speak that language.
I actually found it difficult to sit on my be-hind,
watching movies with Zach Effron and eating Drumstick ice cream cones.
What a big, fat difference a year makes.
(Pun far less intended.)
So, yes, last year, this week, I was sitting around all day, in my jammies, watching Daytime TV, eating my body weight in Mommom-delivered-goodies, and anxiously awaiting my little girl. So, yeah. Almost exactly what my life is like today.
Except not.
Not even close.
now that I think about it, I am feeling a tad dizzy. Maybe I need some more of that bedrest…
Maybe I’ll give my old friend MJ a ring.
Because, there’s totally a Chocolate Drumstick calling my name.
Oh well. A girl can dream.
So, Happy Materniversary, all!
Drumsticks for everyone!

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