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Ticking Time Bomb

35w6d- People are starting to look at me like I’m a ticking time bomb. Or maybe I just feel like one. Actually, it’s probably both.

 So when do I throw in the towel and finally give into this pregnancy? When do I start acting like I have a few days left before a baby comes out of my body and changes my every moment of my every day? I.E., when do I start maternity leave?

 Recently, unsolicited comments from strangers have abruptly changed from, “Oh wow, you’re still so small!” to “Oh wow, when’s your due date?!” It’s pretty comical. OK, I get it. Maybe it's time to raise the white flag.

 Between vacation days and my company’s maternity policy, I’ll be fortunate enough to take about 3 months off of work. When to start this? I have no idea. It’s so hard to set a date when that date completely revolves around an unknown. Abby could come tomorrow or in 5 weeks. What if I take a week of vacation before my official due date (May 20), but then she doesn’t come until after the 20th? I’ll have to go back into the office for a few days in between, and that’s just awkward.

 So do I work up until my water breaks at my desk? I’m not sure I can do that. My body is starting to really yell at me, and my doctor is sternly stressing that I need to take it easy in order to keep this baby cooking for a few more weeks. Plus, I think it’s healthier to have a finish line. Everything is so open-ended right now — it would be nice to have a set date to work toward, especially in my deadline-driven work environment. This would also make my transition easier on my co-workers, as they would know that they could count on me up until May XX.

 In going through this whole process of filing the appropriate paper work, I learned that maternity leave is actually considered short-term disability leave. That means, someone who accidentally falls and breaks a bone is in the same category as me not so accidentally getting pregnant. It’s something we planned and prayed for. How ridiculous is that?! So, if I want to take any time off before I have the baby, I’ll have to use vacation days. I always thought you could start maternity leave a few days (or maybe a week) before your due date. But you aren’t considered “disabled” until you have the baby.

 I have to say, I'm pretty sure I feel more disabled right now at about 9 months pregnant than I will 3 months after having a baby (or at least I hope). I mean, I’m not complaining. Call it whatever you want, as long as it keeps me home next to my daughter for those precious first months. And if you have a c-section, a major surgery, you’re definitely disabled. But really? A vaginal birth and a newborn baby are two of the most natural things in the world.

I really don’t want my water to break at work. Gross.

When did you start your maternity leave? Help me out!

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