Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rhona: The Singing Whale, and other stories..

Week of Pregnancy: 37. Holy Bejezus I only have three weeks of non-mummy time left! :)

Fruit to Fetus Comparison: Still a watermelon, just a larger one!

Cravings/Aversions: My stomach hates everything and wants to expel it as quickly as possible, unless it is an iceblock. Also, I hate the heat and stairs.

Kick Counter: Still jammed in the ribs, head on bladder, and punching my insides repeatedly J YAY!

So this week has been semi-hectic, as all ‘last weeks’ are. Yesterday I finally headed down to the Sunshine Coast (six hours from Biloela) to stay close to my Obstetrician and chosen hospital in case the big day arrives early! Of course, now it’s not actually early, as Muffin is FULL TERM! WOO! Despite this, I doubt she’ll make an appearance until late December or early January! Being a first time mum, I’m trying not to get worked up over all the little ‘signs’ that baby is going to arrive soon! Signs include:

-          Muffin has ‘dropped’ into my lower pelvis to get engaged for birthing.

-          Braxton Hicks contractions (‘practise’ contractions that are not painful, but make your tummy feel like the consistency of a basketball) are much more frequent – gone from a noticeable 2 times a day, to at least six – eight. But, as I said, not painful, just uncomfortable!

-          Have to pee all the time. Like – ALL the time. There is no time when it feels like I don’t need to pee – even when I have just gone. Baby’s head/something is resting on my bladder and muscles! The tiniest amount of liquid makes me need to go. Awesome.

-          Backache – Though I attribute this to the baby dropping lower in my tummy, backache can signal labour, according to my doc.

-          Other gross signals involving the bowels and cervix that I won’t write about on here. (Click here if you want to know)
So, as I said, not really fussing about all these ‘signs’ (which ultimately could mean nothing!!) and I’m going to wait until a) waters break, b) contractions begin or c)the baby pops out before I actually believe labour is impending. Much less stressed about the whole thing now that I’m down on the coast – but for the last week I’ve just been thinking “JUST ONE MORE WEEK! Don’t come yet, Muffin!” And she gallantly obeyed. Of course, now she will hold out until, like, mid January, instead of coming on Boxing Day!

It was my last week in Bilo for a while, and had to wrap up all my marking, reporting and general school business. It was strange because, although I was so excited to be leaving on Maternity leave and obviously over the moon that Muffin was getting closer to being born, I felt two things at leaving work;
a)   Guilt.

b)  A sense of worthlessness and like I was easily replaced!
Both are irrational and certainly not suggested by the majority of the lovely people I work with, however present nonetheless.  The guilt stems from my necessity to please people, and my hatred of having other people do things for me. Leaving two weeks before the end of the term made me feel like I was abandoning my 8’s and 9’s (and like I didn’t love them enough!) and giving work to my colleagues who would have to take my classes. I did my best to prepare lessons etc, and of course I marked all their work and did all their reporting, even the week after I finished school, but still felt like I could have been there. I mean, come on, the baby isn’t literally pushing her way out of my uterus at this very moment – couldn’t I have held out another couple of weeks? Am I just a pussy?

Answer: No. Last week it hit 40 degrees Celsius and I struggled to complete my reporting in the air conditioning at home, let alone standing in front of 30 kids keeping them entertained for 70mins at a time when all they want to do is go on holidays. So, shut up, Rhona, and get over it. If you died, life would go on.

This leads to point b) Worthlessness and being replaced.

So the kids don’t need me. Big deal. Being the Libran that I am (and the drama queen) I like to be needed, wanted, doted upon and sought after. Being a teacher is quite great in this regard because it is a mutual respect and ‘need’ of one another (teacher and students) that makes the symbiotic relationship work. They need me, I, in turn, need them in order to do my job. I also enjoy it. So despite the few cards and gifts some of my gorgeous students presented me with in my last week, I felt useless and replaced. Of course, this was bound to happen next year when they get a new teacher and I am no longer a part of their learning life, but it happened because of my ‘inability’ to continue to work – which goes back to the guilt thing. So, does leaving work two weeks before the end of term make me a bad teacher, a worthless teacher or easily replaced?

Answer: No. Shut up, Rhona, get over it. You are well liked, you will be missed, many have said so – just take the compliment and let them get on with their lives.
Basically, I am trapped in a glass cage of emotion. Handing my laptop and keys in turned out to be more emotional than I had previously thought. It all happened so quickly. One minute I’m pushing my students to complete their assessment and getting whined at, fought with, and asked a million questions, and the next they have moved on. Such is the life of a teacher. I have a feeling that being a mother will be just as fulfilling, guilt riddled and emotionally traumatising as being a teacher. Probably more so. YAY!

Saturday then had the hubby’s Christmas party to attend (no alcohol for me, obviously, despite the free bar and my favourite wine being part of it!) where I instead ravelled in the free icecream van, face-painting and fireworks (10 Minutes of amazing fireworks!) whilst avoiding the alcohol, free ADULT SIZED bouncy castle, mechanical bull, and the dodgem cars. Yes, his Christmas party has all those things. And he organised it. He is amazing, to say the least. However I didn’t get to play on any of the cool toys this year (NEXT YEAR I WILL MAKE UP FOR IT!!!! MWAHAHA!). Amazing night with great people and food and lots of schmoozing.

Justin and I at the QNP Christmas Party :)
Finally, on Sunday, we got ready to perform at the Biloela Christmas Carols. My co-coach and I needed to ensure our Cheerleaders performed beautifully (which, of course, they did!) and that their costumes were complete (this took all of my morning – cutting, adjusting and adding giant bows to sparkle skirts…). Finally I prettied myself up (OMG How great it feels to put make-up on and a nice dress – sans heels and added large bump) in Christmas dress with pretty ribbons in hair etc, and headed to the Christmas Carols.  But, of course, the night couldn’t go drama-free.

On the way there (whilst driving two friends) I was pulled up by the police! For ‘failure to give way’ and ‘speeding’. The reasoning was that I pulled out in front of the cop car (which was, in my opinion, a fair distance away!) but the police woman said she had to break for me. In between the police car and me was  a pedestrian crossing and around about 30metres. Anyway – this was my first offence. The second offence was ‘speeding’:
Police Officer: Do you know what the speed zone is?
Me: Sixty.
Police Officer: And what speed were you doing.
Me: (adamantly) Sixty.
Police Officer: Well I had to do eighty to catch up with you.
Me: ?!?

So if I was consistently doing sixty, and they had to do a u-turn (after I’d turned out before them and had a good minute head start) she certainly wouldn’t have been able to catch me doing exactly the same speed as me. Right? Isn’t that just logic?
Anyway – I tried to look as pregnant as possible and smile a lot and hope that she reduced my sentence to a minimum (OH GOD MY BABY WILL BE BORN IN PRISON!)
She took my license for checking and came back about 5 minutes later:
Police Officer: Well, you have no prior traffic violations, so I can tell you’re not a rubbish driver, but I have to tell you that if you had failed to give way and someone had hit you, it would be your fault. And your insurance wouldn’t cover it… (pause)… well actually it would, but you would still be at fault. So, just be more careful next time.
Me outwardly: I will. Thanks. Have a great day.
Me inwardly: I am so confused. WTF just happened?

So thankfully, no tickets, no fines, and no points lost, but otherwise a very confused and unsure citizen.
We made it to the Christmas Carols in one piece, got our cheerleaders ready, plonked ourselves on the ground and ran around for two hours cueing kids and myself as to when we had to be onstage.

Lynesha and I arriving at Carols (Obviously she is the skinny, non-pregnant dancer while I am the whale in red - Yes, I wore the same dress two nights in a row - it is a luxury to have a fitting piece of clothing that looks good!)

Me singing onstage while the lovely cheerleaders (with their backs to the camera!) start their dance below (All I want for Christmas - is YOU!)

I did not forget my words and managed to hit all the notes (kudos to all the friends and cheerleaders in the crowd who said lovely things and cheered me on!), the cheerleaders (and Lynesha!!) did an amazing job, and the choir sounded beautiful (Well done Maddi!). All in all, very successful night.
Strangely enough, my thighs and butt are killing me today because of all the getting up off the ground, sitting down again, getting up, sitting down again. I’m not used to sitting on the ground on a picnic blanket at 37 weeks pregnant!!
Monday finally arrived, where we packed all my things (and baby’s things!) into two cars, said goodbye to Justin (who has to work for another 2 weeks!) and Mum, Dad, the dogs, and I convoyed off in the direction of the Sunshine Coast.
Me with the rest of Muffin's clothes that I brought down with me!
Goodbye Biloela – I’ll see you next with a bundle of joy in my arms J

2.5 weeks and counting (to the E.D.D!)

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