…then there’s Mom-tired, and then there’s pregnant-Mom-tired. I don’t want to sub-divide any further. We can have endless debates about working pregnant moms, working pregnant moms raising toddlers, working pregnant moms raising difficult toddler daughters…we can literally go on for days. I believe each of us get blessed with what we can handle. So if you are a mom capable of the very last example (or even more), please send me your postal address. I need to make sure you’re appreciated.
Everything in me knows I am blessed to be pregnant again. I try every morning to frame it in this light. Our first pregnancy was really easy. This time around it seems like I might need a drip or two to cope. When I’m throwing up, it’s bad. On the good days, that I don’t throw up too much, I still can’t stomach much of anything, and what I CAN stomach seems to change from day to day.
At this very crucial juncture I need to express my utmost gratitude to my husband for coping with not only our toddler single-handedly, but also with me. I communicate in grunts and moans and think he must feel that neither of the girls in the house are able to vocalise their desires right now. Yet he is there every day, carrying the both of us to bed time. In our 18 years together I never could have imagined appreciating you more than I do right now. I love you!
I have not stopped working. Our labour laws do not cater for this kind of privilege. I do have a very understanding team of people at work that tried their best to support my absolute lack of energy and subsequent creative depletion. I try my best to do what I can in a working day and they do their best to look absolutely blown away by the work I managed to do in a week. That does help.
On a more serious note: going through this experience I realised something very real. Our labour law fails women spectacularly. I have noted numerous times, to a vast number of people I may have known or not known at the time of utterance, that this is inhumane. “This” meaning making a pregnant woman work when she feels like this. I also felt miserably failed by the medical community who repeatedly tried to tell me that what I was going through was normal. I’ve, to date, lost more than 10% of my body weight (I now weigh less than I did before getting pregnant with Kira), have little to no energy to just perform daily tasks and often feel like I struggle to just get enough air into my lungs. No Sir, I do not believe you when you say this is normal. Because if this is in fact normal, meaning that most pregnant women go through this, we seriously need to look at the laws around making pregnant women work in their first trimester, especially if they have been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. FFS.
Sorry, lost control of my keyboard for a while there…
I want to pull that “failing labour law” circle a little wider: our archaic labour law totally overlooks people who actually, by diagnoses, improve their company’s BEE rating. People struggling with debilitating anxiety, depression, or any other mental misalignment. People struggling with bodies that attack themselves (more commonly labelled auto-immune diseases). People with unrecognised illnesses like fybromialgia or adrenal fatigue…I’m missing more diagnoses now. Things people struggle with that make doing normal everyday things an enormous feet of will and effort. In my opinion, if an employee chooses to disclose his/her status to the company, there should be privileges extended. To begin with, these employees need more medical leave. I have a running fifteen days in a term of three years. I don’t know if you Guys know this, but when they admit you to hospital for depression, the minimum stay is three weeks…that’s all your medical leave for the next three years. If you catch the flu, it becomes unpaid leave. Heaven forbid you have another depressive episode inside that time.
I’m just worried, and I have been for a while. I have many friends suffering from long-term stress with depression and anxiety (not unlike a form of PTSD) as a side effect and I watch them show up for work every day at the cost of themselves. Yes, I was born to be a Mom to the world and right now my heart is hurting for these peeps. If you are one of these peeps pushing through the fatigue, numbness, endless pain and tears to do your job, I think you don’t even know how awesome you are and the depth of your strength is inspiring.
Keep safe and warm Guys ❤