The Brain Drain

Let it be known up front that I love, love, love my job.

I work with amazing, creative people I adore and by whom I am often inspired. And I work autonomously, which means I more or less create my own work-flow– a definite plus at a very busy digital advertising agency.

I’ve been at my job for more than four years and in that time, I can honestly say there have been very few days where I’ve not wanted to get out of bed and go to work in the morning. I know I have it very good, and I’m the first to admit that.

That said, I’m struggling to find motivation these days.

Like, really struggling.

Throughout my pregnancy, even during the very difficult early days of testing, I’d been able to focus on work and make that a priority. I didn’t want to let what was going on in my personal life get in the way of work, but I also didn’t want my boss thinking my head was in the clouds. From the beginning, she was (and has been) amazingly understanding about everything, and extremely supportive. Knowing she knew what was going on helped me deal with everything we were being dealt with, and helped give me the push I needed to forge ahead.

Again, I know how lucky I am.

But the past two weeks, in particular, my motivation has completely gone out the window. I just can’t focus, can’t concentrate and have that obnoxious toddler-mentality of “I don’t wanna!”

It’s not that I want to work anywhere else — not at all. In fact, I just don’t want to work right now, period. I want to be home, fixing things around the house or nursery, reading more on parenting, folding Maya’s clothes, putting her little things in drawers, resting, planning, journaling, blogging, spending time with my husband and Rocco, shopping, eating, you name it.

Pretty much anything but sit in an office for nine hours a day.

It reminds me of that feeling I’ve had in the weeks before leaving a job and moving on to a new one … that dreadful “there’s-still-plenty-to-do-but-I-am-too-excited-for-the-next-step-and-have-no-desire-to-do-it” sensation. Of course, being who I am, I always did what needed to be done so I left a job on good terms… but I’d be lying if I said my heart was always in it in the end.

And right now, my heart is not at work.

I think it goes without saying that I’m beyond excited for this next chapter of my life (motherhood). But since I’m choosing to go back to work (for a variety of reasons) after those short twelve weeks are up, it’ll be “back to the office” in no time.

So I definitely don’t want to — and can’t — justify slacking off at this point! I need to leave on a high note, and return on a high note. My job is very important to me, and it’s not just because it helps pay the bills.

Following the birth of my daughter, I have no doubt I’ll be forever changed; I’m sure becoming a mom will impact my career in some aspects (hopefully in more positive ways than negative). I hope it makes me a better worker; many new moms say despite the exhaustion, they DO feel more satisfied at work after becoming moms — and I hope to feel the same.

It’s just a bizarre feeling to know that everything else will stay the same in my absence … and that I will return to things as though I never left. [And yes, I’m already wasting brain space thinking of something that won’t happen for months.]

To get a pulse for how other mamas-to-be next month are feeling, I posted on BabyCenter (December 2010 Birth Club) about this and the responses were comforting to me: we all feel like we’re mentally spent and just want to focus on baby now … but can’t because we can’t take off work before the baby comes; we need to save that time for AFTER baby comes. And heck, even if we could take off before baby comes, there’s really no way of knowing when that would truly be! So we’re left to suffer with the last-month-brain-drain and deal with these feelings in private (or in my case, publicly via blog!).

I don’t have any answers, but I did want to share how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s just hard to get excited about anything other than what could happen in the next 3-4 weeks. And part of me doesn’t want to waste any brain cells on anything other than Maya. Yet the reality is I can’t solely focus on her; I have to get a grip and find a way to cope and deal with the fact that I have another few weeks to go at this point.

Wish me luck …!

Side note: I had to have an emergency ultrasound Thursday when I didn’t pass the non-stress test (NST) because she was “reactive” but wasn’t “reactive enough” … and it was easy to see that the nuchal cord is still there around her neck. It was scary to see the cord blood circulating (it appears red on the u/s) — but on the plus side, I also saw her “breathing” amniotic fluid, which appears blue — that part was cool! At this point, babies do practice breaths and that’s one of the things they check for on the ultrasound if you fail the NST (and it does happen).

Anyway, tomorrow afternoon we have a 36-week ultrasound and should have a better idea of her size/growth since 32 weeks (where she measured “on the small side of normal”) and I guess depending on how all that goes, we’ll have a better idea on how delivery will go (if ntot when). So please continue to keep us in your thoughts ... it means a ton. Thank you!

Frightened as I am about going under the knife (i.e., I’m petrified!) at this point, I’ll do whatever I need to do to safely deliver a healthy baby.

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3 thoughts on “The Brain Drain

  1. One of my favorite things was at the end of the pregnancy when they would say Nate was “practicing” doing this or that (breathing, etc) like he was gearing up to start his life. There was just something about it I loved – maybe that we were getting ready but that he was, too.

    I have no advice on the brain drain, lol. Just hang in there – I’m pretty sure the next few weeks will fly by.

  2. I’ll continue to pray for your health and baby’s and peace for you too.

    Geesh – I get brain drain at work and I’m not even expecting yet!!! :0)

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