The other night I had a little "come-to-Jesus" meeting with myself. The meeting happened after sitting on the bathroom floor in my pajamas sobbing so hard that I began to wretch. The issue? When to stop working and begin my maternity leave.
Initially, I decided I would be a superhero and work right up until my due date, thus saving my precious twelve weeks of FMLA time to be with Grayson after his birth. Of course, I also thought that every single day of my pregnancy I would run three miles and eat only organic vegetables and fruits too. So much for dreams (I say, while popping another strawberry poptart into my mouth). However, I've come to the place where waddling, I mean walking, is hard and riding in the car puts too much pressure on my back, and I don't feel as if I'm giving my best emotional and spiritual energy to my patients. And so, despite the fact that I still have a few weeks to go before Grayson's birth, I think it's time to begin maternity leave. It's hard to say goodbye, though, especially knowing that statistics show that most of my patients will likely die in the next few months and I won't get to be part of that journey with them, that I will feel as if I am abandoning them (how selfish is that?). The overriding emotion for me, though, as I contemplate the time away from this agency is one of tremendous relief. I'm so exhausted. I'm so tired of feeling as if I'm not giving the appropriate attention to those who I serve. I'm tired of being torn between the world of "work" and the world of "home and body." I think it's probably time to turn my energy toward making room, spiritual and emotional and physical room, for my son.
So, come Friday afternoon, I'll pack up some files and books and turn the light off on my desk and realize that the next time I sit here the calendar will be open to the month of June and there will be a new photo next to the portraits of T. and B. It's time.