The hospital ‘kit bag’, is packed, the cot is assembled, the travel system sits in the corner and I appear to taken up residence on the couch a la Jabba the Hutt.  Yep, the final countdown is on, we are officially in the ‘drop zone’ – which just makes me hum ‘The danger zone’, each time I think about it.   The professional assessment of the doctor is ‘sit tight’, and, randomly, a thumbs up (what does that mean; 2 days? 2 weeks?!).

Finishing work was a bit strange.  I guess like a lot of other people in my situation the prospect of having such an extended period of time off work is a bit daunting, let alone contemplating the slightly scary prospect of what lies ahead – this new job is going to be a challenge and I suspect the new boss is going to be the most demanding yet….!

Another thing struck me as I took myself and my cankles out the office door last week – work may never be the same again.  My career is important to me, but I’m about to embark upon an adventure that is going to become probably the most important thing to me and my other half.  It is a long way off but combining the day job with the 24/7 job that is parenthood is going to be a challenge – a challenge I am most definitely looking forward to but , let’s just say, I’m feeling a bit philosophical about it at the moment.

I don’t have much in the way of advice to offer in terms of what one should be doing in this pre-baby maternity leave phase.  It’s kind of like being off work with a sprained ankle – you feel pretty good overall but it takes a while to get around.  Mostly I’ve been bouncing on the gym ball and watching a lot of sport on TV.  Who knew I could become a world cup armchair pundit and Wimbledon – well anything that involves me being able to settle down with a bowl of strawberries is a winner in my book.   I am also making an effort to get out every day.  Even at this stage, I really enjoy getting out for a walk (and staring bemused at other women with prams thinking ‘wow, that’s me, imminently!’).  Aside from that, I’ve consulted what I should be doing in ‘the books’, and have chucked a few homemade frozen meals in the freezer along with a lot of random googling along the lines of ‘best way to change a nappy’, ‘how to safely bathe a baby’, and ‘tips for coping with sleep deprivation’.  And yes, www.aptaclub.ie is a pretty good resource for a lot of random questions!

There are probably 101 things I have not thought of that I should have done, researched or asked about at this stage.  However, I also like to think that there are 101 things that I have already thought of and that I will be somewhat prepared for what is going to happen any day now.  No rush there Peanut but it would be nice to meet you sooner rather than later.  Double thumbs up to that I say.