Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Anyone had to give up work around 27 weeks because of pain/exhaustion levels?

(41 Posts)
HastaLanugo Sun 18-Nov-12 20:37:17

I'm exhausted, and frequently breathless. I generally ache all over, mainly due to a pre-existing condition and I have SPD/PGP. My anxiety levels are high and I feel on the verge of depression. I'm seriously considering asking to be signed off until maternity leave. Is this likely to happen? Has anyone else stopped work this early because they feel they simply cannot go on? I'm not even sure how to go about doing it.

Oodthunkit Sun 18-Nov-12 20:48:48

You sound like me. Am 23 weeks tomorrow and close to getting signed off. I have told work I have max of another month in me at this level ( already p/t & on reduced duties).
Work are accepting as they know that I'm trying to 'tidy up' before I go.

Oodthunkit Sun 18-Nov-12 20:50:43

Sorry didn't finsh my post.

Can you get reduced hours/duties? GP can do a fit note outlining those.

Any stress at home that can be outsourced?

BionicEmu Sun 18-Nov-12 21:02:24

I have a pre-existing spinal and pelvic condition which gets a lot worse in pregnancy. In my first pregnancy I was signed off work from 25 weeks as I was in agony and couldn't cope any more.

I'm now 29 weeks pregnant with DC2 and in addition to pain I've been admitted to hospital twice with threatened pre-term labour, so have been signed off again from 27 weeks.

Agree with above, would a reduction in hours or amended duties help? Either way, it's your GP you should probably see.

Sorry you're feeling so crap.

HastaLanugo Sun 18-Nov-12 21:08:19

Thanks Ood, glad I'm not alone, but sorry you feel this way too. I had allowances made for me when the PGP appeared. Assistance with certain aspects of my work, and ability to work at home some of the time. But it's not that simple when some things just have to get done properly, and on site. I feel like, if I am there, the work will keep being thrown at me, when all I really want/need to do is prepare for handover and handle the couple of major projects that will conclude/peak in the next fortnight. I'm starting to feel that I might as might not be there, than be there half heartedly and (in their eyes) letting people down. It's like paying the price for always having juggled so much stuff, and always just getting on with it, regardless. No one "gets it" when you feel you really can't go on.

Sounds like your employers are very good, if you are able to focus on tying up the loose ends. I guess I'm going to have to tell mine that that is what I'm doing. Thanks again.

HastaLanugo Sun 18-Nov-12 21:10:14

X-post Bionic (took me ages to write mine). Sorry you are suffering and you've had the labour scared. But thanks for your support. I must book with GP.

Clarella Sun 18-Nov-12 21:18:01

Yes - due to slapped cheek non immunity i had to be signed off (but worked from home-sen teacher) from 9 weeks to 21 weeks but around 11 weeks started having thyroid probs. I managed one week back at work before summer hols but then stress/ thyroid stuff blew me out so i was signed off for tye remainder of the pregnancy - partly also as the school needed to claim the insurance to cover my absence and the children needed stability (autistic).

Ironically the wonderful collegue who took over the reins of my lovely but complex little class, herself had to be signed off at 27 weeks for spd and stress 4 years ago when pregnant with her dd. Both of us have struggled with guilt and a sense of failure - i ended up with extreme anxiety and mild depression over the summer and had to get supporr from perinatal counsellors - im now much better just in time for lo (39 weeks tomorrow!!) But my hips etc actually been great - a friend at nct due same day as me dithered about being signed off for the last few weeks due to spd but soldiered on, however 3 days into maternity leave it all got ten times worse, shes on crutches and possibly looking at early induction, or at least on due date.

My personal view is that the depression/anxiety/general mental fatigue is as bad if not worse than the illness and not worth risking if you feel its getting bad. I found it horribly hard to accept but i didnt realise how ill i was till i had time and space to heal.

See your gp asap please - dont delay. And consider asking for a referral for perinatal counselling team if you feel your head stuff wont settle by having some rest space. Gps tend to be pretty good at cutting women some slack tbh as antenatal depression/anxiety is more common than you think .

You might find a chat/ email to www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/ helpful too.

Massive hugs and all the best xx

katiecubs Sun 18-Nov-12 21:22:51

You can start maternity leave anytime from 29 weeks so why not just do that?

Clarella Sun 18-Nov-12 21:25:29

Mega cross posting but as you can see its pretty common! I felt horribly ashamed for some time though and only now im better realise how silly it was (we're just all too bloody conscientious!!!) to question it. You really dont want to risk further complications.

Sorry to hear about your preterm labour emu.

That reminds me - my collegue ended up in hospital at around 32 weeks and had her lo at 35 weeks.

Best wishes x

HastaLanugo Sun 18-Nov-12 21:34:41

Thanks all. Clarella, that post really made sense. I have been treated for anxiety and PND in the past and want to avoid it.
I'm so glad I'm not alone. It's hard when you compare yourself to women who work up to the last minute.

Kate, my mat leave is booked for 36 weeks. If I started early, I would get even less time with my baby. sad

I'm off to bed.

Ironist Sun 18-Nov-12 22:22:26

I'm nearly at 32 wks and so exhausted all the time. I've been feeling like this for weeks and collegues don't really understand unless they've been there themselves. And so of course stuff keeps mounting up and you really have to spell out what you need- no one is going to ask you how they can help- I'm learning this the hard way.

I could quite happily give up tomorrow but am not entitled to SMP because I was already preggers when started this job. So just trying to get out of it as much as poss before going on mat leave.
Why does putting yourself first involve so much guilt??!!!

Must get to bed, bloody long commute and day of pretending to be on the ball and alert etc. ahead.

NinthWave Sun 18-Nov-12 22:25:32

Yes - I was signed off at around 28 weeks with both pregnancies as had SPD and couldn't manage the commute/sitting in an office chair. Work were absolutely fine (I work for a Govt department).

Just FYI - If you are signed off sick within 4 weeks of your due date, your employer can start your Maternity Leave rather than give you sick pay.

HastaLanugo Mon 19-Nov-12 21:20:43

24 hours and a long day at work later... Thanks for the new posts but sorry this is happening all round.

Yes, guilt is such a big problem and only adds to the stress.

Re employers triggering mat leave, I was due to start mine at 36 weeks anyway. If I genuinely put myself first i think I have absolutely everything to gain by going sick. But I need to make sure colleagues aren't completely left in the shit. I have set my deadline and worked on handover.

Oodthunkit Mon 19-Nov-12 21:23:50

That's what I'm doing hanga have spent today working on case closures and making sure things are up to date.

Oodthunkit Mon 19-Nov-12 21:24:30

hasta sorry blush really crap memory today blush

RedZombie Mon 19-Nov-12 21:29:20

I finished at 30 weeks, I physically couldnt cope with work, I was exhausted just getting there.
I didn't go down the 'off sick' route went straight into ml as I felt that was fairer for my employer. The way they shafted me when I went back made me wish I hadn't.

HastaLanugo Tue 20-Nov-12 13:32:27

Just submitted a proposal that will bring forward my ML a little bit, but will also see me work drastically reduced hours until then. Here's hoping it's accepted. If refused, I will have to investigate full sick leave sad

Oodthunkit Tue 20-Nov-12 17:29:39

I'm on a .5 contract, can't limit my hours much more ( keep trying to get shorter days but it's not working due to being needed 4-5-6. Which is when I'm flagging.

Seeing GP for advice tomorrow but I'm going to struggle to go much further. Was knackered at lunch today &its my day off &dd3 was out with my mum

HastaLanugo Tue 20-Nov-12 18:19:33

Sounds like it really is time for you to go sick ood. I've brought ML forward and spread out some annual leave, so I'm doing average 1.5 days a week in December. It really will just be handover work/induction for my cover, so nothing strenuous. Good luck at the doc.

Oodthunkit Tue 20-Nov-12 18:25:20

I'm just trying to finish off. Feel crap cis they already have 2 f/t off sick but colleagues are sympathetic

HastaLanugo Tue 20-Nov-12 18:27:27

I know, it's so hard not to consider colleagues. That's why I did it this way, I want to be there for a few weeks, even if only as a point on contact here and there. BUT you and baby have to come first.

Oodthunkit Tue 20-Nov-12 18:49:15

Baby is fine which is probably why I find it hard. Sounds like you have a good plan fingers crossed your boss agrees!

Doraemon Tue 20-Nov-12 20:26:22

I am 24 weeks and have 3 1/2 weeks work left (I'm a childminder) and cannot wait to finish, I'm so knackered by the end of the day, my pelvis is starting to go wonky and lifting an 18 month old in and out of buggy/high chair/car seat etc is really not helping.
This is my 3rd pregnancy - in my first I was signed off for a week with stress (actually antenatal depression, partly I think related to a lot of pressure at work, I was an academic) at 20 something weeks, then effectively finished worked at the end of term when I must have been about 29 weeks, officially started maternity leave at 32 weeks and was rather surprised to find myself giving birth the day after.... second pregnancy I was admitted to hospital with contractions at 29 weeks and managed to hang on until DS2 was born at 34 weeks.
So I planned to stop early this time largely because I have no idea when this baby is actually going to arrive, and then ended up cutting back to one mindee. I am so glad I have not planned to go on any longer, I don't think I could do it physically, and the mental/emotional worry of thinking 'oh gosh am I going into labour' every time things get too uncomfortable is getting to me as well. Had a good cry over a lovely midwife a few weeks ago when she pointed out my anxiety about the likelihood of this baby coming too early is exhausting in itself, never mind the actual pregnancy.

I do sometimes feel a bit useless for not being able to keep going longer, but at the end of the day it's only a couple of months out my life, and I know that the longer I can keep this baby in the better for all of us, and the best way to do that is to minimise physical and mental strain for the time being. If you feel you can't go on then seriously, I would say don't. I totally agree with Clarella about getting some help.

Clarella Tue 20-Nov-12 23:00:10

So sorry to hear everyone's struggles. For some reason it's easier to accept being signed off work for a broken leg than spd or broken nerves - but because it's pregnancy / mental health and we are all expected to get on with it (pregnancy isn't an illness / stiff upper lip / pull your socks up). No one would dream of running on a broken leg! (Though believe me it took many months for me to realise this! )

HastaLanugo Thu 22-Nov-12 14:08:39

all sorted here grin

Oodthunkit Thu 22-Nov-12 14:10:17

Excellent hasta smile

Clarella Sat 24-Nov-12 16:49:25

Great to hear it smile x

HastaLanugo Sat 24-Nov-12 18:19:28

How are you doing Clar?

HastaLanugo Sat 24-Nov-12 18:20:22

Sorry I meant Ood blush (not that I don't care how you are doing Clarella)

Oodthunkit Sat 24-Nov-12 19:20:55

Saw GP on Thurs and she wanted to sign me off. I want to work this week then I'm on leave for a week. Got told to come back when im off and to think about being signed off then. Also seeing hospital that week and still waiting to speak to MH MW re AND.
If I don't go back after leave i be 25 weeks when I go off <eek>

HastaLanugo Sat 24-Nov-12 19:50:15

Honestly, just embrace it. You don't need to be made any more miserable. Think of the positives of being signed off. I was scored for AND today and scored high. Was suggested i should be referred to AN psychologist but I have said we don't need to take action, that I'm sure I'll be better when I'm off work and a few other things are sorted. So they are going to do the scoring again in two weeks and move from there. I really hope it's just anxiety over specific issues rather than AND. I hope that meeting goes ok for you. If it helps, they used the Edinburgh PND scoring system for me. Looks like we both have a big week ahead.

nannyl Sat 24-Nov-12 19:55:05

i was signed off sick at 7 weeks and never went back at all
(I had HG for the whole 9 months)

Oodthunkit Sat 24-Nov-12 20:36:02

I had PND with all the others. I don't cope we'll without people around so it that respect work is better for me although my job is a high stress one.
I have a lot of other stuff going on which contributed to the anxiety.
I've wrapped up a lot of cases and I'm hoping to get other stuff finished/ready for hand over this week do it doesn't matter if I don't come back from leave.

Oodthunkit Sat 24-Nov-12 20:36:41

nannyl think Id rather have SPD than that. It sounds horrendous!

Clarella Sat 24-Nov-12 20:39:31

Yup. 9 weeks here. Due to school hols only worked a grand total of 4 weeks from bfp. Im extremely grateful for everything the gp and perinatal counsellor has done as i feel very well indeed now. And even had the winter vom bug today whilst carpets being fitted and at one point was convinced was labour! Water off a ducks back! 40 weeks on monday! (Wow nanny you poor thing)

I never felt fully depressed - it was extreme anxiety which really began to make me feel quite loopy, plus i was on too much thyroid meds so the adrenaline was extra pumping. However i did hide away at 2 separate stages unable to see people due to the anxiety it triggered and so was described as having anxiety with low mood. However i sometimes find it easier to tell people if i have to that its AND simply as it explains how i was behaving.

Its been layer upon layer of steps forward and back - learning to separate normal preg hirmonal worries, from catastrophising anxiety has been the big thing over the last few weeks. And i know ive cracked that now. But i needed head space. And had weeks where i thought i was fine only for something to show me i wasnt and id regress. The guilt and shame is the worst thing and takes time to get rid of.

A litmus test was baths and swimming, which alwsys relaxes me. thoughts and feelings got worse chuntering round my head, id end up hyperventilating after the bath and crying as i swam. Now use them to help me sleep like most people and loved my 'final' swim yesterday!

Best wishes to you all xx

Clarella Sat 24-Nov-12 20:46:58

ood it is important imo to feel in control definately. And lack of social contact was bad for me too but then necessary - a double edged sword.

I had no control over the slapped cheek time limit - i was over the first lot of anxiety at 18 weeks and desperate to work but then school didnt want to know as thyroid issues were on the sicknote too. I worked on stuff anyway! Thats why i pushed to go back for a last week before summer hols started but thats when it was clear i was well at home but not yet at work. Massive step back and was even worse than first time. But i had to try. X

HastaLanugo Sat 24-Nov-12 20:54:48

Really feel for everyone else. Clarella I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety. My PND and AND is def more anxiety based. And trying to separate it from normal "hormones" is difficult. I think it's even more difficult for those around us, who think we are just being typical mood-swinging pregnant women rather than women with even the slightest MH issues. Hope that baby doesn't make you wait. hope you'll keep us updated.

Ood I guess you have to balance the need to be around people against the stress those people will cause. I'm keeping a very low profile at work, despite being one of the more senior people, because I know if I am seen to be doing business as usual, more work will be sent my way, and I already have more than enough to see me through to the end.

Nannyl I'm glad that's all behind you now. Hope your baby was worth it smile

OodKingWenceslas Thu 06-Dec-12 10:35:39

I've been signed off now. 25+3. sad

Clarella Thu 06-Dec-12 12:47:33

Ood it really is ok chick. I know it's hard not to feel failure - I suspect you're very like me in personality, conscientious and perfectionist?!

I was only at work for 4 weeks due to school hols, and missed ofsted (the guilt!! No seriously felt sooo bad! They got outstanding though smile )

You've tried your best now try to focus on getting well for baby. Lie to other people about work if it helps I now wish I had (fucking conscientious streak)

OodKingWenceslas Thu 06-Dec-12 13:43:35

Missing OFSTEd bet everyone was envy

Yes I'm perfect wink it will be ok, just ridiculously frustrating being there & not doing it properly because I couldn't. I'm too weepy to be let loose on peoples problems according to dh!

Clarella Thu 06-Dec-12 15:18:35

Exactly! Focus on you and your growing family now Xx

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now