A pregnant pause before things get really hectic

Ready and waiting … Sheridan Szypica and her daughter Phoebe.
Ready and waiting ‚Ķ Sheridan Szypica and her daughter Phoebe. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Taking time off from work during pregnancy leaves room to prepare the little things, Sheridan Szypica says. But even these can prove a handful.

The stay-at-home mother from Campbelltown gave up her full-time job as an office manager in Newtown, instead diverting her attention to crossing off last-minute preparations for the arrival of her daughter Phoebe.

"I spent the time just preparing for her to come," said Miss Szypica, 27. "So I did a fair bit of shopping and I spent a week cleaning up around the house. We also bought gifts like sheets and clothes, so we washed all that and bought the last bits of furniture for the nursery and bedroom, like the cot, and assembled that.

"But I suppose I relaxed after that."

Spreading the tasks over four weeks' maternity leave before her daughter arrived, Miss Szypica is grateful for the extra time, saying if she had not she "would have packed it all into the weekend". The break also gave her a chance to wind down with her family after daily commutes had taken their toll on her energy levels.

"I spent a lot of time with my mum and my nan. My sister took a holiday and came and we spent time together... My work wasn't too hard; it was the travel that got too hard. I was getting bigger and [Phoebe] was getting heavier so commuting just became harder."

Describing Phoebe's birth in October as a textbook natural birth, Miss Szypica now appreciates the time she spent in preparation.

"Once it all starts, it's full on after that," she said.

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