I have now officially returned to work. My daughter is now 12 weeks old and I spent those 12 weeks out on maternity leave, some paid and some unpaid. I was able to be home with my daughter for her first Halloween (althoughwe were still in the hospital since she was born on 10/30), her first Thanksgiving, her first Christmas and her first New Year’s Eve. I was home to cuddle with my little one, kiss her toes and snuggle her cheeks. I nursed her in the beginning and then moved her to formula (breastfeeding was not right for us), I changed all of her diapers and gave her baths. I would love to say that I loved every minute of it, but then I would lying. I love MOST of it. I was happy to have that time with her but when my 12 weeks was up I was ready to go back to work. I am a very social person and I am not the type that can be a stay at home. I give so much credit to those that can but I could never do it. I need to be out and about with other adults, dealing with things not related to my children. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more than anything but I also believe that parents need to have lives that don’t revolve around their children 24/7. Yes, 90% of the time your life should be about your children but you need that 10% to keep you from going crazy. Going back to work, joining the gym and returning to church are just that for me. They have become the 10% of my time that I get for me. Work allows me to focus on things other than my daughter, to challenge my brain and use it so I don’t become stupid. The gym allows me to decompress after work or after my daughter has been screaming for an hour and won’t nap. Church allows me to reconnect with myself, my faith, my center after the craziness of a week of work, the gym and Fiona.
At first I felt guilty for being ready to go back to work (after only 6 weeks of maternity leave.) People would ask me, “How can you want to leave your baby?” But the thing is, it was not a desire to LEAVE my child, but a desire to return to myself. A desire to return to and finish the things I began before my daughter was born. I want to be able to give my daughter the world but to do that I need to work hard to provide for her and I need to remain calm and sane. I still have my dream of going to grad school and to further my career. Having a daughter has not changed any of those dreams. She has just added to my love and desire for great things. Call me a terrible mother if you want to but I think I am doing just fine.
My daughter is now 11 weeks old. She is healthy and happy (most of time lol.) I have been given the clear by my doctor that I am good to go. I can return to my normal life activities. I am healthy and can return to work, the gym and all the other things I did before baby. But what the doctor neglected to tell me was that my body would be completely different. I mean, yes I knew my body would be different but I didn’t think it would like this. I feel something akin to a young adult just after going through puberty, or a preteen going through puberty. My body is doing all different kinds of things now. My period returned and I didn’t think I had that much to lose at one time. Using pads and tampons again is a little strange. It really seems like it is the first time I am ever using them. It’s like I am 13 again. My cramps are in new and exciting places and they are uncomfortable. So so uncomfortable. I went to gym today and used the treadmill. Didn’t do anything crazy just walking at an incline but my hips and inner thighs are killing me. Like I just learned how to walk. My back hurts in a way I never thought possible. My memory is shot. If my morning was not set to such a routine I probably wouldn’t remember to brush my teeth. Let’s not even talk about how unrestful my sleep is at night. My stomach is doing things that I don’t even want to mention but boy is it rough. My stomach medicine isn’t helping anymore. None of these things were on the “Yay Baby” brochure! I wish someone had warned me so I could be prepared. But then when you become a mom you don’t get warned about anything anymore!
What do you do when you feel that you don’t know what to do? My daughter has been so different lately. When she hit 9 weeks old she completely changed. She is normally a very happy baby. Never freaking out, likes to be in her sing, likes to sit and watch TV, gobbles down her 4oz bottle at each feeding. Then all of a sudden she did like a full on exorcist change. She was like a completely different child. I, naturally, got incredibly worried. I took her to the doctor and the she thinks it might be Acid Reflux. She prescribed Zantac and we have been giving it to her the past 24 hours. But she is still the same. I know that I have to be patient and wait for it take effect but it is so hard to see her in so much pain and so upset. She is barely taking 2 oz at a time, she freaks out/cries/arches her back at every feeding and it is murder getting her to take her medicine. I am not even sure she is getting the full dose. Every time she cries and screams I cry with her. It breaks my heart to know that I cant make her feel better. The only change is that now she is sleeping more, but since she has barely getting to 15 oz a day (should be taking 24oz) she is only sleeping in small amounts. It is a very stressful feeling to know that you can’t fix everything that hurts your child. How do you handle that feeling of failure knowing you can’t do much to make things better?