So in two weeks, I will have been back at work for a full day already and my child will have been in daycare for two days (we are starting her on Tuesday while I’m still home just to get the feel for daycare and to troubleshoot if necessary).
And I feel broken.
My anxiety has increased dramatically as I think about leaving my baby for so many hours a week, only really seeing her during her most cranky time of day (which I’m hoping might change when it becomes “our” time of day but I’m not convinced). And as I think about returning to my job, which I love but which will require a lot of navigating to figure out what my temp has done these past 12 weeks. And navigating the pumping, of course. And C and I learning a whole new way to relate to the baby and each other as she takes on Fridays with the baby and we both come home the rest of the week exhausted, eager for baby time, eager for alone time. And, honestly, as I look back over the past 10 weeks and wonder if I have used them to their fullest capacity – I mean, I have been off for SO MANY DAYS – have I done enough adventuring? Enough outside time? Enough walks? Enough inside cleaning/getting stuff done time? Seriously, this is where my anxiety is right now.
So outside of the last part, which is just something I’ll have to get over as I spent the past 10 weeks bonding with my child in many different forms and it has been GOOD even if I don’t feel like I measure up on some imaginary yardstick, I need advice from all the mamas who went back to work: what did you do to feel as fulfilled (and guilt-free) as possible? Because I firmly believe that I can’t have it all – having it all would entail being 100% fully devoted to work AND family and I don’t think there is enough time in the week for that. But I also firmly believe I can be satisfied in both areas and that is what I want.
Here’s what I’m doing so far:
- Starting back half a week early. This allows me additional FMLA time to take off one day a week the following three weeks and also makes my first week back a little less intense. My boss is keeping my temp until that Friday, so I won’t have to do a ton of my actual job that week.
- Starting K in daycare a day early. Hoping that that will make my first day at work a little less tearful as I can be horrifically sad on that day early day (let’s face it though – my mind will know the difference between me being able to run and get her at any minute and being stuck in a meeting just thinking about it)
- Taking small trips away. This has included leaving K with my mom for several hours on Mondays, which is when my mom will be watching her. K has successfully taken bottles from both C and my mom, so I am confident that she will eat, even in daycare.
- Trying to enjoy all the moments I have with her and be IN the moment with her right now. This is a hard one, as I also want to get a lot done around the house before I go back to work and I’m constantly thinking about work.
- Talking to my boss about flexing some time so that I can have more time with K. And/or running out the door as soon as I am done with my day. Don’t know how this will fly and I’m waiting to see my boss in person to have this discussion.
- Pumping daily. Building up a small stash, yes, but also continuing to get used to pumping.
- Taking lots of pictures.
What advice do you have? I’m particularly thinking about when I’m at work the first week and I see my clients and they ask about the baby – somehow I think it would be less than professional to burst into tears the way I did at the dentist office when they asked about the baby I had just left behind with my mother. Also, have any strategies (outside of routine) to make evenings more fun and exciting with a veryhappymorning baby? Basically anything you can offer in terms of how to make this suck less would be awesome, though I realize it’s mostly just going to suck.
Gotta go, baby’s waking up! But I do want to leave you with this thought, too: if I’m completely honest with myself, part of me does not want to return to work just because it’s nice to not work and to be able to do whatever I want most days, even with baby in tow, even if it’s truncated by the need for naps or nursing. That part of me might even be bigger at times than the part that just wants to eat up the baby and never miss a moment of her life. Also, part of me is excited for the challenges and socialization of work. I just wish I didn’t (and K didn’t) have to sleep because then I COULD have it all.
Waiting. CD 17. Annoyed about the best laid plans… Likely going in on (stressful) work days even though I had a three day weekend based on timing of previous cycles. RE seems unperturbed by phone, so we have not gone in, though he made it clear he is around all weekend.
This is one time when I, more than ever, would recommend charting. While I am anxious that I will miss the surge (as evidenced by my trashcan full of discarded OPKS), there has been no thermal shift and I am certain that I have not missed it yet. I also have ten months of charts that remind me just how weird my ovulation on CD 14 or 15 during the past few months actually was and that show me that I often have a temperature dip a couple days before ovulation.
Please remind me that it possible to get pregnant even when you have to go back to stressful work situations. My boss is out all this week, I will be doing her job and mine, making some really tough decisions, and hoping for the best. Over and over. I am stressed thinking about the stress and its impact on my body and a bit angry and annoyed that I can’t have better timing.
So I haven’t seen my dentist in a little while even though I generally have soft and terrible teeth regardless of how fabulous my dental hygiene is.
I had an appointment in the fall and they called and cancelled and I for whatever reason did not call back.
I called a couple weeks ago and no one answered and they for whatever reason did not call back despite their voicemail intro saying they would.
I called yesterday and I not only is my dentist gone from the (large, ridiculous practice) but I can’t get an appointment for eight weeks. Which, for my dentist, is fabulous, but puts us right after TTC. I am fairly certain that I have cavities (I have not had a dental appointment in years in which I have not had at least one cavity) and may have additional work to do although my mouth is not in any kind of severe pain right now.
So I have three options:
1. Try and find another dentist, switch my insurance to that dentist (dentist must be named on my insurance card) and go ASAP. Or pay out of pocket for another dentist.
2. TTC, possibly get pregnant, go to scheduled appointment and say no thank you when it comes to xrays
3. Wait to TTC (notice this is the bottom of my list).
What do you all think? I was really excited to have my ducks in a row medically but inadvertently left this out and now I’m really regretting it. The crazy thing is, I don’t mind going to the dentist at all despite all my dental work… I think I just hate making appointments and dealing with an office that is not terribly helpful.
Family was here. Family has left. Post-visit sadness (and the reality of returning to work tomorrow) is settling in.
We had a lovely visit with some of C’s family finally getting to see our home. We ate good meals together, spent time on our back deck, talked about plans for our house, and made plans for the future.
We also briefly talked about babies, and there was a good deal of support / acknowledgement that we may in fact begin trying soon.
Meanwhile, yesterday I got a letter from my endocrinologist saying that my “thyroid hormone is low” and including a prescription for a higher dose of medicine. Unhappy and going to call her because there were no lab results included, which really lets me know nothing. Also, it was a Saturday, so really I could do nothing. Also, while I’m all about optimal functioning (and am glad to be working with a doctor who theoretically is going to get me right where I need to be versus what is merely acceptable), I am not all about adding medication that I will become dependent upon without careful consideration, particularly when the lower dose did have such a large, positive effect that seemed fine. Also, why would my blood results show one thing just two weeks before (and in all my other blood work) and then be broken in my next blood test? (I do have a theory for this one, but it wouldn’t necessarily support increasing medication).
Anyway! Those are questions for this week. In the meantime, I have to work out or something today after a full weekend of nothing but eating and hanging out 🙂
*** EDITED TO ADD: This is totally NOT a freakout at all… it’s more just the questions swimming in my head that I want to be thinking about in more detail for myself 🙂
Just waiting for lab results and an endo appointment in three weeks.
I was talking to a friend the other day about how it was interesting how gung-ho I was to get started with ttc, then how sad I was to put it off, then how I was relieved and happy to get my thyroid numbers down only to be nervous again about ttc. I think I’m going to go ahead and write about some of the nervousness over the next several weeks, but first I’m going to make my (not comprehensive) list of nervous what-if questions:
- What if it doesn’t work?
- What if it DOES work?
- What if I miscarry?
- What if I have significant job trouble thanks to maternity leave? (illegal, but not unheard of!)
- What if I have job trouble due to the nature of my romantic relationship?
- What if the baby has trouble?
- What if I’m not really ready for this after all and am just “playing mom” the way some people play house?
- What if I don’t like being a mom?
- What if we lose all our money?
- What if one of us loses our job in the midst of trying?
- What if we are in Hawaii and long-traveled radioactivity in the water harms the fetus (if we ttc before then) or our bodies?
- What if the endo says that I cannot or should not conceive?
- What if the endo says I have a bigger issue than I can truly imagine right now?
- What if we have a child, the child grows a bit, and I ultimately lose my job because our family is naturally more outed publicly just through having a child?
- What if we fail at second parent adoption?
I am sure there are tons more and clearly some of these are more panicked than others and some are more likely than others. But these will give me lots of topics to reflect upon and work through (verbally, if not emotionally) in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, my weekend starts TODAY and I am super excited 🙂
(Also my chart continues to look biphasic! With a clear ovulation! Only a couple more days until AF so I’m hoping that it continues this way and that March/April is the start of a better relationship with FF!!)