Friday, January 8, 2016

Deep Breath

by Meghann on January 8, 2016

It’s Friday. Hallelujah!

I just finished my first full week after returning from maternity leave. I’m exhausted, I miss my baby, and I already feel the urge to drop my pump from the roof of a very tall building. You know it’s bad when you start hearing that “swoosh, swoosh” sound everywhere you go (similar to the phantom baby cries I now hear as well).

This week was a lot harder than the measly 2.5 days I had right before the holiday break. I finished those days feeling so cocky. That wasn’t that bad, I thought. I could totally do this. What I failed to consider was what a difference the practically empty office or pre-holiday traffic patterns made to my mood. Now sitting in traffic an hour each way (for a total of 2 hours that eat into my baby time!) makes my blood boil. I thought sitting in traffic was bad before I had a kid, but now I just spend the whole time watching my clock thinking of the shorter and shorter window I have to play with Annanlynn before it’s time to get her ready for bed.

I’m leaving work on the earlier side and still not making it through the door until 6:15. I used to regularly come home at 7:00 so this is an improvement. We’ve fallen into a routine this week of nursing almost as soon as I walk in the door in the evenings, then 30 minutes of play time before it’s time to get ready for bed at 7:00pm. I’ve also fallen into the habit of letting her sleep on me for 30 minutes to an hour before putting her in her bed just so I have a chance to breathe her in and keep her close.

Since our evenings tend to give me anxiety due to the stress of sitting in traffic, I’m forever grateful for our morning time together. When I was on maternity leave Annalynn was regularly getting up around 7:30ish. Originally I had hoped she would stick to that schedule so I had time to shower and get ready for work before she was up, but she decided to have none of that.  She’s now waking up with me at 6:30. Instead of fighting it, I decided to embrace the earlier wake-up and I’m so glad I did. The mornings are our one-on-one time while Daddy sleeps in. I put her in the bouncy and she smiles and coos while I get ready for work. She’s always in the best moods in the morning, so I get my happy, talkative baby time before heading into the office. The best part is I get to hand her off to daddy right when she gets fussy and is ready for her first morning nap {evil grin}.

Being back in the actual office isn’t that bad. I still love the work I do and it’s a great distraction to keep my mind occupied while I’m away. It’s when I’m heading into work and leaving work that I question my life decisions. When I need my baby fix I have access to our monitor from my desk so I can creepily watch Annalynn as she naps or when her and Derek play. I’ll be sad to lose that ability when she starts daycare in a couple of weeks.

I’m still committed to pumping 3x a day at work. As long as I’m aware of meetings ahead of time, I’ve learned to be flexible on when I pump. The highlight of the week was when my co-worker and I had back-to-back meetings offsite and I had to pump while driving us back to the office. We both found it hilarious, thank goodness she has a sense a humor about it all! The best part was when we stopped for Starbucks with the pump still going.

They say the first week is the hardest and they’re not kidding. Leaving my baby girl is hard, knowing this is our new normal makes it even harder. In a few weeks everything will feel like second nature, but for now I’m mourning the end of my maternity leave and missing all of our time together like crazy.

Deep breath. Deep breath.

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