Thursday, April 21, 2011

work dred

Tomorrow ends my maternity leave...I go back to work.  Back to work with a bang actually, as I am oncall over the weekend (which is a hectic and stressful way to go back after having 6 weeks off!).

But you know, it has not been 6 weeks "off" - it's been 6 of the most exhausting weeks of my life!!  It has not been a  vacation - it has not been a leisurely walk in the park...I didn't pick up one novel, nor did I craft to my hearts content or enjoy long drives in the country side.  It's been nights of feeding my daughter at midnight, 2am, 4am. 6am and 8am.  It's been crying over my painful perineum and breasts.  It's been thoughts of worry and failure about my breastmilk inadequacy.  It's been days of not showering, brushing my teeth or eating breakfast until 2pm.  It's been questioning every cry or whimper my darling girl makes, and attempting (and sometimes failing) to make it all better.

As much as it's been insane, it's been an amazing journey of getting to know her.  I feel so blessed to have been able to feed her myself, dress her, and snuggle with her.  Now that work starts I have no idea what to expect.  After working a full day, and coming home late, my little one will probably be sleeping.  Will I have the energy to get up throughout the night to feed her?  Probably not...not if I want to be mentally alert for the surgeries the next day.  I will be out the door before she is awake for the day.  Who knows if I will be able to pump breastmilk at work - so it's quite possible she will become a formula baby.

I'd love to just stare at her cute little mug all day! Here we are at the zoo! (legally at the zoo by the way)

Do I sound bitter?  I am a little bit.  I'm bitter that these 6 weeks went by so fast - and that they were much harder than I anticipated.  I'm bitter that I have to go back to work and leave my little girl at home just when she is starting to smile and reach for things.  I'm bitter that I'm not producing the quantity of milk necessary to make a freezer full supply, and I'm sad there isn't a place/time for me to pump at work other than my car (or a gross public bathroom stall.)  I'm bitter that there isn't a way for me to ensure that I will be home at 5pm everyday, to hold and cuddle her before putting her to bed at night.  I'm bitter that my husband is the one that gets to fill his day with her while I have to go to work. 

I am happy she will be with her daddy all day - if she was going to have to go to daycare I think that would have been much more difficult.  I am bummed...and sad...and wish I knew how this was all going to play out.

I know I sound so whiny - I can't help it today.   My heart hurts.


  1. How is it 6 weeks already. Hugs and strength for the days ahead.

  2. The only thing that would be weird is if you DIDN'T feel this way. Seriously.

    Show yourself some compassion.

  3. You are a good mom to feel this way. Praying it gets easier to handle.

  4. I 110% agree with Lori- if you didn't feel this way, it wouldn't be normal. I can't believe the time has gone by so quickly! Just hold on to the positives and soon you'll have a new normal and this won't be so hard.

  5. i can't even imagine going back to a job like the one you have. Sending prayers that you'll be able to handle it all with peace.

  6. I know this is prob. not an option, but... have you ever considered not going back?

    Just curious - I know plenty of women handle wildly stressful jobs and babies and the hardship of missing moments at home, and I'm in AWE of these women (and I know you can handle it!). But I don't think I could do it - I'd crack under the strain. :-P

  7. Gosh, that first photo is *beyond* adorable!!

    Sorry to hear that you're already back to work. No doubt it will be hard to juggle it all, and to accept that you can't do it all perfectly. But we're all only human, and you can only take on so much. If she gets to be a formula baby, no worries - she has an amazing professional mom as an inspirational role model, and an awesome involved dad to spend time with.

  8. i could be wrong about this, but i thought workplaces were legally required to provide a private place for pumping?

  9. @ Julia - I thought so too...but the small clinics I work at don't have extra rooms for such things...and the hospitals have "locker rooms" that I could use (but that just sounds awkward - those are busy places...I can't imagine sitting in there with my boobs hanging out with people walking in and out and all around me while I balance all the pumping stuff on the bench and my knees!)

  10. hang in there jes. residency is hard. you are a seriously strong woman for handling it pregnant. now as a momma and away from little clara, it will be hard again, but you can handle it. your feelings sound like those of a normal new momma and with a job like ours its extra hard.

    sending positive vibes your way...

  11. I used to know a woman who pumped breast milk while driving to work. Pretty extreme, I know.

  12. Interesting you are a good mom to feel this way. Praying it gets easier to handle..
    Thanks for sharing..
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  13. One thought from another hospital worker to another. I'm sure you have conference rooms somewhere you can get to easily. And because it's a conference room, they are probably reservable. Our pumping moms usually just reserve conference rooms at specific times of the day to pump in. And you can be alone while you do it without a locker room audience. Just a thought.

    Hang in there. I'm pregnant, and don't really look forward to this little part either.

  14. I hope it all goes OK Jes. If anyone can handle it all, it's you lady. Hope the booties arrived safely, have a lovely Easter with that gorgeous bunny of yours xx

  15. You have every right to whine, Jes.

    It kind of infuriates me that hospitals and clinics don't accommodate breastfeeding mothers. They should be bending over backwards for new moms...especially since they are the ones researching about and touting the benefits of breastfeeding for the first year!

    I also wanted to gently ask: Is there a chance that perhaps you could not go back? Or maybe go back part time? Or could you work for a clinic instead? Or write a book about your experience in medical school? There may be other doors to walk through...

    No matter what you decide, you are a smart and loving mom. I am happy to know you.

  16. hey there beautiful Jes. thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. Oh motherhood. One cannot fully comprehend what in the world they are stepping into before the baby comes (specifically #1). your heart is in the right place and continue to follow your instinct & heart in what is best for you & your family. God gave you Clara, because he knew you needed her just as much as she needs you.

    and 6 weeks does not sound long enough at all. And coming home at 5pm to finally see your girl sounds less than ideal. My prayers are with you as you navigate this journey.



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