I’ve had a knot in my stomach for the past two weeks. For anyone who has given birth, and then had to return to work soon after, you know what I’m talking about. It is true that my work’s hours are phenomenal for motherhood, and it’s also true that I love my job, but I still have that growing knot, it feels like MAJOR Sunday blues.
I spent the first month of my son Parker’s life in the NICU, and yes, that included my maternity leave. It wasn’t ideal, but it was what we were handed, so survival mode set in, and we found ourselves in a pattern and a routine, in this new phase of life.
When my son came home for the SECOND time at the NICU, we closed on our new home and moved. We found ourselves in yet ANOTHER new phase of life.
When it came to 5/6, my son’s actual due date, the pediatrician encouraged me to exclusively breastfeed my son, and then again, we found ourself in a new phase of life. To be honest, it was like starting over. He went from sleeping 3-4 hours a night with the pumped bottle feeds, and NICU “ish” routine, to sleeping 1-2-sometimes, 3 hours a night. But, again, we got used to this new phase of life.
On Tuesday, I go back on the air at WDHA. The last time I was on the air, I never returned. My pre labor started during my show, and I had Parker two days later in the hospital. It’s going to be very, very, weird to be back. Then again, we will adjust to a new phase of life.
Humans are products of routines by nature, so of course know I will be fine, and get used to another phase, but I can’t help but think about this knot in my stomach, which is knowing that I have to leave my baby, again…..
Truthfully, the NICU prepared me for “leaving” my child. I went there every morning, and left late at night. I got used to it, as much as one can get used to, leaving. But just like I got used to that, now I’m used to having him with me 24/7, for most of the time. He’s my baby, and not just my baby, NOW he’s a newborn, and NOW I have to return to work. Sure, I am thankful that I love my job, but I’m also very emotional and upset with our system. Not getting paid yet by the state truly has added to my frustration as well.
The past two months have had more happen then I’ve had in years. I find myself thinking about it, and wondering, what the F*ck just happened. But, as I have done the past two months, and what anyone does in a situation out of their control, I will find my survival mode button, turn it on, and go. I will get used to a new routine, this new phase of our life. My husband will adjust to being home with the baby while I’m at work, it’s just what we have to do. I know if I never went back to work I’d miss being a DJ, but knowing I’m going back to work, it makes me miss this chapter of my life, bonding with my son.
It’s been an insane few months, and it will change every day, every week, but I’m thankful at the end of the day, that we continue to breathe and make it thru each new phase, each new challenge and chapter of our life, as a family of three.
I will feel this knot in my stomach. I will cry with this knot in my stomach. I will miss my son when I go to work, but I will come home and hug him and love him until the next day when I need to go back to work. I will cherish every single day and moment I have with him, as I was taught to do with a premie in the NICU since day one. So many lessons, and so much growth, I welcome next week with an open heart, teary eyes, and new challenges….until the next maternity leave……
Namaste, and Rock On!