My maternity leave was too long. Or maybe it wasn’t long enough. Either way it was an awkward length. By 4-6 weeks I was ready to return to work and even talked to HomemadeDady about cutting my leave short. He pointed out that I was getting 100% pay and had more than earned the break from work. What would I benefit from returning to work early? We could not think of any benefit to returning to work early so I stayed home. When it came time to return to work however, I found that I was no longer ready and wanted more time. May be if I had been able to have just two more weeks so I could take her to her 2 month appointment I would have been ok. That way I would hear it from the doctor that she was healthy and growing well and would do just fine with HD.
I didn’t have that. Monday dawned bright and clear and I was a teary mess. Thankfully HD drove me to work that day so I didn’t have to deal with potential construction and it gave me a few more minutes to cry and then compose myself. Walking inside was a little easier than I expected it to be. Knowing that the kids have HD home with them right now is helpful. While it isn’t me they still have a parent at home with them.
At work I armed myself with a phone charger, breast pump, lots of snacks and a good book to read. Luckily my breast pump is battery operated so I can charge it at my desk but don’t have to worry about trying to plug it in when I go to pump. Currently I pump in the bathroom at work. I know it is illegal to require me to pump in there and they do have an alternative space that I could use to go pump but I choose to go to the bathroom to pump. The other space is in a different building nearby and I have to schedule to use it and that doesn’t even guarantee that it would be available and free of people when I need it. The bathroom is 3 cubicles down from me and has a chair, table and curtain that has you tucked into a corner by a row of lockers. It’s not the best but for my short pumping session it works fine for me.
When I am home during the day BabyM will nurse close to a dozen times during the daylight hours, if not more. At work I only pump twice right now. It works for us. She is still fighting the bottle and doesn’t eat much during the day. I pump 12-15 ounces and stick it in the fridge and she eats that milk the next day. When I am home at night and on the weekends I make sure to hold her and nurse her as much as possible to keep up that relationship. It isn’t ideal but it works for us for now. As she begins to accept the bottle more I may need to pump more and that’s ok. I had originally planned on pumping three times at work. I know that we will do everything we can to make it work and have the support of an amazing lactation consultant to help us out if we need it.