Thirteen weeks off of work is a complete luxury. So luxurious that it balances out the ludicrous stress of 100% unpaid "maternity leave." BUT I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and I feel really good about the part-time hours I'm working for now. SO thankful to have flexibility in my career.
That being said, 13 weeks felt never-ending when it started. I don't really sleep for more than 3 hours at a time yet, so it certainly hasn't felt like a vacation, but my return to work flat-out SNUCK UP on me. Rude. It actually came a little sooner than anticipated. My manager texted me at the end of August saying, "by the way, one of your certifications expired and you need to renew it before you can work again." Oops. So Noah and I went to a 5-hour STABLE class the first Tuesday of September. It was actually a nice way to ease back in.
Then, Saturday night came. My parents were in town and helped Ross out a lot over the weekend! But I still didn't take a nap beforehand because this kid doesn't do naps in general. Also, I was super anxious. Then 4pm came and I was EXHAUSTED and so SAD and I just started sobbing. Poor Ross. "Me going back to work means Noah is OLD! It's going too FAST! I can't stay awake ALL NIGHT! I'm so TIRED!" Seriously. Every one of those feelings was legit and heart-wrenching.
But I got dressed. ("Last time I wore scrubs I was in LABOR!") (Although these particular pants hadn't fit me since the first trimester. Yay!)
Thawed milk for Noah to eat overnight. ("He was so little back in July!")
Packed my extra bags so I could pump.
And said goodbye to my favorite tired baby.
The whole drive to work, though, I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I was fully clothed, I had my badge, my lunch, my water bottle, my pumping stuff, and my purse. Oh but wait. I don't have my BABY. He's only been coming to work with me for the past year!
I missed his post-coffee dance parties. I missed rubbing my belly out of habit as I walked down the hall. It was weird. But it went okay. I think eventually I was too tired to be sad. By the time I got home and went to bed, I'd been up for something like 30 hours and of course, the last full night of sleep I got was 3.5 months ago, so there's that. But we did it. I got lots of sweet, sweet grins from our bald baby when I got home, and Ross survived a night of solo parenting.
Can't ask for more than that!