Shawna’s not quite ready to come back from maternity leave, so you’ll continue to get a little more of me on Tuesdays. 🙂 In honor of her full attention being on the new addition to their joyfully full household, I thought we could share some of our own maternity leave (or other baby-related) stories here.
Four days after I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) with Number One, I got laid off from my job (surprise again!). I already knew I was going to be a militant breastfeeder, so I didn’t look for another job until my husband was panicking over my unemployment running out at about the same time we’d have diapers and everything else to buy. Long story short, I lucked into a job where I was going to be able to take the baby to work with me every day.
I wanted six weeks off. They wanted me to take two. We compromised with four. Somewhere in the third week, after my husband was back at work and my mother was back in Massachusetts, I called him, sobbing hysterically with a screaming Number One on my shoulder. She’d been like that all day. Just generally unhappy with anything I tried to do. And while I had accepted the reality of that for one-on-one care and could handle it at home, I was freaking terrified of trying to do it at work. We had people on the phone! And doctors seeing patients! How the holy hell was I going to be able to take care of my demanding child and answer phones and transcribe reports and do everything else?
Well, as is usually the case for new mothers, I just did it. We figured it out. People helped me. The patients that came in where generally grumpy workers’ compensation patients being forced to endure an Independent Medical Evaluation, but a smiling, cooing baby cured even the worst attitudes. Our neurosurgeon would carry Number One around between patients, chatting with her while he scanned medical records. We had our moments, and the days were long and exhausting, but they were also pretty tremendous.
By the time Number Two came on the scene, I was secure in my position and had the leverage to demand the full six weeks maternity leave most new moms get. I cherished every single one! (And don’t tell Number One, but her sister was a bit easier to handle, too!)
Your turn! Tell us an enduring memory about your maternity leave, or something you want to share about your babies, however old they are now.