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Maternity Leave Stories!

Shawna’s not quite ready to come back from maternity leave, so you’ll continue to get a little more of me on Tuesdays. πŸ™‚ 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.


10 Responses

  1. Oh, what a lovely story, Natalie! No maternity leave stories from me – My two got delivered with the marriage!

    But that’s a whole ‘nother story…

  2. My maternity leave lasted until my daughter started kindergarten, so no personal stroies from me either. But, at one school where I worked, the bookkeeper brought her baby to work with her, also. He slept under her desk and was an absolute joy to be around. As he grew, he moved into a playpen and then a small corner of her office became his play zone. It was a delightful experience for all of us. BTW, he’s in college now on a scholarship:-)

  3. I was lucky in that my husband’s job could support us. so a month before I delievered, I left a job that was outside the home and have never gone back. Son just turned 5 this past spring and I can’t imagine having to do it another way–unless it was how you lucked out where you could take your baby with you.

    Son has always been a very cautious kid with strangers. when he was an infant, my mom (who lives next door) didn’t have to be at work until later in the morning. We’d walk over and visit with her almost every morning. it took a LOT of visits before he was happy seeing her and would smile at her. So being that was grandma–I wouldn’t want to do that with a stranger keeping him!

    • I’m always happy to hear when things work out the way they’re best for all involved.

      Me, I’d NEVER have been a good stay-at-home mom. I put both girls in daycare when they were 9 months old and getting too mobile/curious to corral.

  4. My hubby and I have adopted children. When our kids act up, we just toss them in the bedroom and put up the child gate or in to the backyard. My youngest is eating the grass and dirt in the yard. She is learning not to leave her food and treats on the floor since the oldest one will eat it.

    Do I need to mention that my kids have four legs and a tail?

  5. Like Keri, I’m lucky enough to be a stay at home mom too. So my story isn’t maternity leave but labor.

    With all five of our kids we never wanted to know the sex. My oldest is a girl and then I had three boys. When I was term with number five I got in the bath one night, was rubbing my belly, anxious to know if it was a boy girl and I prayed, Lord it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if I went into labor tonight, even if it meant I’d be in labor a long time.

    He took me at my word. I had my first contraction when I got out and twenty hours later (longer even than my first) I delivered my sweet Olivia.

    • Oh, my goodness, Erin! I can’t believe your FIFTH took so long! Isn’t it supposed to be, like, ten minutes and then *bloop*!? LOL But so glad you got your second girl. πŸ™‚

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