I Want My Maternity Leave Back

I feel awful saying this out loud but I really didn’t enjoy my maternity leave.  When I was nearing the end of my 40 week stint as a professional incubator, I had visions of snuggling with my squishy baby while watching TV and reading books.  Long chats on the phone with friends and family.  Shopping trips and lunch with the ladies.  Catching up on blogging, email and Facebook.  Basically just six whole weeks of Saturdays and Sundays. 

Instead I pushed out a child and was thrust into this brand-new life with an itty bitty (well, not that itty bitty at 8lbs 4oz thank you very much) baby who was easy by most accounts, but still, a brand new baby.  And we had a lot of stuff to figure out together.  Like those hours in the early evenings when she just cried.  For no good reason.  And I wanted to throw myself on the floor and cry right along with her.  Or the times that she projectile vomited and I wanted to run for the phone to call my husband, my mother and the doctor because O MY GOD a baby should not have that much stuff coming up.  Or the never-ending challenge of trying to determine if she was hungry or tired or just pissed that she pulled the short stick and had to go home with me. 

Then there was the coming to terms with the new me.  The me that had to choose between bathing and eating some days.  Bathing almost always won because it was the only that made my lady bits feel better.  And speaking of lady bits, I spent 5 damn weeks medicated, sitting down ever so carefully and scared to death that I was going to forever feel like someone took a baseball bat to my crotch.  It took me a good two weeks to pull out a mirror and check out the damage for myself.   The new me was always in sweats, never in make up and desperately wanted to slip into my pre-pregnancy jeans. 

The thought of leaving the house seemed like both an escape and a death trap.  I wanted to leave the house, see people, be human again, but that meant leaving my child or taking her with me.  Leaving her seemed to go against every fiber in my body, but taking her?  That means putting her in a car and driving.  On a road.  With other people.   You see where I’m going here? 

I figured it out.  As my six weeks came to an end, the lady bits started to feel a bit more like normal (although it would be another four weeks until the bleeding stopped – that’s right folks, I bled for TEN EFFING WEEKS).  I got some of my energy back. I mastered the Happiest Baby on the Block soothing techniques.  I learned how to bath with the baby in her bouncy chair and grab a granola bar on the way out the door.  I took a deep breath and took C with me when I left the house.  I finally got back into those jeans. I met a friend and her little one for shopping and had a jolly time pushing the girls around in their strollers. 

And then two days later I went back to work.  So now that I sort of feel like a better version of my former self, I think I would like a redo on my maternity leave.

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3 Responses

  1. I also enjoy your blog and probably should leave comments more often. I felt the same way after my oldest son was born. My maternity leave was nothing like I pictured it would be. After my second was born, I wasn’t working…but those first 8 weeks were still not the way I thought they would be and I often find myself wishing that I could go back and somehow make things better to where I would have enjoyed it more.

  2. Great post, thanks. I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite awhile and I should probably comment more. It’s alway a great read.

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