I think when I pictured coming back to work everything would be on a smooth schedule.
I’d wake up refreshed, after Brooklyn slept through the night, in her crib, in her own room. I’d say bye to her and she’d give me a big smile and I’d head to work, excited to get a little me time again. I’d come home, excited to see her, play with her, read her a book before putting her to bed then having a little me time to eat dinner and relax before bed.
Monday I started work again. To say I was (am) a big ball of emotions is an understatement.
For one, I’m exhausted. Long story short, we determined a few weeks ago that Brooklyn has silent reflux. She started to refuse to eat – basically she would eat an ounce or two then scream bloody murder for an hour. It became alarming when it happened with every bottle, and worse when the ounces she was eating started to dwindle day by day. 5+ weeks of trial and error – doctor visits (including one amazing doctor at Children’s hospital), medications, tears, and a lot of patience (i.e. keeping her elevated 30 minutes post eating and when sleeping, feeding her slowly and burping her lots), and we’re in a better place (still not 100% but MUCH better). Anyway, because of this, she’s still eating much smaller amounts more frequently – I’m talking practically newborn state again. I’m thankful that this is something she will grow out of and blessed that while it may be a tough few months, overall she’s healthy.
Anyway, she’s actually sleeping in our room, in our bed. She “goes” to sleep (on me/in my arms) around 8, up to eat again around 10:30, asleep around 11, up again at 2, asleep around 3, up again at 5 and sometimes back asleep, sometimes not. Meaning I’m averaging truthfully, about 5 hours of broken sleep a night.
So right now…this is a new day in the life…
2:00am – Brooklyn stirs. Quickly pick her up before she goes into full on screaming mode. Feed her 4 ounces. (This is usually the largest feed she’ll take since she’s half asleep. During the day we’re still only getting 2-3 ounces in her at a time.)
2:40am – Lay Brooklyn back down after finishing bottle, burping her, holding her upright for at least 20 minutes.
3:00am – Finally drift back off to sleep.
4:30am – Stirring. Not sure if it’s the medications or just the immaturity still of her digestive system but she writhes quite a bit in her sleep. Always wakes me up.
5:00am – Scream fest begins. Feed her another 2 ounces. Try to settle her but she just isn’t settling.
5:45am – She finally drifts off. I contemplate sleeping another 20 minutes or just getting up. Try to lay down but all I can think about is work so I get up and shower.
6:00-7:20am – Shower, dry hair, get dressed, get Brooklyn’s medications out, wash and fill bottles for my MIL who is taking care of her most afternoons once the Husband goes to work until we start a few days of daycare in June. Lay out clothes for her. Throw laundry in. Throw dishes in dishwasher. Drink coffee…x2
7:30am – Leave for train station. Cry en route. Strange mix of emotions – on one hand I love my job and it feels good to work again. But there’s this inner struggle – I feel guilty for wanting to work. I feed sad for missing out on moments with Brooklyn. And really, I just plain miss her. I’m so overwhelmed with emotions and exhaustion that I wish I could just drive to a secluded island by myself.
7:50am – Train to the city.
8:40am – Starbucks en route to my office. Try to order a grande blonde roast, only twice it came out as a Blondey roast. Barista laughs at me and asks if I want a venti instead.
8:50am – Sit down at my desk..with my venti.
9:00-4:00ish – Work, work, work. Go into the bathroom and cry twice (hey I expected more!) Connect with other new moms at work and get confirmation that the first month is really hard and that’s normal. Check in with my MIL a few times, ask for pictures. Hear all the new drama, get a crap ton of new work, and try to ease back in. There are moments where it just feels really good to be working again.
4:25pm – Train home. My manager leaves by 4 and comes in later than me so as long as I can, I plan on being efficient enough (I skip lunch anyway) to leave at the same time too.
5:15pm – Walk in the door and immediately grab my girl. Slightly heartbroken she doesn’t seem more excited but I know 5pm starts her fussy time and at least I get a smile. (Also, I’m not sure what I’m expecting from a 14 week old, ha.)
5:30pm – Changed out of my work outfit, took Bentley outside and get updates from my MIL before she leaves.
5:45pm – Attempt to feed her, get only 2 ounces in and then she refuses more.
6:10pm – It’s beautiful out so decide to take her on a quick stroller walk around the neighborhood for some fresh air. Chat with (at?) her the whole time – people must think I’m a nuts.
6:40pm – Come home, change her diaper and “read” a book (read to her while she laughs at me / looks around), tell her about my day.
7:15pm – Give her medication and draw a bath. She’s in clingy mode so carry her around while doing all of this.
7:30pm – Tubby time! Sing her the tubby time song (“tubby time, tubbbby tubby tubby tubby time, time to wash all the yuckies away, it’s the best part of the daaay” (Don’t ask.) She truly loves tubby time and it actually is my favorite part of the day.
7:50pm – Get her in a clean diaper, put her in her jammies and settle her a bit. Carry her in one arm while eating pasta salad (my dinner) with one hand standing at the counter while Bentley begs at my feet.
8:15pm – She’s hungry. This girl goes from 0-60. Warm a bottle while she starts to pant and panic.
8:35pm – Got 3.5 ounces in, not too bad. Burp burp burp. Sway sway sway.
8:50pm – Rock her / keep her upright.
9:00pm – Lay her in the rock-n-play (since it’s more upright) and run around like a chicken with my head cut off. Pick out work outfit. Take out contacts. Go to the bathroom. Chug an emergen-c (fighting a cold). Brush teeth. Bring bottles up for nighttime feeds. Set up bedroom – nightlight, sound machine/fan. Give Bentley water/food.
9:12pm – She’s awake…
9:15pm – Walking around while carrying her, trying to resettle her.
9:30pm – Husband gets home from work. He’s had a really long day – court in the morning then a 9 hour shift.
10:00pm- Head to bed, with Brooklyn. Get about 1.5 ounces in her before calling it quits.
10:28pm – Last time I look at my phone before falling asleep…hoping for at least a 4 hour stretch. (Spoiler, I got about 3.5 hours)
Even though I’m exhausted, overwhelmed by emotions, sick (thanks Husband for this awful head cold), and life is just so different now…I love it. I really do. I mean I don’t love all parts of it of course, but I love this little girl, I love our new expanded family, I love shaking up what was once our routine (we thought we were “busy” before…we sure watched a lot of tv) and I love how special everything feels now. I have learned pretty quickly that each phase/hard time/new normal with a baby passes quickly. The good ones and the bad. So as much as I’m a type A, need a schedule and routine and to do lists type, I think for a while I’m ok with just enjoying this roller-coaster of a time period.