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Returning to Work

Before drawing the contempt of my non-workplace working moms, I think this meme should be changed to say “all moms” because it really doesn’t matter if you leave for a workplace in the morning or stay home, you is tired!

I didn’t think I’d be writing a post on this topic for another 4 months, but here I am. I definitely did NOT want to leave the babies this early.  But, due to my own lack of knowledge and understanding that maternity benefits are incredibly ridiculous in public education (and this country), and an exceptionally long, unforeseen 2 months in the hospital waiting for these boys to arrive eating up my FMLA time – I am returning to the classroom next week.
I will probably save my ire for the lack of benefits for teachers in this country for another (much longer) post. But seriously, if you wanna run for president or even governor why don’t you try the TEACHER platform?  You can throw in the fights of public education inadequacies in there too. Simply raise teachers salaries and give them benefits that are worth a darn, I’ll vote for you, and I have a feeling 300k+ in the state of Texas or 3.1MM in the US would vote for you too! Oh and I bet with an increased value on the educator profession you’ll even see better results in the classroom as you’ll obtain and retain GOOD QUALIFIED teachers instead of the whack job creeps who are on the news running away with 15 year olds. Ok, tangent fully taken.  I guess I didn’t save my opinions for another post.

No offense cable TV installers. Get it together ‘Merica!

Back to the topic at hand.

Anxiety.  Yep. I’ve got it. I am not ready to leave the boys.  I even posed a rhetorical question to my husband yesterday and said “the boys won’t forget me in 18 days, will they?” Of course, I know they won’t.  Who do you think is going to be feeding them in the middle of the night? How can they forget me!  Ha! But, I think this has to be a real struggle for working moms who are going back to work for the first time.  How do you leave them?  I’ve had people tell me that I would be ready to go back to work, to get a break, but I’m not!  I’m not ready to leave their insane screams for no apparent reason, the dirty diapers, and everything that is new everyday.  I want to stay and cuddle them and kiss them for as long as possible before they can be too cool for that.  Yeah, it’s 18 days, it’s not going to break me… or them, I know.  But I can still worry about it!  My anxiety and fear has nothing to do with returning to the classroom and everything to do with what I’m leaving everyday to go there.  My teacher side is happy to finish the year with that classroom full of kiddos that walked in last August & to see them on to 5th grade (and to see the amazing progress and transformations I know they’ve all gone through since I’ve been gone), but my mom side is sad that every day I have to leave these little tiny humans I created! I’m sure it’ll get easier after the first couple of days, and the one benefit teachers get that I can’t complain about, I’ll get the entire summer to pick right back up with these munchkins!

Also, I’m going to preemptively apologize to my family and co-workers for the probable breakdown(s) I will have next week, our nanny for the constant texts requesting updates she’ll receive for those 18 days, and the dumb— politicians who created a system where moms get so little time home caring for new babies for the MANY not so nice words I will speak about you – actually I don’t apologize for the last one, at all!!

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Week 5: Hospital Observation

35 days down. This past week was relatively uneventful for hospital life. The “final day” is fluid at best… 35 weeks, 36 weeks, maybe 34 weeks.  I think it depends on the day I ask the doctor when our estimated due date is going to be.  So, I’m just accepting the fact that somewhere between 9 and 23 days from now two baby boys will be arriving.  I want for them to AT LEAST make it 34 weeks when I’ve been told (read online) that a lot of the short-term problems that could happen are less likely – which is 9 days away.  I think we are pretty much set on some sort of NICU time with any arrival… however at 36 weeks that could be significantly shortened & a chance of no NICU time.  I think as any mom knows though, birth weight and complications aren’t something that we can predict with 100% certainty.

Saturday night I did start having noticeable contractions.  Initially, this freaked me out when they monitored and they were showing up every 10 minutes.  I had read that was early labor and I was not ready to have the babies.  The doctor seemed less worried, which wasn’t surprising given his general demeanor that I have yet to figure out.  I was just told “pre-term labor is common with multiples” – I wasn’t sure if he was telling me I was going into labor or what.  They continued to keep an eye on me (like they do every day) with more questions about contractions and pushing what felt like gallons of water on me.  They got better with the evening or spaced out and didn’t feel as intense so my anxiety subsided and I accepted that it was “normal”.  I slept amazingly last night.  I stopped taking the Ambien on Saturday evening as its effectiveness was noticeably lessening.  Hubs was spending the night Saturday and between his snoring and the contractions I got no sleep at all, so I was weary not taking the Ambien again Sunday night, but I decided to try it out.  It took forever to go to sleep with an overactive brain keeping me up.  After two hours of fighting with falling asleep I finally fell asleep.  I haven’t slept that hard and long in months… I only woke up once in the middle of the night and again for my 5am monitoring.  It felt great!!  The fact that I didn’t have to get up every hour was amazing in itself.

I’ve started to have my pre-baby anxiety.  Granted I consider myself a parent already, but I was blessed with those two kiddos when they were 7 and 4.  I’ve never had a baby & pretty soon I’m going to have TWO!  Life is going to get crazy!  Going home… having 4 kids… two school aged who have to have their lives keep moving without pausing for babies!  I have a wonderful family who I know will be there for us, but there are moments of reality setting in… any day (hopefully a week and a half or more worth of days) our lives are going to completely change… again… and I will have a brand new role of being responsible for two little lives!  That’s a crazy thought.

HOSPITAL LIFE HINTS:
FOOD

UberEATS has been great for overcoming the not so great hospital food!  The only thing I would caution is if you are on real bedrest (where you can’t walk out of your room) it won’t work.  UberEATS here is curbside so I do have to go downstairs but they meet me at the closest entrance. My meal tonight went something like this…

I got what they claim was pot roast and potatoes and immediately pulled up my UberEATS app to order Terra.  I’ve been holding that wonderful mediterranean gem in my pocket (since my husband and mother don’t share my desire of falafel). It was worth the wait.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK (if you can)

If you do know you will be spending some time in an antepartum unit (or any extended period of time in the hospital) I do suggest you go check out the hospital first.  If I could go back that would be something I would have done.  I assumed they were all similar and I didn’t have a choice, and while your doctor may affiliate with a certain hospital second opinions and KNOWING the entire picture is helpful.  Of course, some people don’t have a choice and this happens without knowing.  That is my two cents.  Just as you would check out your L&D unit before having a baby, check out their long term arrangements as well!

Oh yeah, and I should note Valentines Day was in the hospital.  My family came and we ordered some Chinese and ate in the cafeteria.  Very romantic!  I even changed out of my usual oversized t-shirt and shorts for the dinner!