Last Monday, April 16th, I started back at work. After being off for FOUR. WHOLE. MONTHS. 1 month of bedrest pre-Piper, and 3 months post partum. I was NOT prepared for how hard it would be to leave the house without her. I cried the entire week leading up to D-Day. She would smile at me, and I would start crying. She would coo, and I would start crying. Someone would mention the W word, and I would start SOBBING.
I barely slept a wink the night before, which is bad when you have to leave the house at 330 AM to get to work. My alarm went off 3 hours after I went to sleep, and I'm fairly certain I woke up crying. I tried to distract myself, get dressed, get my crap together, make my lunch. Walked back into the bedroom to grab my phone charger, and took one glance at her and started sobbing so hysterically that it woke my husband up, and my dog hid from me. How was I supposed to just leave that precious face? It has been over a year since I really had to do anything without her with me. And not only that, but my work day with commute totaled 13 hours. The longest stretch I'd been away from her for was 4 hours, when Scott and I went to see the Hunger Games movie. Which I also cried through. Stupid hormones.
Work was awful. Everyone was asking about the baby and how I was doing, and every time she was mentioned I started crying. And I had NO. CONTROL over it at all. It was embarrassing really. The day dragged on and on. I didn't eat anything, all I did was pump myself full of coffee, and talk to my mom friends on Facebook when I wasn't with a patient. I must have called my brother and dad, who were both watching the baby for me, around 10 times. She was fine every time. And I was hearing her giggle and coo in the background. She was fine without me. While this was comforting, I also felt like she would forget me, or start to love me less, which I know is ridiculous.
Finally at 3 PM, one of the charge nurses offered to let me leave early, since we had a pretty light patient load. I started crying yet again, and thanked her profusely. 3:30 PM rolled around and I sprinted to my car, and sped all the way home. I walk into the house, and there is my dad laying on the floor, and Piper laying on her playmat. Wearing the most ridiculous looking outfit I'd ever seen. Apparently my father does not know how to dress a child. She was wearing a jersey jacket with 3 buttons near the neckline, tucked into a pair of grey fleece pants, and a pair of pink and black striped socks. There was no onesie under the jacket, so my father had tucked the ends into the pants. She looked adorable, but ridiculous. The key here though? She was giggling, and kicking, and playing. She was happy as a clam.
So, as much as it pained me to not be able to be with her all day, and every day, she didn't NEED me to be with her 24/7. She can be happy without me around all the time. She doesn't get scared when she is left with someone else. It's good for her to get to play with other kids, and family members.
Tomorrow starts week 2. I work 12 hours on Monday, 11 on Thursday, and 10 on Saturday. This will be my set schedule from here on out, and hopefully it will set my mind more at ease, since every time I work, I have the day before, AND the day after off.
I wish someone would have warned me how hard it would be to go back. People are right though, it does get easier everyday. I'm hoping by the end of this week I will make it through a full workday without tears.
After all, does this look like a face that should make someone cry?
My good friend babysat for us last Tuesday, and this is the photograph she sent for me 6 hours into my work day. She was clearly having a great time playing with R, and her 1 year old son :)