This week has been a bit better ending on a mix of the highest high and the lowest low...
Most of the week has been consumed with my looming return to work date of April 4. It is so hard for me to believe that I have been off work for a little over 6 months. In the normal birth world, 6 months would be heaven. All that time at home to watch your baby grow and develop is just heaven. With Irene I was home for 6 months, and by the end, I was ready to get back to work and adult conversations. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful to be home with her for so long. I was there when she rolled over the first time. I was there when she first smiled socially. I was there when she could sit up on her own. I was there for a ton.
With Sam, he has only been home since December 20... and he is really just a 9.5 week old. Under normal circumstances, I would never leave Sam at such a young age. In my carefully planned world, I was going to work until Christmas break, go on leave after the first of the year, have Sam and stay out till he was 6 months old (assuming my company would agree to it). Well, we all know how that plan turned out. Don't get me wrong, I have been so lucky to work for a place that has been so understanding and supportive. They have given me so much time off so far- more than many places would and more than the law says they have to. It just kills me that after all I have been through to have Sam that I will need to leave him. There is the added complication of RSV season too. Until the end of April (maybe May depending on if the CDC extends RSV season) I can't put Sam with Lupita, our nanny, as she has multiple kids and Sam isn't allowed to be around a bunch of kids yet.
So, I spent this week obsessing about what to do. I had a meeting set up with the GM of my company to finally talk to him but the meeting got pushed to next week. I guess I will spend another week obsessing about this.
Sam didn't help this week in my obsession about returning to work as he really has honed his flirting skills. This little boy has figured out that smiling at mommy makes her day, so he is doing it as much as possible. After so many months without this ultimate parent reward, I am just overwhelmed by Sam's toothless grin. Such the charmer. And then there is the real gift... two nights in a row... SAM SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!! Yes folks, for the first time since September 16, I have had not one, but two full nights of sleep. Greatest feeling ever.
Also on the high side of things, I got to return the hospital breast pump. That stupid machine that I have wanted to go Office Space on in a field with a bat is gone. Its presence is no longer darkening my door! I feel.... liberated. As an added bonus, Sam and I swung by the NICU for a quick visit and we hit the jackpot! We got to see a bunch of people who were not there the last time Sam and I swung by. I can't believe how much I miss those people. I was especially happy to see Pam and Gay. Such warm women whom I have such admiration for. One day, Sam will meet all his Aunties and is he in for a treat.
The other high this week was our family dinner date at Laura's house. You all know how important Laura is to me and to Sam. Being able to meet her friend and boyfriend was such a treat as it gave me the opportunity to let them know first hand how special she is. Personally, I would love to do that for every person in the NICU. Meet their family, introduce them to Sam and say" because of [insert name], my son is as healthy and happy as he is.. and I was able to make it through". Its one thing to know your loved one works in a NICU, its another to see the results of their job and the impact they have had on the lives of other people. I had that opportunity with Laura and it was wonderful.
On the down side, our NICU buddy Bennett has had a really rough two weeks. After being hospitalized for 9 days for Bronchiolitis, he was readmitted for the Rotovirus, That admission was short... too short it turns out. Yesterday, Bennett was back in the ER this time with complications from dehydration. He is in the ICU and his poor mom is about to lose her mind. I spent a few hours with her in the ER so she would not have to be alone, and my heart just goes out to her. Think lots of positive thoughts- Bennett and his family need it!
Lots of images and videos to share from the past week:
And now for the videos:
And not to leave Irene out...