With this week comes a wave of emotion as my little man turns one. It’s such a big milestone in his life and I really can’t believe how much he has grown and changed in the last year. As enjoyable as it is to watch him grow, it also make me a little sad. I’m not ready to lose my baby yet. I know , I know, he’s still very much a baby, but I feel like he’s growing so quickly and with every new thing he learns to do, the quicker he’ll be running away from me.
Think I’m being a drama queen? Well maybe I am being a little dramatic, but I just don’t want him to grow up so quickly. Can’t we slow down the whole process? Can’t he be a baby for a bit longer?
The last year with him has been one of the best in my life. Never did I fully appreciate how much purpose he would provide me. Everyone told me that it would happen, but you never really know what it’s like until you experience it for yourself. To think that this little person has enriched our lives to an extent that we can’t remember a time without him, nor would we want to go back to that time really amazes me. Along the way there have been some really hard days, where I questioned why on earth anyone would want to put themselves through this, but realistically they don’t compare to the majority of joyous and rewarding days.
I don’t know where the time has gone, but I’ve already been back at work for a month. Yep, how the hell did that happen? Before I went back I shared my thoughts about returning to work (read about it here), so now I’m looking at it from the other side, from the perspective of a working mum.
I’m new to this working mum business, but never did I think it would be this hard to juggle everything. I’m not by any means sooking, because that wouldn’t be fair to all of the women that do this every day and just get on with it, but it’s definitely a huge adjustment. The hardest thing is finding that balance between being a loving present mum and being fulfilled in my career. So many people have told me that I can’t have both, but I don’t want to listen to the naysayers, I desperately want to make it work for both of us.
Initially, I only planned to go back to work three days a week, but that didn’t go down all that well with my boss, so after some negotiation, we agreed that I’d go back to work four days a week, three in the office and one from home. My job has always been really demanding, so it was pretty normal for me to put in massive days in the office to stay on top of things, but I was ignorantly hoping that things would be different when I went back. What an idiot! One day back in the office and I was right back into my old routine pulling 10-12 hour days. I was so flat out that I didn’t even have time to check in, let alone even think about my little man. When I realised it was already 6pm and I hadn’t stopped to see how he was going, I felt so guilty. To make me feel even worse, by the time I got home, he was ready to go to bed, so I didn’t get to spend any time with him at all.
So I’m going back to work this month and that’s about where my good mood turns south.
No, I shouldn’t say that, in many ways I’m looking forward to going back to work, it’ll be nice to resume my career which I worked so bloody hard for and put on hold to have a baby (no regrets of course, best thing I’ve ever done). It’ll also be really nice to make some of my own coin again. I, like so many others had to self fund my maternity leave, I got the government money which is better than nothing, but I didn’t get a penny from my work, not even a congratulations your having a baby, here is a bonus for all of your hard work and enjoy your year away – zip, nada, nothing!
Fortunately the husband and I had planned ahead and saved enough money so that I could take a year off and financially we’d be ok. Even though we did that I still felt a little guilty going out and spending up a storm as he went to work everyday. Having said that he never complained or made me feel guilty, he was all for me enjoying this time with our son and really making the most of my time away from work.
I, like many other women have unfortunately experienced the heartache of a miscarriage. It was without doubt one of the hardest, emotional and loneliest experiences of my life. I am sharing my story because at the time all I wanted was to be able to find comfort in those that had also experienced my pain and loss, but sadly I didn’t have anyone. It was only when I started telling friends what had happened that I found out they too had suffered miscarrages, but never told anyone about it. I know it is very very difficult for some people to talk about, but I think it’s so important to share our stories, because at the end of the day, it is incredibly common, something like 25% of women experience a miscarriage, and if it happens to you, you need to know that you’re not alone.
So my first pregnancy started out great, to my surprise I fell pregnant straight away. One day I started to feel that pregnancy fatigue and some serious pain in my boobs, I was so excited. I left work early, brought a pregnancy test on the way home, and woop woop I was pregnant.
Naturally I was in complete shock after being admitted into hospital. I was wheeled into my room, helped on to the bed and told not to get off it. Fortunately I was allowed to lie elevated in bed, there are some in my situation that are forced to lie flat for the duration of their pregnancy. The attending midwife told me that they had two other patients currently on bed rest who were also suffering from a shortened cervix, I know it’s awful but it was incredibly comforting to hear, at least I wasn’t alone.
Once we had completed my admission papers, my husband left to go home and pack my things and for the first time I as left alone in my room. At this point I had no emotion, I was just numb, everything was really a blur for the next hour. The next real thing I remember is Samantha, my OBGYN coming to see me, it was at this point that the reality of my situation hit home. She told me that she was concerned with my ability to get my baby to a safe gestation, so we would have to take it one week at a time. Our first target was to get past the 28 week mark, at which point I would be rescanned to check my measurements and to assess if treatment was helping. Treatment involved strict bed rest with daily shower and toilet privileges, a course of Celestone injections (steroids for the baby’s lung development), daily progesterone suppositories and daily Clexane injections (blood thinner, because I was at risk of developing a blood clot as I wasn’t moving). Looked like I was going to have to get over my fear of needles pretty quickly.
Earlier this year I had my first child which has been the toughest, yet the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, I know cliché, but it’s the truth. Ooohhh, and did I say the toughest? Anyway, I wanted to share my pregnancy story because while I was pregnant I was desperately trying to find out more information and other women who had encountered the same complications that I did.
My pregnancy started without any really significant issues, a bit of spotting early on and nausea that drove me nuts up until was 16 weeks. I had a miscarriage prior to this pregnancy, so the sight of blood freaked me out, but after a quick check up I was given the all clear, although at the back of my mind I was always worried. To be honest, as much as the nausea irritated me, it also comforted me, it meant that I was still pregnant. Then it stopped right as I started to feel bubs move, so from that point on, I was more relaxed about my pregnancy.