Archive for January, 2014


So! Baby is just over 8 weeks old, and I am back at work. Sure, more time off would have been welcome, but I moved in to the “unpaid leave” portion of FMLA, and with both of us at home it started to feel a little decadent and slightly lazy to be at home when being at home means no money is coming in. And that’s ok. Even a week ago I would not have been ready to return, and I’m not saying I was jumping up and down to end our lovely family maternity leave routine- in fact, I’m quite sad about it, really – , but it’s ok. It’s the life we’ve built, and it requires me to work, and happily for everyone involved, I really like what I do, so “requires me to work” does not feel like a hardship. In fact, I had fun on my first day back, which is a nice validation that I’m still in the right job for me.

(Granted, the second day back has a little bit of a “Wait, but I went to work YESTERDAY” feel to it, so the end of next week I’ll probably be near comatose with the reality that, yes, work is, like, you know, a DAILY thing we do and not a nice interruption to reality.)

ANYHOO, in the interest of documenting what these first few days are like – I’m sure I’ll forget, and I know I’ll want to remember- here’s how the second day back to work routine shook out. I do not think this is sustainable, but it’s what we’ve got:

– 1am: up to feed the baby. 
– 2am: back to bed
– 4:15am: up to feed the baby
– 5am: hear Mike up to feed the dog, text him frantically begging for a cup of coffee as I am trapped under an alllmoooost asleep baby
– 5:45am: armed with coffee, place finally-sleeping-baby in crib, head to basement to work out, operating under the “what the hell, I’m already up” principle of time management. (For the two who care: workout was a 40 minute Barre3 online workout, which was shamefully hard for me, but probably not as hard as a 40 minute run would have been, so)
6:30am: done with workout, stumble upstairs. Debate shower or sleep. Opt for an extra sleep. Crash out with Mike until little baby dragon wakes up
7:15am: feed the baby
7:30am: pass off baby, go shower.
Not a perfect morning – I was later to work than I wanted to be and there’s that whole thing about how I got up at 4am which, I mean, if I think about it too much I start seriously questioning some life choices, BUT, on the whole, I’m quite please. I got good snuggle time with the kid (thanks to her ditching the 6 hour stretches between night feedings we got all last week WHY CHILD WHY) I got in a workout, I’m at work AND showered, so like, where’s my medal?
(I understand the non morning people in the group are maybe a little slack jawed I willingly stayed up after the 4am feeding, but it all evens out: I’ll be worthless by 5pm today, SO)

Hey, look: a baby:


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So here’s the thing about newborn sleep: I don’t like being woken up in the middle of the night, when one should be swaddled in a down comforter and sleeping uninterruptedly for 8 hours, but sometimes when I walk in her room and lift her screaming tense little body into my arms I feel this almost instant relaxation in her, this immediate sense that all is ok; “oh” she seems to say. “Oh, I’m going to be ok, you’re here. ”

If this ever goes away- the feeling that just my presence is enough to calm her- don’t tell me. For now, I’m her person, and she’s my baby, and sometimes, it feels like magic, it really does.

Of course, there are those times- like say HYPOTHETICALLY- when nothing calms her and she just screams and screams and I’m on like two stretches of 45 minutes sleep and I feel myself getting stupider by the minute- oh, here’s a fun example: I was at my friend Jess’s house and I saw a
children’s book named Ispy on the table in front of the couch where I was sitting. I was there for about three hours, and in the back of my mind, I was thinking “oh, I’ve never heard of that book.” It was only before I was about to leave that I fully saw it and realized: “oh. I Spy. The book is I Spy”

(oh oh AND as ANOTHER example of how sleep deprivation is getting to me: whenever Reagan is screaming I call her my “little baby dragon”, because her red face and flailing limbs make her seem like she’s a little pterodactyl.

It took me 6 weeks to realize: dinosaurs and dragons: two different things)

Anyway, what? Oh right: for all that it’s magic, for all that, really, this is the hardest but also the best thing I’ve ever done with my life, I feel like I’m in a state of suspended animation, holding my breath, waiting for reality to resume. Almost every morning Mike takes Moose on a field trip to get us coffee (the coffee shop gives moose cookies. We appreciate that) and we sit in bed with the baby and snuggle and watch HGTV and drink our coffee and it’s really just terribly wonderful. But in the back of my mind it looms: work, schedules, my life. We’ve been in a bubble and it’s about to burst.

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