Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Life of a Working Mom

I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t always my dream to be a mom. It was my sister’s dream to have a bunch of kids and be a fun stay-at-home mom while I wanted to go out and see the world. Who wouldn’t want to be a free-spirit and roam the earth seeing everything that nature and man have created.

When I found out I was pregnant with my son I was blown away. I remember staring at the digital screen on the pregnancy test willing the “not” to show up on the screen. I wasn’t ready to be a mom. I was unmarried and living with my grandma at the time and helping her while she healed from her knee-replacement surgery. I dreaded having to make the phone call to my boyfriend (now husband). He could tell something was wrong just by my tone of voice when he answered, so I just blurted it out. “I’m pregnant” and was instantly in tears. He immediately starts laughing this joyful belly-laugh that I had never heard out of him before. I was so confused! I thought he was going to be angry and start yelling but I never expected laughter. Boy, was the weight lifted off my shoulders. Telling the rest of the family was a piece of cake after that. I’m not sure why I expected the worst out of him and the rest of my family, but they were all so excited at the news of a new person coming into the family. My mom was finally going to be a grandma!

Pregnancy was pretty much a piece of cake (besides gaining almost 70lbs) and labor was better than expected. At some point I remember telling the nurse that I thought I was going to die and she patted my shoulder and said “I haven’t lost one yet and I’m not about to lose you, do you want me to call the anesthesiologist?” I was so disappointed in myself that I answered “yes”. I wanted to have this beautiful, unmedicated birth with candles and peaceful music in the background (CRAZY fantasy, right?). I felt like I was letting myself down. I didn’t want to be a wimp, I wanted to be tough and push that baby out without any drugs. My body had other ideas. I was just so exhausted that if I didn’t get the epidural, I wouldn’t have had the strength to push. As soon as I was numb, I drifted off into this nice, peaceful sleep and woke up to sunlight streaming into my room and the nurse and doctor hovering over me asking me if I was ready to meet my son.

The rest of that day was a whirlwind of Drs, nurses and visitors. My little guy had inhaled some of his amniotic fluid so we were sent up to the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) for a week of antibiotics and observation.

After that, I had a week until I had to go back to work. Yes, I only had a 2-week maternity leave. The main reason was because I wasn’t getting paid for my time off and my husband wasn’t working at the time. Somebody had to pay the bills. Do I regret going back to work so early? Yes and no. I think getting out of the house helped me not get postpartum depression, but I had such a hard time with breastfeeding. My boss was a man who didn’t understand anything about motherhood and was always cracking jokes about my boobs and the milk in the freezer. It was very awkward and uncomfortable for me. I had to move from office to office to pump because they wouldn’t designate a place for me. When I got laid-off it was a blessing in disguise. The only sad thing was that my baby was already 1. I had already missed out on first steps, first time crawling, first words, etc.

Since my husband was working part-time, I was able to stay home and collect unemployment but we soon found that it wasn’t cutting it and I had to go back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but I miss being at home with my little guy, which is one of the reasons I started BeeBee and Jack. I want to be able to work from home so I can spend time with my son and do things that I love to do while getting paid for it. Who wouldn’t want that?

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