March 28, 2014

Same love. Different Experiences.

It's amazing to me how different it is this time around.

I suffered a pretty good bout of PPD with Jackson. For the first year of his life, I was not myself. While I don't have excuses, there are a lot of reasons why I had PPD. Sure, a baby is a huge life change not to mention you know hormones, but we also moved homes while I was in the hospital with him. We left the home that marked the beginning of our married life and I went home to a brand new house with a baby in tow. It was as if someone had stolen my entire life and replaced it with this new one. Jackson was jaundiced and had to sleep on the bili bed 24/7 (which he hated). He was collicky. He wouldn't breastfeed no matter how much counseling or help I received. He went into failure to thrive territory and I was forced into formula feeding. I was spewed on for formula feeding. I was a disaster! When the time came to bring him to daycare, I was more than ready. I felt like the most clueless first time parent ever, so I was actually RELIEVED to go back to work. WTH?? What mother feels that way?? I look back on my experience with my sweet boy and all I feel is horror and regret. Once he got out of the baby phase, started talking (and SLEEPING), I started to enjoy him as well as motherhood. I constantly feel like I am making up for that lost time and never miss an opportunity to tell him how much I love and adore him. I always, ALWAYS feel sad that I didn't enjoy him more as a baby.

It was one of the reasons I wanted another baby so badly. I wanted another chance.

My other chance, by the grace of God, is here and I am not wasting a single moment with her. My maternity leave was full of snuggles and baby talk. I didn't worry (and frankly didn't care) if I got anything "done" around the house. I had 12 weeks to make the best of our time together and I can honestly say I did just that. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed her so much and was so attached that the thought of going back to work seemed to physically break my heart. I'm glad that my husband does the daycare drop off with her because, in these first few weeks back, I don't know if I could have handed my precious baby over to anyone else. I miss her every single day. All day. I cannot get to daycare fast enough to hold her and give her kisses. I feel like she has changed so much and that I am somehow missing it. It seems as if she is one person when I leave her and then when I pick her up and she's out of nowhere babbling and smiling. She rolling over. She's no longer a newborn but an infant. Why is this going so fast? Dear Time: slow down! She is my last baby!

I've dabbled with the idea of staying home in the past. Mostly because I was unhappy and unfulfilled in my prior job and not necessarily because I had this deep desire to be a SAHM. For the first time ever, I really THOUGHT about it. After getting that first daycare bill, I REALLY thought about it. I imagined what it would be like to be with her every day. To hold her whenever I want. To teach her baby signs. To watch her grow and be the first person to see all of her new milestones and "firsts". To go on jogs with her in the park. I imagined my son being able to be home with us all summer before starting 1st grade this fall (which is a total WTF moment in and of itself. 1st grade? What?).

However... despite the serious gouging we received after the first bi-weekly daycare withdrawal (which by the way we pay more for daycare than we do our mortgage), we still need my money and my ridiculously amazing health benefits. Despite the deep hole in my heart from missing my baby every day, I know she's in good hands. And crazy enough? I actually really love my job. For the first time ever, I get to manage a program that I am passionate and excited about. The opportunity in front of me to expand my career right now is huge and if I bail even for a short time, I will miss that boat and I have worked so very hard. I shouldn't feel guilty for wanting that, right? Because, I do.

Most days I don't get to see my baby girl before I leave in the morning, but my husband with time permitting, will send me pictures of her to oogle over during my bus ride. Fortunately, I do get to see my baby boy- if I were to leave without saying goodbye to him? He would have the worst day and would NOT let me live it down.

One of the sweet pictures I received in the morning
I was fortunate enough to be home in the morning when he lost his first tooth this week! 

I love both my kids so, so hard. It is a mental struggle to leave them every day, but I feel like continuing to be a working mom, they get the best mom out of me. While it was harder than ever to make the decision this time around, I am confident that I made the right choice.

He still cuddles with me. Please tell me that doesn't change??? 

But sometimes he would rather cuddle with his sister and I swear my heart explodes with love. 



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