So I have started this post early, as I know that it will be a roller coaster ride leading up to it and then when I start.
It’s early March and I have some KIT days lined up already which I’m excited/nervous about.
I’ve spent five months so far away from work, when I say away I mean not working in the office. I’ve got my work friends, not work colleagues, work friends. They aren’t just people I work with they’re my friends and I’ve missed being able to sit and have lunch with them every day and I’ve tried my best to keep those friendships going (that’s been successful I think!) I’ve been kept in the loop with pretty much everything that has been going on and like to think on a few occasions I’ve been able to help out.
The difference between me and a lot of other people (I may be mistaken!) is that I love my job and I love my team (they’re like my second family) and all of the teams that we work with. I don’t know many people that don’t mind getting up in the morning and going to work. This is something that I think can really alter a job for you. After being miserable in my last place of work, I vowed I’d not do that to myself again, if I start to not want to get up and go in I know that it’s time to move on.
So for the things that I’m worried about:
- Concentrating for a full day
- Missing Oliver
- Learning new names
- Remembering passwords
- Full on, inescapable human interaction
Over the KIT days that I had I spent around 95% of my day in meetings and I like to think that they were successful.
Today is my first ‘real’ day back in work. It’s a one off and I’m back really in May, I’m still off using one of the many days holiday accrued while on Mat leave.
Things I can tell you about how I feel. Going into work a doing my job doesn’t scare me, not in the slightest. While I have suffered with ‘baby brain’ I like to think (bar occasionally losing words I know I know but just can’t find) my heads pretty much there and functioning.
I’m worried about what I’ll be missing out on. A thing that all mums think about when going back to work (or so I’m lead to believe) I’m in a slightly different situation – only slightly but still different. At this point (he’s exactly 6 months old today) babies are able to control their own head, lift their head during tummy time, starting to try to hold a bottle (if not already doing this), weaning, getting ready to crawl.
We’ve just learnt to take a full bottle without a tube
We can almost control our neck for short periods of time and tummy time still isn’t something that we enjoy too much.
From a mums perspective I am only just seeing Oliver. I’ve spent months embedded in research, doing physio routines, sterilising, checking we have enough syringes ready for the days feeds. Twice as many bottle prepared because we couldn’t drink from a big bottle, we had to have small amounts in a small bottle so that he didn’t get overwhelmed. Hospital visits to get tubes put back in because as he develops muscle tone that leads to the tube being pulled out more and more. Hospital visits/home visits for numerous other things as well.
All of that stopped me seeing my baby, imagine spending 4 and a half months with a baby and not really seeing them. I lost a month at the beginning because of our hospital stay, I’m sure that any other NICU mum will tell you that the entire stay is a blur, it’s the longest time in the world while you’re there and now I don’t remember any of it. Then until a few weeks ago I spent so much time obsessing over things that I didn’t even realise that when I said I’d stopped seeing pws I was actually just telling myself this as a coping mechanism.
We’ve had a trial period with no tube and as much as I’ve enjoyed seeing his beautiful little face I’m terrified that at the next appointment something isn’t right and it will have to go back in.
The tube coming out for this period has been the thing that’s helped, it’s not that without it I can’t see pws so it’s gone away. It’s that everyone that asks about it and the looks that you get, it won’t be a constant reminder of what’s going on. There’s been no stress about picking him up and wondering if it’s caught, not being able to leave him unattended incase it’s pulled out, the faff that comes with it, the extra pieces that need sterilising and the extra cooled boiled water that comes with us to flush it.
Everything has been ‘normal’
This level of normal is what makes me worry about going back to work. I’ve spent so long obsessing over things that that time I should have been enjoying (don’t get me wrong we’ve had an amazing 6 months together) I haven’t fully enjoyed everything that I should have because our start has been so different.
The only thing keeping me sane is that he’s going to be at home with Mike and that all those special things that I feel I may miss out on are at least being witnessed by one of us and if I’m lucky it will be photographed and sent over to me as well.