Work Woes

Tomorrow starts my personal countdown of the return to civilization. The nanny is scheduled to start Thursday, and then the following Thursday I go back to work. Tick tock, tick tock

The anxiety has subsided a bit, and I am feeling more confident about leaving Elliott for a couple of days a week. He is hearty (17.5 lbs!!!), and healthy and overall a very happy, peaceful baby. He adapts well to changing environments, isnt scared when new people hold him, and is in good spirits most days.

Hence, the reason why when my boss called me this past Thursday I hung up feeling a bit stressed. The conversation lasted 2 days, and we still dont have a resolution. But, the cliff notes version is that one of the companies owners doesnt like the schedule that I will be working, as he doesnt feel that it supports the best interest of our clients. After hearing his reasoning, I dont disagree… But, if you recall…my boss was the one who set my new schedule.

We ended the conversation on Friday without closure. Boss man needs to talk with the owner, and then get back with me. But, basically…I explained that I can’t currently work the schedule he wants, as everyone is already committed and contracted, and there is not a way to change course now…or at least right now. I suggested that I come back to work under our previously agreed upon schedule, try it out, and hope that I can switch some days around in the long run and that the nanny’s schedule opens up. Or, I offered to train a replacement should this not work out for the company.

I have a ton of mixed feelings about this exchange…first off, why didnt my boss clear it with the owners BEFORE he approved it for me? Second, why are they waiting until 2 weeks before I go back to work to bring all of this up? Third, if some sketchy things hadnt occurred in our other office, we would still have the other trainer on staff and this wouldnt be an issue. Fourth, will my be boss be a stand up kind of guy, and tell the owners that HE was the one who already approved my schedule…and that it isn’t me being a difficult employee? And lastly, in a small way…I hope it doesn’t work out, and I can stay home after all (although, there is NO WAY we could afford it…i checked and re-checked the budget, and then checked it again. No matter how many things I cut out of the budget, or expenses I pair down–we wouldn’t have enough money to even pay the basic expenses without my income).

So, I am trying not to stress or worry. But, failing miserably at both. Suggestions? Thoughts?

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All smiles

I have had this saved in my drafts for a while, because I didn’t want to forget to document the event and my feelings.

So, here it goes–Elliott was nursing about 2 weeks ago, and we were gazing at each other. And all of a sudden, with my nipple still securely in his mouth–he busts out an ear to ear grin, and a little chuckle of joy.
All at once my heart melted, a big tear formed in the corner of my eye, and my chest swelled with love and pride.
I don’t think I will ever forget that moment.

The long ride home

My hubby and I are from the same home town. We didn’t know one another while we lived there, but were introduced to each other by his sister. One of the great things about being from the same home town, is that you never have to explain stories about when you were younger, or in high school…cause your partner knows exactly what and where (and often times who…) you are talking about.

The other nice part about being from the same home town is that when we go ‘home’, it means the same to both of us. Our families still live there, and when we go home, we get to see both of our families. Hubby’s parents, my Aunt and Uncle and my Mom all live with in 35 minutes of one another. Plus, we have a whole bunch of friends that live there too.

We typically stay at my best friends house-but since Elliott’s arrival, we have been staying at my in laws house. We have only taken Elliott home once so far. But, we decided to drive home again and visit with the families and with the SIL (who also lives 3 hours away, but in the opposite direction, and who will be visiting the same weekend). The in-laws house is now the epicenter for both hubby’s sister and for us. We dont have to bring a bunch of baby items, cause Grandma’s house already has everything we need.

In the past, hubby and I made efforts to visit all of the friends and family we could. Always making a point to prioritize family by day and friends by night. Since none of our friends from home have kids (yet) that makes it hard for us to see all of the peeps we want to see, and spend the requisite time with our families. Feelings easily get hurt if we dont prioritize correctly, or miss a visit with someone.

This trip and for the next several trips moving forward…I decided to save us a lot of time, and effort and ask my family to come over to the MIL’s house for visits. I initially felt bad about it, feeling selfish asking people if they wanted to visit us… However, I quickly remembered how accommodating we were/are to our friends with kids, and realized that this is normal for parents with little babies (especially ones that drive 3 plus hours to visit).

So, I am excited to be able to spend time with everyone, and for Elliott to get to see his family all together. Hubby is thrilled to be able to have the brood in one place, and the In laws love hosting family events. I think it is a win-win for everyone! Now, if only everyone got along…

Thank you Thursday

I wanted to start a Thursday tradition on my blog called Thank You Thursday. In each post I wanted to remember and write about things that I was thankful for. I hoped that this would help me appreciate the wonderful life that I live, and acknowledge those people that have helped to enhance it.

However, I have only got to post one entry insofar. So, today when I saw the calendar reminder…I decided to pick up the task again and try to write.

As such, today I am thankful today for the time to blog. It has been increasingly more difficult for me to find ‘me’ time. I have been struggling with my time management as of late. I have a ton of anxiety about going back to work, and about leaving Elliott in the care of someone else. I want to spend as much time with my family while I am out on leave, but I also want to spend it with my friends.

However, since most of my friends work, that only leaves me time in the PM hours to schedule events with them, or on the weekends. The evenings are committed to putting Lil E to bed, and then catching up on all the household chores I didn’t get completed during the day. And of course, I want to spend time with the hubby. Both hubby and I need time to ourselves too. We have hobbies we want to pursue and friends to pursue them with. Our time is further fragmented and divided.

I have been struggling with all of this, and the prospect of it just getting more difficult when I return to work. However, today–I am going to appreciate the time I have had so far with Elliott and the month I still have. I am going to focus on being present. I am grateful for today, which has allotted me time to post and reflect.

bye bye cable

Today, after much discussion and deliberation (planting the seed, watering it, tending the garden, weeding, etc.)…we cancelled the high dollar cable, the DVR, the HD, the premium phone services and are left with BASIC cable, a telephone that rings, and of course the WWW at full power.

Yup folks, just 20 some odd channels to chose from. I can still watch Grey’s Anatomy, and hubby can still watch MLB all is well in the world. And the best part…Lil E will grow up playing outside and not planted in front of the boob tube.

*sniffle*

Having a baby is a big transition. Duh, many of you are already saying. I know, I know. But, the last 8 weeks have been great. I didn’t feel like much had changed about my lifestyle. We have still been pretty mobile, and haven’t had to sacrifice a lot of our time or normal life events.

In the last week, I have come to realization that it is all about to change. With my maternity leave slowing coming to a close, I am trying to get both Elliott and myself on a loose schedule. He has already created one for himself most days. I am just trying to solidify it, for my own peace of mind and for the nanny’s sake. I was feeling very relieved (and cocky) to have such an awesome kid, one who sleeps easily and in reasonable chunks. Blah, blah, blah. Then I understood with a greater magnitude what getting him on a schedule meant.

It means that we no longer can be out later than his bedtime. It means, having to say ‘No’ to events if it conflicts with his naps or sleep schedule (I have a hard time with this). It means being home nightly. I also realized that while I was once excited about the weekend, because I got to sleep in…well, I came to the shocking realization that it was a thing of the past. The weekend is just like any other day for my boy, with the same 6am wake up as a weekday.

My hubby has also been feeling the changes that are brewing. He has been feeling restless and short tempered. We have been short with one another, and there is a general strain in the air. I suggested that he get out of the house, and relax a bit. He took my suggestion and called up a friend, and was invited over to play and hang out. We talked about it, but he did say if he was going to accept the invitation or decline. I didn’t ask assuming he would tell me when he decided. We went about our new evening routine, but hubby had a bit of spring in his step. I was pleased that he was breaking through his funk, and moving forward with a smile.

Then, he leans over and kisses me goodbye. I asked where he was going in a surprised voice, and he responded saying he was going to his friends house. Oh…I know we talked about it, I just didn’t realize you had decided to go, but have fun I sadly replied.

*Sniffle*, I thought he was happy to be home with me. But Nope, he was happy at the prospect of getting out of the house. I would be too if I was him.

C-section remorse

In the old days, I used to subscribe to a whole slew of magazines. These days, I am more selective about my subscriptions and my time. With so little free time since Elliott’s birth, I had to make my parenting magazine selection carefully. I couldn’t fill my time with Parents, Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens. So, I chose my favorite mag-called Mothering. It is published semi-monthly, and when it arrives I usually read it cover to cover.

The cover article for this issue was on Cesarean births, the articles title is Cesarean birth in a culture of fear. The opening paragraph went something like this-Cesarean births are on the rise and are increasingly being performed even when they are not medically necessary. When I (the articles author) ask women why they think this rise is occurring– they may give a variety of reasons, but they will always justify their own need for a c-section as medically necessary…

I read the entire article, and thought it was a well researched article, and I dont wholly disagree with the author. When I finished reading it, I felt bad about my Cesarean and it made me begin to question again our birth choices. I felt like the author and therefore the magazine put a black cloud over my birth because I had a C-section. The opening statements of the article insinuated that women who have C-sections think they are necessary, even when they are not medically needed. I think the author is missing the point.

If a woman has a C-section, and felt it was necessary, isn’t that a short coming on the medical establishments part for misinforming us about the actual need, versus the alternatives? The fear is on the part of the doctors, yes. They are trying to avoid liability and lawsuits. And if that is the point of her article, I felt the author should be standing up for our rights regarding informed consent, looking for ways to educate us on how to avoid feeling pressured into a C-Section, and teaching people how to make more educated decisions while under the pressure of labor, fatigue, and pain. She should not be pulling the rug out from under us that have had a Cesarean birth. She devalues those women who have had C-section births by making a generalized comment like her opening statements.

The result, again, was me feeling judged by the author. And, at a time when I was almost emotionally healed…I am now questioning once again the necessity of my surgery, and therefore my proposed inability to deliver natural. I did all of the right things (and still failed). I was under the care of a Midwife. I took great care of myself during my pregnancy. I was low risk. I had a doula. I didnt take drugs during my labor (pain killers, an epidural, etc.), and labored naturally all the way to 10 centimeters. I pushed with all my might…for 3 hours! I followed the natural child birth prescription, and I still had a C-section. I had an abnormal labor condition-arrest of descent.

Was mine necessary? Was it medically the right thing to do? Could I have delivered my baby vaginally, without surgery? Was it safer for the hospital to suggest the surgery, versus risk an assisted delivery (which comes with a whole list of risks to the baby)? Did I make the right decision for both Elliott and myself? The tricky part about all of the questions and uncertainty is that I will never know for sure if the surgery was necessary. What the article doesnt tell you is when a C-Section is necessary. Or under what circumstances a Cesarean birth is suggested for the safety and health of the mother and child. I will always wonder if I could have pushed Elliott out, with a little help from pitocin and an epidural.

Everytime I use the restroom, I look at my incision. I feel my stomach, where it is still numb and sore to the touch and wonder if I could have avoided having a surgical delivery. I dont think a magazine that is supposed to support women, honor them as mothers, and hold them in high esteem would want their readerships take home message to be one of alienation and judgment. I am therefore very disappointed after reading this article that more thought was not rendered before delivering such a harsh blow to woman kind. I am also disappointed that an article that is calling our birth ritual ‘a culture of fear’, is using the same tactics to ‘educate’ its readership about the nuances of a Cesarean birth using a step by step diagram of the surgical procedures, with a header “so you want to have a cesarean?” Women and especially Moms already suffer from a tremendous amount of guilt. Should we be adding to their load by now questioning the way they birth?

While I cant change the course of events in my own life or their outcomes. I can say that I feel like in my case, a cesarean was the best option for us. If the author of the article wants to question that, I would encourage her to research and publish an article on how to avoid one, rather than one that instills fear in those first time Mom’s before they deliver.