Well, we did it. My first day back to work and Annabelle’s first day of day care is behind us. Thank God. I’d love to tell you that I was anxious about this day all for nothing and it all went swimmingly, but it didn’t. And if one of us had a bad day, I wish I could say it was me missing my daughter like crazy and she was just happy as a clam in her new setting. Unfortunately, she really struggled for a good portion of the day and my biggest fear came true – she wouldn’t take a bottle.

There’s nothing like getting a text message from your daycare center saying; “She was fine earlier, but she’s really upset now and won’t take a bottle. Should we call your husband? Is there anything we can do?”

WHAT! I was expecting them to be the pros! I don’t know, what do YOU guys think you should do – I thought you saw this all the time! Is Annabelle like some extreme case or something?? This is at 10:45am. We’ve got a long day to go.

Ay yi yi. Talk about a guilt-ridden working mama! I realize now that I didn’t try hard enough to get her to take a bottle with ease. I tried occasionally and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. It would become a battle of the wills and if Annabelle got too upset I knew I could always stop pushing her and just let her drink straight from the tap. It’s hard to give tough love to a 3-month old baby when you know you can take the struggle away in a nano second. Everyone kept telling me – including the daycare lady – that if she’s hungry, she’ll eat. She won’t put up a fight forever. I figured they see this all the time and know all the tricks on getting a baby to take the bottle. But apparently Annabelle is a stubborn ‘lil chicki poo who only wants mommy’s boobies.

I called twice during the day and both times I hear her crying in the background. She was really putting her foot down in the morning, only eating 1 ½ ounces when she’d normally eat 4 oz. My husband even dropped in at 11:30 to try and feed her and she wouldn’t eat for him either. I decided that I can’t keep calling, they’re just going to have to deal with it and Annie B. is going to have to learn.

Needless to say; I was thrilled when Jeff offered to pick her up at 4:15 instead of waiting for me to get home at 5:45. Thankfully, the daycare lady said the day improved a bit, with Annabelle finally taking in a total of 6 oz. for the day. This is less than half of what she would normally take at this point. And to top it off, she slept a total of ONE HOUR all day!!!! She normally naps every hour and a half anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half! My poor little baby.

Obvy I was thrilled to pieces to see my little girl when I got home and pop her on the boob for a nice long 3 hour feeding. I think I kissed every inch of her face about 30 times over. She finally put her hand up to make me stop and then I was just kissing the inside of her wittle baby hand.

Work was kind of….nice

I thought for sure I was going to be a total mess dropping Annabelle off today. Hell, I was already crying last night before putting her in the swing for her evening nap. I didn’t want my last night of my maternity leave to be over. I tried to give myself plenty of time when we got there this morning so that if I had to leave and come back about 40 times, I could. It was a hectic first day because it was picture day at the center. Plus, the 8 o’clock hour is a busy drop off time for parents. So I didn’t really have time to stand there and dwell on what was happening, I had to get her stuff situated and leave for work. I shed a few quiet tears before leaving, but I just tried not to think about it as I walked out the door and got on the train.

Once I was at work everyone was stopping by my desk hugging me and welcoming me back. I caught up with my team on what’s been happening for the last four months, and it turns out life goes on without me. It was strange riding the train like a little professional and walking into my cube after being away so long. My calendar still said July. My phone rang and I looked at it like a caveman looking at a phone ringing – like, what the hell do I do with that??? Do I answer it?? Nah, I let it go to voicemail. Not that I remember how to check it.

The day was work-free and purely social with a couple pumping sessions in there – which I can see getting old REAL QUICK. All in all, I realized that I like going to work. I got a thrill from discussing some new marketing ideas for 2012 and going like 30 minutes having a conversation that had nothing to do with babies. I needed this.

Thankfully, I’m part-time for the rest of the year so I don’t go back to work until next Tuesday. Working definitely makes me appreciate my time at home so much more. I was so excited to get home for tacos, good TV, and holding little Annabelle. She is like Christmas morning to me.  

I’m going to work on the bottle issue this weekend and hopefully we can make a breakthrough. Eventually Annabelle will come to realize that when she’s at daycare she drinks a bottle and when she’s with mommy she drinks from the boobie. And I know she’ll grow to know and enjoy the daycare ladies and her new surroundings. Plus, the socialization she’ll experience will be so good for her. Like anything else, we all adapt. We thought having a newborn baby was tough that first week and then it become like second nature to be a parent. This is no different. For now, I’m just going to enjoy my long weekend with my baby girl and appreciate every minute I have with her. She’s such a gift.

6 Comments on The ups and downs of returning to work after baby

  1. I knew you would make it. She is such a special little gift too. Enjoy her as much as you can. It’s a juggling act but women do it everyday and seem to manage. I think getting her more adjusted to the bottle is good. That way you can feel more relaxed at work. Hopefully there are women caring for the babies that are super loving and Annabelle will become one of their favorites. You always were with the daycare ladies. Love ya both!!

    Mom

  2. Wow, this took me right back to my girl’s first day of daycare. Luckily she was across the street from me, so I popped in once or twice. Ok, four times. It was so hard, but it was also really great to be back at work. She will get better with the bottle, they all do eventually.

  3. They’re getting better in the sense that she’s not eating at daycare, Eren, but I still miss her like crazy and hate that I only get an hour or so with her at night before she goes to sleep. Makes me really sad. 🙁

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