Maternity Leave

I have now officially returned to work. I can’t believe I’ve already wiled away 12 weeks of maternity leave.

How did I spend those 12 weeks? Well, not productively in a normal sense. My dishes went undone, laundry unfolded, and floors unvacuumed for days at a time. I didn’t create beautiful birth announcements, like I wanted, and I didn’t scrapbook Addie’s first weeks of life. I didn’t pack Jesse’s lunch every evening, like I thought I would, and I didn’t get into cooking. I didn’t lose my pregnancy pounds, and I didn’t spend any time at the gym. I didn’t work on the story I’ve been writing, though I had many hours of downtime to think about my characters and what my invented universe was going to deal them. I didn’t finish reading my book about Henry the VIII’s six wives, and I didn’t (as yet) give in to reading the Twilight series.

So what did I do? Well, Addie and I…

 

Spent time with family and friends

Went on walks

Slept

Played together

Traveled

And let’s be honest…watched A LOT of TV.

I spent hours holding her, looking at her beautiful face, soothing her, and feeding her. She became an extension of myself in a different way than pregnancy: then there was no option to be apart; now I can put her down or be away from her, but it aches in a funny way when I do. 

I won’t be pretentious and claim to know anything about motherhood. I still find it hard to apply the term “mother” to myself. But I know some little things. Like I know (now) not go anywhere without an extra diaper or outfit. I know that my baby’s cry has an affect on me that no one else feels. I know that when I’m in a swarm of mosquitoes, I’d rather they all bite me than touch my baby. I know I don’t feel well when my baby doesn’t. I know my husband means more to me now than he did before. And I know that the beginning of a new life is a sacred thing, and really makes you contemplate the eternal nature of the human spirit.

The past 12 weeks have been full of firsts for both Addie and me. I didn’t do half of what I thought I would do on a break from work, but what I hope I did was really absorb and experience those moments with her and with Jesse.

Basically, I feel like my life crashed into pieces once she came, and I’ve spent the last 12 weeks climbing my way back up to a new kind of normalcy. It feels strange, but still kind of nice, to be back at work for now. I’m grateful to my mom for making it easy to do. Now Li’l Addie gets to bond with a grandma who couldn’t possibly be happier to be one!

 

 

 

5 Responses

  1. I knew there was a reason to get your blog rolling again. It’s because you’re a good writer :)

    What could be more fulfilling than what you did spend your time doing during the last 12 weeks? It is indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity you had there with your first child.

    I love the pic of Addie on the pool chair– classic!

    mikie - August 19th, 2008 at 10:40 pm
  2. This baby girl couldn’t have come to a more loving family. Not only do her parents adore her in every possible way, but she’s got aunts and uncles wrapped around her little fingers, and grandparents who can’t get enough of her. I wonder if she could feel the love that her first 12 weeks of mortality were filled with? And the love keeps getting stronger!

    I can’t get over the fact that she watches TV. That’s hilarious. :)

    Mel - August 20th, 2008 at 9:57 am
  3. Awh, Mar…you are awesome! I had so much fun spending time with you. Thank you for brightening my days! It’s safe to say that you chose “the better part” in caring for Addie these past weeks. You put into words perfectly the way it feels to love your baby.

    em - August 20th, 2008 at 11:50 am
  4. Amen, Amen Amen Amen, to every thing you said. Oh how I love this post, you put it all into words so well.

    Emily Aldrich - August 26th, 2008 at 8:45 am
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