My maternity leave with Harper was so very different from Camryn’s. With Harper, she was my first. I had no idea how to be a parent. I didn’t have a clue how much time and energy went in to keeping a small 7 pound 5 ounce human alive round the clock. You pretend to know leading up to it, but you have absolutely no idea. Balancing myself and a baby over a toilet was a daily occurence. Walking and talking like a zombie (or mombie) was something of the norm, especially in those first few weeks. Forget about showers! What are those? Forget about eating because honestly, who has time for that?
For the most part, you are a hermit. I remember making visitors wash their hands and fully sanitize each time they would come near my precious little one. Changing diaper after diaper, nursing for what seemed like all day, trying to squeeze what’s left of your milk supply by pumping, and then oh ya, all of those chores you need to do around the house. Speaking of chores, have I mentioned baby laundry? That is at least 3 hours out of your day. They spit up and shit on virtually everything.
I remember the dreaded two question combo Scott asked me each day when he came home. How was your day and what did you do all day was the one-two combo punch leaving me on the floor before I even started my fight. Even though I am writing about this experience four years later, I remember those days vividly. Some days when he asked all I saw was red and other days I would just cry for what seemed like forever. What did I do all day? Well, um, let me tell you what I did all day. No, but really, what DID I do all day? Then the tears would stream down my face. I didn’t know what I did all day to be honest. Well I mean, I did but I didn’t even know where to start or how to describe the toll it took on my mental and physical state. So instead of giving a recap of: changed a few hundred diapers, kept her upright after every feeding so she didn’t spit up everywhere, stressed about what articles of clothing she should wear temperature wise, and constantly nursed her; I would pass her off for a 5 minute shower before she screamed her head off that she needed me again.
My maternity show of choice was Friday Night Lights and it was glorious. Except for of course the most ridiculous storyline of season 2 when Landry became a murderer. That was just weird. In any case, I digress.
So with that being said my maternity leave with Camryn was different from the start. I left the hospital as fast as I could, whereas with Harper if I could have stayed forever I may have. I wasn’t a first time parent anymore when Camryn came in to the world. So I was a pro, sort of. I didn’t stay up throughout all hours of the night watching her breathe. She was sleeping through the night a little before she was three weeks old. I know right?! Yes, and would even snore! A lot!
Camryn had to be in a routine early on since Harper still had to get to school each day and continue her other activities. Although, Harper was never on time for anything. I couldn’t manage two kids properly for the first month. I mean don’t get me wrong, everyone was fed and bathed and happy but it felt like I was doing everything while stuck in molasses. The most giant damn tub of molasses. It was either molasses land or I would be on such a roll and ready to be out the door and then Camryn would shit herself. I accepted I would never be on time for anything during my maternity leave.
When I had to go back to work after I had Harper, I was a mess. I didn’t want to go back to work and pleaded with Scott to figure out a way to pay for everything himself so I could stay home. I know, how nice of me! I remember crying all day and night the Sunday before I had to go back. Well, the time has come to head back to work after I had Camryn. I thought the time with Harper went by fast! No way! I blinked and 12 weeks flew by. I won’t lie and say that I am not sad to leave Camryn but I am ready to go back. I finished 5 seasons of House of Cards and I’m ready.
As the great Sasha Fierce once said, ‘strong enough to bear the children then get back to business.’ That is what I shall do tomorrow, get back to business.