...it's back to work I go...
and I'm NOT happy about it.
It's been so idyllic, all this time off for my maternity leave: the luxury of sleeping in, and focusing on not much more than taking care of my baby and maintaining things around the house. But now it's time to go back. My first official day back is Friday, April 16th, and it's coming up soon. Why Friday, you ask? Because I am entitled to a maximum of 20 days of maternity leave (4 weeks) plus whatever personal leave I had accrued before the birth of my baby, which totaled two weeks or so. We get 12 days per school year, and I tend to pretty much use them up each year because I believe in the importance of mental health days, not to mention things like doctor's appointments, extra travel days before scheduled school breaks, etc. So I didn't have very many stockpiled away before I gave birth, which worked out just fine in the end. So it works out that I have to go back on a Friday, which is NOT a bad thing because I get to regroup over the weekend before I have to get through a full work week. I only have about six more weeks until summer vacation, so it won't be that hard to get through it. The main reason I'm not looking forward to going back is because it's a tough time of year for middle school students, and every day can feel like an uphill battle. They are so ready to be done for the year, and it's hard to rein them back in and help them realize that there is still work to be done. *sigh* But according to my sub, the kids are looking forward to having me back. So that's a good thing.
I'm not looking forward to the whole pumping-at-work thing, either. I bought a fantastic new breast pump several days ago, and though I've pumped several times since then, I really need to pump much more often in order to keep up my supply and stockpile milk for my caregiver to feed to K. I'm trying not to panic about how much milk I haven't stockpiled yet, but I found several fantastic websites tonight that put my mind at ease. Turns out that I'm pumping more than the average at each sitting, which was a surprise. I didn't realize that it can take at least two or three pumping sessions to produce enough milk for just one feeding! Babies are much more efficient at getting milk than a pump is, and there is NO question that K is getting enough milk at each feeding. She gained close to three pounds in the three weeks since we were discharged from the hospital, and she had dropped ten percent of her birthweight at discharge time, so she made up for it in spades. She's a healthy little girl now, complete with chubby little cheeks and a round baby tummy, which is fantastic. I was concerned that she was overeating, but apparently an exclusively breastfed infant can't overeat, so I guess we're okay. We'll see at her next pediatrician appointment. The biggest thing on my agenda before I head back to work is to pump, pump, and pump some more.
But the up side is that I absolutely love spring, and I'm so excited that it's about to make it's appearance! I love seeing the buds on the trees, and the various green things poking their heads up in the garden, not to mention the sunshine and warmer weather. I tried out the new stroller a few days ago, and it absolutely rocks! It's got this amazing suspension system, and it's tall enough for me, so life is good. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer (after a few days of very strong winds and cold temperatures) so a walk around the neighborhood is definitely on the agenda.
(K's baptism was absolutely beautiful, and I'm looking forward to a post about it in the near future as soon as I get the CD of pictures from my cousin. Stay tuned.)