Reflections from Maternity Leave
I’ve never enjoyed anything as much as the last 4 months I spent on maternity leave. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t quite sure if I was suited to be home but this time off was exactly what I needed for my baby and my health.
The first month we spent getting adjusted to one another, working out some kinks and finding our routine. But, once we did, the time we spent together was wonderful and I learned to appreciate the simplest parts of my day. I loved nothing more than our morning snuggles in bed, followed by a walk to get coffee while wearing her on my chest. Our afternoons were often spent with friends, visits to the park, or enjoying a leisurely lunch outside. Each night I looked forward to cooking and eating out on our deck before giving her a bath which became my favorite routine.
Yes, there were days that were difficult and nights I barely slept but as I reflect on the last few months, I only can think of all the memorable times we spent together and the rest is a blur.
Stress has always caused my symptoms to flare and I was scared that having a newborn would take them through the roof. While I have been dealing with blurred vision again and had issues with numbness when feeding her (more on this later), shockingly, being with her doesn’t stress me out. In fact, she calms me. She’s made me appreciate the slower life we’ve shared at home these past few months. I was used to racing around, multi-tasking at work, going out to dinners and events, and this life is just… different. We still make time to go on date nights and be with our friends but life has gotten a bit simpler and I honestly love it. She’s been the best thing that’s happened to us and makes me happier than I could’ve imagined.
As for my health, having four months off was such a blessing and I’m so thankful to my boss for being understanding of my situation. I not only had the time to be with Chloé but I had time to take care of myself too. I went through two aggressive steroid treatments that took a toll on my body, and took weeks to fully recover, I started a new infusion medicine and had more medical appointments than I can even count. I’m grateful that I could take that extra month off because I wasn’t physically ready to go back after 3 months. I had just gotten my MRI results back at that point and had to focus on myself and getting things on track.
But now, I am feeling good about where I am as I go back to work. My condition is under control, my daughter is well-taken care of, and I’m going back to a position I know well, with a supportive and caring team behind me. And the best part is that even though I’ll be working, my days will always begin and end with her.
Mom, any tips for making the transition a little easier? I’m anxious to say the least..