At 6 p.m. on April 20, I headed out of the office. I stopped by my bossâ€™ desk to say goodnight and reminded her that I had a doctorâ€™s appointment the following morning. Iâ€™d be in by 10 a.m. I assured her. And without a second thought, I moved on to a much more pertinent topic â€“ asking her if we could quickly chat about the newspaper exclusive Iâ€™d secured that day. Business as usual.
Four months and 12 days later, Iâ€™m returning to the office for the first time after that fateful checkup with the doctor. It went a little longer than plannedâ€¦ Twenty pounds lighter and two kids heavier, tomorrow is my last day of maternity leave.
Itâ€™s been quite the adventure. Most typical new mommys take just about the same length of leave as me. But Iâ€™d venture to guess that those mommys also spend approximately four months and 12 days bonding with their newborn. I will have spent 24 days home together with the muppets. (And I used to be shocked that my mom went back to work only two months after I greeted the world.)
My maternity leave breakdown is as follows:
- 37 days on bedrest hoping to stay pregnant
- 26 days hospitalized
- 7 days panicking as we endured the preemie â€œhoneymoonâ€
- 30 days adjusting to life with babies in intensive care
- 73 days spending 4-6 hours a day in the NICU
- 24 days home with my muppets
82 percent of the aforementioned leave spent worried and without them. (Well, 100 percent of the time worried about the boys, but 82 percent so worried about how to get them home healthy.)
Originally, I wanted to work from home while I was bedridden. But my team of doctors said, â€œNo.â€ They claimed work was too stressful. Right â€“ because a job I liked was the part of this ordeal that was going to stress me outâ€¦
Am I looking forward to going back to work? Thatâ€™s a tough question. After so much time away, yes â€“ I am very ready to go back. But I do wish I had more time with the boys. In a perfect world, I wouldnâ€™t need more time, because Iâ€™d have spent all of my time bonding with my term newborn sons. Câ€™est la vie.
For those of you calculating â€“ yes, I am starting back up on a Friday.Â I plan to spend some time reminding my team who I am and the vast majority of the day sorting through the thousands of emails awaiting my return. (This is not an exaggeration.)
Iâ€™ll miss them during the day. But I doubt theyâ€™ll miss me. 1) Theyâ€™re newborns. 2) The lucky little muppets will be living the high life with Daddy Day Care.