Friday, January 30, 2009

Some Stuff about Me

I wash my hair twice a week. I'm surprised at how often this shocks people, especially moms. You just have to let it be greasy for awhile and then somehow your head...adjusts, and you can get away with it.
Day 1 is all blown out and sexified with backcombing, straightening iron and hairspray. Day 2 I can still get away with wearing it down but it usually is up by mid afternoon. Day 3 requires a shot of Batiste, an incredible dry shampoo which feels like a cold wind in your hair, like skiing. Awesome. Day four, if it exists, is a ponytail or the annoyingly simple "Tie a bunch of knots in hair" that always gets the most compliments of all my many styles. And you know I get a LOT of compliments.

Just thinking about cough syrup makes me gag a little bit. Urp...there we go. Also I have been known to vomit when biting down on an undercooked or raw onion. Does it feel like I write about vomit a lot?

I used to really like scary movies, but now they...scare me. Also I have discovered, from being a member of, that any movie from the 90s you don't remember generally really, really sucks. Even ones about infectious disease, my all time favorite movie topic.

Brandon Flowers, of the Killers, is so strangely attractive that I denied liking Mr. Brightside because it shamed me. You know, the eyeliner and boyish good looks...but in the end I adore the Killers. Also every time I hear a song on the radio that I am like "YES this is AWESOME" I realize it is Nickleback. Nickleback? What the...?

I have finally, after many, many years, have gotten over Britney Spears. I barely think about her anymore.

Finally, I have a fear of clowns, and this pretty much is guaranteed to give me nightmares.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I read yesterday in some slutty magazine that having a baby is like going through the excitement of falling in love again but with someone much younger and better smelling.
This is definitely how I feel about Ella. I have the same gooey, nauseous feelings I had during my "courtship" with my husband. I remember Zar fastening a necklace around my neck--a fire opal be bought me while on a cruise with his family a month before we got engaged. I remember he said something...not sure what, but he sounded all warm and teary and I remember feeling so filled with love and sweetness and chocolate syrup that I felt like throwing up. This is how I feel when Ella gives me her half smile, or when she grunts like a little pig while stretching in the morning, or while looking down into her big eyes in her dark room at night feeding her and humming the theme song to "Baby Signing Time."
Baby baby baby signing time...
Motherhood is different this time. I will try to describe it without disrespecting, or lessening my incredible experiences with my first born, Charlotte. With Ella, I am all in. I have no fear, not even the normal fears a mother should have. I never sneak into her room to see if she is breathing. I never think of life without her. Charlotte always did, and still does, feel like a very special gift, an almost otherworldly creature that I get to love unconditionally but can't mess up, and can't keep. She is in charge, her and God, and I get to be a part of her visit here to earth. Her spirit is perfect, and she is here to help raise me, and not the other way around.
When Ella was born, it was like God handed her to me and said "This one is yours. Yours to screw up and yours to influence. Good Luck."
While Charlotte is a wise, all-knowing tough old soul, Ella is a child.
Ella doesn't remember where she came from, while for Charlotte, I believe the veil is very thin.
Ella looks at me and it's clear she thinks I'm the be all, end all, and I am so full of love and
sweetness and responsibility I want to throw up.
I could spend hours cooing into her sweet little face, kissing her tiny pink feet, signing "Mother" over and over and whispering "Mother! Mother! I'm your mother!" Loving Ella is all warmness and cuddles and aching for time to stand still. It's lullabies and stars and little furry animals the same way falling in love with Zar was Etta James and summer nights and sparkly things. For the record, falling for Charlotte was bittersweet and holy, loneliness and reverence. Feeling God so close yet so far away.
Am I making any sense? I feel like how I did trying to explain to Katie how I felt about Zar, how the only thing to do was to put Michael Jackson's "I'm Bad" on the stereo and dance around the apartment wildly. There is no explaining it. It's just incredible, excited, desperate, nauseating love.

Monday, January 26, 2009

If you know me, you know I am a Sleeper. I am not one of these who can go on four hours and operate heavy machinery. I am not one to fall asleep on the couch in the middle of the night watching TV. Most nights, I struggle to wait until 10:15 to feed Ella and put her to bed. Then I crash immediately afterwards. I snuggle down in my big bed with my two special pillows and I give a big contented sigh and I fall asleep within minutes.
So this weekend was difficult. I worked on Saturday for eight hours, then rushed to my favorite pedicure spot with the mysteriously subjective prices. While my favorite guy who does the best foot massage and leg smacking was painted my piggies pink, my pager went off. It was 5:30pm.
"Everything alright?" pedicure guy asked. He knows Charlotte well.
"yes, just gotta go back to work."
How very random, as always. I think he knows the smaller the price the bigger the tip. I am off.
Actually I go home. I speak to Resident Shirts, and we are going to exchange that lady from Boston. I speak to "George," some guy in the ER who tells me he needs to get details on "Pheresis...izing....". I speak to Zar, and tell him I want Fried Chicken. The Weight Watchers point system doesn't apply to call hours.
Fried Chicken consumed, some Rock Band with the Drakes, and at 9pm I leave for the hospital. On the MICU I find my patient still under blue towels having a line placed. Which I was told was already done.
I set up my machine, I wander up to 6 South to see if Mandi is working (no) I read Patient's chart, I pick up 16 bags of plasma from the blood bank. Type B, of course.
"Is that pee?" asks some random on the elevator.
Yup. Three liters of pee.
The rest of the night is a bit of a blur. Patient's platelets have dropped from 3o to 20 in hours. This is a true Thrombolytic Thrombocytopenic Purpura case. Very rare. She's on vacation from Boston. This is her third bout with this. She happens to be an Oncologist. She has a history of seizures and hives and severe citrate reaction during this procedure. Fabulous.
It goes fine though, I hit go at 11:50 pm. A few doses of benadryl for hives and she's okay. Her plasma is dark brown. I imagine the person on the elevator asking "Is that coke?"
Yup. Diet.
I finish up. I go home. I get in bed at 4 am.
Zar takes the girls downstairs and I sleep til 11. Then I get up and go back to the hospital at noon.
Five hours later I go have dinner at my moms. I'm entering my desperately exhausted mode, and weepy and dramatic, I go to bed at 8pm.
I got up today at five, took a bath, fed the baby, and went to work.
I made it five more hours and came home to take it easy after my rough weekend.
Technically I got plenty of sleep. Seven on Sunday and 9 last night. So why do I still feel like I'm the one with a history of seizures, TTP and veins full of coke? (or pee?)

Friday, January 23, 2009

This came to me the other night so I scribbled it down on the back of a magazine in the dark. Lets see if I can decipher it now.

Goodnight Boo

In Boo's room all painted in pink
there is a feeding pump with lights that blink and
alarms that ring if the tube has a kink.
And an IV Pole and a feeding bag full
of Pediasure, good for body and soul.
And an air purifier and a humidifier
and a pulse oximeter with 5 feet of wire.
And a night stand and a floor fan
and a red lit probe taped to Boo's foot or hand.
And Breath Right Strips and Tender Grips
and Albuterol and Tylenol
and a princess night light shining down the hall.
Goodnight Boo.
Goodnight to all your special things too:
Good night wire, and humidifier
goodnight fan and IV stand
Goodnight Grips and Goodnight Strips
Goodnight meds like Prevacid
and goodnight to pumps that keep you fed.
Goodnight to steady vital signs
Goodnight to tube and probe and lines
Goodnight to blinking lights and beeps
Goodnight to Boo, now fast asleep.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I am home in a quiet house for a few precious "alone" moments. Both kids are fed and sitting in baby chairs looking at me contentedly. The manicotti in the oven has 35 more minutes to go, and I made a beautiful balsamic vinaigrette strawberry goat cheese walnut salad that is chilling in the fridge. The TV is off and the carpet is freshly scrubbed and vacuumed. I worked out this morning and got a shower. I am at peace.
We have a new president in the White House and I spent all day yesterday puttering about, scrubbing the carpet, folding laundry, getting Charlotte on and off the school bus, losing and finding a $2000 hearing aide, and watching Katie Couric and the inauguration proceedings. I watched people run alongside the parade route for another glimpse of President Obama. I liked Michelle's yellow outfit. I loved the little girls in their J. Crew coats. I thought our President looked handsome and confident and charming, and I was happy and tearful all day.
It's difficult to explain how grateful I feel for my life, for my home and family and manicotti in the oven. I have been told more than once that I have a hard life. A girl once said to me "I imagine every night you lay down in bed and just cry." My mom writes letters to my brother in Greece and always says "I don't know how your sister does everything she has to do."
I have a very easy, luxurious, comfortable happy life. I have a wonderful husband and a home with a two car garage. I have two beautiful daughters, one of which will never break my heart, tell me she hates me or dress inappropriately. She has a free ticket straight to heaven. The other is good natured and happy, smiles when she sees me and has my nose and limitless potential. I have a job I enjoy and my husband has a job. We get together with my family every Sunday for dinner. I have the gospel in my life and it brings me tremendous hope and comfort. I can buy strawberries and walnuts any time I want.
There is much suffering in the world. There is terror. Mothers watch their children starve, or freeze or be mistreated. So many people have no hope, no reasonable possibility that things will get better, or be better for their children. People are cruel to each other all over the world.
When I get into my big bed at night with the incredibly soft sheets I got for Christmas, in my warm room after tucking in my gorgeous daughters, the last thing I do is cry. I am very blessed.
This country is very blessed. Things aren't perfect, but tonight I am at Peace.
Now time for Manicotti.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ella Rooney.
So dang cute.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I don't generally send food back at restaurants, even if it's totally wrong, or cold, or gross. I would never call someone on butting in line, or shush someone at the movies, or encroach on any ones personal space if I could help it.
But as I mature, I'm getting better at Notes.
On Tuesday I watched Charlotte be lifted onto the school bus in her little red wheelchair. When the doors closed, I walked back down the lane to my open garage. I used to stand awkwardly by the side of the bus, on tip toe, trying to see inside as the secured the wheelchair to the floor and made sure Charlotte was buckled it. Since I've gotten used to the bus, since it's gotten cold, and since I have a new baby, I don't wait anymore.
On Tuesday, I was about to climb the three stairs into my house, when I heard tires screech and rapid quickfire horn honking. I turned to see one of my neighbors, not one I know, pulled up to the side of the school bus and leaning on her horn. The bus was blocking the exit to our little lane, as the snow banks make it difficult to bring down the wheelchair lift. She kept the horn blaring for a good 15 seconds while I stood dumbfounded. I could not believe someone would be such a jerk. As the bus lurched forward I sorely regretted not running towards the car yelling and swinging my fists. My blood began to boil.
I quietly walked inside and sat on the corner of the couch, staring straight ahead and seething. I imagined taking a crow bar to the girls windshield. I imagined slapping her across the face and driving my car through her garage door. I imagined Charlotte looking around wildly, frightened by the blaring horn just feet from her head, imagined her crying the bus aides trying to comfort her.
It should be ILLEGAL, I thought, to honk at a school bus.
I got about to writing a note.
I started over.
"You are a terrible person. You are going straight to hell."
"Please do not honk at my child's school bus. She is in a wheelchair and it take a moment to buckle her in safely. I'm sorry you had to wait a minute."

I taped the note to her garage.

The next day I was discussing it with Amanda over lunch at the Olive Garden. We were calling the honking girl names and shaking our heads in disgust.
"You know what," I said "I'm just trying to assume she is a nice girl who was late for work and didn't realize what she was doing. But I hope she got home, read that note and cried her eyes out for shame. That way I'm not so angry."

On Thursday morning the bus pulled way, way down the street past the garbage cans and past our driveway, and I hurried down the sidewalk pushing Charlotte as she laughed and tried to kick her shoes off. As the bus driver tried to crunch down the snow with her boots, she handed me a note from her supervisor:

"Sharon, I got a call today from a girl who said she honked at your bus on Stella Vie yesterday. She was very apologetic and said she thought the bus was empty and just parked. Of course she was also late for work and had a rough morning. Seriously, she was crying and said she was so, so sorry, and wanted you to tell mom that she is very sorry. She was sobbing by the time we hung up. Just wanted to let you know."

"Oh my goodness." was all I said.
"It's the first apology I've ever gotten" Sharon the bus driver said, "and I get honked at a lot."

I took some cookies over to the girls house and left it by the front tire of her car. I went home and walked around my kitchen, thinking that she really should have came over to apologize directly to me, or written me a note, or something. This is ridiculous.
I went back out to go knock on her door, and tell her face to face that everything was okay. But the car was gone, as was the note and the cookies.
I think about how I would feel if I found out I had honked at the bus full of disabled kids and a mother was standing just yards away to witness it. A mother who lives next door to me. I would be so ashamed and probably a little suicidal. I would cry for hours and remember the shame for the rest of my life.
I hope the girl is okay. I'm a little broken hearted for her.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I dreamt the other night that Charlotte's oxygen tubing was kind of a leash that kept her tethered to earth.

When Charlotte meets someone new, they see her sitting in her stroller and ask "Can she walk?" No.
"Does she crawl?"
Sometimes they talk to her, and wait a moment, awkwardly wondering if she will talk back. She usually smiles and shakes her head. I shake mine too.
She doesn't talk yet. Maybe someday.

Sometimes I get anxious and I so desperately want them to understand how wonderful she is, how much she can do, how much she understands. I show them how she can sit on her own and I hand her things to play with. I try and get her to laugh. I ruffle her thick hair and kiss her forehead. She is wonderful. Wonderful. Please see it!

Some people look away when they see us. They may smile at Ella in her car seat, smile at her hair and her big toothless baby grin. Then they look at Charlotte, and look away.
They see a child with funny features and oxygen and hearing aides. They see a child who won't do much, won't be much. Probably won't be here long. They feel sorry for me and look away.
But some don't look away.
Some see big beautiful eyes and and unique feminine features--tiny nose, pink lips, porcelain skin. Some see a child with potential who needs help unlocking it, hearing aides, special school... who needs oxygen tubing to keep her tethered to earth. They see purpose, a child of God.
I am so grateful for these people.

No matter what they see, I hope they all realize that they are seeing a child who is loved.
Charlotte is so, so loved. Whether or not they ever know how special she is, how unique and amazing, they should know first that she is loved.

Monday, January 12, 2009

For a very long time, Charlotte weighed 15 lbs. (I know, another posting about weight. Do I think about anything else?) She was slowly getting taller but her weight did not change. She had tiny skinny shoulders and a huge head "like an orange on a toothpick." Her hair was thinning and getting lighter. I didn't see any of this. I kept taking pictures and spoon feeding her rice cereal. She looked beautiful to me.
Her doctor suggested we see a nutritionist who would help us learn how to "power pack" her meals. I had to journal everything she ate for a week and then we went in to the GI clinic. I remember thinking that written down, Charlotte's diet seemed pretty sparse and I fibbed a bit in the journal to make it seem more substantial. My exaggerations didn't help. The nutritionist was horrified at how small Charlotte was. She looked at her diet sheet and said it didn't begin to come close to being enough. She stomped into the hall and brought back a toddler with a g-tube, made me look at it and told me Charlotte needed one too.
I refused without a second thought. I told her that Charlotte was in the 30th percentile on the trisomy 18 growth chart. The nutritionist called her malnourished and said the other trisomy kids were too. I told her Charlotte loved to eat and I wouldn't take that away from her when she could do so little. The nutritionist went to get the Attending Doctor.
Dr. Jackson was much kinder. He didn't gasp and start dialing Child Protective Services when I said we wanted to try power packing first. He said that was certainly an option and gave me some handouts. He mentioned the g-tube as well and said that 95% of parents who get one wish they had done it sooner. Not for Charlotte I said. She loves to eat.
I called Zar and he stopped on the way home and got her a Strawberry shake. The seeds got stuck in the bottle nipple so I stirred it into some rice cereal. I tried to feed her every hour. Zar went and got a bottle of sweet potatoes, her old favorite.
"No" I said, "she said don't waste space with fruits and veggies. Fat only."
Charlotte ate butter. She ate sour cream and cream cheese and had olive oil mixed into her bottles. She hated eating. She would cry and seal her mouth shut, and we had to keep shoveling it in.
"Open up!" we'd say, "do you want to eat this delicious fat or do you want a feeding tube?"

Charlotte got pneumonia. We don't know whether it was from all the force feeding. Days went by and she had a tube down her throat into her lungs and didn't get any nutrition besides fluid. She was unconscious and pale. When she started to wake up we told the doctors we were ready for the feeding tube.
"She's not healthy enough." they said. "She won't survive the surgery."
In March 2007 she finally got the G-tube. The night before, I placed a little blue stone on her tummy to show Zar where it would be, how big it would be. He cried.
She almost didn't survive the surgery. The G-tube is a device that allows access from the outside of her tummy into her stomach. She can be given medications and food through it and she started getting pediasure through it every day.
Immediately Charlotte shot up to 18 pounds. Her hair thickened and darkened. She had more energy and laughed much more. A few weeks later we were able to try and feed her by mouth. She had lost her ability to suck. No more bottles for her, which was okay because she wasn't allowed thin liquids. Eventually, however, she learned to love her Hawaiian Delight, a dessert baby food.
Charlotte now weighs 24 pounds. She eats normal baby foods during the day, her favorites still being Hawaiian Delight and apple cinnamon oatmeal. She gets 2 and a half cans of pediasure through her tube every night. That equals about 650 calories while she sleeps. When she gets sick and won't eat, we give her food and fluids around the clock and she gets better. Giving her her nightly arsenal of medications is a snap, whereas she used to spit most of it out. She is still very small for her age, but at our last hospital stay, a nutritionist told us she weighs 110% of her ideal weight for height. She is officially chubby. We were so proud. I squeezed Charlotte's meaty thigh and told the lady thank you.
Ella is here now. She is an excellent eater. In the hospital a specialist came in to teach me tricks and tips on breastfeeding which I had never done before. She told me how often to do it, how long on each side, when to pump and how to store frozen milk. I looked at my new little bundle of hunger and sighed.
"Can't we just put in a G-tube?"
Just kidding. Heh heh. Kinda.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

These are the men in my life. In the group picture it starts with Ben, my sister Allison's husband since October 5th 2007. Apparently he was called "Ben the Hen" in highschool. An obvious nickname. (?) The pale small one next to him is my husband of 6 years, Zar, and next to him is my brother in law to be, Doug, aka Dougie Fresh, Mr. Doo-gal, Bear Cub. He's marrying my sister Alex in July 2009. And last is my Dad, The Big R, Pa-Roan, Roan-opple-deedle, Poopyseed pappy poopyseed muffin. (We are big on nicknames in my family. Unless, of course, your name is already 'Zar')
Missing is my brother Jake, aka Jacob Ann Marley, Cobby, Elder Enslin, who is serving his mission in Athens Greece. He's due home in June this year. My parents are going to pick him up, the lucky dogs.
It is so much fun having all these guys in my family to torment. I think my dad is enjoying having more dudes around too. Sundays are so fun as we get together at my parents torn up house and eat and talk and laugh. Ben gives me high fives when I belch while everyone else calls me disgusting. I frequently tackle Doogal and smack him around which I've been doing for years. He's already such a part of the family as they've been dating forever....he was there on Charlotte's birthday to meet her and then he went on his mission to Argentina...or was it Mexico...he hates that joke. Ben is still the new guy but he's especially easy to harass-he has a short fuse as runs in the family. On Christmas he got caught calling my dad something like "A skinny little runt man" when he thought he wasn't listening. Allison had offered Ben some of my dads sweat pants to wear. As if.
Poor Jake has quite a job ahead of him. I guarantee the girl he brings into this family will be under A LOT of scrutiny at first, but I'm sure in the end we will embrace and love her as long as she isn't too prissy or stuck up or ditzy or dumb. It's so fun having the family just keep growing especially as my sisters get closer to "Baby Time."
My family is such a source of Joy to me. I hope it's the same for all of you.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Biggest Loser came back on last night. It is one of my favorite shows. I am quite into makeover shows and it is pretty much the ultimate. My sister Allison suggested we do our own version and weigh in after the show each week. Five of my sisters friends showed up to participate excited about the idea, all saying they wanted to lose five pounds or whatever for whatever reason. When it came time to weigh in, they all started whining. No one wanted anyone else to know their weight. How ridiculous, I thought, and I wrote mine at the top of the chart. Eventually everyone else did as well, after much boo-hooing and many excuses. I looked at these darling, early 20 something girls, all in skinny jeans and tall boots and couldn't believe how silly they were being.
I wasn't being remotely fair. When I was their age, I was desperate to lose weight. I had been bulimic for nearly 10 years and getting sicker every day as my wedding approached. My fiance knew all about it and called me every afternoon to encourage me to keep my lunch down. I tried to live on LA weight loss bars, I ate ice out of bowl with a spoon and called it soup, I didn't the energy to work out but tried to anyway. I was dizzy and puffy and tired all the time. My throat was always sore and my face was red and broken out. I was really struggling and did so for the next three years.
When I got pregnant the first time I had gotten into the routine of going to the gym every morning before work. I felt fantastic. I was scared about gaining weight but promised myself I wouldn't throw up while pregnant. I did a pretty good job, especially once Charlotte was diagnosed at 22 weeks and my body became the least of my worries. I gained 33 lbs with that pregnancy and the weight fell off right after she was born. I was lucky. Not that I didn't want to lose more weight, but my body didn't change too much from my first pregnancy. Very occasionally i would have a bulimic binge but nothing like before. My weight fluctuated between 142 and 148 lbs. I wasn't thrilled with it but I decided I would be happy if I stayed under 150 lbs.
I really wanted to get back to the gym. I have always loved working out, or at least how it makes me feel. If I can get some exercise almost every day then my body issues stay away. Even if my weight stays the same I feel healthy and strong and I don't have bulimic rages. 24 hour fitness agreed to watch my baby in their kids club, even though she was on oxygen and wasn't a typical kid. I was working out often and felt great. My weight went down to 140.
In 2007 my new sister in law Stephanie asked me to go to a yoga class with her. I had done a yoga class in college and enjoyed it, so I agreed. Turned out this was a bikram yoga class, taught at 6 in the morning in a room heated to 110 degrees. It was 90 minutes long. The first day I nearly passed out multiple times, at one point I begged for death, but walking out of that room into the cool morning air was absolutely euphoric. The rest of the day I felt light and happy. I started going once a week and have never felt stronger.
Around this time I joined weight watchers at work. It really worked for me and I dropped down to 132 lbs. Dang, I felt so sexy. All of a sudden I could fit into these awesome clothes and I couldn't believe that my husband and I used to fight about my habit of wearing gym clothes 24 hours a day. With the money I was spending on designer jeans, he might have regretted asking me to make more of an effort.
It was short lived. I got pregnant. I immediately gained four lbs. At my first appointment my doctor still commented on my weight loss and how good I looked. At my second appointment he commented I must have had a good cruise as I was up 15 lbs. By late pregnancy he was calling my weight gain "A little rich." I gained 50 lbs. I ate whatever I wanted. I didn't care at all.
My baby was born nearly three months ago. This morning I weighed 142 lbs. I'm already near my goal weight of 135. Doesn't matter though. A 50 lb weight gain takes it's toll. I'm not so sure things will ever be remotely the same again.
I don't care. This is what spanx are for, right? I don't know if I will ever get back into those $200 jeans, but I bought a pair of levis for $24 on Black Friday that look and feel almost as good.
I want to be healthy. I want to feel strong and still enjoy a good workout, maybe one day get back to Bikram Yoga. I doubt I will ever have a bulimic episode again. I hate throwing up. Whenever I get a stomach bug and end up losing it, I think "I can't believe I used to do this ON PURPOSE!" How ridiculous. How silly.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009 officially begins that mystical phase of my life that always seemed so far distant, even after the birth of my first child. I have entered the Mom Years. Yes, I've been a mom since that day the clinic nurse did a little jig and told me I was pregnant in October 2004, but somehow I always felt I was acting a part until now.
I went back to work last week. I took six weeks off when I had Charlotte, begged an extra week and came back working 32 hours. I apologized for not having enough sitters to work the full 40 hours. I came to work exhausted and terrified after all nighters filled with breathing treatments and prayers, I even came a couple times with my husband and daughter a few blocks away in the emergency room. It was still important to me to impress my boss and coworkers, to appear to have it all together, to be promoted to Senior RN and not let the craziness of my home life compromise my job...too much. I took call while living and sleeping in Charlotte's hospital room, assuring everyone it was perfect because if I got called in, I was already there! For the most part everyone was understanding and kind, and I was sent home more than once after breaking down in the break room.
Things started to shift during my second pregnancy. I asked my boss if I could drop down to 24 hours after the baby. He said no, and I shrugged and said I wasn't willing to do more. Too much stress, too little time with my kids. He let me come back with the understanding I would be let go as soon as we found a new full time replacement.
I took my full 12 weeks of leave and came back working Saturdays, Mondays, and Fridays. I take two 20 minute to half hour breaks each day as I am a nursing mom. Its not my fault the lactation room is on the other side of the building. I cleared a spot in the fridge for my pumping bag. I call frequently throughout the day to check on my babies. If Charlotte gets really sick again, I'll probably just quit. I'll never again be doing paperwork while my daughter is laying in a hospital bed.
I really do like my job. I love many of my co-workers. I love the satisfaction of a smooth, well placed needle, I like performing a procedure most doctors know nothing about and therefore treat me like an expert and sometimes an equal. I like many of my patients, I have always, always loved hospitals. Even after having a chronically ill child. I love being a nurse. I am proud of my profession. I am so grateful for my knowledge and the advantage it gives me in being Charlotte's mom. And Ella's mom.
But I love being home with my girls. I love putting Charlotte on the school bus and seeing how excited she gets. I love seeing Ella stretch and smile when I unswaddle her in the morning. I love feeding, bathing, playing with and hanging out with them. I love the satisfaction of laundry done and a vacuumed floor and a hot meal waiting for my husband. I love being a mom and I love being a wife. I am excited to watch my girls grow in their own unique ways, Ella by leaps and bounds and Charlotte slowly but steady.
For now, working part time will be perfect for me. I'll have a little extra money to help with groceries and medical bills and still get to buy myself the occasional present, but I might have to budget and save more for it, which is good lesson for me to learn. I won't feel guilty about not leaving the house for two or three straight days after working a couple. Charlotte gets pretty cranky just hanging out with me all the time, so spending some time with her grandparents is a blessing. And a little adult conversation for me doesn't hurt either.
As for my temporary status at work, I'm not too concerned about that either. My boss who wasn't keen on letting me work part time left for greener pastures too. The stress was too much for him.