Monday, August 06, 2007


I'm supposed to be going back to work in three weeks. That sucks majorly, but I've told them I can only do the days I have child care, which was nil.

Today I did the old ring-around of the places where Patrick's name is on the waiting list and low and behold, one out of seven could do Mondays for me.

So next Monday, at 0900, Patrick and me will troop off to the childcare place with some bottles of expressed milk and a heavy heart. I can't shake the feeling that I'm abandoning him. I'm also so sad that the little 'holiday' I've had to get to know my baby is coming to an end. This precious, special time when it's just him and me, all day, every day, is drawing to a close. He's growing up and oh, it's a cliche, but it's happening all too fast: just yeaterday I had to buy some size 0 wondersuits because he's too big for the 00s. I looked at the 0000 ones in the shop and try and try to remember what he looked like as a newborn, when even those 0000s were too big. My baby never was that small- oh yes, he was.

He's sitting up mostly unsupported. If he gets too bent over examining his toes he can pull himself up to upright again instead of nosing into the couch and crying. He's discovered syllables ("babba, dadda, yaya" instead of "ooh, aaaah"). He's chewing rusks. He reaches out with a palmar grip. He's gone up a size in nappies. Unmistakeable evidence he's getting bigger.

If you'd told me 5 months ago I would be sad to stop breastfeeding, I would have probably slapped you. But as we stood in the supermarket contemplating the different brands of rice cereal (organic? large box? small box?) the tears just started rolling down my face. My little boy needs more than I can provide. Soon it will be all banana, avocado and yogurt with occasional boobie time. I hated breastfeeding to start with, now I realise how much I will miss the little eyes staring into mine, and his fingers softly stroking my skin. I now comprehend just a little of the pleasure and pain of seeing your baby do things for the first time; why my mum cried when I (finally) left home and hugged me saying "my little baby!".

Patrick will always be my firstborn, my joy and pain. As I look around the loungeroom here at the paraphenalia of his life (the jolly jumper in its stand, the burp cloths, toys and books) I realise just how much my life and even my perception of who I am and what I can do has changed. I can't believe that just 5 months ago we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl. We hadn't decided on his name until I was in second stage. I can't remember not knowing what his dear little face with its whorl of hair looked like. It's been the best of times and occasionally the worst of times. An amazing and painful journey, with rewards beyond measure.


Blogger Mermaidgrrrl said...

I am so seriously in denial about ever going back to work that I've put my name down at - wait for it - ZERO childcare centres. In fact I think I'll just go back one shift a week to start with when he's a year old and I'll just work opposite shifts to my partner for that so he won't have to go anywhere. You're being very brave! Way braver than me! I'm proud of you!
PS - at least the cereal is more of a "dessert" item for a long time. My understanding of breastfeeding is that I'm still to give the boob before any solids at meals times until he's 12 months - does that sound right?

7/8/07 02:29  
Blogger jen said...

I'm trying to work out exactly how we are going to do the return to work: it looks like I will have to get a nanny in for some other days because we really can't afford to not have me working. The irony is, the more days I work, the more we'll spend on child care. I put off getting us on waiting lists for far too long: most people do it after the 12-week scan (!!!!!) but as I was so in denial of my capability to produce a live child I put it off until about 35 weeks. Hence there's 'nothing 'til next year' at most places.

I'd just love to do the one day a week, but I know that if I did that, I'd find it very hard to get my training time accredited with the college: despite anaesthetics being one of the most 'family friendly' of the medical specialties, that doesn't mean you can do what you like, either.

I don't feel very brave: I keep remembering that Leunig cartoon with the baby in childcare upset that it's mummy doesn't seem to love it. It's a huge sense of abandonment.

Yes, you're right, it is more 'dessert' than anything else, but I am aware of the fact that when I do go back to work, I'm probably not going to be able to take breaks every two hours to go pump so I think the weaning will happen way faster than I would like it to. I know i have to build up a bit of a supply now: but I'm just in denial.

7/8/07 15:56  
Anonymous J-Le said...

ok, so i was particularly tired and emotional when i read this yesterday, but even so, it made me cry.

8/8/07 16:06  

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