Tomorrow, I go back to work.
Part of me is panicking about this, even though we have wonderful childcare arrangements, for which I am deeply thankful. And another part of me is super excited to leave the house for FOUR WHOLE HOURS every day and get dressed in real, adult-people clothes which will not be any of the following for the same four hours: spit up on, peed on, pooped on, drooled on, or snotted on.
I alternate between wondering where these three months have gone, amazed at the little person this baby is becoming - and knowing exactly where those months went: in a sleepy, sore-nipple, breast-feeding, pajama-wearing, glass-of-wine-every-once-in-awhile-and-damn-it-tastes-good haze. The other day, I started putting away some of Baby Girl's smallest clothes. How has she grown out of things already? But then I think about all the things she is starting to do - the smiling, laughing, the foot-grabbing, the toy-holding (sort of), the interaction, the squeals - and I can hardly wait for the next stage.
I have a friend going through her first IVF this month. We had lunch yesterday. And I remember being her: alternating between hope and despair, between joy and fear, between craving baby-holding and wishing all pregnant women and babies would disappear off the face of the earth. I have so much hope for her.
It has been nearly a year since our Beta Day, and then the Next Beta Day which was, for me, a much scarier experience post-ectopic-pregnancy. Most of the time, I can still hardly believe this is my life. That I am someone's mom. I still think I will wake up from a dream one day.
It's not all bliss and perfection, of course. If my husband complains one more time that he is tired after having gone to bed significantly before me and then sleeping through the bout of fussies it takes to get Baby Girl to sleep, I will kick him someplace sensitive. (He is a great dad, by the way. But anyone who complains to me about being tired does not get a lot of love. And I say this even though I have a baby who sleeps pretty damn well. Here's to those of you still waking up multiple times per night: you're my heroes.) We still have a ways to go in terms of Establishing A Napping Schedule, but I'm not terribly worried about it. Yet. The nipples are still sore much of the time. I have accepted this. Mostly.
I'm still not in too many pre-pregnancy pants. The Belly (have you read Kate's post on this? you should) is flabby. To be kind. But my arms are getting stronger, thanks to the 12-pound weight I carry around with me most of the time.
Sex? Well. I'm sure we'll have it again regularly. Eventually. I assume.
So, here we go - off into the rest of our lives, post-maternity-leave. Into the everyday, working parent world. But, as a friend of mine wrote to me the other day, "I came to understand gratitude in a whole new way once I had my kids." She struggled for years to have her second. And I think she's right: even though people mostly say, "I never knew what love could be until I had a child," it's gratitude I feel most deeply these days. For this messy, sometimes exhausting, drooly, spit-up-on, waking-up-just-to-make-sure-she's-still-breathing life.
Wow, that is a huge spot of spit-up I just noticed on the hardwood floor.