As maternity leave comes to a close…

I was just looking at an old email from work. back in May, I wrote:

“out on maternity leave starting Jun 8th – returning Oct 1st.”

how the heck is it almost Oct 1st?

It feels like yesterday but then again a lifetime ago that I wrote that message. It’s hard to believe I’m already returning to work on Monday.

I know it’s easy to say when you’re on the “other side of the storm” but time has passed at a rapid pace.

It feels like yesterday that I cried for baby Ellie…when she was just a hope in my mind. It feels like yesterday that was I laughing about my swollen pregnancy feet. Like yesterday that I told myself “wow, we have the whole summer together!”

I savored the mornings we were able to stay in bed together. I’d nurse her…catch up on some reality TV…and drink my coffee. Now here we are…Ellie is at daycare and I’m sitting at our local coffee shop trying to pass some time.

I realize that I’m lucky that I have a “buffer” week during which Ellie will be at daycare and I haven’t started back at work yet. {If you can swing this type of arrangement, I highly recommend it.}

This morning we were out the door on time, with a bag full of baby goods, a list of “instructions,” and NO breast milk. Oops. So, yea, I had to drop Ellie off and then go back with the milk. Thankfully, our daycare is literally a mile from our house.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from this experience it’s the need to seek gratitude every day. My new saying is “ever grateful.” {Even got a bracelet to remind me of this from an awesome company called MyIntent. See below} It probably sounds cheesy, but it’s been the way that I’ve re-framed things for myself when I’m feeling down or ruminating on something that in the big scheme isn’t a big deal.

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I’ve let myself cry it out a bit that my baby is going to be in the arms of someone else for almost 10 hours a day for 5 days a week. Feels unnatural. But then I realize I am grateful to have found an amazing person to care for Ellie. And that I am actually excited to return to work and be with some of my favorite people there.

That I’m lucky we live in a beachside town and I was able to enjoy 4 months of maternity leave by the beach. To have spent some quality time with my Dad. He had open heart surgery last Nov, so it’s been particularly special to have that quality time after life reminded us last Fall how quickly things can change.

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there she is – a lil piece of my heart.

It still boggles my mind that we are here…with a baby…almost 4 months old! As there was a time I wasn’t sure we’d ever have our own baby. I’ve heard that even if things work out with your infertility journey it’s never really a skin or a reality you totally shed. My heart always hurts extra hard for the couples I know that are struggling. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had this summer with couples or women who have been through (or are going through) a similar journey. It has connected/re-connected me to more people than I’d ever have expected. I am grateful for that. And I’m still always there if someone wants to talk about their journey or just needs a shoulder to cry on.

So…as I approach my return to work on Monday. I can say…I’m anxious as heck. I feel guilty for stopping nursing, for leaving my baby, for actually wanting to go back to work. But I am more than anything grateful for this full experience. The good and the bad – because as a whole it’s been beautiful.

now just a little Rumi quote to end it – – it’s the yogi in me, what can I say…

“Yesterday is gone and its tale told. Today new seeds are growing”

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