Returning to work was hard for me. I came back on a Wednesday, as recommended by every website out there. Don't do a whole week your first week, it's rough on you they say. Turns out, even a half week is rough too.
I spent the Monday and Tuesday prior to my return crying on my baby's head all day. It's not right you know, to leave your infant. Every single fiber of my being was screaming at me to not leave. It's not like he was going to a strangers though, I mean he was with my mom and home with N it should be fine. Thousands upon thousands of women do it every year. It's the new normal.. it's okay, we'll be okay.
I thought I was okay. I didn't cry that whole first week, or most of the second. but right around the 10th day I had to kiss my happy smiling baby goodbye and then hear that he was crying and fighting sleep for my mom, I lost it.
When I say lost it, I mean I cried for about 4 hours every day. I cried on my way to work, I cried every pump session, I cried on my way to get him. He cries a lot too. He misses me, as soon as we get home each evening he nurses until he falls asleep... usually 2 or 3 hours straight of nursing. I take comfort in that, the re-connection, the bonding.
2 weeks ago it was really bad. N worked on Tuesday night and Ollie had an appointment at 3:40 on Wednesday afternoon so the plan was for my SIL to come over and watch O at our house while N slept for a few hours, then they would meet me at my work and we'd go to the appt together... That plan flew out the window when my baby screamed for 3 hours straight and refused his bottle. N had to drive him out to me (I live 45 mins from work). I climbed in the backseat, unbuckled my red, screaming, now hoarse baby and nursed him while wiping the sweat off his little head. He sighed and moaned as he ate and it broke my heart into a million pieces.
He was fine now that he was with me. My inconsolable baby was now consoled but I couldn't be there for him every day. It's not feasible to bring him to me every time he's upset. I'm starting to cry now just thinking about it.
Last week I got in fight with N on my way home from work. I was crying again, upset that I was forced to be away from my baby for 55 hours a week. He wasn't very supportive, attempting to be logical when I just wanted him to listen. I snapped at him hard. He ended the conversation with a recommendation to call my dr. He was right.
See post-partum depression isn't the same for everyone. Some people have aversions to caring for their baby, they feel trapped at home, tied down by the new little human dictating their every move. But me? I feel trapped at work, unable to care for him, the way only a mother can. I feel that NO ONE is doing it right without me there to watch, no one can hold him, or burp him correctly. No one else can soothe him like I can. And more obviously, no one can nurse him. I fell into a pit of despair that I will miss EVERYTHING, his first laugh (which I did already miss), first roll, first steps, first word. The odds of me being there when I only spend 4 waking hours with him a day are slim. That notion is more than just a bummer... it's completely unacceptable.
Compounding my sadness is anger. While I was on leave, a lot of things changed at work. I thought they might but I wasn't prepared to be told that I could no longer work remotely and then to not be given a reason why. I was counting on being able to spend at least one day working from home, as I have since I started. To help break up the time he's away from me, even if he's being watched by my SIL or N while I'm in our office at home. He can be brought to me to eat, I can go to him to calm him, to put him down for his naps but that's no longer an option and I'm not given a reason.. I'm an adult... I don't do well with "because I said so"
So I spend 30-45 minutes 3 times a day pumping in an office trying not to worry about having enough for the next day, watching videos of my little man to help coax my milk out. I hate every single second of it.
My dr put me on some meds, they're supposed to kick in around week 3... I have the card of a counselor in my wallet... I haven't called yet.