So for 5 days last week I had no electricity and was half living at my inlaws and half living at my house to maintain some sort of normalcy for Tera. In that 5 days, the time I spent at my house with Tera and no power and no TV on in the background for distraction I had a LOT of time to think and I have to admit not all of it was good. I am now 5 months into this parenthood thing and while I was never naive enough to think that going back to work would be easy, I don't think I envisioned worrying about it as much as I do lately. I'm fully aware that I'm luckier than a lot moms in that I had 6 months off due to lucky planning and being a teacher, but I also didn't know a lot of other things that would end up factoring into this difficulty. This week alone I had to take Tera to the eye doctor, I had to go to the eye doctor, we had a speech therapy evaluation, she has a physical therapy session, and a hearing test. How that would have been possible while working is an excellent question. Granted I may not have scheduled the hearing test and the eye doctor for both of us in the same week if I were working, but I also won't have the flexibility of making daytime appointments when I go back either. It's just been a little overwhelming thinking about how this is all going to happen in a month and a half.
Then of course, there's the emotional aspect. One of my favorite times of the day with Tera is when she first wakes up. I feed her and we play together until she goes back down for a nap. During this time she is the happiest because she's rested, fed, and one smiley little girl. I'm going to miss that incredibly. Also, right now, I'm the expert on her. I know when she's eaten, napped, how she's feeling, and what she did all day long. When I go back, somebody else will be spending the majority of her waking hours with her. I know that I'll be able to do it and that once I get back into the swing of things it will get easier, but right now the anticipation can get overwhelming at times.
The other hard part I'm dealing with is the constant coming to terms of her diagnosis. With the addition of every new therapist I'm reminded about how she is different from most of my friends' kids. I look into those huge beautiful blue eyes and I wonder what's going on her little head and what her life will be like. My husband and I have also had to discuss how our future housing may be impacted by whether or not she lives with us either forever or longer or whatever it may be. There are days at a time when I can think about the DS and be okay and there are other days when it overwhelms me to think about how we'll handle everything when I go back to work and when she gets older. I know I've made huge strides since those early days 5 months ago, but it's still hard.
And then, for whatever reason, I spent a lot of time thinking about her birth and just how fast the last 5 months have gone by. As a perpetually stressed and anxiety ridden person, I promised myself and my husband that while pregnant and then when the baby was born, that I would do everything in my power to stay calm and not "overdo" and I have to say, personally, I think I've done okay. One of my friends who delivered her second son at 27 weeks told me after Tera was born that she had spent so much time wondering when/if her son would make it to the next milestone, that she missed out on the enjoyment of the ones he was reaching. Of all the advice, I remembered that the most and I have truly just spent each of the last months enjoying my time with Tera. But now I realize that no matter what, it does go by fast and because she has been such an easy and incredibly good baby, there've been no times I wouldn't want to start all over again with her, just to enjoy them again.
I've recently read more than one post in my DS forum from other moms missing and wanting to try again to have the birth they dreamed of, not the one where they got to meet their beautiful new baby only to have their dreams, we'll call it "changed", by the DS diagnosis that shortly followed. I think about her birth all the time and I'm not really sure why other than that it, like my little girl, was pretty easy and very quick. I suppose had it been more traumatic or painful I wouldn't dwell on it, but as odd as it sounds, I loved delivering her. I'm not one of those women who will say they loved being pregnant, it was ok, but not my favorite time of my life; but I loved giving birth to her. And again, as odd as it sounds, while her diagnosis was very traumatic and painful at the time, the way that it brought my husband and I together, along with our family and friends, is one of the most positive effects of what we went through.
So I think I finally got it all out. Phew. I thought about what I wanted to write all week and then the little sunshine of my life and reason for writing all of this kept me very busy the past few days. I know people blog for different reasons, I think do it to get my thoughts out. So whether you read this or not, I know I feel better for having written it :)