back to work

Olivia turned three months on Friday and tomorrow my maternity leave official ends. Not only will I be going back to work and leaving Olivia in daycare for the first time, I will also be starting at a different organization than where I was before. 

I am excited but nervous. 

I am really excited to go back to work and to begin my new position. I am excited to be a position that challenges me and I am excited to have adult conversations. I am excited to get back into a different but more normal routine. 

But I am nervous about how Olivia will do in daycare. I originally wanted to send her to daycare the week before I went back but the organization I am going to be with has child care on-site so she couldn't start until I was officially an employee. She hasn't been consistently taking a bottle so we will see how she does tomorrow. I was able to take a tour of the daycare and I really liked the people I met. They took the time to walk me through their day and answer all of my questions.

What I may be even more nervous about is pumping. I have orientation all day tomorrow so I am going to have to find time to sneak away and do that. However, I will be in a hospital so I may actually have access to the hospital-grade pumps. Tomorrow it may just be simpler to take my pump and pump in the bathroom close to where I will be all day, though. 

I am also nervous that Olivia will be scared and confused. She is just starting to prefer me or Rich and sometimes cries when put in a strangers arms. Just in case we have a meltdown during drop-off, I am waiting to put on mascara until afterwards and Rich is coming with me for moral support. Most likely, Olivia will be fine. I will probably be the one having the meltdown. I have about twenty minutes to pull myself together and get over to orientation.

While putting her to bed the past few nights, I have caught myself getting a little emotional. I never expected leaving her to be this hard. She just started this thing while nursing: she pauses for a moment, pulls away, and looks at me with those big eyes and smiles. It kills me. Way to start that now and make me feel guilty, kid.

We are really starting to get into a groove, her and I. I know what her sounds and motions mean. I know when she is hungry, when she needs a diaper change, and when she is sleepy. I know what games she likes to play. And I know all the words to the songs we have made up just for her. I am afraid that she will try and tell them something tomorrow and they won't understand her. It breaks my heart that I won't be the one there meeting her needs. 

I know I was so lucky to have the amount of time I had with her. And I know that I am even more lucky that she will be about a three minute walk from my office. But it still is very hard.