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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Hartgrove Mahoney

So This is Maternity Leave

It's my second day on Maternity Leave. I decided to leave work a week earlier than I originally planned and it was WORTH it! I don't know how I would have accomplished everything I need do to, if I had one less week to do it in. So far, it hasn't been majorly relaxing- but I'm trying. Yesterday I made phone calls for hours to doctor's offices, state disability (since I don't get paid maternity leave) and the veterinarian... I folded laundry and got about half way through my thank you cards for baby showers. Today, I slept in a little and then spent an hour and a half at the vet's office. I think Tucker hates me now... but I just want him to be all caught up on shots and 100% healthy before this baby arrives. ... because I'm going to have a baby. A baby with a disease. Last week, we got some tough news about our baby's first day of life. She is going to need to be transferred and evaluated for surgery a couple hours after she is born. This is because her latest ultrasound caught signs of a potential bowel rupture and leakage. At minimum, she has a blockage in the intestines called Meconium Ileus. I have no idea how serious this will all be until she graces us with her presence.... But they are telling me that I can't take her home right away. Even if they don't see a reason for surgery, they have to hold her for 7-10 days just to check if her systems and GI tract are working correctly. It will be even longer if surgery is needed... up to a month. I'm trying to keep my mind off that though. I have to remind myself that stress will only make things harder on her, she feels what I feel. So I'm trying to relax and have a healthy mind. But every time I walk past that nursery, I wonder when it will actually have an occupant. While most women are sleeping and nesting on maternity leave- I'm on the phone, finding pediatricians willing to take her as a patient and switching hospitals and delivery teams last minute to ensure that I get a prepared perinatologist team, equipped to deal with high risk births and baby's in need of immediate attention. This is my maternity leave. It's a constant inner battle with myself. The need to relax is fighting with the realization that I have only a limited time to get ready for her arrival. I'm sure all women feel that way, but honestly, how many women have to schedule a new hospital tour just a week away from their due-date?! I also decided that we need to be sure the cat is healthy because God forbid he has some parasite that we are immune to, but she isn't! Then I have a horrible thought, If she isn't coming home right away then what's the rush? Well, dammit, I can't think about that. I have to prepare for her arrival to be like every other baby. Plus, if she is in the hospital then I will be right there with her. It's not like I will want to be home getting chores done while she lays alone in the NICU. Oh, the whirlwind! I need to take things one day at a time, as they come. I need to be able to teach my daughter this, too. Her life is going to be one hell of a roller coaster.

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