So, I went back to work. It actually went a whole lot better than I thought it would!
The first day I took her to Irma's (day care) and as I was dropping her off, Sally and Landon were there, as was another Mom dropping off another one of the kids. I was a little overwhelmed, but that was probably a good thing and I didn't realize what happened until I got in the car to drive away. As I drove away, I started crying. Really, crying. I had just dropped my baby off with a stranger. Now, that sounds rather dramatic, but at that moment. I felt terrible. I was leaving my baby.
I cried the whole way to work. Once there, the only one in the office was Bernie. She has kids that are essentially my age. She asked me how I was doing and I started welling up again. She got chills and recounted dropping off her oldest at day care nearly 25 years ago. We had a short little cry together and I was able to get it together enough to start on my massive workload (gee, only 4 months of work waiting for me). As long as I kept myself busy, I was doing fine. I got to go feed her at lunch, which breaks the day up and allows me to reconnect.
After that first day, I've done really well. It feels good to get back to work. It's nice to know that she's being well cared for, as Irma is really fantastic and I'm able to get some "Janessa" time. It felt good to put on my 'career wear'. I'm proud at the end of the day to hear she had a good day, was full of smiles and enjoyed being among the other kids. It makes me appreciate the time after work that I get to see her, spend time with her. Seriously, it's the best time of the day, I look forward to it and it's SO fulfilling.
It's only been 3 days, but I know this is perfect for me, for us, for the family. However, that being said, I'm exhausted at the end of the day. My bedtime has been ~ 9:30 since going back to work and it keeps creeping up earlier and earlier. I'm trying to get everything together the night before so in the morning I can kind of breeze through and head out the door. It's worked thus far.
Though I'm still super tired, I look forward to the evening feedings as she's so beautiful just after a feeding, with a slight smile while sleeping in my arms. I want to take a picture, but that would really ruin it. Her face is half illuminated by the night light, her hand resting on my upper chest, her body snuggled against mine. It's amazing. That is the one thing I don't want to forget about this age. As tired as I am, I'm not ready to give up the night time feedings.
My work is much more scheduled. I have to plan my tasks around pumping at 9 and 2:30 and around my lunch with Jenna. I like it, I think I'll actually be more productive as I'll plan a task between the pumping and lunches. Starting next week, I've changed my schedule to allow me to get off work at 3:30. Nick's going to take her to day care (which I think will be good because he'll be able to interact with Irma, too) and I'll go straight to work, only a 1/2 hour for lunch, which I'll go to feed her and then off at 3:30. This will allow me to see her more than an hour and a half in the evenings.
I'm so pleased it's gone as well as it has. I have warm fuzzies. I'm right where I need to be.