Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to Work

When I first found out I was pregnant, I thought October was the perfect month. I figured I could get by the rest of the school year without the kids knowing I was pregnant, and then just not come back until after the baby was born. For some reason, dealing with being pregnant again after a loss and little kids did not seem like a good mix. I could just hear the questions - "Is this baby going to die too?" Among others. In fact, some of the kids I'm not sure really understood. I will say that quite a few asked me towards the end of the school year if I had a baby in my belly. I lied and said no and then explained why you should not ask a woman that question. I mean, as a speech therapist, I teach social skills, and that is one that some adults don't even understand. You don't ask that question because what if the woman is NOT pregnant - how do you think she would feel? Unless it is obvious, don't ask. You can ask someone else who you think might know, but not that person. Trust me, I had a few people ask me when I was only 15 weeks or so and it wasn't obvious. I was angry about that, because when they asked I wasn't going to lie, they were people who would have to know at some point when I didn't come back the next year. But because they asked before I was ready to tell, they ended up knowing before the people I wanted to know and before some of my friends at work. And so I felt pressured to tell those other people, for fear they would hear it through the grape vine.

Anyway, my initial plan was to go back to work after the first semester of school was over - in mid January. However, I used up all my sick days for my leave after Adelyn. So all but 12 days of it would be unpaid, plus I would lose my insurance after those 12 days plus 12 weeks of FMLA. We are a two income family - meaning, we need both incomes to pay our bills. My income is not just spending money, without it, we can't cover all the expenses, even if you take out the childcare expense due to me working. We have money saved, yes, but for me to take off that long would deplete a lot of it, not to mention it would be a big hassle to switch over to hubby's insurance.

So, I became content with using all my sick/personal days I will get with a new school year, plus 12 weeks of FMLA. But, to get my sick days for the year, I had to actually start the school year. This gave me a LOT of anxiety - I didn't actually tell a lot of people I was pregnant because the end of the school year was REALLY tough for me. Every time I thought I was ready, something came up and I would be in a bad place and not able to deal with the excitement others would have for me, because I didn't have it. So I sort of "hid" out in a sense and got done what needed and wasn't very social.

The first day back to work, there is a huge gathering of the whole district at an assembly where the band plays and a luncheon. I remember last year seeing lots of people I hadn't seen and talking about Adelyn and that. Deja vu? This year, I thought there is NO way I can handle seeing all those people, being pregnant again, and everyone knowing what happened and not knowing I was pregnant again. But I had to do it. I was so anxious about it. Turns out it wasn't so bad because I ended up running into a few of the teachers I was worried about before that day. I guess I can handle a few people at a time finding out, but not a bunch fussing at once. A lot of people told me that they suspected at the end of last year, but didn't want to ask. THANK YOU! I told them that - I'm glad there are people with tact left in the world.

So, I did my two days this week and now I am done. But why I am I feeling MORE stressed now that I don't have to work until December 9th? I haven't met my sub yet and I think I sort of screwed myself. I know I'm going to end up doing work from home or even going in to do it, but yet I'm already on leave. I should have just started back for a little bit, but I just mentally cannot handle the kids seeing me pregnant. Plus, I have to admit I was exhaused after working two days last week and two this week. Most of the buildings don't have air conditioning either - I still don't know how I did it last year (and all that suffering for what?) Plus I'm super cranky and may not be much fun for the kids right now. I can't even think about work stuff, all I can obsess over is this pregnancy and the what ifs. Then I think maybe being busy would help me. I just don't know. I know it's going to feel weird Monday when I see school buses and everyone else is at work and I should be, but I'm not. I just want a sense of "normal" again.

Off topic, but I have seen school buses drive around lately. And guess what it made me think of? I was driving to my 6 week check up, where I knew we would be getting the autopsy results back, about 2 days before I was going back to work last November. The sight of the bus made me start crying as I was driving there because I was so anxious about going back to work. Now, I have seen many many buses since that day, but for some reason this past week, seeing the buses reminded me of that exact moment. Strange. I guess I have a lot of these moments to look forward to as we near the one year anniversary and at almost the same time, another pregnancy almost at the same timeline as Adelyn's.

Give me strength, God. It's going to be a difficult 6 weeks to come.


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