I stayed home with Crue for eight weeks. In those eight weeks, I endured every emotion you can think of. One minute I was happier than I ever thought possible, and the next I was a mess, crying and balled up on the floor. All the familiar things came back to me. The bottles, the baths, the kisses, the smells, the visitors. It felt like a redo but with a different baby. I had to really focus on Crue. When I looked at him, I had to remind myself that he is not Nash and that’s okay. This is Crue and that’s okay. I would say Crue was about six weeks old the first time we left him. We took him to Caroline’s house so we could go out to dinner. Todd thought it would be a good test run before I went back to work. I still remember how excited Caroline was to get him. I think it was a mix of excitement and shock that we were actually leaving him for any amount of time, and that she was the lucky one who got him first.
On our way to dinner, I got pretty emotional. Every mile we drove was one more mile I needed to drive back if there was an emergency. I started crying and told Todd we needed to turn back around, I couldn’t do it. Todd kept ensuring me he was okay, but if I really needed to, we could turn around. I knew I needed to push through it. If I couldn’t get through a dinner, how in the hell was I ever going to go back to work? I eventually calmed down and to my suprise enjoyed myself. I didn’t realize just how much we needed this time as a couple. I felt horrible that I kept looking at my phone for pictures and texts from Caroline and not giving todd my undivided attention but I was there i knew that counted for something.
When we got back to Caroline’s house, she said, “I’m not going to lie, watching him is a little nerve-racking. I kept thinking if I fall down or even so much as trip and hurt this baby in any way, there will be thousands of people at my door ready to set my house on fire!” It made me laugh out loud because I knew she was right. I snatched him up immediately; he was happy and content with his Aunt Caroline, and that put me at ease.
The first day back at work, I questioned my decision to not stay home with Crue. I remember those first few days back at work when we had Nash. Sure I wanted to be home with him and hated leaving him, but we couldn’t afford for me to stay home. Plus, I liked my job. I wanted to work. On the other hand, it never feels natural to leave your baby when they are so little. For the most part, every waking and sleeping minute they have had have been with you. Then you are just supposed to up and leave for hours at a time, days in a row? After Nash died, I felt differently. I questioned every decision. I shouldn’t have picked that sitter. I shouldn’t have gone back to work. We could have made it work somehow.
Here I was again, that fork in the road. Which path do I choose? The last time I made this choice it cost my baby his life. This decision felt heavy. Thankfully, this time around we were in a much better spot than we were with Nash. Instead of a sitter, Todd’s sisters and parents were going to watch him for the short, six hour, three days a week I was going to work. Now that I was working in Fenton, I was within five minutes of him at all times. I could not have done this any other way. Every hour on the hour, whoever was watching him sent me pictures and updates. They comforted me and helped me get through my work days. I was surprised at how well I was doing. I felt a little guilty that I was happy to be back at work and having adult conversations. Not to mention, I put a lot of pressure on myself with Crue. It’s hell, I never leave his side, check his breathing every second, worry endlessly. I’m not just watching my baby, I’m making sure he stays alive. It’s nice to know for six hours a day someone else is doing that for me, people I trust so I am able to not worry. It’s pretty bad when work is a break for my mind.
The only time I feel uneasy is when someone from the front desk comes to the back to talk with me. It’s rare for them to have to, and if they do it’s usually something important. The first time it happened was my third day back at work. Nikki said my name in a questioning way, and my heart raced and I felt sick. I remember looking at her and thinking, “Dear God, just say it, just tell me, he isn’t breathing is he?” It took her a minute to ask me her question, and for the life of me I cannot remember what it was. I just remember this huge sigh of relief when she didn’t say those words. I could tell by her face she knew what she had just done to me. I swear every time they come back and say my name, I think they are going to deliver bad news.
I would say hands down that work has surprised me the most when it comes to my thoughts on how I was going to be once Crue was born. I’m at ease, it gives me a much needed break, he is with people I trust and that love him. I wish everyone had the luxury of family watching their children. I can’t put into words what it has meant to Todd and I.