Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Juggling Work and Mommyhood

21 weeks pregnant in my work scrubs

So this is a blog of a wife AND nurse AND twin mom, and I have been writing about mainly the twin mom part. A reader called me out about that lately, and she is right. So I am going to make an effort to round out the blog a little and write about the other aspects of my life.

I still work one day a week in the NICU. I don't have a set day, I just try to schedule myself when the unit is shorter on nurses. I enjoy my job. The hours are long though. I wake up at 5am the days that I work (on my days off I get up at 7 and the boys get up about 7:30.) I leave around 6:15 with the house completely quiet and asleep. Both grandmas come over to babysit the boys while both me and Alan are gone. They get here at 7:30. Then one grandma will leave when the boys take their nap (around 1pm) and the other stays until Alan gets home at about 5:30. I get home about 8pm. This actually works really well, and I don't feel too guilty about leaving, and I know they are well taken care of.

When the boys were smaller, it was a lot more complicated, and I honestly think maternity leave should be 6-9 months minimum. I knew the boys just needed their momma (they did nurse 12 out of 24 hours!!) I would nurse them before I left, or as they started sleeping through the night, I would pump their morning feed and leave it in the fridge before I left.) When the boys started sleeping longer stretches at night, It was very very hard for me to get up when they were sleeping. Sleep is so precious during that time! When the boys were not sleeping through the night, the grandmas came at 5:30am so both me and Alan could get ready, because sometimes they thought morning was that early. We are very blessed that the grandparents live so close and are willing to help out. Then I would pump 3 times at work (gradually I got down to twice, then once.. and then none at around 13 months). During the early months, I wondered how ANYONE works more than one day a week with kids. In some ways it may be easier, because it truly is like "time off" from your mommy job, but there would have been no way I could have kept my supply up enough to keep exclusively breastfeeding. Kudos to those moms that do that. Also there is no chance to squeeze in a nap at work during those early months either.

I still haven't decided if being a mom of twins has made me a better or worse NICU nurse. I have way more opinions now than I did before, and not all of them jive completely with all of our policies. Also I personally thought twins were very difficult, and I really don't want to scare our brand new twin moms. But I am not as judgmental as I used to be. And I can really empathize more with some of the things the moms are going through. Also if I am having a shaky relationship with a NICU mom, I sometimes mention I am a mom of young twins who spent some time (just about 8 hours) in the NICU, and that usually gets them to trust me a little more. It is kind of cheating, but not really because it does help me understand them better.

My favorite part of my job is being able to support the parents. Also I love positioning the little tiny babies in the isolettes, the ones that are too little for clothes or swaddling (about 28-32 weeks) because they need to be on "servo control", so they have tons of positioning aids to position them like they are in the womb. I love making them all nice and comfy in their isolettes :) I also love cuddling the "chronic" babies that were born in the 20's gestation but are now 32+ weeks and still needing support... They are old enough to really look in your eyes while you hold them and really melt your heart. For all these reasons, and also seeing my fellow nurse/nicu friends, I really like my job.

But I still miss my sweet boys when I am at work. I never see them before I leave for work, and sometimes they are asleep when I get home. (That is really sad). So I try to have Alan keep them up until I get home. They are SO SWEET when I get home from work. They are always so happy to see me, and usually run up to me and give me huge hugs. It makes me happy.

Me and Matthew
Me and Adam cuddling (he is my Momma's boy :))
Sorry for my baby fat belly in these pics... I also need to write a post on post -baby body image ;)
Me and Adam
And here is Adam and his Granny Bee who helps watch him while I am at work.


CheriLindy said...

Great post. ...and I hadn't even noticed any belly, I certainly have more than my fair share of "leftovers" so it would be hypocritical if I did! :)

I would imagine that motherhood would make NICU work so much more emotional... How have you handled that?

Shelly Cunningham said...

I loved hearing about another twin momma's work experience. It was so exhausting working full time when the twins were babies. And I feel so blessed to now be able to stay home full time.
Also, I will tell you the truth: I look forward to your post-twin-pregnancy body post... My body is so (sadly) not what it used to be. I have been tempted to post pictures, but I may forever scar people. Some things you just can't "unsee!"

pettersmith said...

That is really attention-grabbing, You are an overly skilled blogger.Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you really know what you're speaking about! Bookmarked.

uneggsplained said...

I am a little jealous of your work schedule- working one day a week seems perfect. Are you resource? I am working 2 12's and I wish I could decrease it down to one 12.
It is wonderful that you have such wonderful grandma's for your boys- grandma's are the best :)

I agree that maternity leave should be 6-9 months, or maybe even a year. Pumping at work is not fun- I am still pumping twice a shift and it is so time consuming! If I am having a really busy shift, then I end up just pumping once, but needless to say, I am not very comfortable at the end of my shift.

Since having babies of my own, and pumping- I am so much more understanding of moms who struggle w/pumping. I just did not get it before, now I totally understand, how hard it is.

You look great- you should not apologize!

Krystal said...

Shelley I know what you mean about posting pics of the post baby body. I have thought about it, but I don't think I ever will on a blog... too public ;)

Uneggsplained.. I am PRN, but not resource. 1 12 is a pretty good schedule if you could do it :) And I so understand the pumping difficulties now too... for some reason I thought it would be no big deal. I pumped all week and at work just to get enough for that one day a week.

Anonymous said...

Are you pregnant again?

Krystal said...

No that was when I was pregnant with the twins.

shelbyzy said...

I am a new twin mom in Canada, and I absolutely agree that mat leave in the US should be longer! I can't believe the average is 6 weeks- I don' t know how American mommies do it. In Canada we are allowed up to one year with some Employment Insurance benefits that are actually quite substantial. They're based on your pre-maternity income and capped at a certain percentage... but anyways: My boys are 4 weeks old and I was talking with my husband last night about how if we lived in the US I'd have to go back to work in 2 weeks! It's crazy!