I Survived My First Week Back

It wasn’t easy. Wednesday morning, after she was finished eating, I held on to her for just a few moments more. She had fallen asleep, and knowing I would be late if I didn’t leave soon, I reluctantly placed her back in her crib and closed her door. Downstairs, I hugged Lee for a little while, then dragged myself out the front door, got in the car, and drove to work.
It felt surreal to sit at my desk and log on to my computer. Occasionally I’d look at the door, where my coworkers had hung a banner announcing Camille’s birth. I put a framed photo of her on my desk and looked at it often. As people walked by, they stopped to say hello and welcome me back. If they asked for pictures, I proudly pulled out the album I brought with me. But the whole time, I felt like there was a huge rock in my stomach.
My first day back was pretty busy. I had a big meeting at 8:30, followed by another one at noon where I had to give a presentation. Then I came back to the office and began fielding media calls. I had 1,002 emails to deal with. But I was glad for all the work, because it made the day go by faster.
Lee never had a chance to call me, because I was dialing his number nearly every half hour. I wasn’t calling because I was worried about them – he’s so good with her. I was calling because I wanted to feel connected. I wanted to know what they were up to so I could carry the picture in my mind.
Lee helped by sending me actual pictures. He sent this one so I could make it my desktop background:
When I left, Camille was still in her pajamas, so he sent me this one so I could see what she was wearing that day:
The pictures meant so much to me. So did the orchids he sent, which are blooming beautifully and warm my heart every time I look at them.
When I left the office for home at the end of the day, my heart was racing. It took every ounce of my willpower to slow down through the school zones, because I wanted to fly all the way.
I walked into the house, and Camille was sleeping in her Daddy’s arms. I sat next to them and gave her Daddy a kiss. When I said hello to Cami, her eyes fluttered open and she looked over at me. Hoping for a smile, I pulled the pacifier from her mouth. She frowned. A really big frown. Then she started to cry, so I put it back.
But I wasn’t upset. Instead, I felt like it was proof that she was surviving just fine without mom hovering over her every second. I don’t think she was unhappy to see me, but she just wanted to return to her nice nap which she had been enjoying before I got home.
That night, we had overnight company. When I took breaks from entertaining to go feed her, I selfishly dragged out the feeding sessions. Our guest didn’t know she usually eats in 20 minutes! So I tacked on an extra 10 minutes of cuddle time. As I held her in the rocking chair, I’d rest my head directly on top of hers – as if by osmosis I could absorb some of her sweetness and she could absorb some of my love.
Leaving on the second day was not easy, but it wasn’t as horrible either. Lee sent me this picture to keep me connected:
And I got this one on Friday:
I was so excited when I left the office Friday. We have a 3 day weekend and no big plans. We’re just spending time together as a family, which I treasure even more after being away at work. Of course, Cami was dressed to cheer for the Bulldogs tonight:
She tried, but she couldn’t stay up for the game. Right now, she’s sleeping soundly upstairs while we do the cheering for her. Tomorrow, more quality Cami time. I can’t wait.