I return to work in exactly one week.
I can't explain why I feel this way, but the thought of next Wednesday brings me feelings of panic and sheer terror. This is the same feeling I had on April 9th, the day of my c-section. As soon as I got to the hospital, I just about broke down and had a panic attack, sobbing uncontrollably and telling everyone I wanted to go home (I even told the anesthesiologist to "stop talking" at one point. Good thing I can laugh about it now)
The thought of Ryan not being an arm's length away overwhelms me. Thinking about dropping off my baby in the morning induces the feeling that I'm suffocating. Thinking about how I won't be able to bounce him in my lap, kiss his cheeks, pinch his legs, or sniff his hair for 9 straight hours, five days a week, fills me with total despair. I don't know why. There is no room for logic. I just can't control it.
I've done this before, with my first baby. But I don't remember feeling this horrible when I left my 4 month old baby and returned to law school. In fact, I only remember feeling excited. Why is it different this time around?
Motherhood has definitely made me a softy.
Suddenly, nothing at the office seems as important as being with my baby. Note that I said "baby" and not "children" -- I have a much easier time dropping off Jacob. Probably because he is a walking contrarian and a tornado of attitude...a cute tornado.... I will miss Jacob too. I'll miss our little sweet moments together in the mornings, our adventures, science experiements, his enthusiasm over discovering discarded trash, and his little quips. But he's rather independent now and I know he will be just fine away from me for 40 hours a week. He's done it before too.
I''m pretty sure that once I get my head back in the game, I will be fine too. I'll get used to a new routine. I'll enjoy new challenges and successes. I might start to enjoy not having two kids hanging on me constantly. The quantity of our time together will decrease but the quality of what little time we have will improve dramatically.
But I'm still afraid of missing Ryan's "firsts." I'm afraid of other people "replacing" me. This is silly, but again, I'm not being rational. I'm afraid not so much that he will need me, but that I will need HIM.
Because I'm really going to miss this: