Monday, October 17, 2011

Day Care Day One

It's been a while since I've talked Marla or posted pictures because things have been status quo, more or less. Well, first, here's a picture...

But the "status quo" of the last few weeks is over this week. Amber has been off from work for the last 12 weeks, but today is her last day of maternity leave, and she returns to work tomorrow. That also means it's time to start taking Marla to day care, and in fact, today was her first day. (Well, Amber too her on Friday for a preliminary visit, but today is Marla's first day of real day care.)

Why take Marla to day care the day before Amber goes back to work, instead of the day of? Well, we're paying for this week anyway, and we're treating today as a "trial run" without the added pressure of going back to work for the first time. And, this way, Amber will be able to get a nap in.

(Speaking of "the pressure of work", studies have shown that stressed-out mothers are more likely to have girls than boys, possibly because high levels of a stress hormone called cortisol make it harder for a male embryo to grow in the womb and be born, as opposed to a female embryo. It does seem like we know a lot more baby girls than we do baby boys, and we personally know a couple of working mothers who miscarried with boys, so...hmm.)

Amber has been dreading this day for quite some time. She's been taking care of her for over 11 weeks now, so the idea of giving your baby to someone else for 40 hours a week can be tough, but she handled it pretty well today.

It's not as hard for me, because I've been working for the last 7 weeks or so anyway. The way I see it, more than anything else, today is progress. We've made it through the first 2½ months, and the next step is for both of us to return to work, for Marla to go to day care, and for our savings account to stop growing. (Day care isn't cheap.) I'll feel the same way when Marla goes off to college; that too will be progress.

That's not to say I'm constantly looking forward to the next milestone, and that's it. I make an effort to savor every moment with Marla along the way. (Well, most of the moments.) But I do like my milestones, you know. Over the first couple of months, there really aren't that many "big moments", as in, "Wow, she's doing that for the first time!" Everything is very subtle at this point. She can support her head pretty well, which wasn't always the case. She is now somewhat more interactive than she was a few weeks ago. She cries less, which is always good. And, of course, she's growing: 12.5 pounds as of last Friday. (That's in the 67th percentile! I told you she was getting a little tubby.) But she can't roll over or crawl yet. I don't know when those milestones usually happen, and in fact, I don't want to know until after it happens. If Marla is three weeks late with something, I don't want it to be like, "Well geez, it took you long enough, miss 14th percentile."

It might take us a while to settle into the two-working-parents routine, but we'll get there. And that too will be "progress".

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