It’s time to start talking about that dirty four lettered word. That’s right. The word nobody likes to mention. Work. Urgh!!! I’m now on unpaid maternity leave and my return to work is approaching rapidly.
What really sucks is that the babies
are now really good fun!!! Their little personalities and unique characters are developing. They’re doing new things all the time. They have so much fun and laugh at everything. It’s such a glorious, uplifting sound when they both start giggling away. I just have to kiss their tummies, or pull a certain face and off they go into giggle meltdown.
So to have to think about work now is something I’m struggling with. And it’s not because I’m lazy!! It’s because I’m really enjoying this job and don’t want it to change just yet. I’m in a new routine now. We all get up at half eight and have breakfast watching Everyone Loves Raymond. Sometimes I think to hell with it, let’s have another cuppa and watch Frasier too. (I know, please don’t hate me. I’m aware this could all change at any minute!!!). The babies usually have a nap while I get ready then it’s off to Jo Jingles, or granny’s house, or to meet up with a friend for the much loved ‘coffee and cake’. Sometimes, we go out for a walk just the three of us. And if we’re feeling brave (or out of wine), Tesco’s!!! I suppose my point is, we do what we feel like doing that day. The babies had a cold last week during the heatwave. They were very sleepy so I took advantage of that and did something I’ve really missed. I sat out in the sun with a book. Not a magazine or a baby recipe book. An actual novel. Heaven.
So, here’s an example of how our day usually starts…
Archie: today’s the day I’m going to get my foot into my mouth. I know I can do it. All it takes is perseverance. Like when I found my thumb. At the end of my hand of all places!! And to think, it was only a few weeks ago I realised that it was my actual foot at the end of my leg!!! Amazing.
Harry: today’s the day I’m going to roll to the south side of the living room. It’s going to take four consecutive rolls and I’ve only managed three so far without mummy noticing but I can do it. Especially if my pesky brother doesn’t get in the way. He’s always rolling into me, kicking me in the face. Trying to suck his toes. What’s that all about?! Little weirdo. He needs to practice his rolling like me, then we can escape this shaggy rug place and explore new lands!! Anyway, focus Harry. I’m getting just like mummy. Look at her. Watching ‘that American shite’ as daddy calls it and drinking tea when she said ten minutes ago she was going for a shower.
Mummy: today’s the day I’m going to stop eating crap. Yes. I’ll go shopping and just buy healthy stuff. Lots of salad things. It’s summer now, we can eat salad. And we’ll walk down. Get some exercise. But we need wine. I could drive down and get the Kettlebells dvd out this afternoon. I’ll have another cup of tea first and maybe squeeze in an episode of Scandal while I think about it.
Anyway, I’m going to ease myself back to work by doing some KIT (keep in touch) days. To be honest, I’m completely bricking it. I don’t remember much about being a nurse. I used to forget stuff after a two week holiday, never mind a year away!!! And what the hell has happened to my brain?!? Baby brain!!! Is it worse because I’ve had two?! I’m scared a patient or doctor is going to ask me something and I’ll just be standing there, mouth open, knowing I know the answer somewhere but just can’t find the words to form a sentence!!
After being in hospital for three months with the babies, I’ve developed a sense of dread about the place. That never used to be the case. Before when I went to work, it was exciting. All the monitors and equipment. You never knew what was going to happen. Critical care, post-op patients, always having to be one step ahead, so organised and on the ball. Now, I honestly don’t know what would happen if that emergency buzzer went off. The last time I heard it was when the NICU nurse told my husband to pull ‘that red button’ as Archie needed resuscitating for the third time.
I know all my training will come back to me and within a few shifts it’ll be like I’ve never been away. I’ll be back in the loop, privy once more to all the gossip and goings-on that fuel our long days and nights. But I know already a few things will change. As a recent patient and parent of patients I have so much more empathy and understanding for the people who visit my patients. I now get why they ask a million questions over and over. Why they might think I’m missing something or not looking after their loved one properly. Why it’s so important that their mum wear the pink nightgown, not the blue one as it’s her favourite. And it’s because while I’m busy doing a thousand things looking after two patients and thinking about getting home, all they are thinking about is their loved one. 100% focus on that one person. It’s not like I never knew all that already. It’s just that now, I get it.
Part of me is looking forward to getting back to a revised version of normal. Dusting off my scrubs and resurrecting professional nurse Katie. Using my hard earned skills and knowledge once again. Having conversations about anything and everything, not just baby stuff.
Fortunately I have plenty of distractions before the dreaded return to work. We’re moving house in five weeks time. I’m very excited and a little bit scared. It’s a much bigger house which is wonderful as we need the space. But it needs a lot of work doing to it which will take a long time, however it’s mostly decorative. I just like to get stuff done which of course doesn’t happen anymore when there’s two rug rats to think of!!! And we’re going to have a first birthday party for the twins. A combined housewarming. I really want to celebrate this past year and all the achievements it’s brought with it. The coming home of Harry and Archie. Buying our dream house and the adventure of turning it into an amazing home. Our family home.