Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How I Came to Stay at Home

When Josh was born I stayed home with him until he was almost two. He went to mother's day out, and later to a full time daycare while I started working full time. By the time Bug was due to be born I had worked the same job for 5 years. Josh had started kindergarten at our local public school. We were in a financial position that I needed to work, and with our savings and insurance benefits I was only able to take 12 weeks off when Bug was born.

This terrified me. Maternity leave in the US is such a load of crap. The stress of going back to work (among other things) contributed to me giving up breastfeeding after only 8 weeks. I breastfed Josh exclusively for 6 months and I STILL have guilt about not breastfeeding Bug.

 how could I leave this Bug everyday?

So Bug goes off to daycare with reflux and dairy sensitivity issues. I go back to work stressed out, running on no sleep. The daycare was only 3 blocks from my office, so I visited Bug every day on my lunch break. While I was there I saw things that concerned me. They would have Bug sleep flat on his back despite a doctor's note to sleep upright due to reflux. He wasn't able to sleep when he wanted, or eat when he wanted. Other infants were crying. My Bug was crying. I ignored my mommy instincts and told myself it was ok for babies to cry a little. That all his needs were being met. That he was ok while I was at work. And what could I do? I HAD to work. Wrong.

In the 10 weeks Bug went to daycare he had 4 ear infections. Basically he was on antibiotics for 10 days, well for maybe 3-4 days, I'd get a call that he had a high fever, back to the pedi, another ear infection, another 10 days of antibiotics. If you've ever had the displeasure of dealing with an infant on antibiotics, you know they wreak havoc on their poor digestive systems. The visit for the 4th ear infection his pediatrician said she wanted to put in tubes. I was NOT ok with putting my baby through surgery, and got her to agree to hold off. The condition was that if he got another ear infection that summer she would insist on tubes.

That was my limit. I went home and told Papa Bear I just couldn't do it anymore. The next day I quit my job and worked from home until they trained a replacement. I don't know how we made it through the next months financially, but we did. This month marks one year since I came back home, and Bug has not had one single infection of any kind since.

our happy, healthy Bug is 100% worth every financial sacrifice

And thus began my tumble down the peaceful/natural/attachment parenting rabbit hole...

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