As I have hinted at recently, a couple of weeks ago I left my job as a School Librarian to be at home with my kids. The one thing I will say before I get into the nitty gritty of this is that I know I am very lucky to be in the position where I could do this and also that this blogging hobby has gradually grown into something more than that. However, I never really pictured myself as a Mum who stayed at home all the time (I was working 3 days a week); not for any great reason it just wasn’t how our life as a family had worked out.
In February 2016 I found out I was 4 weeks pregnant, in March I found out I was expecting identical twins and by the end of July I was lying on an operating table having an emergency c-section at 29 weeks pregnant. My girls were born. However, as you will know if you are a regular reader then things got really serious. One of our baby girls hadn’t made it. I had stopped feeling her move that day and she was gone. Our other twin Little Lady came out with a fighting cry and while I cuddled her sister Little Lady got whisked off to the Neonatal Unit. She was there for 9 weeks and 2 days. She was very poorly; she couldn’t breath on her own and she had a feeding tube. It was by far, the hardest 9 weeks of my life. Every single day I went to the hospital to see her; sit by her incubator and hope that I would hear good news when I got there. There were a lot of steps back before we got any improvement and then after 8 weeks in there they told us she could come home. As I changed her nappy ready to take her home I found a hernia. No home time. Instead she got put back into an incubator and into an ambulance and taken to a specialist hospital to have an operation. She was tiny. It was frightening but she fought and another week later we finally bought her home. Of course, while all of this was going on I was mourning the loss of her twin and trying to be with Little Man as much as possible too. 9 weeks may not sound a lot but it felt like a lifetime to me.
That was over two months of my maternity leave gone. The first few months at home with her were hard. She had a monitor on to check her breathing and she struggled with winter colds. I was always on edge and didn’t really sleep. I was scared of breaking her, doing something wrong. Doing something that would put her back in hospital. Then things began to calm down, she grew and grew and got stronger and stronger. I started to relax a little bit and BAM the grief hit me. My heart ached for the other half of Little Lady and Little Man would ask me all the time where his other sister was and why she had died. The truth was, we just didn’t know.
I finally started to get into my stride about a month before I went back to work. I finally began to enjoy Little Lady a bit. I went back to work with high hopes and the need for a new chapter for us as a family. It didn’t work like that I felt cheated out of time with Little Lady. I wasn’t ready to leave her. I missed her greatly and when she was poorly I didn’t want to leave her with anyone else, I wanted to be with her. The other problem was a big one. The day I felt my little angel stop moving I was on my last day of work before maternity leave and as I walked back into work the memories of that day came flooding back. Not only that but the memories of being pregnant there haunted me, all the fussing over having twins, all the excitement. Don’t get me wrong everyone was great but I just didn’t feel like I fitted anymore. I was a totally different person and a heart broken and fearful mother. I needed time with the kids, I needed to enjoy them and I needed to grieve. This may sound silly because I had the twins over a year ago but I had done a pretty good job of not letting the grief show but I knew it was about to bubble over and I needed time to be okay with what had happened, to accept it and to stop blaming myself.
So I walked away. A new start and a change. I wasn’t ready and I hadn’t realised until I was doing it.
And now here we are. Two weeks in and I’ve done every school run, every nursery run and I’ve cuddled my Little Lady when she has been poorly. I need that right now.