After Aria was diagnosed at my 20 week ultrasound, my life quickly turned into a whirlwind of doctors appointments. We had to drive an hour away every week for level II ultrasounds with a Perinatologist, and I was seeing my OB once a week on top of that. As Aria’s condition worsened, it also became clear that we would be facing a very long journey in the NICU once she was born.
At 23 weeks pregnant, Brian and I decided it was time for me to leave my job. This made it much easier to schedule doctors appointments, and once Aria was born, I would be able spend my days watching over her in the NICU.
And then we lost her.
Here I am, nearly five months later and I don’t know what to do with myself. Making the decision to return to work is really tough. Part of me wants to continue staying home because this is the last remaining piece of the life we had planned to have with Aria. Every time I think about going back, I can’t help but feel incredibly bitter because this is not how things were supposed to be. I wasn’t planning on returning to work for several years, and doing it now feels like going back in time. Once I start working again, we are back in the exact same place we were before Aria joined our family. It almost feels as if it never happened.
There is also a small part of me that wonders if work will help me get through this. Although I’ve been filling my days with trips to the gym, baking experiments, and other random tasks, I still get bored. When I’ve run out of things to do, and find myself alone with my thoughts is when grief hits the hardest. Work could be a good distraction, but in the end I know it won’t stop the pain. Employed or not, I still have to endure the process of grief.
So right now, I’m continuing on as a stay at home “mom”. I know that eventually, I’ll go back but I’m not putting a timeline on it. When my heart feels ready, I’ll go.