...it's back to work we go.
I'm really thankful that my clinic is baby-friendly and is letting me bring Henry to work with me while he's so little. We have a comfy recliner to nurse in and a baby swing for Henry to sleep in. I share an office with our office manager and both of us spend most of our day hopping over baby stuff in our little space (well, it didn't seem little until we crammed all Henry's stuff into it!).
In theory, going back to work with a newborn should be pretty much like going back to work without a newborn. After all, newborns are rumored to sleep, on average, 16 hours a day.
(Sleep deprivation--it makes all things seem possible...and makes moms more foolish.)
In reality, going back to work with a newborn is like trying to talk with a patient, bounce a crying baby and sign papers with a pen in clamped between your teeth. Henry's 16 hours of sleep apparently come in 15 minute increments.
I can't get anything done at home with a newborn and two kids...so I'm not sure why I didn't expect actually going to work with a newborn would be a challenge. At home, at least, I can park the two big kids in front of a movie, hand them some string cheese and they are more than happy to wait while I nurse this hungry baby for the millionth time. That strategy doesn't work so well with adult patients in the clinic setting.
We get through the day, though, with relatively few delays. After dropping the big kids off a day care, I straggle into the office, loaded down with my diaper bag, my laptop, my lunch, my purse...and my Henry strapped to my chest. We have a quick diaper change and nursing break...and then he usually goes down for a nap in the swing for a bit. If he doesn't, I bounce him and put him back in the Baby Bjorn to go see patients. I was worried about patients' reactions to seeing a baby at their appointments, but 100% of them have been delighted. And, all of my "regulars" have been disappointed when Henry's been down for a nap and they've missed out on seeing him.
My co-workers have been wonderful about pitching in and spending a few minutes snuggling Henry if he wakes up while I'm with a patient. None of them get too squeamish about a bit of spit up...although I've noticed no one has eagerly volunteered to jump in and change a diaper. :)
And now we are on to week #2...wish us luck.