This isn’t just the last day of March, it’s also the last day of maternity leave.
I return to work tomorrow.
April Fools Day!!!
As I write this, the baby is in the exersaucer desperately trying to talk to me. I wish I knew what he was trying to say.
I try not to think about it, but I realize just how much I’m going to miss him. It’s time for daddy to take over his full-time care. I wonder if he’ll miss me? Will he wonder where I went? I felt this way with all the kids but with this baby, it’s more poignant. Because he is my last. I know this.
The last six months have been truly a blessing. To be home with my entire family has been wonderfully exhausting, yet I am really looking forward to being a doctor again. I know I never really stopped being one, it’s who I am and who I will always be. Just like being a mother is who I am and will always be – it’s just that the mother had center stage for so long, it seems. But, now it’s time to be a doctor again.
Last night I had a lovely dinner meeting with the doctor who’s been taking care of my patients. We had a “handover” of sorts.
Handover – A handover is the transfer of responsibility and accountability for some or all aspects of care for a patient or group of patients, on a temporary or permanent basis. It entails appropriately transferring information to help deliver safe care. (CMPA)
I had been keeping up-to-date on a few patients since I was off, but not many. Our three-hour meeting was informative and extremely useful. This physician has done an excellent job and a quick peek at some of her clinical notes on the EMR confirmed it. I am officially back on duty as of, well, now.
I have to admit, I feel a little apprehensive. I am used to this feeling – I’ve had it every single time I returned to work after an extended leave like this. Am I going to remember how to write a clinical note? Will I remember how to take an appropriate, concise but detailed history? Thankfully in the past, after the first few hours back, it generally feels like I never left. I certainly hope this is the case next week.
Another variable thrown into the mix is my 6 month old son. When I returned to work after the previous two maternity leaves, the kids had been sleeping through the night for at least a month. (How did I get so lucky? Third time’s the charm, right? Right?!) Sadly, no. He’s not quite sleeping through the night yet. He still wakes at least once, usually between 11pm – 2 am. Husband has been wonderful and doing these feeds more often, but I still wake up. I am still tired during the day. I worry how I’m going to function now that I have to actually use my brain again.
Despite the fatigue and the apprehension, I am ready to get back to my work.