During my maternity leave with Ethan, I took him to visit my office so I could show him off to everyone I worked with. I remember introducing him to one of the ladies I worked with (who did not have children) and she said, "Are you enjoying your three month vacation?".
I almost cried.
First, I hadn't slept in four weeks. Ethan wanted to eat every ninety minutes around the clock. By the time I fed him, changed him and re-swaddled him, I only had about 45 minutes to sleep before he would wake again. It was excruciating. I've never been so tired in all of my life.
Second, it took everything I had to get myself up, dressed, showered and looking marginally presentable to make the trek across town to my office. Never mind making sure I had the diaper bag packed with every item I might ever need while attempting to perfectly time Ethan's feeding with our outing (he had to be fed at the VERY last minute so that he could endure the drive AND a tour of my office - without a hunger meltdown). And forget the fact that he would likely spit up on my clean clothes and require a diaper change right before we left, for which the clean up ate into about twenty minutes of my post-feeding-traveling-visiting-no-meltdown time.
Plus, I was trying to squeeze into my pre-pregnancy jeans because I just couldn't bear the thought of wearing maternity clothes for one more minute. I'm certain I cut off circulation to major organs in my body that day.
My house was strewn with burp clothes. Half-empty bottles were shoved in between couch cushions. The only clean laundry in the house belonged to Ethan. I was barely keeping afloat.
So when asked about my "vacation", all I wanted to do was scream, "VACATION!?!? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?". But I didn't. I just smiled at my little bundle and mumbled something that I'm sure was totally incoherent.
I have to admit, as my boys are growing, I miss having a baby in my arms. I miss smelling their baby smell, inhaling their sweet baby breath, feeling their warm little body next to mine. But I don't miss coordinating my time of departure with a feeding, I don't miss feeling like I'm just teetering on the brink of being completely out of control and I don't miss not sleeping. Not even a little.