I have been on Maternity Leave for 2 whole days now, and I am really beginning to feel relaxed! Work has been stressful for me lately because I have not been physically feeling up to par, and I have been counting down the days to my leave. I am so thankful that I have made it this far without going into labor. There were a few times in the past month where I have had strong contractions and I was really worried about the baby coming a little too early! Now that I'm over 36 weeks, I am starting to breathe a sigh of relief.
At my last check-up, Kathryn was measuring between 5-6 lbs and is looking healthy and right about average in weight. I can't wait to meet her!
In the meantime, I have a couple weeks or so to spend relaxing and getting ready for this new family member. I am going to spend it by giving Alex a ton of quality time and (trying) to make her feel secure and ready to meet her sister.
We have been struggling with the decision of what to do with Alex while I am on maternity leave. On one hand, I would like to have her home with me for the next 4 months, but I know that I will be returning to work full-time later this year, and we don't want to get her adjusted to staying home with me for only a short-term basis. Also, she gets so much out of the daycare, and she is just a happier kid on the days when she has that social interaction and challenge of learning. So we are leaning toward having her enrolled part-time (a few hours a day, maybe a few days a week). But we decided to remove her from her current daycare because it was 45 minutes away from home (it is closer to my work) and it wouldn't make sense for us to commute over there for a part-time arrangement. This past week was her last week there, and I have to say it was very difficult for me to say goodbye to the teachers and little friends who have been a part of our lives for the past 20 months or so. I am so impressed by the quality of their care, and I know that they absolutely love our little girl and take amazing care of her in our absence. I am praying that the new daycare is going to be the same. I have visited over 5 other daycare options, and it has taken me a year to find one that I feel will even be acceptable. Rich keeps reassuring me that if we don't like it, we can just go back to the old one. But I am so nervous about it!
Saying goodbye to that daycare was emotional for me because it is like saying goodbye to Alex's "baby-hood." They gave us a packet of things that they saved for us over time, and it had photos of baby Alex learning to crawl, of her first scratchy crayon drawings. On one hand, I am excited at all of the changes that she is going through, but I also am feeling very reluctant to see her grow up. And being at the end of my pregnancy, I am keenly aware that things are about to change quite a bit for our little family.....which we are so thrilled for, but we can't help but have that feeling of wanting to freeze time for just a little longer!