The Alpha Blonde

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This article was written on 09 Jan 2015, and is filled under health.

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PFL

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Dorothy Jean on one of our walks.

My friend Tomica came by when Dorothy was just a few weeks old and as we visited, she’d asked me “Are you planning on taking the 6 weeks Paid Family Leave?” My response was “Nope, I’m going right back to work.” because at that time I was planning on diving right back in.  I work for the coolest organization on earth- a PBID. We’re in the business of making things better, helping businesses thrive, changing opinions, and one by one picking off stereotypes about our city’s downtown. And they’re totally good with me having my kiddo in tow as long as the work gets done.

So I went back to work, stoked to be back in the fray.  There’s something infectious about what we do, there’s a lot of joy in our work- even though it’s not always easy. In the first week I got a killer cold 3 days in and ended up staying home.  The next week I went in on Monday and had my gallbladder removed the next day, leaving me bedridden for the rest of that week.

While in bed, cuddling Dorothy close (because those first few days I couldn’t hardly lift her so every feeding, diaper change and playtime happened in or on our bed) I was handed a piece of mail that had come in.  It was the paperwork to take PFL. I looked at it and thought “Well, maybe I would if I didn’t have so much to do right now.”

The Friday of that same week I got a call from my OBGYN. Or rather, a nurse at first who started to tell me my test results from my recent Glucose Tolerance test, but got them a little mixed up in the communication so as I was celebrating no diabetes and “wooohoo!”-ing and imagining a trip to Hanford to order an SOS sundae from Superior Dairy just for myself she said “wait, let me put the doctor on.”

False alarm. “You should probably call your primary care doctor right away, it looks like you do have diabetes.”

Before I could even hang up I screamed. I wailed. I held Dot tightly and sobbed. A few hours later I had a call from my RD whom I had been seeing throughout my pregnancy to discuss my results. Apparently my results were actually in reality in the middle of the woohoo and the wailing. I was straddling the line between pre-diabetes and diabetes, but through diet, exercise, and getting my pregnancy weight off in a hurry, I could usher diabetes out the door.

The second I hung up with her I knew what I needed to do. The bonding time PFL that I’d shirked off suddenly was the key to gaining control of my situation. I could take 6 weeks to walk, jog, play and do yoga with Dorothy in tow.  It would be great, we’d get to nurse more because we’d be home (I’m still not comfortable with public nursing and I wouldn’t appreciate your lecture about how I should be, thanks.), which would help the weight loss, while the focus on better nutrition would in turn help with the nursing. I could sleep when she sleeps and not be too tired during the day, thus making it easier to make better decisions regarding my meals and snacks and fitness.  It was a no-brainer.

Except, that whole not-working thing.  I had my job pretty much done for me thanks to months of prep-work before I left, but now things are left unattended. Taking time off is a lot harder than it sounds.  I’ve let myself step back so that I can accomplish what I need to as far as quality time with Dorothy and focusing on my health are concerned, but then I panic realizing that I haven’t checked my work e-mail in a few days and I have things piling up.

Right now, as she naps, I have a few tabs open on my browser to get some work-work done to erase the guilt of leaving my co-workers high and dry. I guess that’s just part of really loving what you do for a living.

So here I am with about 2 weeks left of my bonding time leave. Have we bonded? Absolutely. I love getting this extra time where it is just about us hunkered down at home and getting to know each other. Have I adopted better habits? Well, I was able to turn down a cupcake after dinner the other night so I’m gonna say yes. I’m about 10 lbs lighter than I was 4 weeks ago and I can jog triple the length I was able to starting this. Dorothy knows the jogging stroller now and when I click her carseat into place on it she immediately starts looking around and talking, exploring her world as we take off down the palm-and eucalyptus lined boulevard. I’ve organized our house, which will help keep things moving smoothly once I do return to work. Chaos and clutter could undo all of the groundwork I’ve laid in this time.

I won’t have another blood draw for another few months to see where I stand, but I’m pretty sure that taking this time off has given me the power to reverse my situation. That helps take the edge off of the nagging feeling like I’m missing something at work almost entirely. I’ll still finish this task I have open, however. Some habits are harder to break than chocolate cupcakes.

One Comment

  1. […] down another 1.2 lbs, which is an even 15 in the last 6 weeks. It also ushers me out of baby-weight completely and puts me squarely in the middle of the range of […]

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