Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Study in Friday Night Economics

Just Married:
Out to a leisurely dinner for delicious sushi and cocktails! $80-$100

Married With Dog, So We Have to Get Home:
Takeout sushi. $55

Expecting a Baby:
Takeout from local grill. $35

Baby Is Home, Mom's Still on Paid Maternity Leave:
Organic whole wheat Greek takeout pizza. $25

Mom's Leave Becomes Unpaid:
Five dollar footlongs: $10.50 incl tax

I get my first paycheck next Friday. Maybe we'll upgrade back to the pizza.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Year's Journey

Exactly one year ago, in a North Carolina beach cottage, we found out Lexie was coming. It was our third positive home pregnancy test, so we greeted the news with neither excitement (as we did the first time) nor with cautious optimism (as we did the second time). By this time, we knew about my unicornuate uterus and understood the possible complications. So we greeted the news of our third pregnancy with equal parts hope and fear.

The next morning we were scheduled to drive back to Virginia. Before we left, I sat on the steps to the beach for a long time trying to set my head straight. Looking at the ocean always helps give me perspective, reminding me of my tiny place in this big world. At the time, I'd wished I could know what lay ahead.

It's probably better that I didn't know what we'd contend with through the pregnancy. At least in the early days, I had only my usual worry of miscarriage, and a few weeks of my second trimester were practically a cakewalk. Then it all came crashing down with 9 weeks of preterm labor in the hospital and a baby born 10 weeks too early.

But if I could send a message back to myself a year ago, maybe I'd just tell her this: It's going to be a bad, bumpy ride, and you're going to be more terrified than you've ever been. It will be the hardest thing you've done in your life.

But in the end, it will be worth it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back to (Paid) Work

On Monday I head back to work. I like my job, and I am not exactly dreading my return. I know things will be different, because I'll be highly motivated to get my work done and get the heck home -- not as much socializing with coworkers, and I might be calling in to (versus attending in person) those late-afternoon meetings that can stretch into the dinner hour. I do want to go back to work. But I wish I could have more time with Lexie, too. And my full salary. A girl can dream...

We have hired a great professional nanny for Lexie while we're at work. Because of Lexie's prematurity and resulting weak immune system, she can't go to daycare like a regular kid. I've spent much of today trying to iron out our nanny tax situation. Suffice it to say I now feel more sympathetic to those who don't bother to pay their nanny taxes. It's not easy to figure out. But we are doing the right thing and staying above the law.

The nanny has been here all week, and I've been in and out. It's kind of awkward and I keep wanting to swoop in and gather up my little baby when she cries (like right now), but intellectually I know that's not the right thing to do. I know Lexie will be better off with a nanny than in daycare, because she'll get constant one-on-one attention, but I might be feeling just a little bit jealous of the nanny.

We'll see how it goes.