I've got to hand it to working moms. I never realized how hard it is to go back to work after having a baby (or babies in my case) until now!
It has only been a week and I'm wiped out, even after a weekend of supposed recovery time. Granted, we've been dealing with a lot of crap on top of my returning to work. Brian's passing has been rough and I believe it will get worse. Neither Dave nor I have really let it sink in, we're too busy fighting fires and taking care of the babies.
Even so, it's really hard working full time with twin infants (I like to call them twinfants). It's a huge effort from both Dave and me. We get up each morning at 6am. We make tea and cereal and I pump while consuming my breakfast while Dave prepares the bottles to send with the babies to daycare. I wash the pump kit and pack it all up to take with me to work while Dave helps me prepare my lunch. We get everything ready that I need to take with me. Then we get ourselves dressed and ready for the day, hoping the boys will sleep just a little while longer.
The boys need to be changed, dressed, and fed, too. This task often takes at least an hour. I help Dave with as much as I can before I leave for work at 7:30. Dave finishes everything and puts the boys in the stroller and walks them over to the school, leaving the stroller there for me to use when I pick them up. It's too much for me to carry them in their car seats.
When I arrive at work, I never really know what I'll be doing since they don't seem to know what to do with me. So far, they've had me read outdated policies and procedures and take a class, mainly because they were short of students and needed more people. I have no clue what they'll do with me tomorrow. Further, I have no faith I'll get paid, at least for some time. I've long since closed the account to which they were paying me on direct deposit. Every year I've been getting w2 forms with small amounts of earnings they tried to pay me, earnings I have to pay taxes on but never received. Every year I try to get it sorted out but nobody has been able to help me. I tried to bring it up with Ms. G. on Friday but she didn't seem too interested in helping me. I waited for 45 minutes for her on my lunch break on Friday so that we could sort this out and so that I could give her the massive amount of forms she had me fill out on Tuesday, but she never made time for me. I tried again at the end of the day on Friday, but again, she instructed me to just leave it for her and we'd work on it on Monday.
I haven't been granted access to the offices, either. Not really. Every time I go to the restroom or out on break I need to track someone down to let me back into where they have me sitting. Ms. G. has been great about letting me have the time I need for pumping, but the only facilities I have for pumping are the public restrooms. The one on the 8th floor is the least busy, but it takes awhile to get up there and get set up and inevitably, there is this woman that comes in every time I'm pumping and she spends several minutes talking to me about what I'm doing and asking very personal questions. She's just being friendly, but it feels so awkward and makes it difficult to get a good milk supply going.
After work I go directly to pick up the boys. The school closes at 6pm and with traffic I have to leave right when I get off work at 4:30 to have enough time to get there and get them in their stroller to go home. They are usually among the last 3 babies left and though I've given the teachers a clear schedule for feeding times, the boys are usually either just starting their last school feeding when I walk in or haven't had it, yet. William is a real challenge to feed, too, due to his reflux and his desire to do anything but eat, and the teachers haven't quite grasped the tricks to feed him well. I nearly cried on Thursday when I picked him up and discovered he'd only had about 8 ounces all day when he should have had about 15.
All this sudden change has been hard on the boys, too. They were being breastfed 4-6 times a day, which suddenly decreased to once in the middle of the night, around 4am, which is hard on me since I haven't been able to get to bed much before midnight every night. Neither has Dave.
My milk supply is dwindling. I was able to provide at least half of their nourishment with breast milk, usually even much more than that. Now, on top of the 1 breastfeeding, they only get about 1 bottle feeding of whatever I'm able to express that day. Fortunately, I am able to breastfeed all I can during the weekend.
After I get home with the boys I have to feed them immediately and change them. They are always really fussy until this is done. I try to get it done by the time Dave gets home. Dave and I try to get our dinner before the 8pm bath/feeding after which we send the boys to bed, but it doesn't often work that way. We often get our dinner at 10pm, which is far too late.
Ms. CT. of the DOL has been sending me a lot of correspondence, as well, and demanding immediate replies so Dave stays up late with me to write all the letters back to Ms. CT. I swear, she really wants me dead. I often wonder how many lives this woman has ruined and how many deaths she has indirectly caused, either by pushing the claimant to suicide or by denying them health care until they die.
She's scheduled me for not one, but two second opinion medical evaluations for the 29th of January. Both are at the same time of 1:30 but they are with different doctors at different locations. I may be capable of many things but I am not capable of physically splitting myself into 2 so that I can attend both appointments. I wonder if this was an error on her part (she has told me several times that she doesn't make errors, and her supervisor has also told me this in writing on the letter I received yesterday). My injury didn't render me incapable of being in 2 places at once, I've always had this affliction.
Further, the 29th is Brian's funeral. We are still trying to figure out a way I can go with the boys. I'm going to have to call Ms. CT. tomorrow and actually talk to her on the phone about not only fixing the conflicting appointments, but rescheduling them for another time when there isn't a funeral. Do you think she'll offer sympathy? She has no soul, how could she sympathize? I'm sure she'll simply be disappointed that it's not my funeral and that she still has to push harder to get me into my grave.
Dave and I are wiped out from burning this candle at both ends. At this rate, Ms. CT. will succeed in killing us both!
We are talking with a lawyer that may take on the case so that we can be relieved of a lot of Ms. CT.'s harassment. Further, something very good happened late last week, something I cannot divulge right now but it may help the situation out a lot. For all I know, Ms. CT. may be reading this blog and using it to her advantage. She's pure evil, I tell you!
We can't even trust our phones. There is an odd beep here and there and it seems that the line may be being tapped. We can't think of anyone who would want to do this other than the DOL. It sucks to feel that my basic freedoms are gone all because I got injured while working for the federal government.
I just want my life back.