Guest Contributor Janell Bischoff

My daughter has slept with me every single night since she was born, either on the sofa or in my bed with me. It isn’t easy, but the sting of not having her is still faint in my mind. I love every single second of her. I’m holding her in one way or another about twenty hours every day. She is like an extension of me. She gets gassy so I have completely changed the way I eat for her. I have molded my life to help hers go more smoothly.

A few weeks ago I got the strongest prompting of my life that I needed to go back to work. My husband’s job does not provide insurance but mine does, and in our day and age, you have to have insurance or else you are kind of asking for something big, bad and ugly to happen. After a huge resistance from my job trying to convince me to not come back, I was able to return.

The first day I was going to return to work I was a wreck. I cried hysterically all day long, all week for that point. It felt like my whole life would end. How could I leave my perfect daughter, even if I would be leaving her with her father? I had been collecting my milk for weeks beforehand because I did not want her to have formula for as long as possible. As it got closer to my return to work, I would look at my daughter and just cry thinking about being away from her.

Before I left, I fed her and held her as long as I could. My heart broke when I walked out the door, even though she was content in her swing. I got in my car crying with a headache, so upset I literally thought I was going to throw up. I somehow composed myself and was able to walk into work without having tears falling down my face. Within 30 seconds of being clocked in I was asked, “So, do you miss your baby?” I lost it, completely. They sent me away to compose myself and with the sensitivity of a rock, told me when I came back in, “Well you knew you had to leave her sometime.”

It has helped my husband better understand how hard it is to care for our beautiful child. He has told me repeatedly over and over again that he has so such more respect for me and for what I do with her. He says it has caused him to love her even more caring for her.

I have discovered that working isn’t very friendly for new moms.  I have also discovered that you have to fight extremely hard to get what you want. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to leaving my baby.