Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I am having huge anxiety about going back to work. My doctor submitted official paperwork to my HR department suggesting I be out for 3 weeks to fully recover physically (done) and work on recovering emotionally (not even close to done). That means my first official day back would be next Monday 4/21.  Every hour that passes brings me closer to next Monday and I'm finding it more and more difficult to suppress the rising panic I feel.

I wish I didn't have to go back. At all. Ever. 

It's not because I don't like my job; while the actual work has gotten boring and stagnant (there's really nothing I can do about that unless I go back to school to get a masters degree in public health which I have no desire to do), I love my coworkers and have a pretty sweet gig going. I work from home 3 days/week and am in the office 2 days. I have great insurance and benefits and tons of autonomy and flexibility which certainly comes in handy when going through IF treatments.

In spite of the fact that many people would kill for a position like this, I wish I didn't have to go back. 

I think there are three main reasons for my anxiety:

One: I now associate everything work-related with being pregnant with Petey.  To be honest, I kind of stopped caring about work a while ago. Towards the end of last summer I became pretty consumed with getting pregnant and once I finally was, I just looked towards the future. I had a countdown going for days until my maternity leave; I would sit at my desk and daydream about how our lives would change once the baby was here; I used my breaks to research items for the registry and get ideas from my SAIF group... I don't know how I'm going to shut that part of my brain off once I go back to work, how I'll ignore it and be okay and actually be able to focus.

Two: I don't want to see or talk to people who know what happened.  I'm afraid they're going to ask me questions about all of this. I'm afraid they're going to give me those pitying eyes all the time like I'm broken. I'm afraid I might find that I actually am broken. I'm afraid everything will make me cry or make me angry or make me break down and that I won't be able to hold normal conversations or be myself.

Three (and likely the REAL reason for my anxiety): Once I'm back at work, that's it. My "time to grieve" is officially over and everyone will assume I'm okay and I've "moved on". Petey will be forgotten by everyone but me and I will be expected (by others and by myself) to behave in a completely normal way at all times and not act (or be) sad or upset. I'll need to force myself to focus on external things again and care about my work. Honestly, I can't really see that happening right now.  I am completely in my own little world currently and while I don't want to wallow, I also don't want to emerge from the comfort of it.  I worry that there will be unexpected triggers everywhere when I'm actually in the office that will cause me to melt down, and I worry that on the days I'm working from home I won't be able to take off my "grieving mother" hat and put on my "I care about work" hat.  I am consumed with my grief right now - how am I supposed to just switch it off because the date on the calendar says April 21st?

I'm afraid it's too soon. I'm afraid I'm actually in worse shape mentally/emotionally than I think I am and that LIFE will just be too much for me to handle.  But honestly, I won't know what shape I'm really in until I start trying to move forward.  So, I will start working again next week. My boss was very open to me starting up again just from home if I didn't want to come into the office, or working shorter days and gradually increasing my hours... 

I guess it's time. I can't hide from the world forever. (Unfortunately.)


  1. Oh honey. I'm so sorry. What you are saying makes complete sense, though. I work from home (self-employed), but I can relate this to my husband. As soon as he went back to work, everyone believed that he was ok (after all, he was back). But he was nowhere near ok and nowhere near ready. I can't imagine what it must be like for you to have to go to work when you're just not ready. Its nice to know that your boss is willing to be flexible with you starting back at work again. I hope you take advantage of that and take everything slowly as you see fit. I do have "office hours" at my accountant's office and just one week after the boys passed I had to haul my ass there to get last minute things done for the end of the year taxes. It was horrible, but as you said - there is no hiding from the world. One day at a time. I hope that you will be ok Monday.

  2. Going back to work was extremely difficult for me as well. I had written all over my desk calendar with milestone dates and am thankful I remembered that so my boss could get me a new calendar before I returned. I was only out less than 2 weeks after Jack was born but in my case being at work was better for me than being home alone (my husband is a p.o. on shifts) so I went back...despite fluctuating blood pressures and still being swollen everywhere from my pre-e. I hope its not as bad as you think it will be, I'll be thinking of you!

  3. All of your concerns sound completely valid. Wishing you the best of luck as you get ready to go back to work. Getting back into the real world is bound to be painful, but you are an amazing and strong woman. I hope the transition goes as smoothly as it can. I'll be thinking of you!

  4. I'm sending you big hugs, Chickin. If you didn't have that anxiety, then I think there'd be something really wrong. You are human, and no one expects anything from you. Especially that your grieving period should end at 9:00am on Monday. That's ridiculous! This is just a step towards moving on (a very big step), and that doesn't mean that Petey will be forgotten. I'm sending you all the strength I have!!!

  5. I can't even imagine the anxiety you are feeling. I don't know what to say other than we love you! <3 <3

  6. I think these are all pretty normal reactions and fears, I think it's pretty amazing that you can discern them and articulate them so well. I am glad your boss is willing to be flexible with your schedule, I really hope you can ease back into things a little at a time. The one thing that you are completely wrong about - I'm sorry, I know it's your blog, but you're still wrong - Petey will NOT be forgotten. I have loved you and that little nugget since you were PUPO, maybe even since the petri dish. I will continue to remember and love your sweet dear Petey who was taken too soon. You are not alone and Petey will be remembered and loved. <3

  7. Petey will NEVER be forgotten. Going back to work and that pain is something I just can't imagine but your SAIF ladies are here for you, your not alone. Hugs!!!
    Please keep an eye out on your anxiety. You really might be dealing with some ppd I've been there it's rough, please call your ob if you need too. Huge hugs!