Laura, Dumfries VA (3/4)
"A decade goes by. I fell in love and I got married. I was no longer spring chicken with young eggs and ovaries so I was like if we’re going to have babies, we need to get clicking! So we got pregnant. It was the first time that was like ‘Hey! I did this on purpose!’ When they put him on my chest, he just looked at me for 30 minutes. It was calm and peaceful and there was no crying. It was so calm. So perfect. My husband was there and he was with me. He wasn’t just the father; he was my husband, my partner. Doing it that way was just so different. We brought our son back home and then, as it often does, life interrupted. A work project hit when he was four days old so the paternity leave ended abruptly. My husband, my partner, he was just gone. I think saying that it was disappointing is too light of a word. I felt robbed. Then I had to go back to work after seven weeks, so to daycare my son went. I did not feel ready, but it just wasn’t viable not to work. I was breastfeeding but it wasn’t going terribly well. I was pumping at work but I couldn’t even take 10 minutes for myself in a 10-hour workday because work was so insane. There was a lactation room and I’d asked for a workstation to be put in so it wouldn’t disturb our workflow. It took them four months to put it in. By then, I wasn’t pumping anymore. It’s all very well to have the best intentions, but when you don’t deliver I feel it says something about your priorities, both my husband’s and mine. And it had to change."