An Open Letter to My Babies On My First Day Back to Work

Today you turn 14 weeks old, and mommy is going back to work.
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Dear Sydney and Remy:

Today is a big day!

Today you turn 14 weeks old, and mommy is going back to work.

When I got up this morning, it was raining and dreary. It seemed appropriate, though. I told myself Heaven was crying so I didn't have to. The truth is that I cried on my drive to work. In fact, I have been holding back tears all day long.

I have been with you every day of your precious lives. I know every inch of your tiny little bodies. I know every cry, every whimper and every coo. I know when you are hungry, mad, happy or sad. I know when you have a dirty diaper. I know your poo faces and sleepy faces. I can tell when you want to be held, and I know by the sound of your breathing when you finally fall asleep listening to the beat of my heart. I know when you are going to wake up, and I know when you are fighting sleep. I know when you want me to talk to you, and I know how to calm you down.

I know all these things because I am your mommy, and I have studied everything about you since the day you were born.

When I told people that I was having twins, I was always asked if I would go back to work. I never hesitated in saying "Yes" because I love my job. I am fortunate in that after all these years I am able to do a lot of good for my patients, and I know I am good doctor. I take care of women, like myself, who have difficult pregnancies, and I am there when a baby takes that first breath. It is my job to usher each baby into this world under the best possible circumstances, just like my doctor did for you when you were born.

Some people are a bit more direct, though. They question my ability to do both. I must be honest and admit that I worry about that, too, but I simply tell them that it is just as important for you to see me succeed and have a career that I love as it is for me to be home every day. Right now I am hoping I am right because I am struggling with leaving you.

I am struggling with the idea of not being there every minute of every day. I am struggling with the idea that my job may affect my ability to be good mommy to you. I am struggling with the guilt I am feeling because a part of me is excited to return to a career that has given me so much joy.

Your daddy just called and told me that you both rolled over for the first time today--my very first day back to work. This is the first of many of your "firsts" that I may miss. I will question every day whether I am doing the right thing by going back to work, but as long as I have passion for what I do and feel I am making a difference, I hope to continue even though I know it will take away from you.

This choice I am making is not an easy one, but it is one that I hope you will one day understand. I hope one day you will be proud of me and know that I tried my very best to do both.

I am now a "working mom."

I may carry all of the pain, regret and pride that come with that title, but I promise to always be the best mommy and doctor that I can be.


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