Working mom profile: Michelle Hagen
Meet Michelle, a momma of two in Omaha, NE, with a wonderful personality and zeal for life. She's currently staying at home with two sons but worked as an Office Manager and New Rep Activity Coach for her two maternity leaves thus far. Here is her back-to-work mom story:
May 4, 2015 is a date that is seared into my memory: it’s the day I returned to work full-time after having my first son.
I had an emergency c-section with that baby, after which I developed postpartum preeclampsia. I was in the hospital a total of ten days and it took a few weeks before I even felt up to leaving the house. I had a 12 week maternity leave that felt more like a month — it was over in the blink of an eye. On the first day back to work I shed more tears than I knew my body could produce. I was on modified bedrest working from home before my son was born so I had not seen some of my co-workers for six months. I arrived at my desk extra early to try and acclimate before co-workers came flooding over to say hello.
I had more breastfeeding support than most people receive. My family, daycare provider, and employer were all behind me. I started pumping on leave and had a good stash of frozen milk built up for my return to work. At work I could pump whenever I needed for as long as needed! I was producing enough milk to send fresh milk every day and put a day’s worth of milk in the freezer, but there was one problem: my son hated drinking from bottles.
This was a very stressful phase for our family. We were lucky if he would drink 10oz a day at daycare — when he drank 12 it was deemed a GREAT day. He was having issues with weight gain and I felt as though our life revolved around the scale for his full first year of life. I was constantly worrying if he had enough milk and if he was gaining weight properly. Through all of our obstacles we were able to exclusively breastfeed until he was 14 months. I will be forever grateful for the support and love that surrounded us throughout that journey.
Exactly two years later I became a mama of two. I was again slated for a 12-week maternity leave, and I had high hopes my recovery would be faster this time, that I would get to enjoy the time with my boys more. I had a successful VBAC and did not develop preeclampsia so the odds were in my favor! Then postpartum depression and anxiety set in. I felt things I had never experienced in my life and my maternity leave raced past me once again.
This time the thought of sending my baby to daycare and returning to work was absolutely paralyzing. I just couldn't do it. Between the PPD and a few other factors, I decided returning to work was not the best option for me. I never saw myself being a stay-at-home mom because I have always loved working and excelling. But right now, for this season of my life, I need to be home with my babies.
When the opportunity is right I will definitely jump back into a career, but for now I am enjoying being with my babies more than a few hours a day and on the weekends like when I was working. We are making memories I could have never made working full time. I know I will look back on this season of our life and be grateful I took this pause, but some days I can't help to wonder how it will effect my career. Regardless, I know in my heart this is all part of a much bigger plan, so I am enjoying this special time I have been given.
If you are a working parent with a transition-back-to-work story you'd like us to share, please contact us today! We'd love to hear about your experience.
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