Opportunity Knocks

I’m working on getting into a pattern with posting – once a week is my goal, and at least for the time being, I’m meeting my goal. Awesome. This week is my last of full time maternity leave. I’m sad about it, but feeling more confident about being able to leave. La’s summer class schedule plus my transition, means one of us will be with A until July, when my mom will start watching him one day a week (I’ll work from home another, and the other three he’ll be with the Mommy.) My biggest fear is pumping and maintaining our breastfeeding relationship, so if you have tips or success stories, please share!

Ansel is up to 9lbs 6oz as of yesterday, transferring about 3oz during groups, bringing his weight gain to between 7-9oz a week over the last month. I’m pumping once a day usually, at night after he goes to bed, and getting between 3 and 3 1/2 oz to save. I have 40oz + (prompting La to walk around the house singing, “Baby got a forty!”) in the freezer – more than enough to get us through my first day of work, with some reserves as well. The LC I spoke to yesterday gave me some good tips for returning to work, and we bought her recommended bottles (playtex’s ventaire) and La is going to bring him to me for lunch, at least the first few days, so I think we are about as ready as we can be!

He is still sleeping a good 3-5 hours for his first go of the night, with wake-ups after that ranging from hourly to every three hours, with no indication of how it will go. The last few days he’s woken up between 4:30-6:30 and been firmly, solidly, joyfully AWAKE – at least for the next hour or two. This would suck except he is so beautifully full of smiles and coos that I can’t manage to be cranky about it. Because she is amazing, La has taken him at this time and let me get in a bit of a nap until he needs to eat again. Sort of coinciding with these early wake ups, he’s had a bit of a harder time going to sleep. We used to just be able to rock and nurse him to sleep, then put him in the rock’n’play and he’d sleep that solid 3-5 hours; the last few nights, I’ve rocked and nursed, put him down and he’s woken up crying 5 minutes later. This happens between 2-4 times before he’s solidly asleep. I am hoping this is just a little shift and not a full on change to his pattern, and . . .I know that there is no such thing as a schedule or ‘way things are’ at this stage.

But I can’t complain: 2015-05-11 18.07.45

In other news . . .

Before I went on leave, one of the school district’s I work with started talking to me about coming to work directly for them. I really love my job, but the district would be able to offer me (marginally) more money, summers off, and better benefits – all very attractive. I was excited about the possibility, and was biding my time until I heard from them. About a month ago, I got a call. The director said that they had discussed it, and because I don’t have a teaching license, it would make more sense for them to pay my organization for my time – basically, contract me out. The problem with this is that it doesn’t lead to that pay and fringe increase for me, it just gets the district off the hook. I told them I’d look into it, and was trying to think about how I might be able to parlay the whole situation into an increase at work. I consulted one of my best friends, who is also a brilliant non profit professional and A’s fairy godmother. During our conversation, she asked me what I wanted to do eventually. Like, what was my long term goal professionally?

The thing is, y’all . . .I have pretty much just been following bread crumbs for my entire professional life. It’s worked out well for me insofar as I’ve built a pretty diverse skill set and gotten to work really awesome jobs without being worried about following some pre-set trajectory. But, as I inch into my mid-thirties and have a kid, it’s occurred to me that it might be time to actually think about this long-term goal stuff. In talking to her, I mentioned that it would be pretty amazing to work for one of the national organizations doing reproductive justice and sexual health education work. Someday.

The next day, what should appear in my inbox but a job at one of these national organizations. A job that I was both interested in and qualified for, despite my somewhat erratic professional history. It felt like, well . . .a sign. So, I e-mailed the person I know at the organization (who works in a different department) and she offered to put in a good word for me, brushed up my resume and wrote a cover letter, found some writing samples, and sent it all off last Friday.

This morning I got an e-mail requesting a phone interview this Friday. What?!

I’m excited to even be considered for a national level job, so no matter what happens, it feels pretty amazing. But, of course, you can’t avoid the rabbit hole of ‘what would this mean if . . .” And what would it mean? Well . . .

It would mean moving across the country with an infant, leaving the only state I’ve ever lived in, leaving my family  . . . it would mean working at a national level doing work I love, living in Washington DC, raising a kid in an incredibly culturally rich world, having a new job market for La to find a full time faculty position . . .selling the house we love, trying to find a place to live that we can afford in a much more expensive market, leaving friends we’ve known for years, starting completely over socially . . .

I can go on for hours, and I vacillate between excitement and terror, which I think is probably typical. And then I remind myself that we aren’t there yet. An interview isn’t an offer.

But, it’s an interview. And that’s pretty damn exciting. And it could turn our lives upside down very, very quickly.

Please wish me good interview vibes, and say a little prayer that Ansel (and I, by extension) get a good nights rest on Thursday so I can think of smart things to say on Friday afternoon.


21 thoughts on “Opportunity Knocks

  1. That is amazing news about the interview. Congratulations! I really hope it goes well–even if it doesn’t lead to an offer, a good interview will add fuel to your fire!

  2. Wow that is incredible timing, I agree it sounds like a sign! Sending you good vibes for your interview. I’m sure you’ll knock it out of the park.

  3. Sending lots of good interview vibes! I think a lot of us here have had some good job mojo lately, so I hope it carries onto you! Enjoy the last week of mat leave… I know it’s bittersweet, but it sounds like you’ve got a good plan in place.

  4. Wow, the job interview news is so awesome. I’m sending you the best interview vibes ever! The change is all very scary as well as exciting but one step at a time here SuperMom!

    On the BFing front, I could never store much because the MT ate a lot and I want a robust producer. So I think your pumping once a day is really good. I had our caregiver bring the MT as my lunch date (more like me bring his lunch) every day when I returned to work for months even after the introduction to solid food went well. The MT fought against bottle feeding something awful; hopefully Ansel is more open to that. I wish you all the best with the transition. And the interview!

  5. Good luck with the interview! I hope it leads you exactly where you’re ready to go! As for the breastfeeding when returning to work, I wasn’t nearly in the same boat because DD was quite a bit older than Ansel. I wasn’t pumping at all and had a hard time keeping supply up, so I would throw the usual feeding schedule out the window and feed as often as possible when I was with her, before & after work. Good luck with everything!

  6. Oh gosh-that is so exciting! I’m jealous, honestly. I really want to move in a few years. My mother hates it when I talk about it, but I really want to live somewhere else in my life and be, you know, a real life grown up who can handle being away from her family. And DC is one of my bucket list places because of the library of congress, but of course my heart really belongs to Alaska now 🙂

    also-that’s a cute baby 🙂

  7. That is some great stuff you got going on there! Awesome about the interview. That’s a lot to think about, especially with such a young baby and with less of a support system, but then again, look at all the opportunities that could present themselves for you family, and what a great place for little Ansel to grow up. It’s harder to make friends when you’re old, BUT the ones you do make usually are totally awesome and worth having. What i’m trying to say is, there are so many possibilities that could open up for you guys in DC, despite all the things you are leaving behind. I always tell Callie (who REFUSES to even move off of the same damn street she grew up on!) that our families will always be there…give us a reason to always come back. And pray on it! Joshua 1:9 – Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.

  8. Congrats on the interview! Whatever happens, that in and of itself is awesome. And for the record, I grew up in the DC area and loved doing so. Good luck on Friday and with the sleeping beforehand!

  9. Eeek! Feeling you on the nerves. My interview is Friday too and I recently used homeopathic in place of sociopath in a conversation with a friend. So obviously I don’t have any good advice for how to get your nursing/mom brain back to 100% functionality again. I do think from what I have read that you’d be a grey asset to the job and I’m sure you hae an excellent chance f getting it. Question: have you tried pumping some time in the morning? I know it different for everyone but personally I find I can get so much more around 630-8 am than any other time. I’m only pumping once a day and get about 9 oz after feeding if I pump then. When I pumped similarly at night I was lucky to get 1!

    • I was pumping after his early morning feed ( 4am or so) but his pattern shifted and he started to wake up sometimes hourly after that, so I stopped both to preserve my milk for him and to get a little bit of sleep for myself. Now that he seems to be getting up for the day around 5-6, i might try again. I was getting quite a bit – like 3oz AFTER feeding him (a lot for me! That’s what I get after a wait at night! ) when I was pumping in the morning so I know it’s worth doing.

      • Totally. Apparently your prolactin levels are the highest in the morning which is why most people get most them. It’s so difficult to figure out the best time to pump when you have a hungry baby who likes to eat pretty much constantly! I’m still feedig on demand pretty much every hour during the day

  10. Firstly – Ansel is super cute in that ‘almost a wink’ photo! Secondly – awesomeness that he will have such a great care situation even though you have to return to work (so soon by NZ standards). Thirdly – the interview news – ohhhhhhh exciting and a bit challenging (the thought of moving across country). Some big decisions to be made if you do get offered the job!

  11. Good luck! I spent the tail end of my maternity leave applying for jobs that would launch the career path I wanted. Something about being a parent that makes you think “hmm maybe my future is now?” If you do move to the DC metro-area, we’ll have to schedule a play date. I’m not too much help when it comes to the DC-metro area, where I live is considered the Baltimore Washington Metropolitan area, but the close to DC you get the less familiar I am. And yes, it is super expensive here (DC, Maryland, and anywhere you’d want to live in Virginia– sorry to anyone from VA)

  12. Good luck! Sounds like an exciting opportunity. From someone who’s moves half way across the country, I can tell you that it takes a bit but it does eventually become your new home. 🙂

  13. Congrats about the interview even though i’ve been pushing for west coast.

    I’ve been successfully pumping and feeding Gus (and donating) while working 40 hours. Message me if you want to talk about it.

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