"I had enough sick time to take 12 weeks paid for, but that was only allowed if I or the baby were ill. I had to go on bed rest 3 weeks prior to the baby being born and had a c- section. It was exhausting going back."

What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former expectant self?

Work on your relationships. You’ll need the support from people you trust and love.

How much leave did you take, and how comfortable were you taking it?

I had to take 11 weeks. I had enough sick time to take 12 weeks paid for, but that was only allowed if I or the baby were ill. I had to go on bed rest 3 weeks prior to the baby being born and had a c- section. It was exhausting going back. I wanted more time at home, but that wasn’t possible.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

Being able to find a place to pump so my baby got breast milk. My classroom always had someone in there and finding privacy was a challenge. Also I knew I needed SLEEP to do my job well and going back when my baby was just 8 weeks old was a challenge.

Fill in the blanks: As a working parent, I never expected ____ would be so hard and ____ would be so much easier!

Babies get sick. You need time to be home with them.

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