I want to thank the partners at Angelo, Kilday & Kilduff for being so patient and understanding and for making the transition back to work as smooth as possible. I know that my maternity leave (and the extra month I took off due to Joey's hospitalization from March 27 through April 11) was not easy on the partners and the other lawyers in our small firm. And to some extent my pregnancy was difficult as well because I had a rough pregnancy and was not able to work the same number of hours I had become accustomed to working over the past few years. But they have been very supportive, like family to me, and have been so great. When I returned to work on May 4, 2009 they let me move into a much larger office where I am much more comfortable pumping breast milk for Joey. While I am still tired and getting used to being a working mom, getting back to work has been much easier than it would have been had I worked anywhere else. I feel blessed to work for such wonderful people and I cannot begin to thank them enough for all that they have done for us.
I also want to thank Jen Varanini Sanchez. While getting back into the groove at work has been very difficult, I cannot imagine having returned to work if I had to leave Joey with anyone else. I met Jen through the Down Syndrome Information Alliance (DSIA) in the days after Joey came home from the hospital. I contacted the DSIA looking to connect with other parents with babies with Down syndrome and Jen called me to tell me about her son Joaquin and to offer support. We ended up meeting for coffee. During that initial meeting I mentioned that I was not thrilled with the idea of leaving Joey at Merry Hill when I returned to work. He is such a good baby, does not cry much, and I was really afraid that he would not get enough attention there. Much to my surprise and good fortune, she e-mailed me a few days later with an offer to babysit Joey when I returned to work.
Things have worked out so wonderfully. I am comforted by the fact that Joey is in such a loving and nurturing environment while I am at work. As demonstrated by some of the posts on Jen's blog, I know that Joey is getting loved on by Jen and her family the way we would be loving him if we could be with him all day long. It melts my heart when I see the way Jen's three boys have accepted Joey. He even gets his physical therapy while he is at Jen's house. I do not know what I would do without Jen and I cannot thank her enough.
Some recent pics of Jen sent me of Joey in the park.
Thank you so much AKK and Jen for helping us get back to living a somewhat normal life. I say somewhat because life with a new baby has been a definite adventure, even without all of the difficulties we have had and does not yet feel normal. I just feel so very blessed and know that things will continue to get better and better, as I adjust to my new role as a working mom, thanks to the great support network that I have found in all of you!