Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Have a baby, take the summer off

WSJ's The Juggle blog asks if parents planned their pregnancies so they could have a spring or summer baby and take their maternity leave when it's nice outside.

In a word, yes. I didn't plan ahead with baby #1. She was a planned pregnancy, but it was more like yes, we're ready to get pregnant. We didn't think about when that baby might be born. So Z was born in November, which I learned from the folks at Prentice Women's Hospital (aka Chicagoland's Baby Factory) is their slowest month for deliveries. I guess couples aren't all that swept away by the romance of Valentine's Day.

My first maternity leave took place during Chicago's coldest months, so save for a trip to Hawaii, we spent it largely indoors, cuddling on the couch and watching DVD marathons of The OC and the Gilmore Girls.

Knowing that I'd have a toddler to entertain while I cared for a newborn, I decided maternity leave #2 would need to take place in the playground months. We aimed for May and scored a July baby.

And it turned out even better than I hoped. We've put lots of miles on our double stroller, we're regulars at our favorite parks, and I got to be around for Z's transition to preschool. We never felt cooped up at home and I didn't have to resort to videos to keep Z out of trouble as I nursed, burped and wiped my way through the last three months.

I return to work in a week!