My son was born at 30 weeks, weighing 2 lbs 7 oz. My husband and I have been coming to see him every day for 15 weeks and have been very involved in his daily care. Unfortunately, he is still not close to coming home and my maternity leave has run its course. I am planning to return to work tomorrow (so that I can keep some vacation days for when he does come home) and feel very conflicted. I know I need to return to work so that we can remain financially stable, but I feel incredibly guilty leaving my son alone in the NICU all day and not being there to help with his care. I know I can visit before/after work, but has anyone else experienced the same feelings and how did you cope with it? Being that he is 5 weeks past his due date with no end in sight, we are having a difficult time coping with the situation.
Re: Going back to work while in NICU
I'm 28 weeks... hospital bed rest since 22, and there is no estimate on when my twins will come. Could be in the morning, could be weeks from now.
My maternity leave is made up of two parts; 8 weeks disability for the cesarean and then 8 weeks paid leave (that I believe can be taken at any time). If they are still in the NICU after that first 8 weeks, I'm seriously considering going back to work until they can come home, then taking the second 8 weeks.
It's hard to know what is right... but at least you know he is well taken care of when you're not there... and you can't feel guilty about that.