I went back to work after 7 weeks (only because I came a week early) with both my kids. It was OK.
If you can't change things, here are some tips.
Have your husband or anyone to bring your baby to you even if it means a 10 min feeding. This will make your life so much better.
Pump on the way to work in the car. Put pump parts in the fridge so you don't have to wash all the parts each time. Get a pumping bra so you can work (charting, answering pages) while you pump. My pump Medela Freestyle works on battery.
It's not optimal but doable. If I have another baby, I will be in the same boat again.
Good luck to you, and try not to let this affect your time with the little one.
Thanks for all of the responses guys. Clee I am trying not think about it an really enjoy this time but I do tear up thinking about going back.
I will have people available to bring the baby to me and we will definitely plan on that.
I feel like when I go back I will just not care anymore, much more so because I'll be on an off service rotation. Oh well, at least I'll have an excuse.
Question for you guys. Will I still have the standard 3 weeks vacation available to me or was this eaten up by my maternity leave?
Re: vacation time, I'm surprised this wasn't sorted out before you went on leave? Do you still have vacation time scheduled later on in the year?
I took a mat leave as a resident. I was able to take six weeks paid (part by state short term disability -- I live in California -- and the rest was picked up by GME at my hospital). Then I took one week unpaid. Then I had two weeks of vacation, my "Christmas week" of vacation (all residents in my program get this), then two more weeks off for a total of 12, 11 of which were paid. Then I took a research month, but did precious little research ... which brought me to 16 weeks. So I was def able to use both "leave" and "vacation".
I did have to make up the leave time at the end of residency, tho, so I graduated seven weeks late. Huge whatever.
I'm surprised your PD isn't more helpful; I don't think that's normal.
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen
As a (somewhat) new mom (my baby is 8 months old now!), I'll say that you may feel differently as time goes on. The first few weeks I had a hard time imagining leaving my baby to work, but now I can't imagine staying at home. At six weeks it will be hard, but more so for you.
As trite as it sounds, enjoy your time now, and take the rest as it comes! Good luck!