Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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((Lessons in letting go) Career and baby are contradictory worlds. Working harder, longer, and with more precision and efficiency may win the day on the job, but first-time mothers have no expertise in what Swigart calls the “intuitive, fusional, enmeshed-in-body” life of babies. This is a place where rationality, clear understanding and exactitude are less relevant. (continued on page 163)
“It was hard for me to accept the fact that sometimes there was nothing I could do for my baby if she was having a bad day,” says Trissa Garvis, 45, a sales representative in Minneapolis and mother of 2-year-old Ivy. “At work, I could always put in more hours to get a job done; but with a baby, it wasn’t about doing it harder or longer.”
Motherhood may quickly edge out career as a woman’s defining identity, but many new mothers do return to work. Straddling motherhood and career means learning how to switch gears. Restaurateur Gentry has returned to work three days a week, but there are ground rules. “I used to have a list of 12 things to do a day,” she says. “Now I am happy if I do one thing on the list. It is important to be here with Halle now. She is almost a year old, and I see how fast it goes.”