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My maternity leave is about to run out. Like all good things, the break from my job to take care of my son will end in less than two weeks. If our finances were better, I might have been able to stay home permanently, but the unfortunate reality that most mothers today face is that daycare is par for the course in order to make ends meet.

It was a difficult couple of nights. We had been working with our son to try sleeping in his crib at night. But what began as 3-4 hour stretches quickly dwindled to 1-2 hours, and it was beginning to take its toll. We had an appointment to see the pediatrician for his vaccines that morning when he hadn’t slept for more than 2 hours at a clip. His eyes wide open at 6:00 a.m. meant that there would be no more sleep for me.

I sat, bleary eyed and barely conscious, dreading the day ahead. My husband was leaving for two nights for his job, and I foolishly was attempting to get my doctor appointments in as well. It was the perfect storm of complete chaos just waiting to unfold.

The pediatrician was fine until my son had to get his five vaccines. After that, it took forever to calm the poor little guy down. I didn’t even wait for the nurse to put his bandage on. I just grabbed him up, still bleeding onto my tee shirt and held him close until he was calm.

A few hours later, he began developing the low grade fever that the doctor had told me he might have. Coupled with the discomfort in his thighs from the injection, he was impossible to soothe. In desperation I called a friend who graciously brought over the necessary children’s Tylenol, which gave him some relief.

Still, we hardly slept. The hours ticked by as we got closer and closer to the point of no return. I would hardly be in a good mental state to leave my son in daycare for the first time with a full night’s sleep. Having yet another night of almost no sleep meant I would be in tears by the time I would have to drop him off. I managed to make it through halfway before crying. I’m sure many other moms can relate.