The fetus, he grows.
So we're at 29 weeks here, which means that we have somewhere in the range of about two and a half months to go before we launch Cal 2.0, a.k.a. The Do-Over. In terms of my maternity leave, I am planning to use a mixture of vacation time, sick days, and unpaid leave to total six weeks, which is the amount of time I took off when Cal was born. Again, it is hard to say this knowing full well that I am going to be stepping into a GREAT BIG PILE OF SHIT in telling you yes, I have decided of my own volition, pressured by no one, that I will be taking but six weeks off after the birth of my second child. However, there are a number of constraints, both practical and financial, that have factored into this decision, the top two of which are that 1.) I am at present the primary breadwinner for this family, so I need to work and get paid for it, and 2.) I took six weeks off when Cal was born, and despite some introductory angst it worked out fine, and he still loves me approximately 85% of the time.
Something else that will make returning to work easier this time around is the fact that my schedule now isn't nearly as bad or unpredictable as it was during residency (though in an ironic twist, now that I don't take night call, I never have post-call days off, which actually makes it very difficult to schedule anything kid-related during the day, including my OB appointments). And yes, I know all you Europeans and Canadians get, like, five billion years of paid maternity leave for each child, and that's a whole other discussion to get people all hepped up, even though at present, in the U.S., paid maternity leave is really the exception rather than the rule--but whatever. We work with what we have, and right now, I'm happy to look forward to six weeks off with Cal and his new brother, and returning to job that I love in a practice where people have been nothing but completely warm and understanding about the whole situation.
As for the other baby...
I'm about to start on the second round of edits for "Scutmonkey," which, according to my editor, is slated for an early 2010 publication. That sounds far away I guess, especially since I submitted the manuscript this past July, but there's still a lot of stuff that still needs to happen between then and now, so I'm glad to have a little time to tune things up, especially now that I'm working and don't have time to be lollygagging with my laptop at Starbucks every day like I was earlier this summer. I'm aiming to get this second round of edits back to them in about a month's time, with the goal of finishing almost all of the hardcore overhauling before I have my human baby, and past the legal department and into the copy editor by (I'm told) April. Anyway, the gestation period for a baby elephant is 22 months, so as long as my manuscript is in pre-publication limbo for less than that amount of time, I guess I'll be happy.
(Though this probably does not need to be spelled out, I just wanted to add for the record that I'm glad I'm not an elephant.)