Boy, do I feel your pain!!!!!! Of course, I too had a preemie, and PE, etc., etc. but I am also a working mom - in fact, I am a full time PARALEGAL, as you are. [^] I too fight DAILY with the guilt of leaving my girly every day, and there is NOTHING worse than having a rough morning (fighting to get her up, get her dressed, get her teeth brushed, get her out the door....)and then having to spend the next nine (+) hours away from her wishing I hadn't yelled, or I could've been more patient, more helpful, more understanding,, less stressed, less rushed, on and on and on...and just hating that I can't give her a hug until 5:30 tonight. And I am CONSTANTLY consumed with having another baby (my girl is FIVE, BTW - a kindergartener!!!!), and my desire to be a stay at home mom, and the financial issues, my health issues and my husbands fears, and all that comes with it - as I'm sure you know too well.
Anyway, I wish I had some advice for you...my husband and I are planning a move out of state, and we have discussed buying a smaller house when we move, so that we can better afford for me to stay at home, and have another baby. There's nothing I want more on this EARTH, but it's a work in progress - we have to be patient, save, make plans. But believe me, I know exactly what you are going through. Being a mom in general is so hard and I know plenty of moms who stay at home, and have a lot of the same battles we do. It's obviously a personal choice, and I'm not at all saying one is better than the other, but like you, I hate feeling like I'm missing out, like I'm not there for my daughter. So, hopefully if we work hard enough, we'll get what we want, Shannon, and have baby number two, and get to QUIT our PARALEGAL jobs and stop taking care of these LAWYERS and be with our babes instead. [:D] Good luck, hun.
DD~ Kenzie Celeste, 30 weeks GA, severe PE