Sunday, March 18, 2012
So here is where I stand. I'm dropping the middle of the night pump. If my supply suffers, it suffers. Aidan will just get formula overnight anyway as it's faster to prepare and I can get back to bed faster. I'll continue to pump definitely until I return to work. At that point, I'll decide if I will even continue those. He will be fed as much breastmilk as I can give him and once I decide to stop pumping totally, I'll start digging into the stash in the freezer that I've actually been able to accumulate. What a difference from Elisa where I had to dig into the NICU stash just on a daily basis to make sure she had enough. Just wish this weren't so draining on me. But I do need to follow the advice I've given others many times and others have also given me. Happy mom=happy baby.
Onto other news.
Mr. Aidan is three months old and as of the first of this month weighing in at a whopping 13 lbs! He will get weighed again tomorrow and I'm kinda excited to see what he is then. He's currently in ANOTHER growth spurt. Seriously, this kid grows a mile a minute! He is so LONG even, his head towers over my shoulder and his feet are well below my waist when we are cuddling before bed. And his colic is basically GONE. It's so nice to have this happy, chatty, smiley baby instead of the constantly screaming one.
We are seeing more of his personality now as well. And all I have to say is we thought Elisa was opinionated and stubborn. Yeah, I'm beginning to think that she will have NOTHING on Aidan. He knows what he wants and when he wants it and boy if you don't get it to him the very second the desire enters his head, beWARE. Temper tantrums already and he's not even 4 months old! This wouldn't be as much of a problem if he were better at telling us what it IS he wants. He's very bad at cuing...or else I'm just very bad at figuring out his cues. I've figured out his eat and sleep ones...only problem is they are EXACTLY THE SAME. So, when he cues on that I just have to keep throwing one of them at him until it sticks. The problem here comes in that, how I said above if we don't react fast enough, he gets so mad that he fights BOTH that I'm throwing at him. It ends up taking about 20 minutes to get him calm enough to accept one or the other and then we are off. But man, those 20 minutes are, well, fun.
And not only that, but the kid just HAS to be different. You know, that thing called tummy time? Yeah, well, don't expect that to happen in THIS household. Oh no. You put the boy on his belly and all he does is arch his back and put his hands and feet in the air and scream until you flip him back over. Put him on his back?
Yup. He's flinging his little shoulders and hips around. I swear he's going to roll back to belly before belly to back. Not only that, but he's wanting to be in his bumbo and the johnny jump up already?! And can even manage to "jump" a bit in the jumper.
Elisa is all in her two year old glory. She has had a language EXPLOSION in these last few weeks. Complete and complicated sentences and can tell us exactly what she wants. Of course, the tantrum when she doesn't get it still comes but at least we know what she's wanting now.
Conversation is constant in our household now. Elisa likes to ask us what something is, and when we tell her, insist we are WRONG and it's actually THIS. Just the other day, she asked me what I was drinking. It happened to be orange juice. So I told her "orange juice." She grinned at me and declared, "That's not orange juice! That's orange juice!" You can't help but laugh at her cute little voice, even when she is in the midst of a tantrum.
Life will find a new rhythm. I've not seen it yet...but I know it's coming. Probably returning to work will be the best thing for me emotionally, as I'll get that routine back that I crave.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I promise I will give a full update in the next few days but there is something I just have to get out of my system.
Let me start by saying that I am a strong believer in breastfeeding. When I first began my journey into parenthood it was never even a question as to whether I would breastfeed or bottle feed.
Enter Elisa and her prematurity. Ok, so I couldn't breastfeed to start but I could still provide it for her by pumping. So I did. Even through supply issues, exhausting nights and long days at the NICU. Got her home and went finally I can stop pumping! Wrong. Weight gain and required intake levels forced me to go back to pumping and supplementing. And then we seemed to have a milk allergy and there went any hope at continuing. Elisa was 5 months old. One month shy of my 6 months goal.
Enter Aidan. Here's my "do-over" right? My term baby. No pumping needed. Simply put to breast, eat for 30 minutes and put back down, right? Nope. 2.5 months of keeping telling myself tomorrow will be better. Or when he reaches "x" age it will get better. Or just get through this growth spurt and it will get better. I will get my life back and I will be able to enjoy my son and daughter and life again. I will be able to get off this couch. And take a shower. And sleep. And clean. And play with Elisa. And eat without a child attached to my boob. And go to the bathroom without interrupting a starving child who had already been eating for 2 hours, therefore getting a stress inducing scream for the three blessed seconds I needed to pee!
Everything I was told through many different sources said this was normal. Normal. Meaning I just had to deal with it. Just one day at a time. Tomorrow will be better.
So I began to try pumping. And surprise! My supply kept up with him, I've been able to store about 6 extra oz a day and freeze and I'm getting rather consistently 2-3 hours between feeds.
So what's the problem? I'm exhausted. Killing myself to get everything arranged so that I can take those 20 minutes I need every three hours to pump. Getting up once over night to pump and feed Aidan.
I don't know what to do. I know by doing this I'm doing my best by him and even the added benefits to me such as reduced risk of breast cancer. But I want to stop. I just want to be able to feed him and move on with my day. 75% of me wants to quit. 25% won't let me. I'm halfway to that 6 month mark.
I think what bothers me really, and what keeps me from stopping, is that I don't want to stop because it's causing problems for him, but because I just can't take it. I know so many women who are doing this and for much longer than I have, so why is this beyond me? Why is this so hard? Is who I am just fundamentally incapable of dealing with the randomness, unorganized, not knowing what to expect from moment to moment when I sit down to feed him?
I struggled just as much with this when I was breastfeeding Elisa, so I'm pretty sure it's me. I thought with her it was a throw back to portion control from the NICU, but nope. I just can't handle what "is" breastfeeding.
Whoever said breastfeeding was easier than bottle/formula...ha! Right. More convenient. Cheaper. But not easier. Easier to me is 30 min from start to finish of a feeding session that allows me to move on to the next thing and gives me 2.5-3 hours until I have to do it all over again.
I am exponentially happier pumping, but still not as happy as I know I would be if I just quit altogether. How do I know? I remember well the sense of relief and how much more free I felt when she was diagnosed with that milk allergy that "allowed" me to quit. It gave me the excuse that said "it's not me, it's her."
There is no resolution to this post, because there is no resolution to what I will do. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better. Maybe I won't. Maybe I need someone to take the decision from me. For someone who is incredibly decisive (just ask coworkers who marvel at my ability to open a menu and two minutes later know exactly what I want to eat lol.) this is unusual.