I can’t believe my maternity leave is over. It went by so quickly. We had the first seven weeks, when I was just trying to figure life out with a newborn. Then three weeks in Colorado staying with the in-laws, completely out of sorts, trying to make it through each day without melting down. Then two weeks at home, working part-time during naps, frantically trying to get my poor baby on some sort of schedule, just so she would sleep a little better at night, and not require someone to hold her all day every day, knowing I was going back to work. Each of these periods of time had their good moments, and their bad, and I wish I could redo this time. Because now I am at work, missing my baby girl, pumping every three hours, exhausted and trying to figure out how I’m going to sustain this life. Why does it have to be so hard?
I have good moments. Last night when I was bathing little Alex, she was happy. She stares at me during the whole bathtime, and I talk to her about my day and how I missed her, and I tell her how much I love her. I play with her, and I watch her as she moves around and splashes water. But the rest of the evening, she was not happy. She’s starting to get real fussy, particularly in the evenings, and I hate it. I miss her good mornings, when she’s full of smiles and happy to play. Now that I’m at work, someone else gets to enjoy those special times in her day. I wake her up in the morning, feed her a bottle, and then hand her off to my MIL, at least this week. Next week I’m hiring a friend’s sister to watch Alex for two weeks, then the hubs is off for three weeks, and then daycare. But I’m happy that I don’t have to drop Alex off for daycare until she’s four months old. It will be on her four month birthday in fact.
But back to Alex’s fussiness. I wonder if it could be because I’m no longer there. I got home last night, and she wouldn’t take a bottle from me. We stopped nursing at every feeding about two weeks ago, and I discovered that she wasn’t eating much at a time. With the hope that my milk supply was increasing, I would nurse her, and then wait for her to show hungry signs before giving her a bottle. And so what I got is a child who wouldn’t eat more that 2-3 ounces at a time, and just snacked all day and night long. Now that we’re on a feeding schedule, I’ve discovered that Alex wants about 5 ounces each feeding, about every 3 hours. With this kind of schedule, she now sleeps during most of the night, only waking up for a dream feed at 10:30 at night, and then around 3 am. Before implementing a schedule, she was waking up on average about 4 times per night. I knew I couldn’t maintain that kind of schedule when I went back to work!
And so we stopped nursing, almost exclusively, about two weeks ago. I pump, and then feed her expressed breast milk or formula for all but one feeding. My plan was to nurse her at 6 pm when I got home from work, and then give her a bottle. Well the last two nights she absolutely refuses to take a bottle from me! I nursed her, she acted like she was done, and so I tried to give her a bottle, and she screamed. Inconsolable crying, which is very unusual for her. Last night I was able to trick her a little before bedtime by nursing her, waiting until she dozed a little, then without her opening her eyes, I stuck a bottle in her mouth and she would drink some. Then she would open her eyes and scream! So miserable. I feel so bad, I really do think this is because she’s out of sorts from me leaving her. I hope it gets better, very soon, because it breaks my heart to see her crying like this.
I know this is a phase, but boy this is hard right now. I’m completely exhausted, and I don’t feel like I’m functioning very well at work, and I feel like an awful mother with my screaming baby at night. I stare at her pictures at work all day long, hoping to get home soon. Oh, and my milk production still sucks so I spend all this time with this stupid pump hooked to me, and I go home after a full work day with about 6 ounces in my cooler – enough for one bottle plus an ounce! Luckily I make more at night, as I can pump about 4 ounces at 3 am, and another 3 ounces at 6 am. In total, I pump about 15 ounces each day, plus nurse her once, so I’m providing around half her total consumption of 30-32 ounces daily. I wish I could do more, but I’m running out of ideas on how to increase production. This part alone has been so incredibly frustrating. Some days I’m at peace with it, knowing I’m doing what I can. But other days, I’m just exhausted and tired of it all, wondering if all this pumping madness is worth it. I want to be able to continue, but this is so hard.
I feel bad, posting out here, knowing that I haven’t even logged onto my blog reader in weeks. But I’m back at work now, and as stupid as it sounds, I know once I catch up and we’re past this super busy phase at work in a couple weeks, I’ll have more time to read blogs. I’ve never been so busy in my life as I have the last few months, and I’ve had to cut some things out. I’m sorry. All I want to do is hold my baby girl. Speaking of, I need to get back to work so I can bolt out of here as soon as possible! Hope you all are doing well!!!