Saturday, August 09, 2008

Time flies...

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott 1 Month and 2 Days

In order to up my milk production, I need to have her drink from the breast constantly and I am supposed to every two hours. Unfortunately, pumping every two hours is nearly impossible, especially when you care for an infant by yourself. When you spend nearly the entire day caring for a baby by yourself, you can barely take care of your own needs, let alone deal with the extra work necessary to deal with breastfeeding issues.

Some may have asked me why I haven’t quit yet. I can’t. I don’t want to. It is so very important for me to give her breast milk. I can’t give her a mom who could stay home and be there for all the milestones for the first year, like I had always dreamt. The least I can do is give her the breast milk I know is good for her.

That’s why I take the 24 herbal tablets a day and smell like an Indian restaurant. That’s why I force myself to wake up and pump. That’s why I do what I have to including, attaching the pumps on my breast, dragging the heavy pump to wherever BG is and even trying to carry her and calm her while pumping.

I read this article about a woman stationed overseas who pumps and ships her breast milk home to her husband and waiting infant. God bless her. She wants to do this so bad, she’s doing what she needs to, including dealing with customs and security checks to get her son the milk she wants to give him.

The problem is, I just can’t get to pump every 2 hours to increase my milk production. I’m only at an average of 18 ounces per day and I need to be around 20-30. Sure, I’m close to the low end but since I have to go back to work, I really need to up my numbers.

I feel very alone in this. In addition to caring for an infant who wakes up every 2 hours, I have to somehow, schedule a shower, pee, eat and do some chores that can’t be put off.

I wish I was more put together like other new moms but I don’t think it is possible under the circumstances I am at. I’m not feeling pity; I’m just trying to be realistic. What I want to do is probably achievable and I will do what I physically and mentally can do to try to achieve it but I’ve got some major hurdles in front of me. It’s not a straight path.

All I want is two full days where I get attention and support. None of this crap where it’s just, “I just need 2 hours to do this or that.” 2 hours turns to 4 not including prep time or time to do what I consider ‘personal’ needs time. Where is my ‘personal’ needs time?

I shocked somebody the other day by saying I finally got to have a really good shower. It took me 4 weeks to have a really good shower. That’s 10-20 minutes, including dry time and moisturizing time. Why did it take me so long? It wasn’t possible before. When you are struggling with breastfeeding, pumping in between and dealing with the daily needs of an infant, your needs get sidelined.

This becomes a vicious circle though because in order to increase milk production, I need to increase my protein intake, eat well, drink well and sleep well. Well, how the hell do I do that when I only have two arms and 1 semi functioning brain?

A look at yesterday’s schedule:
1am DH gives BG bottle while I pump my breasts
2am BG naps in bedroom in my arms. She awakes every time we put her in crib. I spend the night working out my triceps.
6am Breastfed BG. Tried to keep on breast but BG kept falling asleep and not swallowing. After 10 minutes, gave her bottle.
6:30am Pumped breasts
7am BG naps/quiet alert
8:50am Breastfed/Bottlefed BG
9:15am Pumped breasts. BG on active alert. BG on swing while pumping.
10:15am BG naps in sling. First time I heard BG snore.
12:50pm Breastfed BG
1:10pm BG naps in bassinet. BG rolls from back to side.
1:38pm Pumped breasts
2:01pm Breastfed/Bottlefed BG. BG gassy and used breasts as soother. Stayed on breasts for well over an hour.
4pm BG on quiet alert time. Activity mat play: tummy time and mirror time.
4:40pm Breastfed/Bottlefed BG
5:40pm BG naps in swing while listening to lullaby cd.
5:45pm Pumped breasts
6:25pm Breastfed BG
6:40pm BG naps
7:20pm BG needs soothing. Gave her right breast
9:13pm Pumped breasts
9:58pm Breastfed BG.
11pm Major tummy troubles for BG. Major crying fit. Rubbed her tummy with warm washcloth. Pooped. After her poop she had a half hour active alert period where I left her mostly on the bouncer entertaining herself as I got a breather.
12:50am Breastfed BG. Both of us fell asleep while feeding.
2:30am DH gives BG bottle while I pump my breasts.

In between, I tried to eat, changed diapers, did minor household chores like clear the dishwasher and clean bottles and pumping equipment.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott

I’m writing this down not to disclose some martyr effects but to note how breastfeeding and pumping are so time consuming. It becomes more apparent when written.

First time mom hears BG snore
In the sling, she slept soundly.

First time mom notices BG turns from back to side