Sunday, August 03, 2008

Out and About

3 Weeks & 6 Days Old

Hubby fed BG most of the day. Tomorrow I start what I started yesterday, I give her one breast for 20-30 minutes then give her a bottle. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing but I do know that I don’t think I can keep up the 45 minute breast feedings + 20 minute bottle feedings + 20 minute breast pumping. The cycle is too vicious. By the time I get her settled it’s time for her next feeding or I’m sitting there with two pumps at my breast while balancing a baby on my shoulder to soothe her. It has been too much for me alone.

Today hubby did most of the feedings to give me a respite. He knew it was bad when I told him I was too tired to go to church. In a nice voice, not his usual authoritative husband-knows-best voice, he asked me to go to church. I went. I was tired but I went. I didn’t really socialize. I sat in the back quietly and made my way home afterwards without chatting. I pumped and then hubby took me to the bedroom and told me to nap. I slept for an hour and a half.

I pumped; hubby fed BG and then we got ready for our first trip to Buy Buy Baby and Babies R’ Us with BG. Getting ready for an outdoor excursion for these new parents involves planning, lots of planning. We need to time feedings, dog walks, pack diaper bag, prep portable pump/breast milk and parent prep time (brush teeth, wash face, comb hair, put on a clean shirt).

We got out of the house through careful planning within an hour. We made it to 2 baby stores, a suit store for daddy and a work related drop off! Holy cow I am so proud of us. During the trip to Babies R’ Us, hubby wound up changing her diaper and clothing (she had an explosion) and fed her. Big milestones!

Unfortunately, I was unable to pump like I wanted to so I had to go without pumping for 5 hours which left my breasts hard and swollen. The first thing I did when we got home was attach myself to the pump.

Oh, she also slept through the ride home. Usually she’s crying inconsolably. I though babies are supposed to like car rides. I hope this works the same for her doctor’s appointment this week. It’s easier when hubby and I are together but when it’s just me, it is harder to manage.

You know, I’ve come to realize that society does not make it easy for a breastfeeding woman. I mean, yes, everything says, ‘Breast is Best’ and NYC laws allowing women to breastfeed in public but it still isn’t accessible or welcomed. I can’t just pump anywhere. I can’t whip out a boob without people gawking. It’s just much easier for a woman to give her child a bottle of expressed breast milk and pump in the car.

Even at the hospital, even though they say the promote breastfeeding, the resources are limited and they are immediate to answer woman’s worries with ‘well you can give her/him formula.’ Heck when you leave the hospital, they give you a ‘gift’ from Enfamil or Similiac. One person told me that 3-4 weeks post partum, she received a package via mail from a formula company. It was two free cases of formula. She said it was perfect timing from their marketing folks. Around 3-4 weeks, a growth spurt happens and you are completely at wits end feeling as if the child is on your breast 24/7. A quick bottle of formula seems like the answer to many a weary moms.

I guess, I’m trying to be more positive and realize I’m doing something that maybe considered the good thing to do for your child but I’m not living in a society that actively promotes and supports it. I’m not alone either. Many woman have told me they feel like they are in the same boat. Do they have enough to feed their child? Are they a good mother if they don’t? How come my baby doesn’t latch? How come my baby doesn’t seem to grab all her/his nourishment from the source?

It’s an emotional and physical roller coaster. I’m glad though I’m in a day and age where I can chat/share experiences with others, especially on the internet. It’s keeping me sane.

I found this article by Stephanie Casemore that sums up exactly what I have been feeling of late. Just in case anyone stumbles upon this, I’d like to share it with you. After I read it, I wanted to hug her.

First drive home where she slept through it
It was sublime. No crying!
First dining al fresco
Hubby fed her EBM at Babies R’ Us while we shopped for a mobile
First trip where we left as scheduled and were generally prepared