Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Worker Bee back at the hive

BG is 4 months, 3 weeks and 5 days old.
I went back to work full time on Monday. It was easier to acclimate to work as I was following emails and checking in periodically so I didn’t feel completely out of the loop.
DH made it a special day , like the first day back to school for kids. He woke up early with me and shuttled me off to start the day.
I had a scheduled parent and me get together that DH went to and I’m glad it was on the first day back. It gave DH something to do with our BG and in a funny set of circumstances, the moms in the group inadvertently text messaged me status updates. “Your DH is here with BG. He’s doing great!” “She’s eating.” “He cleaned the changing table for us!”
Ok, the last one is actually pretty humorous. My husband finds the changing tables at public restrooms disgusting filthy breeding grounds. He apparently spent a good 10 minutes scrubbing it down before putting paper towels down, then the changing mat, then our daughter only to find out that it was a false alarm and BG didn’t need to be changed.
After all his hardwork, he came out to the fellow moms and dads and announced that he cleaned the table so anyone who needs to use it doesn’t have to scrub it like he did. This elicited numerous chuckles from some moms.
So how was my first day back? As a worker bee, it wasn’t bad. As an adult, it wasn’t bad. As a mom, it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be, especially since 1) my husband is watching her and 2) DH and BG came to visit and 3) DH kept texting and photo messaging me. Thank goodness for technology.
What still takes a bit getting used to is pumping at work. First, not many women can say that exposing their breasts in their workplace is commonplace. Second, pumping isn’t fun, at least for most women. The first time I pumped, I forgot to lock the door. Big mistake. After I flashed someone in the office, I made a mental note to lock the door before each pump. I’m not putting a sign up because I feel as if it’s declaring to the world that I’m sitting in my office breast exposed. That’s just not me.
The other thing about pumping at work is that the pump I have at work beeps. So it’s not like I can have a conference call while pumping and not attract attention. Lastly, I can’t stop obsessing about my pump schedule. I think subconsciously it’s my connection to my daughter so I feel the need to ensure my pumping schedule is not interrupted.
It’s not all that bad though. It does help me collect my thoughts 3 times a day. Instead of over focusing on something that is minute compared to the bigger projects, I’m brought back down to reality.
I give all women credit for pumping and breastfeeding. It is a tough job and society doesn’t really make it easy for us. Give yourself a pat on the back if you are or have breastfed and/or pumped.
Today someone asked me if I can manage being a mom and a worker bee. I responded, it’s not about if I can manage but how I can manage. Moms are tough cookies and we do what we need to for our family. Many of us aren’t just moms. We’re wives. We’re workers. We’re our own advocates. We’re our family’s advocates.
I told several co-workers that my perspective on life has changed. I’m still OCD but not in a different way. Things that were important a year ago have less value to me. I wear different hats now but I do it because it needs to be done for my family. There is no time nor is there a need to sit and ask why. Things kick into gear and instinctively we do what needs to be done.
I feel all the more better as a human for jumping into the mommyhood realm. I’m a better me. I’m a bit more tired and less fashionable and less hip but I’m better and my family, my husband and society will do better because of such.

On the breastfeeding front:
BG only drank 8 ounces while I was away on Monday. She hungrily ate when I got home. Guess she prefers the milk fresh and from the source.

At work I pumped twice instead of three times and got 4 ounces/1.5 ounces and 3 ounces/1 ounce respectively. I've deemed the right breast, slacker boob for her low output.

On the sleeping front:
She slept well and has been napping at 7pm and going to her full night sleep around (9:30pm. She did protest at 7pm yesterday when we went to bed. She screamed bloody murder so I spent the 7pm nap standing and breastfeeding her until she fell asleep.

I gave up on the cry it out and am trying the Pantrygirl method. The method is the following: 6:30pm get ready for bed: bath, massage/wash up, diaper change, pjs, storytime. 7pm swaddle, lie in bed and breastfeed 'til drowsy. Give lovey and transfer to crib. 8:30-9pm BG wakes up. 9pm diaper change, 2 minute sleepy dance and cuddle, swaddle, storytime with dad, lie in bed and breastfeed 'til drowsy. Give lovey and transfer to crib.

I've also added a flannel blanket to warm up the crib for her. I wrap it over the crib mattress and tuck the sides down. It is a much warmer transition for her than the cold all cotton sheets that we have on the mattress. When it's particularly cold, I'll lift up the bottom part, tuck her in with the swaddle in it and tuck the sides in for safety.

I also keep one of the closet lights on like a nightlight for her. It seems to freak her out when the room is pitch black.

So far, this method has allowed her to go to sleep without protest or a cryfest. I'm not sure if it's the best method but it is working for us and she sleeps until 7am and if she wakes up before she happily stays in the crib entertaining herself until we come get her for breakfast at 7.