Thursday, March 4, 2010

Partly Cloudy

The tough days have been blessedly few and far between with Miss M., but yesterday was hard. She cried all day on Tuesday, unless I walked around with her and held her straight up, so she could look over my shoulder. Every time I put her down, she would have an absolute meltdown. It was okay for one day, but when it started back up at 5am on Wednesday morning, it started to wear on me. I laid her down to change her diaper at one point, and she broken down into horrible sobs and piercing screams, and threw her arms up at me. It was just terrible. Thankfully, the crying lessened as the day went on yesterday, but it just broke my heart and made me feel like crap. I just didn't know what to do with her. My house isn't big enough to do laps all day, the weather is too cold to take her outside. . .thank god for the car. I actually started to worry that there was something seriously wrong with her. But, she quieted down as we drove around doing errands, and was quite smiley and calm when we stopped to visit with family in the afternoon. I may have to spend today driving to Florida, if she's like that again. I have no clue what brought it on, but I hope it resolves in short order.

I also busted out the breat pump yesterday (pun intended), which was also really hard for me. I have been putting off pumping. It's such an emotional thing for me. I can't explain it entirely, but I think it's that for the last year, since her conception, I have been the one who has sheltered and nurtured Miss M. My body has literally harbored her and provided 100% of her nutrition. She's never gotten a drop of sustenance from anyone but me. For these many monnths, it's been just her and I, as I obsessed over gaining enough weight and eating all the right foods. I guess I feel like I'm giving up a little bit of our connection by pumping. It feels cold and sterile and foreign and horrible to me. It is utterly unlike our warm, connected moments together as I feed her from my body.

I have thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding. Everyone I know told me how hard they found it, and gave up on it almost immediatley. I have exactly one friend who stuck with breastfeeding. It was quite a surprise for me to see how easily it went for us from the very beginning, and how much I love it. I treasure our time together, and it makes me so sad to lose even a bit of that. I had to break down and pump, though, because we have theater tickets for this weekend, and we will be leaving Miss M. with a sitter for 4-5 hours. And really, it was just time. I've barely left the house since she was born, and it will be healthy for me to get out more, and for T. to have some bonding time alone with his daughter.

The silver lining, of course, is that this means that daddy was finally able to feed the baby. I cried as I took photos of the two of them, both because I was so sad to see her eat from a bottle, and because it really was beautiful to see him feed his daughter for the first time. She took to the bottle immediately and sucked the whole thing down very quickly (it was just an ounce), which was a relief. It seems that bottle feeding will go okay.

Pumping itself was eh. I'm not going to like it much. My milk doesn't seem to come particularly easily. I pumped one breast for 10 minutes twice today, and got an ounce each time. I was disappointed that it was so little, but given how big she is at this point, and the fact today was my first day pumping, my breastfeeding book suggests that isn't so bad. I was sort of expecting that I'd pump for 10 minutes and end up with five ounces or something, but apparently that was naive of me to think that. I don't really like how it feels, but I supposed I'll get used to it. I can't imagine using a manual pump to express. It would take me forever. I unfortunately don't have those breasts that spray breastmilk. I'm envious of those women, as I imagine that pumping is easy and fast for them. I'm hoping that pumping frequently will build my supply a little, and make things flow a little more freely and easily.

I splurged and bought the Medela Freestyle Pump. It weighs nothing and lets you pump both sides at once hands-free. It's super easy to use, and if I have to have a pump, I think this is the one to have. It came with a little insulated pack, ice pack and bottles to use, as well as a decent tote bag for all of it, so it will be handy when I have to go back to work.

Hopefully, today will be sunnier.


Serendipity said...

I'm a bit of a spurter but it really doesn't make pumping easier, it does fill a little faster during let down becaue it's so forceful but it still takess a good 10 minues to pump 5 ounces after 7 weeks of pumping numerous times daily.

It takes a while to get the hang of it but you will soon be able to relax at the pump and when you relax your letdown comes quicker and flows faster... it just takes a while to get over the mooing sound the pump makes :D

I'm considering getting the freestyle (I have the swing atm), good to hear it's easy to use.

~Jess said...

I had the medela pump in style in the tote bag...I liked it. One of the things to keep in mind is that a bump "sucks" less efficiently than a baby does...thus why you get a bit less.

Luke Richard said...

BFing was always very easy for us too and I consider us very lucky! I HATE pumping but, its something I must do! I am SO jealous of your freestyle!! I have a pump in style but I SO want a freestyle :) Oh, miss M might be in a growth spurt and a little more hungry, which might be causing her to be more fussy?

Jamie said...

I remember thinking some type of invention that was similar to my chest so I could strap Skeeter to it and let him hang there on his chest would be so handy. Though safety experts would probably frown on it.

Pumping gets easier, but I quickly got to the point where I really hated it. I'm incredibly grateful but it is still no fun.

I would recommend giving Miss M a bottle on a regular basis. Skeeter took to a bottle so well the first time we introduced him to it, I was worried about it at all so we only gave him one if I wasn't available to BF him. By the time I went back to work, he had decided he didn't like the bottle after all and I was in full on panic mode. If I could go back and change one thing I would have given him bottles more often.