The thing I’ve learned about newborns is that they eat all the time. And really, I haven’t learned much. Most of what I’ve “learned” comes from the multiple Facebook groups I’m now a part of. Breastfeeding Moms, Breastfeeding and Pumping Moms, Exclusively Pumping Moms, MOMents, Cloth Diaper Science, BabyWise Mamas, etc. See what I mean? You come home with a baby and have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing.
But I have learned that they need to eat every 3-4ish hours according to BabyWise and my breastfeeding group, so we basically follow eat, wake, sleep (also EWS in BabyWise). I gave up on nursing pretty quickly. Jackson would latch but it would take 10-15 minutes and then he never seemed satisfied. I had no idea how much he was getting from the boob, so I gave up. I never thought I would enjoy breastfeeding, honestly, and I was right. It felt weird. It felt unnatural. I found myself dreading feeding times because it would take 45 minutes or longer to feed him, and then I’d still feel lost as to whether or not he was hungry. So I’ve gone to exclusively pumping, which means I pump literally every 3-4 hours. It should be every 3 hours for the first 3 months, but I need some sanity. Sometimes I extend it. And then I leak milk all over myself, but who cares? Milk is everywhere in this house. In the bed, on the couch, on the floor… I still hate pumping. 100% HATE it! I feel like my time should be spent with Jon and Jackson or being productive and getting schoolwork done or the number of other things I want to finish in 2 hour increments, but I am constantly pumping. Feed Jackson a bottle for 20 minutes, pump for 20 minutes. And that means I have to stay plugged into a wall (although I need to get a car charger for my pump because that could be a game changer). It means when family comes over, I go sit in Jackson’s room and pump alone. But breast milk is free and Jon has actually stated numerous times he really hopes I can stick out the pumping so that he can have breast milk, because breast milk is better. I tend to pump 1-1.5 extra bottles every time I do (my freezer stash is pretty big already), so I’m hoping if I just pump for the first 3 months which is crucial for your supply anyway, then I can seriously drop down how many times I pump per day. The worst part is that even if Jackson does start sleeping longer, I still have to wake up at night to pump. It’s important not to drop the middle of the night pump before 3 months because I need to regulate my supply now… It’s a hassle.
And Jackson is gassy. And miserable. Despite his discomfort, he still is a great baby. It just means I need to cuddle him to sleep in my bed in the mornings and lay him down in his rock n’ play to keep him elevated a bit while I get the last little bit of sleep after Jon leaves for work. Sometimes I need to rock him to sleep during the day. He needs a little extra love and comfort from mama, which is cute, but also super time consuming when I have work to get done.
Other than that, I feel like I’m on house arrest. Jon and I did venture out for coffee this past weekend while my parents babysat! It was fantastic and it was a beautiful day! We went on a walk one evening. I made it two miles, even with the incision. We ventured out to Whole Foods the other day and to Target yesterday. But I’m still very hesitant to go anywhere alone and Jackson was not a fan of his baby carrier at all, so I need to try it again around the house and get him accustomed to it. I’m trying to get out with Jon and Jackson as much as possible so we can get used to it, but I’m so nervous for that time he starts crying while I’m out and I have to unstrap him from his car seat and figure out what’s wrong! I do have my 3 week OB appointment next Wednesday that I’ll be venturing to alone, so that’ll be interesting… And maybe even good for me.
The emotions are definitely much more calm now. I don’t even know when I cried last. I feel like I’m getting used to this life, although I still really miss my old life and can’t wait to be able to work out again or cut out all these pumping sessions. I know these hardships will be replaced with new ones (like instead of rocking Jackson to sleep, he’ll want to be awake and playing while I’m trying to work on grad school). I miss leaving the house and grocery shopping and hanging out with friends. I even miss working and am looking forward to picking up a few hours here and there once I’m fully healed up.
Alrighty, just wanted to make a quick update of the things that literally consume my life right now. I’m off to do some more school stuff since I have a meeting with my group tonight for a huge group project.