There will be tears
I was prepared for lots of tears from Baby. Babies cry, right? My own tears were less expected.
Within the past 24 hours, I’ve cried no fewer than six times. And I’m not a big crier. But there comes a point where sleep deprivation and troubles with breastfeeding meet and the waterworks start to flow.
Here’s the issue: like a lot of mothers, I really want to breastfeed. Pre-birth, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to because I know plenty of mums who just couldn’t. Not their fault at all. But I was breastfed and I believe it’s good for Baby, so it’s something I really wanted to do.
But now I understand quite clearly why it’s such an emotionally charged area because here I am, only 12 days into it, and I’m ready to tear my hair out.
My nipples are sore (not cracked or bleeding, just sore) from suckling and breast pumping; the sweet baby I had last week has been replaced by a Milk Vampire; and I’ve changed my name by deed poll to “Breasty Dumpling”.
Let’s start with the effing breast pump. I’m having a hate/hate relationship with this thing. We went for the Avent electric pump because we saw it at the Baby Show and someone had told me it was good. I think my expectations were slightly off with how much milk could be extracted with a breast pump. I had mental pictures of full bottles (four ounces). The first time I used it, I managed to get about one ounce of milk out. It looked so measly sloshing around in the bottle, but someone on Twitter told me that’s a good amount. I haven’t been able to reach the dizzying heights of an ounce since. The most is usually from half an ounce to just under an ounce – and that’s after holding that pump to my bosom for at least half an hour.
So now I’ve spent £225 on a new pump by Medela that has great reviews and that I can wear hands free. I love the third picture on the website. Do you think this model regrets doing this gig? I would. But at least it means that I can actually blog while breast pumping at the same time. Let me tell you, I’ve written some pretty amazing blog posts in my head while feeding the Milk Vampire and pumping the Breasty Dumplings. Unfortunately for you, they never made it into Word and thus WordPress, and now they’ve been forgotten. Sorry.
Yesterday, I was a pumping queen. I decided that I was going to get on top of it and start building up a stockpile, especially after one of my bottles of milk from the day before had been knocked over in the fridge, which instigated my first cry. So I pumped and pumped. I managed three ounces total. But then at the end of the day, it was clear that Baby hadn’t had enough to drink because she was crying, head butting and sucking anything that would fit in her mouth, including James’ nose. It was also the hottest day of the year so far and I think she may have been a little dehydrated. So in one go, all three ounces that I had managed to extract went down her gullet. Obviously, that’s great because I want her to have enough to eat, but it also prompted a frank conversation between James and me about topping up with formula, which I definitely don’t want to do. And I cried again.
And then nighttime came. I told James to sleep downstairs because he would be in the Studio today for viewings. It would also be my first day without him to help. Gulp. But I knew that he would need some rest in order to be at his best this weekend, so I faced the Milk Vampire alone last night.
There were more tears, from both of us. One of the breastfeeding issues that I am facing with Baby is that she takes a long time to take a (full?) feed, often one hour to an hour and a half. When you are feeding every three hours, that’s a long time to be writing blog posts in your head and checking Facebook on your iPhone every two seconds to see if anybody has posted anything interesting (they haven’t). The other issue is that she falls asleep while feeding (thus why it takes so long). I keep trying to wake her up, but the Milk Vampire does not awaken easily. Holy water and garlic have absolutely no effect.
So last night was fun. Can’t wait for tonight.
James is using the opportunity of doing viewings today to talk to our clients about breastfeeding. After his first viewing with a lovely couple that also had issues, he’s already left a message with a highly recommended breastfeeding counsellor. Our client said it was the best £100 she ever spent. She also said that something happens around the two-week mark where everything you thought you learned becomes obsolete. I guess that’s where we’re at right now.
I better go now. The Milk Vampire will be unfurling her little bat wings soon. Right now, she’s sleeping next to me looking very peaceful and cute while we listen to the Musical Magic station. I just need to hold that picture in my head at three in the morning when she’s not so cute. Wish me luck. Advice gladly received.