The bunny, the bunny, whoa, I love the bunny... think VeggieTales
Shortly after I gave birth to my son, I started sleeping with a stuffed animal again. Or I should say, I started sleeping with a stuffed animal regularly. And it's even the cat's bunny. She will seek out the bunny and kneed it with her paws while purring with contentment. We have an enormous, 3 month old child size Easter Bunny rabbit that has become a third occupant of our bed. Earlier this week, I thought I could give the bunny up, but no....
Shortly after Quint was born, I would hug the bunny so I wouldn't wake up panicked thinking "where is the baby?!" Lately I've stopped having the "where is the baby" dream but have now graduated on to the "gotta feed the baby" dream. The other night, I sort of woke up with this chant running through my head: "gotta feed the baby, gotta feed the baby, gotta feed the baby..." I even found the rabbit, tried to get it to latch on (tricky when your mouth is stitched on), then realized that of course the "baby" can't latch on because I'm not in the nursing rocking chair! I tuck the rabbit in my arm the way I frequently carry Quint lately - mostly sitting upright in the crook of my arm, firmly holding his thigh. I get over to the bedroom door where I realize that the rabbit is a rabbit and not necessary to feed the baby. I toss the rabbit over to my side of the bed. I put my hand on the bedroom door and stop to listen. There is no baby crying. I don't gotta feed the baby. Wait, am I even engorged? Do I need to pump? Is that what caused this dream? No. None of that. Go to bed.
There have been several times that I've been comforted by the fact that the "baby" was right there with us in the bed. Meaning the bunny. And then as I wake up, I'm really glad we've never had the baby sleep in the bed with us. Very frequently, one of us is laying completely on top of the bunny. Or just it's head. There have been several times that I've tried to determine if the "baby's" head was at the head of the bed only to determine that the "baby" had a fuzzy, pointed snout and therefore could be hugged upside down. Recently, my husband said that when he came to bed, while I was still completely asleep, I held up the bunny to show him that I had it. As in, I'm completely unconscious and launch the bunny into the air, the full length of my arm, then tuck it back in beside me and roll back over.
Last night was the second night that I slept badly because I was trying to do something with the baby in my sleep and having the stuffed bunny would have helped me accomplish it and just go back to sleep. I couldn't find the bunny in my sleep last night. It was cleverly hidden right beside my pillow. I gotta do better.
Random rant about my typically wonderful husband: Quint woke up at 12:30 last night wanting another feeding. We did not expect him to be awake until about 4am, but there it is. My husband wakes me up to ask me if I would like him to feed the baby. The point of him feeding the baby is for me to be able to remain asleep. I have told him several times lately that I'm pumping enough milk that whenever he thinks he needs to feed the baby and I'm asleep or not present, just feed the baby! If it makes me short on milk for the next day, I'll deal with it and I super duper really promise to not be mad at Hubby for using the precious pumped milk.
Also last night, he wanted to try to recognize Quint's midnight bottle habits so we could prepare better and "make a plan". Even in my semi-conscious state last night, I managed to tell him that Quint hasn't been much of a pattern keeper lately. The consistency has been that at some point during the night, he will sleep for 6 or 7 hours straight. There has been no pattern as to whether that stretch starts at 9pm or 1am. Breast milk can sit out for up to 6 hours. Because we can't predict when the 6 hour stretch will be, I don't want to set out a bottle that might go bad while we sleep. Hubby doesn't want to hold a screaming child while a bottle heats (about 5 minutes). Hubby needs to get over this. Hubby needs to hold the crying baby where I can't hear him while the bottle heats. Hubby does not ever need to wake me up to ask me if I want him to feed Quint. If Quint is going bonkers just on the other side of an uninsulated wall and I'm managing to sleep through it, I really, seriously, NEED TO SLEEP.
Perhaps I can figure out some way to convey this to Hubby during the day today when we're not sleep deprived with a crying baby nearby. Anybody got any choice phrases that might help me out here? Those of you who know my husband know how much he loves to "make a policy". For the first time in our marriage, I too want to make a policy on this. Typically policies only come back to beat me over the head and in the last year, I have refused to make any policies. Now here I am WANTING to make a policy and he's unsure. Go figure.
The grandparents have arrived and begun their grandchild adoration!
Let the festivities begin! Of course we had to play cards. It turns out that playing cards are black, white, and red which are great colors to hold a 3 month old's attention! So Quint played cards with us...sort of...
It was very cute anyway. He's been smiley and cute and only a little fussy when we couldn't figure out that he needed a nap. Or to go to bed. Stupid parents forgetting their kid's bedtime. Jeez.
Night before last, I was up 3 times with our little boy. Once to pump, then 2 hours later to feed, then 3 hours later to feed. And I hadn't put my book down until 11pm. In the Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Jamie and Claire arrived at Jamie's family estate and saw his sister for the first time in years. It's a good part in the book! Anyway, I was pretty tired last night.
I was sitting there nursing little Quint at about 8:20pm and watching my night owl husband obviously getting ready for bed. He was setting his alarm and I asked him what he was doing. Duh. "I's gonna lay down." "I wanna lay down," I whine. "Articulate what you really want." "How about you burp him and sing him to sleep and we crash out together." "Deal!"
I get done nursing and hand him over. I race around doing little chores and getting things ready for bed and mid-night pumping. I get a whole lot done and wind up sitting down in bed slightly out of breath because of my racing around. My heart rate has mostly slowed by the time I ask Hubs if he's ready for the light to go out. Yup! The light goes out. I tell him it's only 8:57pm he chuckles, and then snores. I start to wonder if that last little adrenaline rush of chores will keep me awake. That was my last conscious thought. It was a beautiful thing!
Small fry woke up hungry at 2:20 and again at 6am, but I was so well rested, that I'd been awake for 5 minutes before I heard him cry. He got a bath this morning after he proved that he needed it. He wanted to sleep again after that, so I swaddled him back up and put him back down. Not a peep - straight to sleep. I got some neatening done this morning! Of course, I didn't have to be at work until an hour and 15 minutes past when I normally do, so that helped. I went in to wake Quint up to take him to daycare and patted his chest like I always do when I come fetch him (usually crying) from the crib. He was still asleep, but smiled really big. Aaawwwwww how cute!
But we were in bed with the lights out at 8:57pm and extremely glad of it. Even my night owl husband! That's what time we used to leave to go to the pub on a Saturday night. Oh how times have changed.
My little bundle of joy is 3 months old today! Woohoo! Quint weighs probably 14 pounds, is nursing up a storm, and now likes to sit up on my lap and look around. He's not sitting up by himself, of course, but he prefers a sitting position now. He has realized that he has control over his hands and feet and therefore plays with his floor gym a good bit. The other day, he grabbed a plastic ring that was attached to a giggling octopus. He couldn't figure out how to release his grasp. He would try to shake it off and get distracted by the giggling octopus. He was confused, I was amused, and then he was interacting with the octopus. It's a beautiful thing!
Here's some very recent cute photos:
My cute little flirt!
The stunned clown. Never fear - his feet were MUCH closer to the camera than his head. He does not have feet that are larger than his noggin.
Those three magic words happened last night...for the first time: THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! We put our little boy down for bed at 10pm and he didn't wake up wanting breakfast until 6:08 this morning!!! That's eight, count 'em, EIGHT hours of sleep I've got today! I remember what this feels like...it's just been 5 or 6 months since I felt this rested. And after I nursed him this morning, he was mostly pretty happy until I dropped him off at daycare. He was a little grumpy then, but Priscilla snuggled him and he calmed down for at least as long as it took me to get out the door.
Also, yesterday I pumped 16 ounces! It's amazing what drinking nearly a gallon of water will do for you. This morning, I had 4 bottles of 4 ounces each lined up on my kitchen counter. Plus the bottle in the fridge that we didn't use during the night last night. It's a beautiful thing.
Here's a picture of my little boy saying "check out my guns".
I've had two "first days" recently and it's time I updated the world. Or whoever reads this.
Last Wednesday, I returned to work while my sister kept my little boy at home. I cried some on my way to work but had it done by the time I got to work. I was amazed at how very little I got done during those 3 days of work. The first day was spent mostly visiting with folks who stopped by my desk after the CFO announced that I was back. I started going through my emails, I pumped mid-morning, tried to figure out what didn't get done while I was out, what got kind of done, and what did get done. Thursday I finally figured out a plan of attack on how to check to make sure everything will get done to my satisfaction. At lunch on Wednesday, I went home to nurse my baby boy. It was really good to see him and he snuggled in to me while he nursed. Very satisfying. And I cried some more then. But because my sister was watching him at home, I could visualize what he was doing at any given time, and that helped me a ton. I didn't worry about him. She was loving on him, playing with him, and conversing with him. My sister has determined that he's the magic 8 ball of responses. She would ask him what he would like or what he thought of something and inevitably, he would respond with an emotive grunt or coo. It was pretty funny!
After three days of me going to work and pumping milk for Quint, my milk production had already dropped off some. I had been pumping enough to freeze nearly 4 ounces a day - a whole extra bottle. And I had been pumping enough for a midnight feeding for weeks. So that's about 8 ounces I had been pumping a day. My Saturday, I was only making an ounce or two extra and didn't have enough for a midnight feeding. Saturday night, it seemed like he wasn't getting enough to eat and that freaked me out. Looking back, maybe he was just crying because he wanted to hang out at the buffet even after he had enough to eat. But by 1am, I was exhausted, frazzled, couldn't get him to stay down, and felt like I wasn't making enough to milk to be a good mom. Why is it that after about 11pm, I'm more likely to view low milk production as a moral failing? Oh yeah, that would be a lack of sleep!
Monday, yesterday, was his first day at daycare. Only a week before he was to start daycare, the place we really wanted him to go (Priscilla's) miraculously had an opening for an infant! We were so relieved! A lady and her daughter keep 8 kids of every age in their basement. She's a big bosom black lady which seems like the height of comfort for a baby. He's one of only two babies. Monday morning, I arrived at the daycare crying, which Priscilla understood and she was ready with tissues. Usually, Quint is asleep again within 30 minutes of his early morning feeding, so we swaddled him hoping he would go back to sleep. He was fussing a little and I really didn't want to leave the first day with him upset. She said to hand him to her and she snuggled him up to her and patted and rocked him. By the time we finished with instructions and a check, he had that sleepy eyes rolled back in his head and limp necked look about him. It was wonderful. It made leaving sooooo much easier. Not that it was easy, but still.
Then I got to work and did managed to get some things done. But I managed to send out 63 emails saying "here's your September report" and attached the August report. (smack forehead). I got emails back pointing out the error before I went to pump for the morning. And I only got about 3 ounces pumped. Last Wednesday, I managed to get 7 ounces at the same time of day. So I start worrying about my milk production again. I resend the 63 emails with the correct reports attached saying that they haven't gotten the reports in 3 months because I've been on maternity leave. I'll be catching up all the reports hopefully this week. Thankfully, by the end of the day, I got about 20 emails back saying congratulations, we understand, send a picture of your baby, and about 5 also saying we know it's hard now, but it gets a little easier. So that was better. I went to Priscilla's at 1pm and fed him in person which was good for us both. And now I can visualize his environment better. He probably should have had 3 bottles yesterday with Priscilla, but I had asked her not to feed him after 4pm so I could feed him myself at 5pm. Turns out, he cried from 4 until 5pm wanting his dinner. So she'll probably feed him about 3pm today.
Which means that she'll feed him 3 bottles perhaps on a regular basis. So that's 12 ounces I need to pump on a regular basis to keep up. She only fed him two yesterday, and I did manage to pump about 9 ounces so I pumped just as much as he ate yesterday. So my extreme worrying about it yesterday wasn't really warranted, but that doesn't mean I won't. I talked to a lactation consultant yesterday and she gave me a bunch of tips for boosting milk production. And apparently a lot of women's milk production goes down around 3 months. Quint will be 3 months old next week. Last night, I pumped a whole lot during the evening. And I've got to get it through my head that even if I only get an ounce and a half at every pumping after noon, those added up to enough yesterday.
So my biggest worry about returning to work and sending Quint to daycare is my milk production. That could be a whole lot worse. I'm not worried about his safety or happiness.
I'm mildly worried about that no one did big chunks of my job while I was out and very few people noticed enough to find out why those things weren't being done. Is my work viewed as necessary by my department? Did they realize that they could split up my duties among three people and do alright? How secure is my job?
Like I needed something extra to worry about, right?
Last night, I sat around pumping and holding my little boy's arm and crying a little while I bounced him in the bouncy seat. He slept well until 10pm. After that...was another story.... He was apparently really, really hungry. Which reinforced my milk production worry. Great!