Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First days

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!

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