What Am I Doing Wrong?

Charlotte was 5 weeks old yesterday. By this point, I figured I’d be pretty okay with leaving the house. Or having visitors. Or being any sort of a social human being in general. 

I mean, new moms do that, right? They leave the house? They visit with friends? I see lots of you doing it, so I don’t think I’m just imagining things. 

But HOW? How do you do it?

I am so overwhelmed. Between the baby and the pumping schedule and the fussiness and everything… I’m just sort of at a loss. And I’m tired. Really, really tired. 

When I imagined maternity leave, I pictured myself going for midday coffee with the baby napping in her carrier or having lunch with friends. I never imagined that I’d be struggling with my milk supply and chained to my pump. I never imagined that leaving the house would give me such horrible anxiety that I wanted back home again the minute I left. And anxiety aside, I am truly, bone-achingly exhausted. Night time is an endless string of pumping, nursing, and bottle feeding. I have even more anxiety when the sun goes down than I do when I leave the house. 

Something’s gotta give. That much I know. Every week I tell myself I’m going to do better and every week I don’t. 

It’s not that I haven’t left the house at all, but I can count my excursions alone with baby on one hand. I would love to just start by taking some walks during the day, but it was 108 here today, so anything without air conditioning is out of the question. 

And I’m tired of trying to schedule visitors in windows between pumping. It’s so awkward. “You stayed longer than I expected, so please excuse me for a bit while I go chain myself to a nipple vacuum.”

How am I supposed to function? My life revolves around my boobs. It’s awful. I LOVE nursing my baby. I adore it. But I also miss feeling even remotely human. 

It’s so discouraging. All of this work and all of these pills for an ounce and a half every 3 hours. Sometimes I get two. One beautiful night, I got three. But mostly it’s just an ounce and a half. She can nurse until I am totally empty and she’ll still need a bottle after. It complicates things. 

Please excuse my whining. This baby is my world. I adore every inch of her. But I do miss feeling like something other than a broken milk machine. I miss feeling like me. 

Cute baby pictures to distract from my complaining:

   

    
    
   

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60 thoughts on “What Am I Doing Wrong?

  1. I know this doesn’t help at all but you have both created such a beautiful little girl. I adore your photos.
    If it helps, some days I can’t even get my life together and I don’t have a small child or pumping to worry about.
    I hope things get easier soon and you start feeling like yourself ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Ok, let me just spitball a few things here: I know you said you love nursing, BUT do you love it enough to deal with the stress it’s causing you? I don’t really buy into the breast is best stuff. I think it’s great if it works for you, but I feel like it’s causing you undue stress and taking away from this happy time with your sweet girl! I’m not trying to tell you to quit, I just don’t want you to look back and regret anything AT ALL, so if you feel like it’s causing you more hurt than happiness, then I just want to tell you that no one who matters would judge you for quitting, and your baby girl isn’t going to know in a few weeks the difference if you were to quit, and she certainly won’t know in a year, or ten, or twenty. Again, I hope you don’t find me discouraging. IF you want to keep going I totally want you to. I just also want you to know that it is more than okay to stop if you want. MORE THAN OKAY.

  3. There’s no way the ladies who go out all the time have any kind of breastfeeding struggles. It truly does just make everything so much more difficult. I totally get the struggle of being chained to the pump. It sucks, and is so exhausting. The never ending cycle of nurse, pump, repeat every couple of hours makes time slip away from you every single day.

  4. You are not doing anything wrong. 5 weeks is really (as long as it feels) a very short amount of time. The night time anxiety is really common and does get better as you start to be able to sleep in more than 2 hour chunks (I got a 4 hour last night and swear I woke up a new woman!) You are doing everything you can to feed you baby how you want to and that it is okay, absolutely fine if you decide to scale back on the pumping and plan to feed then supplement.
    As far as leaving the house, are you happy staying home? As long as its not feeling like you’re needing to get out but can’t give yourself a break, it’s Ok to want to hole up. In some cultures mom’s are expected to stay in bed/close to bed for a month after giving birth. I only left the house when I had at least one competent back up (my wife or my mom) for probably 8 weeks. You’re in the 4th trimester. It often shifts more dramatically as you approach 3 months, but it starts to get really good around 6 weeks with intentional smiling.

    • I’m glad to hear that the night anxiety is common. It drives me nuts. I’m fine until the sun goes down and then poof–I’m a mess. As far as leaving the house goes, honestly, I’d be pretty content at this point to just hole up and be left alone, but our family and friends won’t leave us alone. I have one friend who wants to visit and when I asked her to keep it to 2 hours, she threw a fit and said that wasn’t good enough. People really don’t seem to get it and it shocks me!

      • I remember getting up in church when I was maybe 6 or 7 weeks post partum for candles of joy and concern and saying something along the lines of ‘I’m thankful for the fact of the sun coming up eventually’. I think the technically term for it (yes, there’s a technical term! ) is sun downing.
        I’m so sorry to hear about your friend who just doesn’t get it. I was mostly lucky – my mother was my bulldog and when people would stay longer than about 20 or 30 minutes would politely show them the door – but I had a few issues with family trying to sooth the baby when all she wanted was to nurse. It’s hard when people think they somehow have a right to your kid. I just wouldn’t answer the door, especially if they knocked and woke up the baby. But I can be one to hold a grudge so I’m not sure I’d recommend it!

  5. Just wrote you a loooong comment and lost it. Anyway, I was saying that new parenting is extremely difficult especially with the feeding difficulties you’ve had and that getting out of the house is really hard. It takes me forever just to pack the diaper bag and get Gia to the car. Support groups have really helped me. Do you have any other friends who are new moms? I know you’ve had a lot of visitors. I’ve also just heard that it takes time and things will get easier. Charlotte is beautiful and so sweet. Sending you a hug.

    • I think the key is just to give myself more time. Hopefully things will start to click. Unfortunately, none of our closest friends have kids at all and they’re pretty clueless. I’ll have to write about it, but one of them even threw a fit after I mentioned that I’m trying to keep visits to two hours! Part of the reason why the only person I’m happy to see these days (aside from Catch) is the UPS guy with an Amazon box. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That’s funny, I have ordered so much stuff from Amazon in the third trimester and since having the baby! There’s so much stuff you need. I can’t imagine someone throwing a fit when I wanted to keep a visit to two hours and I can’t imagine having a visitor for longer than that! That is ridiculous. It’s so hard to have Constant visitors when you have a baby. I hope this weekend you got to have some time to yourself! Gia says hi to Charlotte.

  6. Holy cow. She’s so beautiful.

    Listen honey, the hardest choices and the best choices are often the same.

    I know you’d walk on broken glass for Charlotte, but you do also need to have a life. She’s an addition to the life you & Catch already had…and to me it sounds like you really do wanna get out there!

    If I haven’t already told you today, you’re a wonderful Mum and you’re doing a fantastic job.

    • I do need to have a life! I think I just need a few more weeks before I decide to throw in the towel. I promised myself that I wouldn’t make a decision about feeding until my head is a bit more clear. It’s getting there.

      • You’re amazing. What you’re doing for her is incredible. And also terrific fodder for when she’s a teen. “I was chained to a machine just to keep you alive and you won’t even clean your room!”

  7. I can tell you now, I don’t have half the struggles that you have and I don’t like leaving the house. For me, I hate having to prepare the bottles then having to estimate how many I’ll need for the time in out. Where will I heat them? Am I going somewhere with hot water or a microwave? Will she settle in the car? Can I walk wherever I’m going? Do I have everything in the nappy bag? Is she dressed appropriately?
    Add to that the struggles of having to pump so often as you do, and it would be a nightmare!
    But you know what? 5 weeks is such a young age. Every time I think about going out with a baby and all the struggles, I have to force myself to remember her age. There is a reason why majority of mums don’t go out (at least regularly) until the baby is older. Babies this age are hard. Not only are we tired and stressed (not to mention if we have other issues like anxiety!), but they require so much attention and stuff. Literally, you can’t walk out of the house without absolutely everything, because if you’re out and they need it, you’re screwed.
    I completely understand your anxiety. It’s only now that I’ve done it a handful of times that I feel semi-confident to leave the house. At the start though, I wouldn’t leave without my mum. Then After a few times I needed to have at least one other person with me. Now, I’m okay on my own. I still stress though.

    In regards to breastfeeding and pumping- I don’t want this to come across as rude, so please don’t take it that way, I don’t mean it maliciously. But is all the pumping and stress and anxiety that is related to it worth it? You have made such an amazing effort and I can guarantee you that 99% of people in your situation would have given up by now. Giving up isn’t the worst thing in the world though. Your beautiful little girl has had five amazing weeks worth of breastmilk, and that’s more than a lot of babies get! I know it’s not ideal and I don’t want to discourage you, but perhaps if you stopped, it would take a weight off of your shoulders? Or maybe even cutting down? I know that by cutting down you risk your supply drying up completely, but I just want to offer suggestions that may help you feel better.
    I think you are a superstar for going as long as you have, and by giving up you’re not in any way a failure. If I were you, I would be so so so proud of myself for sticking it out this long. And like I said, 5 weeks of breastmilk is great! I guess you could keep going with the breastfeeding/topping up with a bottle and see how things go, or cutting the pumping down to every second feed or something like that. At least that will give you some leeway if you want to get out of the house!
    Either way, whatever you decide, you should be so proud mama!
    Thinking of you! Xx
    By the way, Charlotte is getting cuter with every picture I see! What a sweetheart!

    • You’re so sweet. I know you’ve had some struggles of your own, so I’m sure you can relate to some of this. I am honestly considering throwing in the towel on the breastfeeding, but i want my head to be a bit more clear before I make and big decisions. Maybe another couple of weeks. I figure I’ve made it this long–a bit more time won’t kill me!

  8. I agree with so many of the kind words others before me have offered you so I won’t repeat then but I will say two things – one facile and one from the bottom of my heart.

    First, Charlotte is a beam of pure light. I love your photos. Everything you and Catch did and are doing right shines through in your beautiful daughter.

    Second, you are the best mom your daughter could ask for. No matter how or what you feed her. You are also human. I send you so much compassion and invite you to do the same for yourself. Whatever you do, you’re still the best mom for Charlotte and exactly what she needs.

    In short: I believe in you. So does your daughter.

  9. I lied. Three things. I am lying here unable to go back to sleep (woke up anxious baby wasn’t breathing as I do every night. Several times. And then to nurse.) thinking about you. I do NOT want to advocate a position on what you should do about feeding your baby breastmilk or formula but I wanted to offer you this food for thought.

    First, I had to give baby A a bottle after every time he nursed for almost his first two months too. Then after every second feeding. Only very recently did that change. It is a lot of work and a lot to lug around. I feel you there.

    Second, what changed it for me was getting my hands on Domperidone. I kept thinking you can’t get that but I know a friend and fellow blogger (My Life As A Case Study, also on word.press) who got a prescription in the U.S. and had it filled through a New Zealand pharmacy. It allowed her to increase supply and breastfeed exclusively as well. Just a thought… Caution, there could be some risk in taking Domperidone other than as prescribed if you have a preexisting heart condition – Google that if you are able to get a prescription (it’s the reason you can’t get the Rx filled where you live – stupid in my view but so it is).

    For whatever it is worth I had to make peace with myself using formula and had recognized that if I couldn’t increase my supply with Domperidone (Fenugreek etc was not doing enough though I still take it and think it does help with the Domperidone) I would likely have to give up nursing. I cried. Heaps. I’m so grateful I have the drugs to keep me nursing. But I get how hard on the heart juggling and having to use formula or think about switching to it exclusively is.

    • I’m so glad to hear from someone with experience with domperidone! I’ve had two lactation consultants suggest getting it through that New Zealand pharmacy and this week I’ve been thinking a lot about doing it. How often are you taking it? I had spoken with my doctor about Reglan, but she wasn’t too keen on the idea and I can understand her concern. The more I read, the more I think I might just want to try Dom before I really consider throwing in the towel.

      • I take it every six hours. In all honesty I would likely not be nursing without it, my supply was just not getting up. Now my wee guy does just fine with no supplementation anymore. Remember you have to stay hydrated when on it. I really hope if you give it a try that it helps you and if not that you can make peace with throwing in the towel on BFing. You deserve peace of mind, good mama!

      • I ordered it last night, but it won’t arrive for a few weeks. The LC told me to take 20 mg every 6 hours, so we’ll see how it goes. If this doesn’t work, I will at least be able to tell myself that I tried everything. I think it’ll be easier on me that way.

      • 20 mg is two tablets. That’s a lot. I am pretty sure it will work at that dosage. I’m on half that and once I was able to nurse my little googly bear exclusively he started growing heaps. I hover between 40 and 50 mg per day and can make enough milk to feed him but none to freeze so at 80 mg I think you will see a big change for the better. And if not you can rest knowing you did give it everything possible. Of course you can rest before that too; your mental health is key here! As for it taking a few weeks, both of my friends in the U.S. who ordered from NZ got it within a week. I hope hope hope that happens in your case too.

      • 21 days is forever! Ugh. I hope that’s them being conservative. I was recently told 3 weeks to ship to The Netherlands but both parcels sent separate times from different postal outlets arrived with 2-3 days. So much for estimates! Fingers crossed. Please let me know how you make out. You’ve been on my mind often lately and I truly hope you’re feeling more settled soon.

      • By the way, I took a double dose each evening for a few days to kick up my supply as evenings were hell for us too. So instead of taking one at 5 pm and one at 1 am for example I took two at 5 or 6 pm and then didn’t take my next one until 5 or 6 am. That worked for me when single dosing still left wee one hungry overnight and now I can do the usual dose every 6 hours and we fare alright though I don’t make enough to pump and freeze yet as the little guy has been growing like mad for the past few weeks.

  10. Love those baby pics! Five weeks is so early, it’s not enough time to get your shit together yet ๐Ÿ™‚
    The pumping thing gets better too when you can stretch it out more hours. I spent my first few weeks googling “it’s ok to stop breast feeding” while pumping. Nearly five months later I’m still at it and things are so much easier ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. There’s a reason “standard” maternity leave is 6-8 weeks (I mean other than “because the U.S. sucks”). That’s the window in which things become, well, not easy, but easier. You start to find rhythms around then. Beyond the pump motor, even. Like you, I overestimated my ability to be out and about while on leave–and I already had a kid! I figured that since I went back to work after two weeks with her, I’d be up and at ’em with this one too but as it turns out, this postpartum thing is no joke. So go easy on yourself.

    In terms of my going out, though, I got a hand pump and a car adapter for the electric one. The former is not as powerful as the electronic one, of course, but it feels slightly more conducive to freedom. There’s also the Freestyle, which can go hands-free but I have yet to try it. Also Freemies? I know a doctor who swears by them. But that becomes a question of how much you want to invest in this endeavor. As others have said, no one will judge you for cutting back if you want to. Except yourself? Seriously, though, parenting is all about making the choices that are right for your particular situation. Which is in no way constant. What’s right now won’t always be what’s right down the road. To answer the question in your post title, you are NOT doing anything wrong. You are in survival mode. It is not conducive to socialization. Not until socialization becomes crucial to survival. Take baby steps. Walk around the block, go to the store, drop something off at a friend’s house, etc. Little errands will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And don’t be afraid to kick people out if they’ve overstayed their welcome. Give them ten, five, two minute warnings. Heck, that’ll be good practice for when Charlotte’s a toddler. She is beautiful by the way. And so loved. You can do this. It does get better. I swear. My wife and so many of her mom group friends assured me that 6 weeks was a turning point and they were right. Not a magical panacea but a turning point. I hope that happens soon for you. I’m at thirteen weeks now (and back to work) and it feels…okay. Even with all the pumping. Hang in there, lady, and do what you need to do!

    • I just wanted to add to this that I have freemies, and they’re okay. I wouldn’t use them on the regular though because I always get less with them and I worry they would affect your supply adversely. They’re good for when I need to be doing something else with my hands though!

    • This is exactly the sort of ray of hope I needed! Ultimately, I know I can’t sustain my current level of pumping and the associated insanity, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. I did just get a new pump this week (the spectra s1) and it has a rechargeable battery, so at least the pump is more portable now. I have actually never heard of freemies! I will have to look into them. Thank you for all of the great advice and the words of encouragement. I know you’ve had your own battle with all of this and it helps to see you surviving it all!

      • I hear great things about the spectra; I hope it comes through for you.

        Also, in regards to your comments above about the friend who was offended by a two hour limit, I wanted to note that it is REALLY hard to understand if you’re not the one going through it. I am just now starting to feel bad for judging my friends who disappeared for six months after their first baby five years ago so harshly (ugh, pardon the grammar on that). Even when I was a first time parent, I didn’t get it–my wife made postpartum
        look way easier than I now know it actually was. I went out in short bursts in those early weeks for my own sanity but longer excursions were driven by my four year old, not me! I hate to say “your friend will only get it if/when she has kids herself” but…yeah. It’s hard to be the first in your peer group. Best thing about being the second one to carry? The amazing village of already parents we built from our first!

  12. Oh sweetie. ๐Ÿ˜” I understand the pumping thing. I’ve exclusively pumped for six months now and lemme tell you, those early months were so hard. Be kind to yourself. Your little love has gotten breastmilk for 5 weeks because of your dedication. That’s so much more than some babies get! Be proud. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. In fact, it would be better for your daughter to have a more mentally and emotionally sound mother and formula than breastmilk and a mom who’s going to pieces on a daily basis. ๐Ÿ’œ

    As for the emotions…do you have your 6w postpartum checkup coming up? They do a check for PPD and I think you should tell your OB how you’re feeling. I had nighttime anxiety too but it faded by 3w. You might have a bit of PPD/PPA. And that’s okay! You also just might need some sleep. The screening they do will help you more. ๐Ÿ’œ

    Also, dude, I never wanted to leave the house. Or my baby. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If staying home with your family is making you happy, then stay that way! If you want to get out though and feel like you can’t, then again…maybe PPD/PPA. Joey is 6mos and I still hate leaving him. Oh and by the way, he was born in winter so he never went outside with me. Then spring just lasted a week before summer and heat and humidity and sunshine came about and I couldn’t have him outside. Sooooo don’t feel too bad if your babe isn’t getting that much fresh air.

    I’m here if you ever need to talk. About anxiety, about pumping, about any of it. 5w is not very far in, sweetie. It’s still all new. Your hormones are still regulating. Hang tough. You got this. You’re doing great.

    Oh and also I cannot tell you enough to avoid the Freemies. No offense to the person who recommended them but I’ve heard from so many that if you have a sketchy supply to begin with, they won’t help. I am also a big “hands-on” pumper (I compress my breasts while pumping to express more milk) and you can’t do that with the Freemies. Just a word of warning! I have a friend who EPs like me and she lost over 2oz when she went to Freemies. For her, having to hold the flanges was worth being able to exclusively breastmilk-feed her baby. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

    Anyway. I’ve rambled. I’m sorry. I’m here. You’re doing great. Hang in there. Lemme know if you ever need to talk. Seriously. ๐Ÿ’–

    P.S. She is beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜

  13. It’s nothing you’re doing wrong that’s causing you to have supply issues, it’s just how it is for some women. Don’t blame yourself. I hope the new pump helps.

    • I promise I’m not beating myself up over the supply thing. Not anymore, anyway. It’s frustrating, but it’s just the way it is. I don’t even mind the formula anymore. I just wish we could be a bit more portable! I think we can be, though. I just need to work on the logistics

  14. Goodness, mamaโ€ฆ I have totally been here. Not only did I have to fortify all of my breast milk, my supply isn’t quite stellar. I was pumping around-the-clock for two months โ€“ and I was pretty miserable the whole time.

    My doctors kept telling me that I needed to get out and have a support network, but that was really hard when I was pumping every two hours. I want appointment I got a little defensive about it, and realized my mental health is just as important as getting nutrition to my kid.

    I realized that what I liked most about breast-feeding was spending time with Chick, not so much the breastmilk itself. So I’ve decided to breast-feed him at the beginning of each meal, then follow up with a bottle of formula. I pump two times a day and feed him when I get (which isn’t too much.) I am much more sane, no longer dread night time, and I’m actually enjoying my baby.

    I’m not suggesting this is the path you take โ€“ merely pointing out that there are lots of ways to feed your kid. Like all things parenting, we have to figure out what’s best for us.

    • I love your approach. I hope I can find a similar balance. I’m slowly starting to work this out in my head. The more days that pass, the easier it is to look at things a bit more objectively.

    • Yes! My new pump can run off of a rechargeable battery, so it feels a bit more portable now. I had lunch with my mom last week and was able to pump in her office without too much fuss. (Her office is just her and my cousin, so I don’t mind pumping there.)

  15. Oh you are not doing anything wrong. 2 months was the point where I started to feel mildly human. Before that everyone who came over had to accept I’d be unshowered, the house messy, and they’d see my boobs. And that’s without the pump business. What you see on the Internet is not most people’s reality.

    • This is me to a T at the moment! Unshowered, there are dog hair dust balls being blown across the wood floors by the fan, and I’m still wearing yesterday’s tank top and last night’s pajama bottoms. And honestly, the baby is asleep and I could totally do something to remedy one of those things, but I’d rather sit here and snuggle her!

  16. I have a good supply and I’m still having to bottle feed and pump like crazy to keep up with their needs and my wife’s lack of nursing commitment. So I feel you. I sorry your struggling with this so much. I don’t know how so many of you have the energy and time to post after a baby, I can’t seem to do it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ we all have our ups and downs and our own learning curve as new mommas.

  17. Dude. I could have written this entry. Except for the fact that Simon won’t even latch on so I’m exclusively bottle feeding breastmilk and formula. I wish I had advice but I don’t because I’m at the same place (maybe crazier mentally). Plus, I’m only almost two weeks post-partum so what do I know? I can be around to talk to if you need to talk to someone going through the same shit. โค This is hard, but I have a feeling we're going to make it through just fine!

    • I so wish you weren’t having these struggles. It sucks! How’s Simon doing with bottles? Charlotte was having the worst gas, so I packed away about $75 worth of Tommee Tippee bottles and switched to Dr Brown’s. What a difference. It’s crazy.

      • Whoa, really? What kind of Dr. Brown’s? Are there different kinds? lol Right now, Simon is doing pretty well with bottles. His gas is insane. He farts all day and night. We’re using Munchkin Latch bottles. I wonder if we should switch. GAH this is crazy! I’m seeing one last lactation consultant on Thursday and after that I’m going to have to give up the trying to breast feed to keep my sanity ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • We’re using the wide mouth dr Brown’s natural flow. If you stop trying to nurse and you want to try a different bottle, you could probably just do the regular instead of the wide mouth though–they’re more common.

        As far as the breastfeeding goes, definitely do what keeps you sane. It’s more important to enjoy Simon right now. I get just as much satisfaction from snuggling my sleeping baby and kissing her head incessantly as I do from nursing her!

  18. You are working SO hard! I’m sorry that things aren’t going easily, but you definitely don’t need to shame yourself about not being able to go out. I thought maternity leave would be more dreamy too. . . And while I loved it, it was mostly bleary eyed and awkward sleep and pajamas and cold coffee and booooobs. I also think that if the pleasure you get from nursing is being eclipsed by the stress of pumping, that it is really 100% ok to say fuck you to the pump and regain your humanity. You could very likely still nurse her for comfort occasionally, and get the bonding/snuggling/lovely part without all the pain. In any case, I am sending so much peace and sleep and time and if you need late night solidarity, Ansel will be up chewing on my nipples tonight like he has all day, and I’ll be thinking of you and Charlotte.

    • Your poor nipples! Teething is totally a part of breastfeeding that just seems terrifying. As for maternity leave, I just have to remind myself that it’s not a vacation. That helps a bit. Nursing-wise, we decided last night at dinner that I’m going to try domperidone as a last ditch effort. If that fails, I’m throwing in the towel. I wouldn’t even bother with the drugs if this kid didn’t get so damn excited about boobs. It is the cutest thing ever. She’ll take a bottle just fine, but she will take a boob with such enthusiasm!

      • I think investigating dom is a really great step, and a good, clear boundary for your sanity! There were women in my bf group who took it with a lot of success! I hate that it is such a weird political thing in the U.S., since reglan is WAY more dangerous. But, that’s the way we roll here! I really hope it can work for you and you can just enjoy her boob excitement without it being tempered by pumping misery!

      • The Dom thing really makes no sense to me. When I emailed my OB about Reglan, she really didn’t want me to take it. She said she’d give it to me if I really wanted her to, but I could tell she wasn’t thrilled with the idea. The more I researched it, the more I understood.

  19. Every mother’s body is different and it is different with each baby. With my first just getting out of bed was tough for over 6 weeks. With my second there was no mess after 3 days and I was fully able to move houses at 8 days post birth. Both were ‘normal vaginal no medication births’. Not being a gad-about-town girl is not abnormal at this stage. (US return to work post birth policies were made by men who don’t give birth and are ignorant at best.) Chill and stay home and do not be pressured by anyone. Especially by people who have not birthed a child. Parenting is so much easier when you have never had a child and that remains true forever.
    The important thing about food and babies is that you feed her when she is hungry. Breast or US Formula made with clean water are both good. Coke or Mountain Dew are not part of the plan. Your daughter is a cutie. Think of all the adults you know, ~you cannot tell who had breast or who had formula… now if they had Mountain Dew………..

  20. My friend recently had a baby and it struck me the other day that she was only 5 weeks postpartum and she was at a late night wedding with the baby in tow and going out to county fairs over an hour away. At 5 weeks pp I’m pretty sure I was still sore and had gross stuff coming out of my body. We barely left the house before he was 8 weeks (we were a little concerned about going out pre-vaccines though). I think struggling with breastfeeding makes a big difference though. My friend is breastfeeding just fine, so she feeds the baby and then has like 3-4 hours before the next feed. I’d feed the baby from my breast, feed him from a bottle so he actually got fed, pump to try to tell my body to make milk, wash all my supplies, have a few minutes to myself then back to that circuit again. It’s exhausting. It gets so so so so much better.

  21. It makes me sad that you’re having such a tough time. But, for reals, we were the same way, and there were 2 of us home for over a month! We didn’t leave the house at ALL for over 2 months (with the exception of the Super Bowl at my parents house for a few hours when the boys were 3 weeks old), but otherwise, were were holed up in the house. We were both pumping, and both nursing, and both exhausted, and two freaking babies, and we were going stir crazy! But that’s what we had to do, until we really established some type of routine and normalcy. The truth is, right now, it’s not important to do anything else other than to take care of the both of you. It’s a crappy routine (nurse, burn, baby naps, pump, wash pieces, eat something maybe, and back to square one!), but it won’t last forever. It’ll get better. I promise. 108 degrees is brutal, so maybe at night, after you feed and pump, leave the pieces in the sink (maybe even buy a replacement set so you can throw one in the dishwasher) and go for a walk. 10 minutes, just for some sanity and fresh air. After the first 3 months, it gets a bit easier, and hopefully your supply will be up, and Charlotte will be sleeping longer, and life will be, you know, normal again, mostly, kinda, sorta. Thinking of you friend, and reassuring you that what you feel is normal, and it’s totally ok!

  22. You have tonnes of advice here from those who can actually give advice, so instead I am going to say, your little girl is absolutely adorable!! I love every single photo you share! Clearly, even though you may feel like you are struggling she is doing well, which tells me you are doing a great job! I hope things get easier soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Pingback: The End of the Road: Some Thoughts on Breastfeeding and Postpartum Care | Hound Mamas

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