Who Needs Sleep?

I should be asleep. Catch and Charlotte have both been out for over an hour. Charlotte would only sleep while attached to me last night, which meant lousy, choppy sleep on the lousy, lumpy couch. I should be dead to the world tonight.  I’m not though, which just goes to show you that your body actually does adjust to getting a ridiculously insignificant amount of sleep.

I blame breastfeeding. If I pump and give her a bottle, I can usually get a 3 hour stretch from her. If I nurse her instead (because seriously–who wants to pump in the middle of the night?) I get two hours if I’m lucky. Once 3 or 4 am hits, its usually every hour from there. 

I hear from so many moms that at this age, their baby was only waking once or was sleeping through the night, and it fills me with total anxiety. 

You know what I’ve gone through to be able to breastfeed. I take 29 pills every day to be able to produce what I do now. That’s crazy, right? If you saw my pill stash in the kitchen, you’d think I was seriously ill. So this no-sleep business just has me questioning my boobs and their abilities.  I am totally insecure. 

The thing is that she always seems satisfied after she eats. She usually falls asleep or pops off on her own after a reasonable time and she usually isn’t interested in the other side. Her timing is the same during the day. I can’t even get to/from the grocery store in time for her to eat. 

So is this sleep business her? Or is it my boobs?

I have no clue. 

Why is breastfeeding so damn hard for me? I am so sick of worrying about my boobs. Charlotte seems healthy and happy, but she is constantly on the boob. It is wearing me out. (And then I feel guilty for being worn out because I WANTED THIS SO BADLY.)

Sigh

I remember thinking I couldn’t make it 4 weeks with breastfeeding. Then my goal was 2 months. Then 3. Then 4. Now I think I might just be able to make it a year, but we have got to figure this out. Mommy needs sleep. Hell, mommy needs to be able to cook a meal from start to finish. 

Advertisements

Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my blog friends in the US today. 

This year, I am obviously insanely grateful for our little girl, but I am also grateful for all of you. You’ve all made these last few years so much more. Thank you for the love and support you’ve shown me and my little family. 

Charlotte has a great big “thank you” smile for you!

  

Back to Work

Here I sit on the opposite side of maternity leave. Let me tell you something… it sucks. It sucks just as much as I thought it would.

Today is Charlotte’s second day with her nanny. She’ll be with my parents on Mondays, a nanny Tues-Thurs, and then I’m working from home on Fridays. My boss isn’t thrilled about this development, but oh well. Everyone else has spent time working from home post-baby, and I’m not going to be the exception just because my boss is a chauvinist jerk.

Anyway, the nanny is lovely. She’s actually my aunt’s stepdaughter so she’s extended family. I had never met her until a month ago, but the rest of my family knows her well and they all rave about how intelligent and kind she is. I feel like that’s quite the compliment when being described by someone—intelligent and kind. We should all strive to be associated with descriptors like that. She doesn’t have much experience around babies (her experience is with toddlers), so there’s a learning curve, but I think she’s going to be okay.

The plan is that Charlotte will have this childcare arrangement until Catch’s summer vacation and then she’ll spend the summer with Catch. When August rolls around, she’ll start daycare. This gives me PLENTY of time to find a daycare I like. Charlotte will be a year old by then, so I’ll be more comfortable with her ability to hold her own.

Being back to work means being topless and pumping in a giant closet that they converted to a lactation room. So far, pumping has gone well. On Monday, I pumped every 2 hours and I managed to pump exactly what she ate while I was gone. Win.

IMG_2142

Yesterday, the power was out in our building (crazy wind) so I had to pump in the dark by the light of a pocket flashlight that our receptionist had at her desk. I walked out of the closet with my shirt on inside out. Whoops. At least I was covered.

If you have any advice for pumping at work, I’m all ears. Eyes. Whatever. Do you use bags or bottles? Do you rinse your flanges or not? How frequently do you pump and for how long?

Meanwhile, my perfectly adorable baby is busy being perfectly adorable. Tummy time has been improving, and she actually rolled over for Catch last week. I haven’t seen her do it yet myself, but I’m sure it won’t be long.

Look how long she’s getting! It’s crazy!

IMG_2160

What am I in for?

IMG_1792

I go back to work in about 10 days. I don’t even have words for how I feel about leaving my baby girl. I honestly don’t think I’m cut out to be a stay at home mom, but at the same time, leaving her at this stage just feels a thousand kinds of wrong. I just wish I could have a bit more time.

To make matters worse, Charlotte has reached a point where she just wants me. No one else can calm her when she’s upset. It’s honestly pretty awful. If she’s screaming, it will just continue to escalate until she’s in my arms. I was in denial about it for a few weeks, insisting it was just coincidence that she’d settle when I took her, but it’s pretty clear at this point that it’s not a coincidence.

I’m so afraid of what’s going to happen when I leave her all day. I’m afraid she’s going to cry all day and think I’ve abandoned her. I’m afraid her caregivers (my parents on Mondays and a nanny Tuesdays-Thursdays) are going to be frustrated and tell me they can’t handle it.

And as much as that frightens me, I’m equally afraid of how it’s going to feel when she adjusts to my absence (because I know she will) and it’s no longer my touch that calms her.

I’ve been lucky to add a few extra weeks onto the 12 (ish) weeks of leave that we get in California, but it just doesn’t feel right that I have to leave her at this age. We’re still figuring out this whole mommies and baby relationship. We’re still figuring out breastfeeding (more on that later). We’re still figuring out how to have a life AND a baby. It’s just too soon.

I know I’m being a bit of a drama queen about this. I know that people leave their babies and go to work every day. The three of us will adjust to this new change with some time. I think the hardest part is just that this is it. This is the last time in her entire life that I will have this much time with her. From here on out, it will be a day here and there and a week maybe a few times a year. That’s just so sad to me. At least Catch will be with her during school breaks. That’s something, I suppose.

I was talking to my lactation consultant the other day, and she told me that this is why she changed careers. She had been involved in production at Disney, but after she had her (IVF) twins, she realized she needed more time with them so she started on a new path. That really speaks to me.

My company has changed over the fifteen years that I’ve worked there. We’ve gone from being small and family-oriented with a female-heavy executive team to large, corporate, and male-dominated. I know that when I return to my position having now added “mom” to my resume, that change is going to be more evident than ever. I really worry about how it’s going to be for me when I have to duck into the closet to pump every few hours or the first time I balk at working late or traveling.

These are all things that only time can provide answers (or relief) for. In the meantime, I am trying my hardest to put it out of my mind and enjoy every last moment of these ten days with my beautiful girl. (It would help if she would PLEASE SLEEP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.)