Looking back on our first few months with Katie, I honestly don't know how I can do it all over again, with the addition of a boisterous toddler to look after.
Firstly, we stayed in the hospital an extra day, so we could get breastfeeding help. (For all the good it did.) We also were totally freaked out about bringing this beautiful, tiny, helpless being home with us. We didn't know what to do with her. This time around, I don't want to stay an extra minute! I hope they will release me early so I can go home to my sweet Katie. I've even fleetingly considered giving birth at home. (The hubs is firmly against it.) Darn, that would be so convenient. But messy! Ew.
Secondly, breastfeeding. I wanted to breastfeed Katie, but Katie had other ideas. We saw four different lactation consultants and countless nurses, but she just wouldn't do it. We made trips to the hospital, 45 minutes each way, several times a week for lactation support. We fed her breast milk through a tiny tube taped to one of our fingers for three weeks, a job which required both of us for every feeding. Finally one of the LC's told us to feed her with a bottle - against my better judgment - so we could get some sleep. I didn't know it at the time, but that would be the end of our breastfeeding relationship. But I'm tenacious. I kept trying to get her to latch until she was about 5 months old, and then I finally gave up. I did not, however, give up pumping. I pumped and fed her breast milk in a bottle until she was just over a year.
I had to feed Katie some formula, too, because I couldn't produce enough milk. I was on all sorts of weird herbal supplements with lovely names like Goat's Rue and Fenugreek (which Anthony calls Fen-U-Reek, because of a very embarrassing side effect.) And I was pumping 8 times a day. That may sound do-able if you've never done it, but I tell you, it is grueling. It pretty much means you have to pump every 2 hours, plus once in the middle of the night. I'd do 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 6pm and right before bed, then around 2 or 3 am when Katie would wake up. Seriously. And what are you supposed to do with your baby during all those times, as a stay-at-home-mom all alone? Goodness - I had lots of tricks. Bouncy seat, Jumperoo, songs, games, special toys...wow. When she was old enough to eat solids, Anthony would feed her in her high chair during the 6pm pump, and that was a big help. And, around that same time, I got a hands-free pumping bra and I pumped in the car while driving! WOW, can you say INSANE?
So how am I supposed to do all that again, with Katie The Toddler as well? Plus not sleeping? One thing's for sure, I have a Plan B if Baby 2 won't latch. I was so overwhelmed when Katie was born, and I was in denial about having to pump every 2 hours. I think if I'd understood about pumping properly in those first few weeks, I would have built up a good supply and could have eventually dropped to 4-5 pumps a day like so many other moms.
But other than that, I don't know how I'm going to manage. How do you other mommies do it? I know a mom with 3 boys, ages 8 months, 2 and 3 1/2...how on earth does she do it? (I'm gonna ask her next time I see her.) Another mom has 2 boys 16 months apart. I already asked her; she said the first was a fantastic sleeper. Great. Some other parents I know have kids who are 6+ years apart, so their older kid is in school part of the day. That sounds lovely, but with my "advanced maternal age," we don't have the luxury of time. (That is the actual medical term for being a mommy at age 36. WTH!)
Any suggestions welcome!!!
|Wouldn't I be a great big sister? Think of the mischief I could get into if I had an accomplice!!|