Some major decisions have been made in the last 24 hours- the first big one is that I have decided to dry up.
It was a heart wrenching decision, but my older sister and I spent some quality time together yesterday, and after attempting to see if baby would even try to latch, it became very clear that I needed to change my tactics. Amber helped me to see that there is no point in killing myself to make the pumping thing work, and with the sneaky suspicion that baby has a milk intolerance/allergy, I really just didn't think I could take on one more thing...that one more thing being completely cutting milk out of my diet on top of pumping every 2 to 3 hours to try to remotely keep up with her demands...
Some people may read this and think it sounds selfish- believe me, that is part of why it was such a hard decision to come to. The reality is that a baby needs a functioning, happy mom and with all the sleep deprivation caused by needing to pump, topped off with her fussy and gassy nature and never wanting to be put down at night, I knew that functioning and happy would not be an option if I continued on the path I was on.
Most people have been incredibly supportive. I must say how touched I am with the willingness of my friends and family to share their experiences with me and sending me the ultimate message of- its going to be okay!
I will say that things are already beginning to look up slightly. My older sister (the nurse) said that it may take 2-4 days before we would know if the formula switch was going to help anything, but I have to say that baby slept much better last night and had a lot less gas pain. She still had her moments of discomfort, but it was much easier to get her to calm down and stay asleep when I laid her down- this meant that I managed to get a little more sleep (not much, but it was more than I've gotten yet.) I still had to pump twice last night, but I am only pumping enough to take the edge off and am trying to wait as long as possible before pumping anything off. Amber says that this will gradually deplete my milk supply and help me to dry up with less discomfort...here's hoping it works soon. It will be nice to sleep until baby decides to wake me up. I think that has been the most frustrating part. She is fast asleep, and I wake up to pump, I'll just be finished and trying to lay down to go back to sleep and she wakes up....like I said, last night was better but I was definitely on the path to going crazy.
Its hard to believe that baby is almost 3 weeks old. 3 weeks ago yesterday I went into labor in the middle of the afternoon and denied being in labor for the next 48 hours...in fact more than that since I denied it until my midwife sent me up to the hospital that fateful Wednesday 3 weeks ago...
She has changed so much in just the last 3 weeks, and I almost feel guilty that I waited so long to make my decision to just move to a sensitive formulated formula all together- I wonder if I would have been able to enjoy her more if I hadn't been killing myself for the first 2 weeks trying to make breast feeding work...I guess we live and learn. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, it won't matter too much...most first time moms are just as sleep deprived and dazed and confused as I was and they somehow manage to get through the haze and back into the light...so why not me?
I found myself thinking today that I needed to try to get on a schedule. I desperately want to feel normal again, I desperately want to get out of my pajamas, feel awake enough to be a functioning member of society, and take my baby out into the world to show off how beautiful she is...however, I am beginning to realize I need to be more gentle with myself and stop being so hard on myself. You see, I have definitely been beating myself up for not being able to just bounce back and be normal- but with the help of wonderful friends who have been there- I am realizing that its okay to be in this limbo state...I still maintain my desire to be normal, but from here on out I vow not to let myself get too bogged down by the fact that I just can't seem to make my day work to get everything done that needs to be done.
Of course, as I type this I look around and my bedroom- or should I say the war zone that used to be my bedroom. Baby has peed and pooped on the sheets during diaper changes...have I washed them yet? Nope...I have probably a good 6 loads of laundry that need to be done, but have I started it yet today? Nope....
I didn't do much yesterday, but I did manage to bathe Faith (with some help from my awesome sister who came and picked us up to come to her house yesterday. A change of scenery actually did me a world of good- thanks Amber!) and I took a shower. I also did my hair, got dressed and taught a voice lesson...small victories, right?
The list goes on....
Today I managed to let baby have some tummy time today and I played with her, I also managed to get a bath in, which I'm actually supposed to be doing twice a day to help my stitches heal (yeah, it hasn't really happened, but its a nice dream...LOL) ...I suppose that is an accomplishment!
I probably could be doing laundry instead of typing a blog, but the reality is that this is therapeutic for me. I can clear my head and reassure myself that I'm doing okay. It helps me to sit and think of words to put with my thoughts and emotions and then to organize them.
Maybe, just maybe, if I tried to make some kind of schedule for myself and for baby it would possibly slightly work...
However, until we get the sleeping when its night time thing down, on top of making sure this new formula works, maybe it would be better to make goals...small attainable goals until I know I'm ready to make an actual schedule.
Wish me luck- I will let you know how it goes. Until next time, let me assure you that I am hopeful. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just need to tie a knot in the end of my rope and hang on until I manage to make it to the light. I am acutely aware that things could be so much worse than they are. I feel so blessed to have a healthy baby, to have wonderful friends who are willing to help me and give advice, and wonderful family that helps where they can. I am also blessed with an amazing husband who works so hard to make sure that things are okay for us.
Here's to onward and upward!
Hugs and Hope until next time darlings!