Sunday, August 17, 2008

grandparent visit!

My parents are coming into town Tuesday night to see their grandchildren (Lucy and Olsen). The house is a small mess, but hopefully they will not mind too much. I hope that we will be able to show them the area a little bit, but I honestly have not really gone out much since Olsen's been born.

I'm not going to lie - this newborn stage has been pretty challenging for me. It's difficult to know exactly what is bothering Olsen when he cries - I'm always convinced that he's sick. I miss sleeping and it's difficult to not be able to just get up and go, especially when I feel permanently hooked to my pump*. It's also weird to not be able to get things done. I'm a little worried about school starting but hopefully I can do it. Every time I look at him, I know that it is all worth it, and this newborn stage will go by so fast that I will be sad when it's over.

*sooooo, we still are not nursing. But he has been solely getting breastmilk because I am now an "exclusive pumper." But it's so time-consuming that sometimes I want to quit. But I really want him to have breastmilk because it's supposed to be the best, and I want him to have the best, especially with his hip dysplasia. (although pumped BM is really second best to getting it from the source.) There are other reasons too, like I don't like the way formula smells or tastes; I've heard that formula poop is worse than BM poop; and BM is free.

Maybe one day he will nurse. I've heard some people say that after 6 weeks (one said after 4 months!) that their baby just "got it" and started nursing. I would love to be able to nurse because it is so convenient - you don't have to get anything ready or wash anything and it's the perfect temperature. Plus, this pumping takes up almost 3 hours of my day if I include the washing of everything. I suppose I can do other things while pumping (like write this post), but I hate feeling so worried that I'm going to dry up if I don't pump at least every three hours. I have heard that after about 3 months, my milk supply will stabilize and I can start pumping less until I'm only pumping four times a day, so that will be nice.

The other worrisome thing about pumping is that the pump is not as effective at pulling out the milk as a baby is, so some people can end up decreasing their supply when they just pump. I have started taking fenugreek, this herb that people say can increase your milk supply. It's side effect is to leave me with a maple syrup aroma, which is not my favorite perfume. My ultimate goal is for him to have BM for a year with my minimum goal of 6 months. I hope I can do it.

I suppose it will not be the worst thing in the world if I end up having to supplement with formula. After all, I was a formula baby and I feel like I am relatively healthy. But it has taken me awhile to feel okay with that possibility. I cried a lot those first two weeks when all I did was try and get Olsen to nurse. I suppose if we were in the wild, he would have eventually gotten it because there would have been no other option. But since we're not in the wild, I wasn't willing to have him go hungry and so I pumped and gave him a bottle (probably not the choice that La Leche League people would have chosen). We did try other supplementary methods like the syringe, but it was so time-consuming that we couldn't really keep that up. Oh well, I think it should work out one way or the other...

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