Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3 Weeks

Today we've hit the 3 week mark. It gets better with every week, although I don't know if I would say that time is flying by. When I step back, it does not seem like I've been on maternity leave for an entire month already. However on a day by day basis time seems to move slowly given that my days consist of feeding, diaper changing, daytime television, general household upkeep and the occasional errand to the outside world. I'm not complaining. This change is temporary and well worth it for Miss Jillian. But admittedly I'm missing the intellectual stimulation from work that watching Regis and Kelly or the View just cannot provide.

The theme of the past week has been trying to let go of guilt and enjoy Jillian. I had prepared myself for depression, sadness and hormonal shifts after having a baby. What I had not expected was an enormous amount of guilt and inadequacy, which I think were heightened by the problems with breastfeeding. As I mentioned in my last post, we had problems breastfeeding after Jillian's NICU stay, and while I loved providing my baby with breast milk I hated pumping. I found the pressure to pump regularly enough to maintain my supply overwhelming. Late night pumpings took time away from what precious little sleep I was getting. Or when I would finally find a free minute to pump, it seemed like Jillian would start fussing. Soon I found myself resenting both pumping and Jillian. So in the end, I decided to give it up. I'm not proud of the decision and it certainly came with many tears. But in the end, I decided that it was more important for me to relax and enjoy my time with Jillian, and the past couple days have confirmed that choice to be a good one for me. (Please if you have anything negative to say about my decision keep it to yourself. I know this is a sensitive issue for people, but I hope people can respect my choice enough to keep their opinions to themselves.)

The sleep situation at night has been getting better thanks to the swing. Last night I actually got 4 (yes 4!) hours of uninterrupted sleep. With today's FedEx delivery of the Miracle Blanket, I'm hopeful that such sleep trends will continue. Also at C's recommendation my Moby Wrap arrived today, and I've been testing the contraption out. I'm finding that online shopping is a necessity with a newborn. How did mom's survive before the internet?

Jillian is starting to get fussy so I'd better go. I'm curious to see what week 4 brings. The first few weeks have been so much about trial and error in terms of figuring out what does and doesn't work. I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of it all, but still constantly nervous that this whole experiment is going to explode in my face.


Jennifer said...

I'm a firm believer that we need to do what we CAN handle...and your switch to stop pumping is a decision that I had to make too, and had difficulty with also, but found was best for me and Jules. He may not be getting the BEST milk out there (my milk), but he's getting proper nutrients thru his formula and enjoying time with a less aggrevated and sleep-deprived mommy! Congrats to you on being good to both you and Jillian and making a tough decision!

She's so adorable! Great photo!!!

Jewels said...

Oh I just love pictures of her, she tickles my heart she's so beautiful.

Funny how you can plan plans' but not results. That's just life as a mother.
All the things I said "I will never Do" Or "I will be sure to do" when I have a kid - all changed when I actually had a kid.

Welcome again to motherhood, we other mom's understand more than you know.
And I'm just tickled I get to be here for you.

s.e. said...

I wish you could step back read your post without all the emotion attached. You first shared an beautiful portrait of a child that is your very own. She still looks like you guys! You are making decisions, purchases and figuring out on your own how to raise Jillian. And I know you are doing an amazing job!

So no more guilt, o.k.?

jenn said...

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks already! She is absolutely beautiful! I am glad you are letting go of the guilt- you need to do waht is right for you & your family. Don't worry about any advice or admonishment anyone else sends your way. If it doesn't work for you- no big deal. There are 3 million ways to parent- the only right one is the right one for you (and Jillian of course!)

Meghan said...

Anyone that critiques YOUR decision on what to feed YOUR child can go shove it. Parenting is hard enough without all of the mommy guilt other people put on us. As long as you are doing what is best for you and Jillian, you're doing a great job! And from the look of that picture, it looks like she's thriving and happy!!

C said...

Look at that sweet and happy little face -- proof positive that you are an AWESOME mama. It's all normal, you are in no way inadequate. Hindsight is 20/20, I'm sure I'll be a different mom for my second (please, God, a second one someday!). But in the meantime, we do the best we can as we figure things out. And a warning -- just when you have this stage nailed, the game changes and you are clueless again. LOL

I understand how hard the decision to go to formula was for you, and I'm glad you are letting go of the guilt, because there should be none. In doing my BF reading, I found a list of the exceptions to the rule that breast is best. Among a list of physical problems that would risk the health of mom or baby, the final reason was when it is taking too much of a toll on the mommy. Formula is certainly okay (my brother and I grew up healthy and well adjusted on it!), and if it means you can be a happier woman and mom, then you made the right choice for both of you.

Can't wait to hear what you think of the Moby! Be careful, or the next thing you know you'll be trekking up to Attached to Baby to feed your carrier addiction too... :) Just make sure you tell me so I can go with you! LOL

Poltzie said...

The worst is behind you, it won't explode in your face!
I can only imagine how exhausting it must have been to be pumping so much. I would have given it up too.
Congrats on the four hours, she will most likely be a good sleeper if she is going that long already!!

Jendeis said...

I think everyone else has already said this, but I will repeat it. You've got to do what's best for you and for your baby. You are able to be a better mother now that you've stopped the frustrating pumping, so I say go with it. Let go of the guilt and just love that adorable baby!

Ann said...

You have to do what you have to do to keep your sanity. Staying sane is an accomplishment in itself!

So much of your post I could have written myself. I, too, miss the intellectual stimulation. I've considered seeking out some work during my maternity, but then I have a bad night and I think, maybe not.

Monica Fayth said...

hey, you've gotta do what you've gotta do. and she is absolutely adorable.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

What a cutie she is! I think you made the right decision about feeding because it is what is making your time with Jillian all the more enjoyable--and in the end that is what is most important. I hope week 4 brings even more sleep and fun! ((HUGS))