Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time flies!

Wow, it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post, where has the time gone? I'll tell you where it's gone... breastfeeding, burping, diaper changing, laundry, repeat. Seriously, taking care of little Aysia can get very repetitive unless I plan some diversions!!

First, on the breastfeeding... much harder than I thought. I had mastitis on one breast, which was very painful and needed a doc appt and antibiotics to clear up. Then I promptly got a blocked duct on the other breast, even more painful - you need to massage it and continue breastfeeding for it to go away, when even a light touch hurts. Then 2 days later, another blocked duct. I think the problem is that my little girl is a lazy eater. She sits on my breasts for at least an hour for each feeding. She sucks, sleeps, sucks, sleeps... I continually try to arouse her, burp her, whatever I can do to keep her focused on the task at hand, but she likes to take her time. And sometimes, it doesn't feel like she's fully depleted the milk, and that can lead to infection and blocked ducts. So what I should be doing is pumping the remainder out after each feeding, but here's the problem - she feeds every 2 hours max during the day (every 3-4 at night, thankfully!). During that 2 hours, I first change her diaper (5-10 mins, depending if the clothes need to be changed, too), feed her (60 mins average), and burp her twice (5 mins). That leaves me about 45 minutes between each feeding. I like to try to give her some tummy time for playing, or sing or read to her. I also may have to pee, or shower, or grab a bite to eat, never mind do the laundry, get thank you notes done, check emails, return calls, and a whole list of other things that need tending to. And that's if Aysia naps, which isn't always the case between each feeding. So if I pumped, that would take about 20 mins form start to finish, leaving me almost no time for Aysia or for anything else. I'm lucky if I get to pump once or twice a day!

I think the lack of time has been the hardest thing so far. It's difficult when people come to visit, and I can hardly focus on them (I'm reminded of a scene from a SATC episode where Miranda is breastfeeding her son while Carrie is over, and she can't pay attention to the conversation because she's trying to get Brady to latch). It's difficult when I go out to do errands, as most places to not have a good spot to breastfeed (thank goodness for BRU and their mother's room). And it's difficult when I have so many things to do around the house, but can never get to them.

Thankfully, my mom has been coming over 2-3 times per week, and that really helps me out. She is so good with Aysia - she talks to her, reads and sings to her, plays with her... it's really great to see. I feel completely comfortable with her watching her 2 days a week when I return to work. My MIL, I'm not as comfortable with. She's a little older than my mom, and has much less energy and agility. Plus, it's been so long since she's cared for an infant, I think she just doesn't know what to do. She's been over a few times when DH was off of work, and he showed her a lot of things, but I need to have her over on a regular basis when it's just me, so I can coach her and teach her what to do, and get more comfortable with her caring for Aysia. She is supposed to watch her one day a week, so I need to do everything I can to get her up to speed. She's coming over on Thursday, and I think I'm going to have her come over one day a week ongoing. And maybe even when my mom is here, too, as they get along well, and maybe my mom can help her out, too.

The most frustrating thing has been the endless paperwork and fighting about my disability pay, benefit elections, etc. Turns out my disability plan only allows 6 weeks for a c-section as a standard practice. What???? One of the main reasons I had them cut me up was to get the extra two weeks of disability!! I had the doc fax over a form for the extra 2 weeks - denied. They wanted medical records. Doc visit notes, etc. So I had to get them to fax that over, and after several calls, the 8 weeks was approved. Then, since I live in NJ, I have to fill out all kinds of paperwork and have my doc fill out more paperwork to get the NJ disability payments (which is offset from my company disability). And then, since Aysia was born so close to the end of the year, the ability to make changes to my benefits was not working properly, and I couldn't get my new health and dependant care FSA elections input into the system properly. I've been on the phone several times about this one, and it's still not resolved. I hate that these things are taking up my very limited time!

So those are my complaints! On the positive side, I love the time spent with Aysia... she's developing a personality and it's so fun to watch. I've learned all kinds of little tricks and tips for caring for her, and it's fun to learn new things and become more competent and confident. We've also had a bunch more playdates with other friends with babies, joined some parent / children groups, and taken her out to a restaurant and even a few family and friend parties. I enjoy taking her out, as long as I can figure out the logistics of feeding and changing her at the right times! And so many friends and family members have come over to visit - that's a lot of fun and a lot easier logistically, too.

And here's a tip for anyone buying clothes for a new baby... buy 3-6 or 6-9 month sizes (season appropriate). New moms have soooooo much newborn and 0-3 month clothes from the shower that the baby will never get to wear it all. Not to mention they grow out of it so quickly. So larger sizes really come in handy!

And a tip for new moms - read Dr Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block. The 5 S's really do work, especially swaddling, swinging and shushing. A real lifesaver for me!

6 comments:

  1. It's nice to get the report from a few months beyond! I hope you'll keep sharing the tips and tricks.

    My daughter went through a period of feeding and lounging through it for a few weeks, but then her appetite really kicked in and she started eating more at a time. That made a huge difference, since we could have a few hours "off" in between. Some people say can encourage that earlier, but it didn't work for me - we just waited it out. Good luck!

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  2. I can't believe how fast the time is going by!!?? It's great that you have been busy with visitors and especially your Mom coming over 2-3 times a week! I am sure that is amazing to have the 3 generations spending quality time together. I think you have the right idea with having your MIL come over when your Mom is there, especially being that they get along.
    Have you considered using a "hands free" pump. I don't know anything about them, but just the idea it says "hands free" might be useful to you. Then atleast you would have both hands free to make phone calls, type, take notes!!!
    I didn't have any of the problems with the NJ state disability as my company handled all of the communication and necessary paperwork (TG). However, I did get over paid. I was receiving my paycheck from my company, and NJ State disability and the supplemental insurance!!?? I ended up banking (in a separate account) all of the "extra" money so that I had it in one lump sum when "someone" asked for it. Still, no one has claimed it!!!! So, the money still sits.
    Glad things are going well and moving right along. Thanks for the recommendations on the video monitor---I have heard that the one you suggested is great and I think that will be our choice too!!!
    All of your input and advice is greatly appreciated--and I'm listening intently!!!!

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  3. This was an amazing post considering your time constraints! Thanks for sharing your tips - they really are helpful for those of us following behind you. I recently attended a breastfeeding class and learned just what you said: that most of mom's time during the first 3-4 weeks will be occupied with feeding and diapering because the baby eats so frequently and each feed can take a long time. But, they assured us that it will change as baby is able to eat more and go longer between feeds. So I hope you are able to find more time before too long and that the paperwork tapers off. I still think you're amazing for being able to get out of the house so much, and yay for grandmas being involved!

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  4. I am so glad you did not give up on trying to have a child. I had endometriosis and after several surgeries and a removed tumor with left ovary and tube inside I was still determined to conceive. After 19 years of trying and many disapointments my doctors choice was a total hysterectomy. I was devastated but thought she knew best. I was wrong. I had other options. I could have harvested ovaries, took hormones to stop cycle, or something to allow me to have children. I was married to an older man with 4 grown children of his own. Little did i know he would be having affairs while I was at work and meetings. Then a divorce! I was "Nana" by now. The grandchildren help fulfill my maternal instincts and my heart. Now I had to stop seeing them because all of a sudden the cheater wanted me back and was stalking me. If I tried to maintain relationship with kids, he knew. I had to distance myself. I regret having the hyterectomy and will tell everyone who reads this to find out all your options first so there are no regrets later. I am now remarried to a younger man and wish more than anything to have his child. Think hard and long before you assume doctor knows best!

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  5. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

    http://toddlergirls.net

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  6. I'm sorry the paperwork was so hard for you! As you know, I'm in NJ, too, and, while there was a lot of it and it was a PIA to fill out, surprisingly, mine got approved easily, even after I applied for the new NJ state insurance late! I hope it all works out for you!

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