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!
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