Sunday, August 19, 2012

Survival

We are in full on survival mode.  Today marks three weeks on earth for Greta.  But survival with the second is different than survival with the first.  Survival with the second actually entails a lot more fun, because you force yourself to get out and do fun things to keep your first born's life as normal as possible. 

It also means a lot of things that weren't problematic with the first born become problematic with the second born.  Greta is still not nursing well.  Though we have gotten off the nipple shield (which we started using in the hospital) and she is taking in quite a lot of milk when she nurses, it takes her over an hour to do it, and we usually still have to supplement with some pumped milk afterwards.  With MJ, I could have just sat around and nursed all day.  Not too much of a problem.  Because we still have family in town, I technically could sit around and nurse all day now, but that would essentially mean not spending any time with MJ.  It just doesn't seem worth it.  So I've been pumping and giving her bottles most of the day, and we get in one or two good nursing sessions a day.  I'm hoping that as long as we can continue some amount, then when she gets stronger and less sleepy we can start just nursing rather than having to pump as well.  I'm skeptical at this point that that will ever happen, and we'll see what we're capable of once my mother-in-law leaves on Tuesday.  We're aiming for sanity.  Not sure what form that will take.  On the upside, though, my supply is pretty phenomenal.  If any of you remember my angst ridden posts back in MJ's early days, my supply sucked.  It never got very good.  We had to supplement with formula early on, then we had a few weeks without formula, and then I never managed to keep up and always had to supplement.  This time around, I probably have over 200 ounces frozen (ridiculous!!!) and am actually having some over supply issues.  I had heard that whatever foundation you lay the first time you breastfeed, you build upon that with the second.  I hadn't expected such an increase, but it makes me glad that I continued to try to breastfeed MJ for as long as I did despite our issues, because it seems to have paid off. 

Other ramblings.  I am only awake at this moment because I took a nap earlier, and now I can't sleep.  That is the downside to the "sleep when the baby sleeps" mantra.  MIL's departure coincides with the beginning of a rough stretch of work for DH.  I continue to wonder how I'm going to survive having to pump and give a bottle with every night waking, being awake much of the night and then getting up and being a functional parent with MJ.  All without DH around.  I find the whole concept daunting.  Even just the logistics of pumping and bottle feeding are confusing to me.  How do you console a baby that needs soothing while you're pumping?  It would be nice if I could wake up before she does to pump, but I've tried that and then she wakes up while I'm pumping and melts down.  Oy.  So we need to figure all that out.  She is not a great sleeper.  I know she's still very much in the realm of normal, but we've been getting a 3-hr, 3-hr, 2-hr pattern nightly for a while now.  She sleeps a ton during the day, we're just trying to convince her to move it to night time.  MJ was such a phenomenal sleeper so early on that we were spoiled.  If we could just get some 4 hour stretches I think it would make a world of difference. 

As for MJ, she's doing phenomenal.  She's sweet to her sister, loves to help, and is generally just a great kid.  She seems to have a harder time separating from us than she did, which I'm not shocked by.  Her tantrums have been more intense, and she's just been more emotional in general.  But I'm not sure if I attribute that to having a new baby, or just to her age. 

We got a date night last night, it was amazing!  In general it seems too early to be leaving Greta, but I know we won't get another chance for quite a long time, so DH's mom watched the girls for us.  It was absolutely phenomenal to spend some time with just DH.  It's nice to remember sometimes how this all began. 

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a hands free bra for pumping? That's key for sure, if you can at least have your hands and the baby in a bouncy seat or something - if she'll take a paci you can do that... but yeah, pumping and tending to a baby are tough work for sure.

    Good luck when MIL leaves... survival is the name of the game!

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