Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | January 19, 2010

my first week alone

S went back to work a week ago Monday. The baby’s birth ended up being great timing. Because of the holidays, S got to take even more time than we expected. He was off work for 2.5 weeks, which was lovely. I think going back was hard for him, but he got some reassurance from all his coworkers that have kids that the first month or two is hard, but it gets better.

I was a little nervous the first day. MIL came over for a couple of hours to “help” so I could take a shower. Of course, Birdie sleeps for hours when the in laws come over, and it turns out that I could have gotten things done anyway and not had the stress of entertaining and worrying about the state of the house.

Speaking of the state of the house, it is atrocious. Part of me is horrified, but a clearly larger part of me just says fuck it, who cares.  I’m sure the in laws are also horrified, but fuck them too. Nobody has offered to do the dishes or vacuum up the cat litter so I don’t give a shit. Everyone wants to hold the baby so I can “do stuff” (presumably clean the house), but the most I have done is take a nap or shower. S has been great though. He has been doing the laundry so that I don’t have to go up and down the stairs to the basement, and he does the dishes and cooks dinner too.

I am proud to say that I have managed to brush my teeth and shower every single day. I wait until she is sleeping in her bouncy seat and I bring it in the bathroom while I take a very quick shower. If I’m lucky, she will sleep while I dry my hair too. I have only ventured out with her alone twice – once to the pediatrician and once to Target. Will I ever stop worrying about if she is breathing or not in the car seat? Oh, and of course she started wailing once we got into Target. I ended up taking her out of the car seat and holding her while I pushed the cart with one hand.

Thank you guys so much for the comments on the last post. It helps to be reminded that the first month or two is generally difficult for everyone. Also, thank you lurker Andrea for your comment a few posts back about the nipple shields! It is so helpful to hear from someone who nursed with nipple shields long term and to be reassured that one day she might not need them and the transition might not be that bad. I wonder how many nipple shields I should have. I have 5 or 6 now but it feels like I’m always washing them or losing track of them.

Also, for those breastfeeding veterans, about how much should I be able to pump now that she’s almost 4 weeks? When I’ve tried to pump a little so we can have some backup for if I ever want to go anywhere, it seems like I only get 15-30 ml combined from both breasts. Of course that is typically in the afternoon. The other morning, she went back to sleep after eating on one side, so I pumped on the other side and I got close to 50ml! It’s hard to know when to try to pump because she seems like she is eating ALL THE TIME now (growth spurt maybe?). I would hate to pump and then have her wake up screaming and starving and have nothing left for her. I know she is gaining weight and doing well, but I don’t feel like I have much (any?) extra to pump, so I wonder if I am not making enough milk for her.



  1. i’m so interested to see people’s response to the breastfeeding question. my kids are almost 4 months and when i pump i only get about 4-5 oz total from both breasts….and that’s supposed to feed TWO kids. maybe that’s normal? not to freak you out, but some of my singleton mommy friends say that they would get tons (like 12 oz at am pumping sessions) but then you read places that say you should never really get more than 1-2 oz (30-60ml) per pumping session. whatever. i think that no one really knows! they say that your let down is better for the babe than for the pump….and all anyone ever tells me is that if the kids are gaining weight and having wet diapers….that is all that matters. i really want someone to give me some NUMBERS though!!!

    as for the inlaws? whatever! i read a book recently that said that people should “buy” their way into your house. no one gets in to “hold a baby”. they either have to bring food, go shopping for you, clean, etc. i think that it’s easier said than done, but at any rate it’s a good idea. 🙂

    so glad that you were able to venture out alone with her. that’s huge progress, although it might not seem like it to you! 😉

  2. I have been pretty firm with DH that I don’t want his parents on extended stay after we come home with the baby because I don’t want to worry about entertaining or dirty house or just breaking down and crying constantly in front of them. He acts like he gets it but I don’t think he does just yet. Yeah, so I’m with you, fuck em.

    From my BFing research it seems to come down to wet diapers and how much weight they are gaining from everything I read. If you have a Wii fit you can weigh her to make sure she is gaining. And remember that pumping isn’t as effective as a baby, so you are probably pumping quite a bit less than baby bird is eating.

  3. No advice on the BF.
    But darn it, if they come over to “help”, they should do one of the necessary chores before sitting down to snuggle with baby. Or if all they want to do is hold the baby, maybe they should hire a cleaning lady to take care of you instead!
    Maybe you could put a list of things that need to get done on the fridge (laundry, vacuum, clean bathroom A, wash dishes, change cat litter, cook a meal) and say that since you’re struggling with BF and exhausted, they need to pick an item to take care of 3 times a week when they come over.
    We’ll see if I can follow my own advice after my kiddie arrives!

  4. Congratulations on your Birdie! I’ve read your blog for a while (found it through another blog I read), but rarely post. I have a son who’ll be three in March, who was born after many years of infertility (and, speaking of him, you never stop worrying! I still check him several times a night to make sure he’s breathing!)

    On the pumping question, what you pump is not a good indicator of what you’re producing, or of what Birdie is actually getting. She’s much more efficient at removing milk than the pump is, so don’t let the amount you’re pumping (or not) worry you. It’s also early still, and your supply is still being established. If you can, you may find that if you wait another couple of weeks to really start pumping, you’ll have an easier time (at the moment, if you’re pumping instead of nursing, your body’s getting less stimulation to produce, if that makes sense). The first six or eight weeks can be really hard, but it gets so much easier after that.

    Congratulations again!


  5. I forgot this–the only acceptable reason to visit a new mother is to take her food or do housework for her, but never to be additional work for her. If people can’t get that, they need to stay home! 🙂

  6. Hmm Bird,

    I am proud that you are napping and showering. I am positive that my family is going to pitch in, since they are already with Operation Bedrest. I wish I had some good advice for you. Be that as it may, maybe the To Do list will be enough of a hint for them.

  7. Sounds all so familiar 🙂 lol Hang in there…it does get better. PROMISE.

    I started laughing so hard when I read the Target outing…that was so Annika and I at one time. Crazy. She still HATES her car seat so every time I have to take her anywhere it is instant stress for me and her too I guess. By the time we get back home we are both exhausted and she sleeps while I try to catch up on things around the house. How is that fair…lol

    I hope you have much better luck with the BF thing than I did. It was very hard and emotional for me when I realized I just was not producing enough for her. I wanted to do it for as long as I could and God only gave me about 7 weeks solid then half BM and half formula to now all formual feeding. I still feel as though I failed her in someways but at least I tried and did what I could for as long as I was able to do so.

    I can’t believe the inlaws came over and did not help you out at all. I mean seriously come one. That is just RUDE! I have great inlaws and they helped bunches when then came to visit and or stay a bit here and there. It was great and I was able to get running around and house stuff done. But when she slept MIL always found stuff in the house to clen or pick up for me. Sorry 😦

    Congrats again and glad to hear it’s going well. I am now at the 3 mth mark and little one sleeps pretty much all night accept when I just have to change her because it bothers me. lol But she goes right back down for me so that is a good thing.

    Just enjoy every moment cause they pass by way too quickly. It’s almost scary.

  8. Hey. I am a bit of a lurker as well but I love your blog. I am home with a 7 week old after a year of experiencing secondary infertility. I exclusively pumped with my first DS so I can offer some advice on the BFing. It was HARD the first time. This time it is going much better.

    The best time to pump is an hour after your first AM feeding. Your boobs are fullest in the morning and they will fill up again before baby bird wants to eat again if you try to pump an hour after you last fed. It is never to early to start pumping, in my opinion. You want to introduce a bottle sooner rather than later or else you’ll turn into one of those moms who can’t leave her baby ever.

    At first you may not get a lot. Some women never get a lot with the pump. It is kind of a practice makes perfect thing. Keep at it and you should be able to get more. The pump is definitely not as efficient as the baby so don’t worry if you only get a little bit. Are you experiencing letdown with you pump? (do you feel that tingly sensation?). Sometime it helps to look at a picture of the baby.

    Its so frustrating not knowing how much she is getting, I know. But trust that if she is having dirty diapers, she is getting enough. She probably is just going through a growth spurt right now. Try not to stress too much. I know, easier said than done…

  9. I can’t contribute on the bf’ing/pumping front yet, but I think what your in-laws are doing is so unfair! You are working hard enough at being a new parent without the guilt trip too. FWIW, I think you should try to get your hubby to be the “bad guy” and suggest to his parents that the biggest help they can be is xyz. Let him take the fall! Hang in there — sounds like you are doing great at navigating these first uncertain weeks/months.

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