I am exhausted. I know I was warned- but I'm really exhausted. And it hasn't even really begun yet.
Part of it has to do with my schedule- I've been coming to the hospital early, maybe 6 or 7 am daily and I stay until after Chris gets to the hospital after work- we don't like to leave until she is completely settled for the night, which is usually around 8 or 9 pm. I try to sleep when L does, but it doesn't always work. When she is sleeping and I can't sleep I write or I have been trying to keep that photo album up to date. I'm trying to update it daily so we can 'see' the progress. It helps.
Little known fact: it also helps with nursing.
I was NOT looking forward to the whole thing- and to make matters even weirder- with L not ready to eat from anything- except her feeding tube, I have to use all kinds of machines. Me and my yellow, state of the art, hospital grade milk machine and I spend every 3 hrs together.... NOT what I was thinking when I thought about 'bonding time' but none of this is what I was thinking.
To make sure that the milk arrives, since I was with out a crying baby to begin with, me and the machine have to get intimate for 15 min every 3 hours to start with. C and my mom- both diligent with time keeping and nagging equally, would be looking at the clock waiting to remind to strap in. Every 2 1/2 hrs the reminders would begin. Both of them equally as militant. The two of them even came up with a little song "pump pump it up" - maybe less of a song and more of cheer. Next time you see or talk to one of us, we'll do an impromptu performance for you. While the 3 hour blocks of time were about to kill me, the nurse informed me recently that now that it has been 2 weeks, to keep up with how much L will be eating, I should get intimate with the machine every 2-3 hours and for as long as milk keeps a coming. Fun, huh? Also, none of this was in any book that I read. I am not surprised.
All of this being said- it got EVEN weirder when one of the Lactation Consultant (LC) (most that I have met have NOT been crack pushers- like I anticipated- they've been nice not too crazy) told me it would really help to use L's blankets and pictures while I'm pumping. So there I sit, at 3 am with my yellow machine, in my glider... sniffing a blanket and looking at a slideshow of Lilli. I feel like a dog- with the sniffing blanket piece... and some kind of cyber freak- with my photos.
Sidenote about the LCs here- one said the following when we first started trying out the b-feeding thing. This was Tuesday.
"See how disorganized she is? That's a sign of withdrawal." (true story.)
My thoughts... She's 12 days old- how organized should she be? Is there a lesson plan we should be preparing for her so that she can get her sh%t together? Is there some kind of pattern or organizational chart we should reviewing with her? Disorganized. Again- of course she is disorganized- you've had her doped up literally all of her life. Dang, cut the girl a break- I bet they don't treat LaLohan like this. And if they do, no wonder she falls off the wagon. Disorganized. NO child of mine is going to be disorganized. Wouldn't you be disorganized if all of sudden someone you just met, whose voice while familiar has always been like the voice of Oz? Behind some curtain- now here she is, you finally get a face to a name and before she can even buy you a drink she is disrobing grabbing your head and putting her junk in your face. Disorganized.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. Whatever works. It is the best thing for her- for so many reasons. One being- lets face it. Baby's got back- and formula is more filling. It also can be tricky- gas wise and the last thing we want to deal with is digestion problems. What will hold her "back" at the NICU is not being able to digest and eat- so like I said whatever works. Plus it's good for her. Yes, I admit it. It is the best thing for her. Now I won't be joining the LeLetches and if she can ask for it, it's time to close up shop - but that's just me. There are many people who share different thoughts than I- some who would rather have their children take milk from someone else's breast then their own and others who would b-feed until their kids were tying their own shoes... and to them I say "GOOD FOR YOU!" Listen, it's better you than me. I'm not saying it's wrong, it's just different. For me- I'll do what I can give her a the healthiest start, especially after all of this. Even if it means feeling like a cow attached to a pump machines for the next few days or weeks. I now have a deep appreciation for those smelly bastards.
I can't wait to be up with her at 3 am- not my yellow machine. It will take longer- I know- cause right now I can "double duty" here with my fancy machine and be done in half the time, you know how I like to multitask. Ultimately, it will be twice as nice with her.