I won't update you on every single work day going forward, but day number one was a bit of a doozie and deserves documentation.
Bottom line: we all survived and there were some really nice moments along the way. And the crappy parts will surely get better with time.
Getting everyone ready and out of the door for my first day back in the work force wasn't too awful, especially with Nate's later start time on my work days. Just having him get the big kids their breakfast and encourage them to get dressed was HUGE, while I showered and kept Porter happy. Definitely a team effort in the mornings with schedule shuffling between Truman's school, Lori's house, and work. But overall, the a.m. was fine and my favorite part was hauling a ridiculous number of bags to the van. My giant work backpack, my pump and lunch, Porter and Cecelia's 'Lori bag', extra diapers and snacks, bottles and frozen milk….oh, and the car seat full of my baby boy, too. Pretty hilarious to feel like I brought half of our household possessions with me on day one!
(just part of the haul, lined up on the bench)
Pictures were snapped. We were all amped up and somewhat excited to get the show on the road.
Drop off at Lori's was excellent. Cecelia was happy to see her friends, Lori was happy to see Porter---who immediately started flashing her his grins from his car seat. I brought in all 1000 pounds of loot to her kitchen, filled her in on mister P, and gave him lots of kisses. I truly did not have much sadness related to leaving Porter all day since I have full confidence in Lori….and she is truly obsessed with babies;)
I had to go up to my office first, which is highly annoying to me since I usually go there once every few months. But it turns out that being off work for over 12 weeks means my laptop was just a tiny bit outdated and I needed a few new paper forms. Sigh. It was nice to catch up with my boss and the rehab assistants, though---obviously I forced them to view pictures of my children on my phone, duh.
I pumped in the van for the first time and oh, the luxury of having so much room! But of course, I had to forget *something* despite my numerous lists and preparations. Totally forgot about packing a nursing cover to pump in modesty, so I just prayed nobody would stare at me in the drivers seat with giant cones and tubes sticking out of my chest.
Then I was off to see my two patients. The actual patient care part of my job isn't something I'll ever 'forget' to do and I had a lot of 'oh yeah, THIS is why I love my job' moments. Thank goodness. I went to Starbucks for paperwork time (always a bonus if I can accomplish this in a work day!), and headed home. Tony and Truman were just returning from an afternoon of fresh air, since they were out and about all over town in the BOB. They obviously had a blast going to McDonalds, a playground, and a candy store. Geez, Tony! Way to spoil the kid on your first day together! Truman gave me a fancy chocolate and said, 'Since it's your first day of work, mommy.' Awww. Love him. I did my third round of pumping at home and headed to get the little guys at Lori's. I really couldn't wait!
One of my favorite parts about being a working mom is getting to see my kids after being apart. And pick up at Lori's was no exception, so much fun to have Cecelia run into my arms! And Porter was ready to go in his car seat, smiling his face off at Lori. They got along JUST fine and of course, he slammed all bottles like it was his job. More on this later.
We returned home and Porter had fallen asleep in the van. THIS IS EPIC and has happened maybe 3 times in his life, so I knew he was tired. Tony left and I could feel myself breathe a sigh of relief that we'd all survived our first day apart.
And then? Porter woke up and began back-to-back-to-back meltdowns. He was just so tired and overstimulated and could NOT settle down. He wanted nothing to do with nursing more than 2 minutes at a time. I tried to get him to bed at 5:00 but he wasn't having it. Totally ugly, although I should have expected it. He had a few sweet moments of smiles and contentedness, but was mostly a hot mess for hours straight.
(very happy to catch him smiling here. This was between freak outs)
Also a hot mess? Cecelia. It was like she, too, had held it together all day and just could NOT anymore. Anytime I was attempting to soothe fussy pants Porter, Cecelia would lose her mind and screamed for me to hold her. If I tried to soothe her, Porter freaked out. It was a barrel of fun at our house from 4:30-7:00, you guys, and probably the worst evening we've ever had. I totally cried a few times feeling just so overwhelmed and tired and like a failure of a mother, since everyone seemed so…unhappy. I could do nothing right and was unable to be in three places at once, although Truman was mostly just scared of how his siblings were acting. The kids ate crackers and cereal for dinner and I barely got to eat the lasagna I was re-heating (it was yummy, though!). But again: we all survived. Porter finally went to bed at 7:00 and Truman/Cecelia were winding down then, too. Nate got home at 7:30 and we did bedtime for the big kids.
And then I couldn't get off the couch. My wine tasted like a slice of heaven although I still felt defeated by the rough 'witching hour' that just kicked my butt. And yet, the daytime hours were really good. Going to bed at 9pm might be my new favorite thing, by the way.
One thing that should be noted is that Porter's green poops did turn yellow this morning. Yay! So I think getting full bottles with hind milk already in there is a great thing for him. Of course, he is showing even LESS interest in nursing today and is getting really mad when I keep trying to put him to the breast. Two minute sessions are not okay, mister man. Popping on and off throughout is painful and frustrating and really not cool.
And although he took 12 oz in breast milk bottles at Lori's, I only pumped 8 oz----with the other kids I could always match or exceed their intake, which was always about 12oz at first, too. I don't think he is taking too much milk in bottles, I think he is starving and loves the fast flow. I'm pretty sure that his snacking and not really eating well is starting to affect my supply, too---my body thinks he needs very little milk because he is nursing very little. Now that he is getting even fussier at the boob, and he isn't nursing well enough to get hind milk (green poops, slow weight gain), I just do not feel confident that our breastfeeding relationship is going to last a full year.
One day at a time, of course. I'm not throwing in the towel just yet but I'm also not going to kill myself over this nursing war, either. I have to mentally tell myself that it's not the end of the world if he does wean or if we do need to mix our first formula bottle ever. It's just not feasible for me to nurse, then see my baby screaming at the boob, give him a bottle, and then pump after. NO WAY, not with a third baby at least---I'm already up to my eyeballs in demands and feeling stretched thin. Yes, I'm talking to an LC, yes, I've tried to express the fore milk first so that he starts with the hind milk, yes I've tried block nursing. I'm trying any and all ideas that are not going to make this even more time consuming and stressful. He just does not want to nurse very long or at all sometimes. It could be a speed bump in our breastfeeding relationship or it could be the beginning of the end. Boo.
I want breastfeeding to work but I also want Porter to eat and grow and be happy, so if I have to give bottles and even supplement with formula, so be it. Maybe it will just be a phase and we will pull through in the long run but right now, breastfeeding is a source of major stress for me (and Porter!). I'm doing my best but it ain't easy, folks. Can you tell I'm convincing myself that I'm not a failure with the above sentences? While trying not to be too defensive, since this topic can be such an emotional hot topic?
Third babies are definitely wild cards and every kid is SO different, right? Never would have guessed that he would be giving me such trouble with nursing after the other two rocked the boob so well. Huh.
Anyway. My first day back to work was great for everyone, in all of our different locations while apart from each other. Being reunited with my crew was also amazing. The evening hours sucked but hopefully we will all settle into a nice new normal soon. Extra points if Porter remembers how to nurse. Life is nuts but it's good. I love my little hooligans even when they are determined to kill me!