The most exciting news is that Ansel Jack is three whole months old, as of yesterday! And look how he’s grown!
I knew my little smidgen of a guy was small . . .but now I can see that he was, well . . . kinda scrawny. Still unbelievably adorable, obviously, but definitely a little on the bird like end of things. But look how deliciously chubby he’s gotten! I feel a great sense of pride both because he is so ridiculously cute now (being able to smile in response to outside stimuli really helps, there) and because I had deep fears and a lot of anxiety about breastfeeding and, well, it’s clearly working. (this is a disclaimer that I find it really difficult to walk this line of pride and happiness about my breastfeeding relationship while not being weirdly judgey or militant about it. I’m still learning how to do that, so if I F up, tell me, ok?)
I don’t have a weight on the dude, because we haven’t been to class in a few weeks, and he isn’t due back to the doc for a few more weeks. I’m guessing he’s closing in on 13 lbs, based on his weight gain rate from before. But that’s pure conjecture. He is at least double his birthweight of 6lbs5oz. His head is also, clearly, gotten really huge.
- The small stuffed puppy that hangs above his carseat
- the butterflies that rotate above his infant gym
- “Rainbow Connection” made famous by Kermit the Frog
- His mommy’s duck voice
- His mama’s boobs
- snuggling in the bed after 5am, and preferably, sleeping in past 9 (yes. really!)
- motion. rocking, swinging, bouncing, walking, whatever.
- The bath. then, now, forever.
- Sitting forward
- Putting things in his mouth
- Scratching while he nurses
- napping in the afternoon
- Being in the same place for too long
- The bunny that hangs above his carseat
- Getting out of the bath
The fact that I can so readily think of what he loves and not what he hates is a testament to his personality. He is laid back, calm, observant, and rather jovial. He’s pretty content to hang out wherever, whenever, provided there is some motion involved (or he has a boob in his mouth) This has made him a rather lovely companion on almost all adventures. Last week I took him to the drive-in for a friend’s birthday, and he contentedly hung out with whoever, and then nursed to his hearts content through the movie, fell asleep on the ride home and transitioned to his rock’n’play easily. I know this might not last, so I’m enjoying it now.
Here is some more of this lovely little lad:
So, obviously, Ansel is the bright spot in my day.
The eye of the shit storm is pumping.
I have been back at work 3 days/week for the last 2 weeks, and I’ll be in 4 days a week (with 1 day work from home) starting this coming Monday. Although I’m still bummed to leave my baby, I can now do so without crying or scheming how to be able to stay home all the time. And I’m still on a bit of a curve getting back into the swing of things professionally, but summer is a slower time and I’m getting back up to speed fairly well. But pumping? Ugh.
It’s time consuming (I pump 3-4 times a day, depending on when I get in and how my day goes), loud, distracting, messy and . . .it hurts.
I thought maybe this was just par for the course, until I noticed blood blisters on my nipples. Before you say anything – yes, I’ve checked the flange/shield size (to be honest, none of them seem to work for me), I’ve lowered the suction, I’ve used coconut oil, I’ve done massage. In order to get the 9-10oz I need for the boy, I have to pump increasingly longer (from 15 minutes in the morning to pushing 25 at the end of the day) and the pain is becoming unbearable.
But breastfeeding my baby as long as possible is important to me. Important enough that I needed to explore some options. I’m not sure what will work to make this less painful, but I’m starting with a new pump.
I got the Pump In Style Advanced through my insurance because everyone said it was the best double electric pump out there. In retrospect, I should have done more research. Unusual, because I usually go overboard with the research. But I also trust my friends, all of whom recommended the “PISA” as it is known on ye olde breastfeeding FB groups.
Had I done my research, I might have found out that the PISA has a reputation for being kind of painful. Do I know this would have kept me from choosing it? No, maybe not. But it might have, too. In any case, I have it now.
But I will also, very soon, own the Spectra S2 as well. Obviously, I used up my one freebie on the medela, so I shelled out cash for this one. But, it also has great reviews and, most importantly, is reportedly the most gentle pump around. My nipples were worth the extra cash (which, by the way, is still cheaper than the medela, even though the spectra is hospital grade.)
I’m hopeful it will also help with my output at work. I’m able to pump an adequate amount for Ansel, but it does take some time and effort. It would be great to be able to get the same amount in a shorter amount of time. So, fingers crossed on that front too. It should be here no later than next wednesday, which feels impossibly far away for me and my nipples.
Lesson: research your breast pump, my friends! And if you’ve got sensitive nipples and are planning to pump a lot – maybe avoid the medela? It sucks to finally feel like I’ve got the nursing thing down, only to have pumping go and screw it all up again. Basically, this just makes me want to never be apart from AJ unless I absolutely have to – no movies, no date nights, no nothing. stupid pump.