And I am hating pumping. This week I realized what a blessing it is when one doesn't have to rely on pumping to bottle feed the baby while mum is gone. Also known as: longer maternity leave when one doesn't have to rush back to work and pumping can be a personal choice.
Don't get me wrong. It has its advantages like letting your partner feed the baby at night. But pumping is tough. They don't tell you that. You get that machine and it seems that if there's milk in your boob and you get a machine to suck it out then that's just that. Nobody tells you that you need to be relaxed to bring on a so called letdown. Something babies do by sucking but the machine needs some hormonal support in the form of oxytocin. They also don't tell you that adrenaline suppresses letdown. So when you're a sleep deprived mess that is working part time and worrying about finances and your business, that doesn't bode well for your adrenaline levels. And once you start worrying about milk supply your stress hormones spike. Negative feedback loop.
In the midst of this Max is great. He was vaccinated this past week and took the shots well. He's now pushing on 13 pounds which led us to work on on his sleep habits. They were already good and we consider ourselves really lucky to have a baby that has been content on the whole and learned to self soothe well most of the time. Now we finally all get to sleep more and that makes us happier as a family of four.
As a result of sleeping more Max seems even more content, too. We've gone past the "goldfish phase" where we alternated between "FEEEEED MEEE" and "CHANGE MEEEE" with a lot of fussing if needs weren't met instantly. Instead now, by being silly, we can move past the sad bottom lip and often get a little smile out of Max to have time to change him before feeding or get home before a meltdown.
People comment on how alert he is. He has started flirting with people from his carrier and stroller. It's so sweet to watch and what people have said is true: once you move towards the three-month mark, the baby rewards you for a lot of things that were rather unpleasant earlier on.
I'm trying to move past my anxiety and enjoy all of the above. I am committed to breastfeeding and pumping as long as I can. I have also received formula from my friend from Germany and it feels good to have that as backup, both physically and emotionally.
It often helps me to have lofty goals when I feel anxious so I will be racing a series of 5ks in Prospect Park. No expectations other than going out without a watch and running my heart out. Just as I did when I started in the sport as a kid. I want to run free, fast and happy.
After all, what better way to get the milk flowing than through a healthy serving of running induced endorphins?
Until next week...