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February 16, 2010

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Oh Yeah, This is Hard. You Want to Know How Hard?

Did I say we were going through a growth spurt? Because seriously, it just keeps getting more intense. When does it end??

There is no time for anything other than feeding, pumping, sleeping and eating in this past week or so!!
Anything else is impossible!
A nice hot shower to relax? Got that once on Saturday morning when our friend Fab C stopped by to help baby wrangle. Thank god for good friends. Even so, it only happened because the timing was right and she wasn’t here only when I was feeding or pumping.
A walk outside to clear my head? The last time I went outside was last Thursday–that’s 6 days ago.
Any venture outside or a luxury such as a shower is at the expense of a nap and right now, we need the sleep more than anything.
Yesterday, Grunter nursed FOURTEEN times in a 24 hour period.
Let’s say it’s 12:30 pm and the natives are getting restless.
You get the ‘milk bar’ set up on the couch positioning yourself with the double breast feeding pillow–making sure you have a bottle of water, your iphone, the remote control, the log of their every move to write down the start/stop time of the feeding and which breast as well as any poopy/pee diaper and a blanket to prop them up on the pillow because they are still too small to reach your breasts without some help or you leaning over and killing your back.
You announce the milk bar is open, slinging your tits and aching nipples out. Your partner brings out a baby, let’s say it’s Whoop Whoop. W2 takes a few minutes to latch on because he insists on tossing and turning his head from side to side while arching his (very strong) neck and throwing his head back. He goes in any direction except straight ahead for the boob. In addition, he loves to have his hands in front of his face, wildly sucking on his fingers as they blindly hit his mouth–thus preventing you from getting the boob in his mouth.
You call for back up “hands” and your partner–who is either trying to wake up Grunter, who is asleep, so that you are on the same tandem feeding schedule OR is trying to calm the crying/barking/screaming Grunter who is demanding to be fed RIGHT NOW–has to hold back W2’s so you can get him latched on.
It is now 12:37.
Grunter is much easier to get latched. However, he is a barracuda feeder and you must be aware that if you set him down anywhere near your nipple, he will lunge for it, chomping down inappropriately causing you to scream out “fuck, get him off, get him off!”
You or your partner break the seal of the barracuda whilst simultaneously trying to hold W2’s head up so he does not fall off and you have to start all over again.
If you have to start all over again…you think about crying and start to get very sweaty.
The good news is that you are taking so much Fenugreek to increase your milk supply, your sweat smells like maple syrup–a nice unexpected herbal side effect especially since you don’t shower much these days.
Your partner holds up the head and back of the neck of W2 so you can get Grunter latched on. If you are lucky, this is quick.
It is now 12:38.
You jam the blanket around and under each one rising them up and positioning them so that hopefully you can have at least one hand free to eat/drink/read/work the TV remote.
If you do not achieve this, you can count on holding them in the “football position” for 30 minutes. If you are thirsty, have a hair in your eye, an itch…you’re SOL. It will have to wait.
Therefore, getting the blanket rise technique just right, is extremely important as it gains you some freedom, 8 to 12 to 14 times a day.
At this point, your goal is that both babies want to feed for 20-30 minutes. However, sometimes W2 is done after 10-15 minutes. Or Grunter falls asleep. Trying to wake up one baby to suck while another baby is feeding requires tickling, undressing, blowing in his face and lastly, employing a cold, wet washcloth swept over his face and head. If none of these work…you are SOL and he is going to want to feed again very soon.
If you manage to have them nurse for 20-30 minutes, now they need to be burped. This could take a while or a minute. You cannot predict the timing.
It is now 1:15 pm.
If your partner is not napping, she/he can help you with the burping and you will be lucky to hand off the babies for this task, plus the cuddling and swaddling to follow.
However, it’s quite possible that your partner is asleep and rightly so. You either yell for her and she will come running or you take pity on her sleep deprivation and let her sleep.
Somehow you manuvuer both babies into their separate Boppy pillows on the couch beside you and pray that neither of them scream when you put them down.
W2 will usually scream. Grunter will probably have the hiccups and be bright eyed and smiling and looking around.
You have to pump. It is impossible to hold a wriggling, screaming baby (like W2) while attached to the breast pump and having your C-Section being kicked.
You yell for your partner. Your partner either sits on the couch and soothes W2 or puts him in a Moby wrap (the only baby carrier we’ve found that works for babies under 8 lbs) so she can be mobile to make a much needed cappucino. You don’t get any caffeine because you are breastfeeding, but you are allowed 2 drinks of the contraband. It is one of the highlights of your day.
It’s 1:25 pm.
Hopefully someone has remembered to wash and sterilize the pumping equipment from your last pumping session (after every feed from 6am-10pm) and it’s all ready to go. You go to the kitchen, rub lanolin on your nipples, put on your bustier hands-free bra and attach the phalanges and milk storage containers to your bra.
If your equipment is dirty, you must first wash it in hot, soapy water and then sterilize it in the microwave for 3 minutes, then assemble.
While in the kitchen, you decide to take advantage of the fact you can now eat and make a snack before going to the living room to pump.
You should probably make a break for the bathroom as well.
It is now 1:40pm.