My neck and shoulders are killing me. Perhaps this stems from the weight of worry I've been wearing about me like a cloak, or it could be the relentless sessions I've been uncomfortably enduring with my breast pump. Either way, I'm miserable. My head hurts, too, and I'm exhausted, both in body and spirit. And I generally don't tend to whine so much, but sometimes the anxiety and discouragement and disappointment just need a place to go, and this morning, they're escaping to my blog. Please don't feel forced to read any further.
Kristen is over two weeks old now, and for as much as we've been trying to adhere to "normal" around here, nothing will feel normal until she's home with us. I still can't help feeling terribly let down by the circumstances surrounding her premature arrival, and I know that, in light of how well she is doing, that sounds incredibly selfish. But I had spent my entire pregnancy hoping for another chance at a normal, full term birth, as Meghan's (at 35 weeks) had been so fraught with anxiety. I guess I wanted a chance to "redeem" myself. Doesn't it all sound so silly? The fact of the matter is that Kristen is here, and she's healthy, and she is every bit the darling we'd been waiting for all those months. But everything is different now, much different, than the romantic babymoon I'd been envisioning. I had it all planned out, you see. I'd bring her home the day after her birth and stay in pajamas for a week, nursing my baby night and day while Darren lovingly doted on the two of us. Dylan and I would have finished up his lessons and we'd have the entire summer to devote to nature studies and playing and getting to know our newest little blessing. It was going to be perfect.
Instead, I cry to think that my sweet big kids will be lucky if they're able to even meet Kristen before she's a month old. (Until RSV season is over, there is a restriction in place at the hospital for all visitors under the age of 12.) It breaks my heart that they are only able to see their little sister in pictures. They love her so much and just can't wait to meet her.
And I am growing increasingly frustrated with trying to establish an adequate milk supply. For someone who's been breastfeeding for nearly six years straight (I tandem nursed my girls, and Meghan only stopped a couple of months ago), you would think I would have no problem producing milk. Wrong! I've been pumping every two to three hours with an electric double pump, but yielding only 20-30 mL per session. I've read that I should be pumping 750-800 mL/ day, but at my current rate I'm getting only approximately 200 mL. Which stresses me out. Which, I'm sure, decreases my supply even more. Sigh. I am drinking plenty of water, and I've been taking Fenugreek, too. I keep reminding myself that Kristen will be much more effective at increasing my supply with her on-demand nursing once she's stronger, so it does help somewhat to remember that this is, hopefully, only a temporary problem. And I found the loveliest prayer yesterday, which I've added to my sidebar, that brings me immeasurable comfort. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for me!
I've pretty much accepted the fact that we're just not going to be finished with all of Dylan's new home school materials before summer, and I'm making my peace with that. We really haven't done much in the way of formal lessons for over two weeks now, but when I see all that he does on his own in the meantime I know I really have nothing to worry about. He's recently taken an interest in coins, so independently, he is learning about money, coins, and their value, which was one of my goals for this year. He devours entire chapter books in a single sitting, preferring series such as Great Illustrated Classics, Magic Treehouse, The Berenstain Bear Scouts, The Boxcar Children, A to Z Mysteries...and, I know there are more but I can't remember right now what they are. He's also been very busy making his own comic book series lately, having created an original character he calls Super Wilson. Here is one of our favorites (you can click each picture to enlarge them):
I realize I've got much to be thankful for: the health of our baby girl, who really is doing so well despite all my complaining; great health insurance, without which we would be in a lot of trouble; a husband who is doing a remarkable job of juggling work, family, and home management, because I'm pretty much good for nothing around here lately; and children who keep me busy and make me laugh every day. They help make the time pass so quickly until I'm finally able to get up to the hospital each night, until I'm finally able to hold my tiny girl against me, to savor her softness and sleepy smiles and sweet baby scent. And I'm thankful that my mom will be here next week and will stay for two months! I'm already imagining all the ways in which our lives will be so much easier because of her presence. Sometimes a girl just needs her mommy. :)