A lot has changed since my last post—thankfully, for the better. All in all, life with Mio is now more manageable.
In terms of feeding and sleeping, Mio is more or less still the same. He’s still a frequent nurser (he needs to be fed every one to two hours) and he still doesn’t sleep very long (three hours tops). Roy and I, however, have already adapted to our new “normal,” so our situation has improved.
For example: When Mio wakes up every hour in the earliest hours of the morning, we’re no longer frustrated or stressed. We just get up and feed him/change his nappy/soothe him. When he begins to fuss during the “witching hour” (late afternoon to early evening), we go through our checklist of what could be upsetting him and then patiently try to find what would make him feel better.
We’ve also acquired various aids and devices to make things easier: a hands-free pumping bra from Simple Wishes, to make expressing milk more efficient; a nursing bib from Udder Covers, to make breastfeeding in public less awkward and to give Mio a “space” to recover from overstimulation; and a baby carrier from SaYa, to make Mio more, well, portable—especially when he’s extra clingy.
With all our adaptations and acquisitions, Roy and I have been able to attend Mass on Sundays, run errands at the mall, get Mio baptized, and even go to work to prep for the upcoming semester.
Today, we’re holding a practice workday. This means that from 8AM to 5PM—which is how long I’ll be away at work every MWF—Roy will feed and take care of Mio without my help.
Right now, then, I’m at home with the both of them, but I’ve kept my distance (Roy and Mio are in the bedroom, I’m in the living room) and done nothing except pump breastmilk. This arrangement gives us an opportunity to discover problems that may arise while I’m away at work and that may need addressing.
One such problem is Mio refusing to take the bottle, which happens sometimes when Roy tries to bottlefeed Mio. Could it be an excess lipase problem in the breastmilk I’ve expressed and stored? Could it be chemical oxidation? Could it be Mio’s fussiness? We are, after all, still in the middle of the six-to-eight-week peak of fussiness. Could it be the bottle nipples? We’re still not sure, and we hope to figure it out by the end of the day.
Thankfully, even if he refuses the bottle every now and then, Mio has consumed 6 to 7 oz. of milk. He’s had a few episodes of intense crying—which are torturous for me because I’m supposed to be away at work and I can’t act on my very strong instinct to hold and soothe my baby—and he’s been fussy for the most part, but Roy has admirably kept calm and done what needs to be done for Mio, whether it be feeding him or soothing him.
There are around three more hours and one more pumping session before our practice workday ends. When it does, the first thing I’m going to do is hold my baby and cuddle him! Because this is the longest I’ve gone without holding Mio—and it’s horrible! Hopefully, by the time I have real workdays, Roy and Mio have mastered bottlefeeding, and I’ve grown more comfortable with being away from the two of them.