Just The Three of Us
A week ago if anyone had told me that I'd pump 10 ounces for the night's feedings without too much trouble, I would have said that they were lying. Hey, even the thought of pumping 2 ounces in only five minutes would have gotten come incredulty. It's pretty amazing.
With yesterday's nearly hourly feeding schedule, I seem to have upped production again and today Jet's been a fairly sleepy eater. I did make the mistake of pumping first thing in the morning, when John had gone back to bed and Jet was lying still and quiet in the bassinette. Jet woke up almost immediately and wanted to eat. Oops. Luckily, I had some, but not nearly enough for him, so I just kept swapping off, and he helped by going to sleep for five minutes at a time while on the breast.
John said that Jet had been awake and wanted to play from about 5 to a bit before eight, so it wasn't that surprising that he was sleepy again. Jet was up in time to send his granny and grandpa off as they left at 6 in the morning. I'd gone back to sleep after the pumping during the feeding, while John said goodbye as well. I guess the extra stimulous of the goodbye got Jet energized enough to play. It's a lot like when Fezzik was an eight-week old puppy, awake and wanting to play for a couple hours and then falling asleep for a few hours with feedings, water and a bit of paper training in between.
It was nice to have Jet to myself, eventhough I had to pay the price of sleep to do it. It was also nice to have the house to ourselves. The sunshine was brilliant and hot. The snow from last night melted everywhere the sunlight was, but there was still a few inches of snow on the shaded front porch when everything else in sight was clear and nearly summerlike.
So I took an hour to feed him, and he was pretty content afterwards. So I put him into the sling and took the opportunity to try and eat my breakfast. I am very, very glad of the sling because when Jet refuses to sleep without being held, the sling makes him feel like he's being held and still gives me two hands free to do things with. So I ate breakfast, and when I thought Jet was completely asleep, I put him into the bassinet and woke John up because it was nearly 10 and I needed to pump again.
That was pretty much the morning. Feeding him, feeding me, and pumping when John took care of Jet. One really good thing is that I'm more comfortable reading when I'm feeding Jet, now. I use and abuse paperbacks when I do that, and the latest ones are David Weber's Oath of Swords and The War God's Own. They're a really great set of sword and sorcery books, the first two of a trilogy. They're really fun and I really enjoy his take on S&S as it's actually unique. The characters are pragmatic, stubborn, and unexpectedly irreverant for the genre. I'd actually gotten Oath of Swords off the Baen free ebooks site, and liked it so much I bought it as well as the following book.
One good thing is that they're mostly self-contained and the major plots within the two are resolved within the books themselves. There are cool leadins to the subsequent books, but they don't depend on them to resolve most of the arcs within them.
Given that I'm feeding him about 8 times during daylight with feedings going from twenty minutes to an hour, that's a lot of potential reading time that I should take advantage of. The Visor is actually easier than a paperback to read from in the situation, but I can seem to make any book I can abuse a bit work because I often have to drop them when Jet's crying or having gas problems or wanting a diaper change in the midst of the longer feedings.
Jet had a few good, coherent play times today. He was awake and aware and comfortable enough not to be crying. I tried taking close-up pictures during one of them and most of the pictures were a blur of waving arms, kicking legs and expression changes. I guess we named him well.
I tried, several times, to try and sit down and write, but every one of them was interrupted. All of them necessary or even good things, like my sister calling to talk for a while; but they were all still things that took time away from writing and thinking through the writing. I've noticed a lot of the entries are a lot less coherent since the birth, and the account of the days are as interrupted as my days really are.
In the last afternoon we talked about dinner and decided on a Papa Murphy's pizza and a movie rental. I had just finished feeding Jet again, and so John plopped Jet into the car seat and we took off. It was remarkable how easy it was compared to the first week we had Jet. So much more experience under our belts that we could feel comfortable just taking him out on an instant's whim.
I sat in back with Jet. His seat was facing backwards and he watched me for much of the ride. The sunlight was slanting west and I think that some of it was that he was fascinated by the play of light as the car moved. He also looked up at the sky. He was wide-eyed and looked wondering. It was all new, and it made me look at things anew, too.
He was equally wide-eyed and quiet and quizzical as we dropped by Papa Murphy's and the girl at the counter admired him about as much as he studided her. They had our pizza already made, so John took it to the car when we went to the liquor store to get John some beer, to have some variety from the stout he'd made and which we still had a good deal of. I remembered that we'd run out of Marsala, so I bought some of the dry Marsala, which I like to cook with in general. The sweet Marsala is nice, but a bit less versatile, for me.
At the video store, he was watching everyone and everything and then suddenly started crying. It was hard to decide on a DVD with him crying so hard, but we finally managed, and I took him out to let him yell without bothering others while John finished getting the movie. Then we went to the car, and did the complex coordination needed to change Jet's diaper in the Passat.
With the Good Times incident, we knew that the three of us couldn't fit in the back seat at the same time. So I turned the car seat so that John could get Jet out. When Jet was out I put the seat outside of the car, while John laid out the changing pad across the part of the seat he wasn't on. John pulled Jet out of the chair while I held the belt up so that it wouldn't bang Jet in the head. John undid the cover on the diaper while I grabbed the dirty diaper plastic bag and opened it up and put my hand in it like a mitten to then grab the dirty diaper that John proffered and turn the bag over it and tied the knot to keep it while John put the clean one on.
One thing I never knew before Jet was that most diapers that babies produce, after the first month and especially when they're breastfed, are wet one. He only does a really dirty diaper about once a day, now. So most of the time it's a quick change. Jet is really sensative to wet diapers, and will cry even when they're just damp. With disposables he'll cry evenwhen there's no chance on earth we'd be able to figure out they're wet and get irritable if we don't change it anyway.
After the change, I held the car east while John put him back in. We then put everything back into the car and the diaper bag. All neat and tide, and the whole thing had taken only a few minutes. That was nice, and Jet wasn't crying all the way home, which was much better. Instead, he watched the evening sky turn rose and then watched the evening light stream and flow across my face as I talked to him and told him how wonderful he was all the way home.
After dinner, Jet had a bad case of gas, and both John and I tried to humor him and bounce him and we even got some of the drops into him. It still took him a while to work his gas through, as a good deal of it was in his colon and he had to pass it not just burp it. Poor kid. He forgets about it while he's eating, but after that, he fusses a lot while it's going through.
The car seat worked for a while, the two step worked for a while, the vibrating seat worked for a while, swinging him worked for a while, but in the end it was just time and patience. I am mildly amazed at how much patience we have for him. I don't think I ever really thought I had this much patience for a little crying bundle. I know I didn't have that much patience for other people's kids, but I think I would have more for them, now. I guess it really us just the difference of ones own.
Actually, in this instance, it's John's patience, mostly, as he's doing it all. I'm sitting at the kitchen table, writing away madely as I hadn't had the chance all day. But I'm in the same room as all the crying and whimpering and stuff, and it isn't bothering me nearly as much as I thought it should, in some ways, as we're doing what we can and that's just got to be good enough.
I've always believed that parents do the best that they can for their kids. The best that they know and the best that they can decide given their knowledge and their own upbringing. I know that emotionally, now, but I also know that sometimes it isn't enough anyway. Like trying to get rid of this bit of gas that has Jet crying constantly.
We're shifting schedules again. While John's mom and dad were here, we shifted once because after the 9 p.m. breats feeding, Jet was waking up two hours later for his bottle feeding and pumping, so we moved the first bottle feeding to the end of the breast feeding, which ended about 10. At first he woke up at 2 and then again at 5 or 6 and then he'd sleep until 7 or 8 even on the second feeding. Over the week the times started shrinking unti he was up almost before 1, and then again at 4 and then would wake up at 6 and want to play instead of eat after he was changed. Through most of that time I strugged to get two 4 ounce bottles and then something for a third for the second middle of the night feeding.
I noticed that he was getting up earlier and earlier and realized that maybe he could eat more. I asked John and he said that Jet wasn't slowing down at the end of the bottle anymore and wanted more. Heh. So we upped the first feeding, tonight, to 5 ounces of my milk and topped him off with formula because I didn't want to be throwing away any of my milk he didn't drink. We prepped two more ounces and he drank one of them by the time he started refusing more milk.
Jet's good that way. When he's full he'll actually refuse any nipple he's offered. So by this bit of trial and an error we'd planned for, we found his new capacity and he actually slept until 3! Five uninterrupted hours of sleep for John. I had to get up around 1:30 to pump because my breasts were too full, but that sent me well on my way to tomorrow night's feeding. Since I was completely set for the night, I could just stock up for the nest night and by the time Jet actually did wake up and eat, I was ready to pump again and before he'd even gotten up in the morning, I had most of his first evening feeding taken care of.
That was novel. Especially since I'd spent most of today pumping for tonight after not having nearly the start on it from the night pumpings. Better yet, the big chunk of uninterrupted sleep for John felt good to him and he was able to deal with Jet when he woke up at 6 and just wanted to play.
Also, if I fugure Jet drinks 12 ounces each night, two off me while the bottle's warming, then that's projecdtable to about 36 ounces a day, or more than a quart! Definitely something I can measure and be happy about.