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Thread: Getting tired

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    22

    Default Getting tired

    I've been back at work for almost three weeks and have been pumping twice a day (sometimes three times, the whole time). I had to go back to work when my daughter was only six weeks old and I work nine hour days with an hour and fifteen minute commute on both ends of the day. I'm a contracted school counselor right now, so I have to finish the year, quitting is so totally not an option that I can't even consider it. I know bfing is best for her but I'm getting SO tired. I feed her at least twice each night so I'm averaging about four hours of sleep each night. I am extremely fortunate in that I have my own office with a lock and can shut the door whenever I need to and my boss is fabulous about just not asking. As long as the work is done, he doesn't care how it gets done. I just am so tempted to give up. I went to pick dd up Friday night and the sitter was giving her a bottle. I'd driven home really uncomfortably full thinking about how she'd want to nurse and there she is having a bottle. I could have sat down and cried right there. I don't like leaving her this much and I miss her terribly and then to add not being able to feed her right away.

    I have tons of breastmilk frozen, so she always gets ebm. My dh tried to talk me into sleeping and letting him give dd a bottle, but I'm afraid that my milk supply will drop if I don't feed at every opportunity when I'm home.

    I guess I just needed a safe place to vent. My family isn't supportive of bfing and dh is trying, but he doesn't get it. My sitter is tolerant, but not thrilled with using the breastmilk. She thinks formula is easier. This is just harder than I thought it would be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: Getting tired

    Hi There....first things first, congratulations on your new baby and for all your hard work in getting baby started off well in life! Next...yes; of course you are tired! You are essentially doing two full-time jobs. Working and trying to do everything you want as a nursing mom IS VERY HARD WORK - physically and emotionally. I totally empathize with you (lived on many months of 4 hours of sleep per night and occasionally still wind up back there even now that DS is 11.5 months old ) and just want to get out an immediate word of support and sister-hood for you. Yes, it's hard. You need support - whether you rely on folks here for that (we're all quite good for it!) or if you can find it locally in friends or even a mothers' group - to help you through this time. It will get easier, but it will be gradual and there will always be ups and downs. Wish I could tell you otherwise, but probably this is reality. There isn't a two-day stretch that I don't wish (after many many years of working to get to where I am in my career) that I could just walk away from my out-side-the-home job and focus all my energy on my family....you aren't alone.
    Whatever you can do to find the support you need, try to do. Try to rest whenever you can; if anyone can help you - even for an hour or so - so you can grab a weekend nap, that will help. Lighten up on yourself on anything that isnt essential - and that may mean re-evaluating what you consider to be essential.... let the mail build up an extra few days...get help with chores; whatever you can to take care of YOU so you don't become so exhausted that you can't cope. Never forget...you are doing a WONDERFUL JOB of being a good, caring, nurturing mom. It's such a juggling act...but you are doing it.
    Hang in there...and if you want to 'chat' more openly offline, drop me a PM.
    good luck........take care.........keep the faith.
    Jsmom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    149

    Smile Re: Getting tired

    I can sympathize with you. Breastfeeding is MUCH harder than I thought. But well worth it in my opinion. And while my dh is supportive, he just doesn't get it the way everyone here does. I feel the same way you do when he offers to stay up and give dd a bottle. As for the sitter situation, can you tell her not to give dd a bottle after a certain time? I usually pick up my dd about 4:45pm and I instruct them not to give a bottle after 4pm. Perhaps you could try something like that? Also, if you have one of the hands-free pumping bras, you could pump while driving if you need to. I had to do that a couple of weeks ago. I put on a big t-shirt which covered everything so no one could tell.

    Good luck! Hopefully in time your dd will start sleeping better through the night.
    Eva
    Mom to Alyssa (11/26/05)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Getting tired

    Hi jennylin,

    My heart goes out to you--I've felt the same way, probably even on the same day! I, too, almost cried the time I timed everything and pumped at slightly different times one day so that I could nurse my son as soon as I walked in the door early from work, and there was my husband giving him a bottle.

    It is just hard, hard, hard--working, nursing, commuting, everything. It is nice your husband wants to help get you some rest--maybe you and the baby could snuggle up on the couch all day Saturday and he could wait on you. Maybe I am just fantasizing!

    I've been back at work four months, and while the commute and everybody's needs haven't changed, what has changed is my attitude. I am more used to doing the important things it takes to keep our little family going and letting just about everything else slide---some days the only cooking I do is making a pot of coffee!! (mostly decaf)

    Keep up all your good work--everyone will get used to things, even the sitter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Getting tired

    I don't know if you co-sleep but that was a real lifesaver for me when I went back to work. My DS---who had been sleeping a 6-hour stretch at night---started to reverse cycle with 4 or 5 feedings a night when I went back to work. I don't think I would have been sane if I hadn't been able to nurse while sleeping. Everyone at work thought my DS was sleeping through the night since I looked so well-rested! Little did they know...

    Also, like a previous poster mentioned, I ask that she hold off on giving a bottle if it's an hour or less until I get home. It's the one time I ask her to look at the clock rather than the baby.

    As far as keeping up supply, I second the vote for a nurse-in with the baby during the weekend. I wore my DS a lot, nursed constantly during the day, and really built up my supply on the weekends. And, as hard as they are, those night nursings do a lot to keep up supply. I've read that nursing hormone levels in response to suckling are 4-6 times greater between midnight and 4 a.m.

    It's something I tell myself that at that 3:30 a.m. feeding...



    Finally, keep reminding yourself what an amazing job you're doing with your baby. Pumping really sucks. It was much harder than I thought it was going to be. Like you, I have a great place to do it at work. And, also like you, I am committed to giving my babe breastmilk all the way. Sometimes I think that, as much as lactivists have worked for having a place to pump at work, I think maybe we should put our efforts into a long, paid maternity leave instead!

    Maybe someday...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Getting tired

    I'm with you on the longer maternity leave. Six weeks is crazy. How did they pick that number?

    Thanks EVERYONE for such supportive replies, particularly to a newbie. Today is better. I slept a bunch last night and I do cosleep sometimes. Dh won't sleep in the bed with us when I do that, he sleeps on the couch, without grumbling (to his credit) but I LIKE dh to sleep with me.... but I want to nurse dd tooo.... See, sometimes I just want to cry right along with Gracie. But last night I got almost 8 hours of sleep, not counting those half awake nursing moments!

    Sometimes I just feel so alone. I did talk with my sitter last night and just reminded her about the bfing. She didn't bf her kids and I don't think she's had many parents who do/did. It's like she forgets that it's a bottle of breastmilk and that I have a physical need to nurse the baby.

    I also get frustrated with the judgemental stuff about working moms. It seems like I'm surrounded by people who are SAHMs. I have my own guilt about working, but we need the money and if the kids are going to get to go to college, have nice things, live in a nice house, I'm going to have to work and work hard. Plus, I invested several tens of thousands of dollars, six years of education and seven years of work into building my career. I'm not sure that giving all that up makes sense.

    Oh well. Motherhood isn't for wimps!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Getting tired

    Oh honey, I feel for you. It's so hard being a mother and working, too.

    Where is baby sleeping? Are you having to get up and go to another room to feed baby? Maybe you could move baby into the same room as you, or you could sleep in baby's room, just to get more sleep. Have you mastered nursing while lying down? That might give you a few more minutes of snoozing.

    Can you call your daycare provider right before you walk out the door of work, to tell her that you're on the way, and please don't feed her before you get there?

    If DH is willing to give her a bottle, maybe you should take advantage of this. If it means that you're a much happier, more coherent person the next day, it might be worth it. Maybe just on the rough nights? Missing one feeding may end up making you more full, so you'll still need to get up and feed baby at the next feeding, or get up and pump soon after the bottle. However, you MUST TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, too!

    I'm also wondering about postpartum depression. Many mothers find that they experience it more dramatically after they return to work. Take a good, hard look at yourself, and if you feel that it even *might* be a problem, call your doctor. Soon. There's nothing wrong with admitting that you need help. Being a new mother, and working fulltime, can easily overwhelm your mind and body.

    Let some of the housework go, order dinner out once in a while, and take care of yourself.

    You are doing a great thing for your baby by providing your milk for her while you're apart. Please keep us updated.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Getting tired

    I am a counselor by profession and wondered about the depression. It's next to impossible to see it in myself, until I reread my posts. I think I'll give it another couple of days - just through the weekend - and see if things improve. I don't know about Bfing and anti-depressants which I'm almost sure is what they'll suggest, since increasing my exercising and trying to eat better (I'm already trying to do that) is just going to add more to the to do list that never ends.

    I have Gracie sleeping with me most nights now. If she's not in my bed she's in the bassinet at the foot of the bed. Dh did sleep in there with us last night. I convinced him that there was no way he'd roll over on her, I NEVER have even come close with either child, they squawk if you start to crowd them and it wakes me up. I also kept her on the other side of me so that he would have to roll over me to get to her. I'm remembering how to nurse lying down, but I forget to do both sides so I wake up lopsided. I fall back to sleep too quickly. I've been resolving that by pumping in the morning before I nurse her so that I don't drown her with the letdown.

    Working on the caregiver. She seems more comfortable with the bf bottle. Plus I started putting smiley stickers on the bottles and writing "Gracie's Breastmilk" on the sticker. I know the other mom brings her formula in a can, but hey, it's busy and I can see getting sidetracked and not thinking about it. Years ago when I taught daycare and preschool, I used to give out these notes that I jotted what baby did all day, times fed, number diapers, types of diapers, so I dug out that form and started jotting notes first thing and sending it with Gracie in her carrier with the bottles. I just noted how she slept and what and when she ate. I just did it today so we'll see.

    Gotta keep trying!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Getting tired

    There are several anti-depressants that are generally considered compatible with breastfeeding. You can ask your doctor to check with a copy of Dr. Hale's _Medications and Mothers Milk_ for a safety information, or post on this message board, or better yet, call a local LLL Leader, for specific medications.

    The notes you've mentioned sound like a good idea. I wonder if your caregiver would be open to jotting things down for you, too?

    Keep us updated!
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Getting tired

    I was veeery apprehensive about nursing in bed, yet had to conceed to exhaustion. I could never fall back to sleep in the middle of the night. We have a body pillow that we put between dh and myself in the middle of the night to eliminate the fear of him rolling over on our ds. When it is time to cuddle, we just shove it in the co-sleeper next to our bed.

    Do you have a cell phone? Could you call the sitter and let her know when you leave work, and again when you are close to arriving, just in case she feels as if she just can't wait anymore and gives into the bottle??

    Hang in there! I am proud of ya! I am returning to work in two weeks and am not looking forward to it, but I will be thinking of how long you must commute.

    Di

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