Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy 12 week birthday, baby girl!

I don't know which she likes better, the rings or her orange dog! But she sure does like to smile and "talk" to them! I have the coolest kid ever.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lactation shmactation

Well, things are getting better on the milk-making front. The Fenugreek seems to be helping, and every day I've been able to pump more (at work) than I did the day before. Not sure whether I'll be able to avoid supplementing during the upcoming week (four more days of school!), but at the very least it won't be the end of my milk supply. We're still able to nurse quite well at home, thankyouverymuch. It's the pumping that's so hard to keep up with. She drinks up to 16 ounces while I'm at work, and pumping that much every day on top of nursing full-time is challenging, ever since I used up my frozen stash. I think things will be just fine once I stop pumping for the summer. I know I'll still pump occasionally, but it won't be a daily thing, thank goodness. I'm so relieved that this doesn't spell the end. I'm not ready to stop, and neither is K.

I'm really looking forward to hopping on a plane next month with K and heading to New York for the summer! I keep making mental notes of stuff I want to bring...now I just need to buy a big honking suitcase to carry it all in! Sadly, not much else to report right now...I'm just trying to hold on till Thursday, the last day of school. Wednesday is the kids' last day, and teachers have one final day, Thursday, to pack it in and tie up all the loose ends. I. Can't. Wait.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


My milk supply is dwindling.

I've been pumping since early April, to get ready for my April 16th return to full-time teaching. And there have been days, especially in the last week, when my ridiculous schedule at school has prevented me from pumping at all during the school day. Nursing seems to still be going well...I haven't had to supplement when we're at home together. But I've now burned through my frozen stash, and the bottles I got together for tomorrow (well, later today...) are about half breastmilk and half formula. And I can't believe how sad this is making me.

I won't give up without a fight, I tell myself, which includes: taking Fenugreek twice a day, drinking lactation tea, drinking a lot more water (I'm not good about that), pumping more frequently when I'm at home, and pumping for longer periods of time, even after no more milk is coming out. I don't really know what else I can do, but I am willing to consider prescription medication if these other things don't work. So now I've just been moping around with this constant aching sadness...I don't. want. to. stop. nursing. yet. And neither does K, that's been made perfectly clear to me. I'm not against formula at all...I'm just not ready to quit nursing yet. It's too soon. If I can make it through next Thursday, there's hope...that's the last day of school, and I won't have to rely on pumping for the rest of the summer. I keep thinking of these adoptive moms who are able to re-lactate and nurse their adopted infants...if they can do it, so can I. Damn it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ten days left...

and yes, I'm counting! I have TEN days left with my one-foot-out-the-door sixth graders...they are just so done with the school year and ready for summer. So every day feels like an uphill battle. If anyone is wondering why I haven't posted much lately (not that anyone would, really), it's because I'm simply hanging on for dear life. This single mom stuff is tough. Caring for a ten-week-old on my own AND teaching full time AND managing to pump enough to keep this girl fed on a daily basis AND all of the other minutiae that life seems to require is tough, and I cannot WAIT till summer break starts on the 27th! Thank goodness for summer vacations...without them I think I'd go crazy. K and I will be heading east to upstate New York for the summer, to spend it with my parents, and I absolutely cannot wait! We'll be leaving sometime mid-June to late June, after I get a few things done here and get everything ready to go. I'll still be posting from there, though, thank goodness.

My childcare plans for the next school year fell through yesterday. Yes, I did cry a little bit. Only because things had been going so well with K's caregiver, and I was so looking forward to having her watch K next year as well. I completely understand, even though I'm not happy about it: M's husband got a new job that will require him to travel on a regular basis, and the plan is that M and her two little ones will go with him whenever possible. They may even end up moving temporarily. I did make a few calls yesterday, and the Big Question in my mind is which is better: a daycare "center" or a home-based situation? I am considering one of each right now, and I'll be investigating more than just those two before I make my final decision. The center is a church-based one that takes infants as well as toddlers and preschool-age kids, and a friend of mine has her kiddos there, and absolutely loves it. Great location, well-established staff, beautiful facility, and even a discount for teachers in my school district. The home-based daycare is one that three colleagues had their kids at for *years*, and all three were very happy with the care their kids received. Three negatives: a spot won't open up till November, requiring me to make other arrangements from August through November, right now it's all boys and my girl would be the only girl, and three (small) dogs live there as well. I think in my heart of hearts, I'm leaning towards the daycare center. But I will need to visit both places, which I haven't done yet. Ugh. I hate this.

K continues to grow cuter each day (happy sigh). She's ten weeks now, is growing by leaps and bounds, and seems to learn new skills every day. Based on what I've read, she seems to be right on the money developmentally. I cannot WAIT to be able to spend each and every day this summer with her, though! And I won't have to pump nearly as often. Mondays are SO hard, having to surrender her to someone else for eight hours after spending a wonderful weekend with her. Every day at 2:45 feels like Christmas, because that's when my school day (technically) ends and I get to go pick her up from M's, even though I don't end up leaving to pick her up until closer to 4:30 or 5. And when I finally get to hold her in my arms after a stressful day? Heaven. I know it's so cliched, but I really feel like my life has just begun now that she's here. Everyone should know this kind of joy. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, K had her first vaccinations this week! I'm sure it was harder on me than on her--she handled it like a champ, only crying for twenty seconds or so after the last needle was removed. Hardly even a low-grade fever to show for it. The tops of her little legs (where the needles were put in) do seem a tiny bit swollen, though. I'm sure that'll go away soon enough. I was dreading the way she would cry since I knew it would be that I'm-in-pain kind of cry, but it truly wasn't as bad as I expected, and short-lived. I also was a bit worried about the rumored autism link...ninety nine percent of my brain was and still is sure that there is absolutely no connection between vaccinations and autism, but that pesky one percent kept asking "What if?" And of course that one percent has the loudest "voice". :) But I'm okay now, and the next round at four months will be no big deal, I'm sure.

The best news? The kid is thriving! Height: 87th percentile, 24 inches, up from 19 3/4 at birth. Weight: 64th percentile, 11.4 pounds, up from 6 pounds 1 ounce at discharge from the hospital. I couldn't be happier, and the pediatrician seemed quite thrilled as well. Her physical abilities and reflexes are spot-on for her age, and we'll just keep working on the things we've been working on: raising her head, reaching for and grasping objects, rolling over at some point. (She's not really close to that last one yet, but it'll happen soon enough.) And overall, she's quite mellow...she doesn't fuss or cry too often, never spits up, smiles all the time. Her two favorite things right now are her mobile that hangs over her crib and plays a little tune (she LOVES it!) and a set of brightly colored plastic rings that I hang on her car seat's handle or on the bar over her bouncy seat. She has started to "talk" to these two things as well as her other toys, which makes me laugh, and she's started actually cooing, too. Yay! SO much fun to watch her change and grow, even though part of me wishes she'd stay little as long as possible.

I've been rather emotional lately, realizing that Sunday will be my first Mother's Day. I took this opportunity to tell my mom (in writing) what a great mom and grandmother she is, and how much I've appreciated all of her support, help, and encouragement during her three visits here since K was born, and especially during the delivery and at the hospital. I don't know how I could have done it without her, and I'm thrilled to know how much she loves K, just like I do. But I've also been thinking about all the women out there who will have a hard time on Sunday because they want a child so badly and don't/can't have one (yet--I choose to think positively)...I know from experience how hard that is, and my heart goes out to them. It breaks my heart to think about it, actually. I think that's because now that I know this joy, this amazing love, my only wish is for everyone else to get to experience it, too.
Happy Mother's Day to all new moms, experienced moms, and moms-to-be! Oh, and aunts, grandmothers, stepmoms, godmothers too......... :)