Month three was all about breaking free from our now-accustomed house arrest. But, to where?! Truly, it didn’t matter. The art of packing up a baby, absurdly heavy stroller base, ditto car seat, complete diaper bag (which is so much more than just diapers), milk, pump, pump parts, a cooler, ice pack for said cooler, and to remember your wallet, keys, to put on pants, and to brush your hair (this is not a requirement, just socially encouraged) IS basically like a pre-pregnancy trip prep to Europe.
But, it really is so entirely worth it.
First of all, it got me out of my sweats and slob (no literally, there was slobber everywhere), secondly it was an excellent distraction for a little baby who needed endless action, activity and attention (and was not yet aware of the concept of napping), and thirdly we had things we really needed! Groceries, toilet paper, coffee for mom, much-overdue catch ups with friends, to meet the Easter Bunny (yes, this counts as a “must”), and the list goes on and on.
By far though the best out-of-the-house adventure of them all was signing up for our local Mommy & Me. I needed to join a mom gang and needed to do so stat. Don’t get my wrong, my girlfriends are FABULOUS, the best of the best, but I quickly learned that they were less than eager to hear about excessively full diapers, leaky boobs and/or the woes of tummy time. These topics required being able to relate, at minimum, and beyond that I had a laundry list (well, yes I actually had a literal laundry list but also a metaphorical one…) of questions of right vs. wrong, and do’s and definite don’ts.
And Mommy & Me was astonishingly able to answer every single one of them … and then some.
A biggie, was learning that there was a world of “pumpers” out there, who could give their baby breast milk without having to force a latch at each and every feed.
I so wanted breastfeeding to be, as advertised, “magical” and “magnificent”. I understood that it was important to feed “X” breast milk if I could provide it, but latching her onto my boob 8x a day quickly became the most difficult and stressful job of them all.
We tried everything… private and group lactation lessons, every boob-support pillow on the market, breast shields, you name it. Xena was not a happy camper, and in turn, neither was I.
I started my pump journey as a part-time thing, to give Jordan a chance to feed her a nighttime bottle, but I was quickly tempted to do it more and more. I found that Xena and I were actually having much better bond-time with her cuddled up in my arms, sucking on a bottle that I knew I made for her, than both of us crying while pinching my nipple into various “sandwich shapes” (yes, this is a real thing).
My Mommy & Me crew validated that it was okay, well more than okay, this was perfectly normal and pumping didn’t make me a bad mom in any way. That’s when I decided to, other than the middle-of-the-night feedings (which were easier to put a sleepy baby on my boob vs. trek downstairs to heat up a bottle), become an exclusive pumping machine – and yes, you do feel like a cow being machine milked often in the process. For me? It was totally worth it.
Other notable mentions this month included finding my saving grace, the Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit, which upgraded my night’s sleep during this month from four to seven hours, and even more importantly, convinced Miss X to actually NAP. Think of the weighted blanket for adults that went viral, very similar, but even better as it makes your baby look like the Michelin Man in the process.
AND then I ALSO embarked on my first 36-hour trip away to attend my dad’s wedding. Solo, sans baby and baby daddy (who was home with said baby). This experience was a big one as it taught me that I’ve never been more grateful for my husband. I realized after many-a-deep-breath, that I needed to understand that he wouldn’t follow my schedule perfectly, or at all, which is OK, that FaceTime is a lifesaver, and so is a martini (or five). What?!?! I had a lot of lost time to make up for!!
This was also where my pumping stock-pile came in handy. Baby X had a mix of frozen and fresh milk ready for the weekend, and I could leave and “pump and dump” without worrying that she wouldn’t be eating.
Talking about eating, it’s time for me to get after a “Boobie Bar” (don’t ask, just try, they are next level incredible, and yes I absolutely learned about them on Shark Tank), and smush up some banana oatmeal for baby (but we’ll get to this in month 4…).
TTYL. Ta ta for now!