Tuesday, October 1, 2013

3am feeds just got a lot cooler

Two pieces of awesome happened to make nighttime feeds a lot cooler (which isn't actually saying as much as I'd like, considering nighttime feeds aren't very cool to begin with).  So here's where I'm at with feeding:

Hannah won't breastfeed.

My girl likes to eat (she's like her mom that way).  And she likes to eat a lot very quickly.  You could say she scarfs down her milk.  In the NICU when she wasn't even 48 hours old, they were already changing her to the slow-flow bottles because she ate so damn fast and kept spitting up.  Plus, speaking of the NICU, she got hooked on bottles and pacifiers there.  So then, when I tried to feed her, she was all, "hey, this is more work, and it's slower, and I'm not a fan of more work and slower when I can get more faster for less work."  She's clever and into efficiency like that.

So I'm pumping.  8 weeks tomorrow of pumping 7 times a day for 15-20 minutes at a shot so I can give my girl my milk and not have to give her formula.  And it's not because I'm preachy about breastmilk.  I'm not a Boob Nazi like some of the lactation ladies at the hospital.  No, I'm just cheap.  Have you seen the price of formula lately?  They keep that shit locked up in stores because it gets stolen so much.  At my breastfeeding class they said that the average formula fed baby costs their parents $3000 the first year.  We've got a wedding in Sweden to go to next year - ain't no way I'm spending $3000 on food when my boobs make it for free.  Plus, it apparently burns 20 calories an ounce.  30 ounces a day = 600 calories = pass the cheesecake.

But I digress.

The point is, nighttime feedings are a bit tricky because when babygirl cries (her sweet little "ah-waeh! ah-waeh!") I gotsta feed her with a bottle first (I always keep an extra one out - I've read all kinds of stats about how long you can keep breastmilk out, ranging from 4-10 hours.  I average somewhere in the 5-6 hour range personally).  So babygirl eats.  Then babygirl burps.  

That's when Mama should be going back to bed.  But no.  Mama hooks her boobs up to a machine looking like it could have come from an episode of the Jestons, and sits in the dark for 15 minutes feeling like a cow getting milked (moooo).  Then Mama goes out to the kitchen to wash her pumping crap (though I recently got smart and now I have three sets of pumping crap so I don't have to wash overnight - I just store it all in a ziplock in the fridge), and then makes a fresh bottle to have on hand in another two hours when babygirl wakes up hungry.

The whole process takes about 45 minutes.

We live in a small house, and our bedroom doesn't have a lot of extra space, so up until now we've been sitting on the bed when we feed her, and when I pump,  This is horribly uncomfortable, forces us to slouch, and is generally an inelegant solution.

First bit of awesome: an amazingly comfortable upholstered rocking chair with stool we bought at an antique place in town over the weekend.  It's in the room that will become the nursery, so when babygirl cries, we just take her in there, sit down in back-and-arm-supported comfort, and rock away.

During my 15-20 minutes of pumping I can do whatever thanks to the hands free pumping bra I bought when I realized that this could very well be my life for the next few months (we still try breastfeeding regularly - my lactation consultant - yeah, I have one of those - thinks that as she gets older and her muscles get stronger, we might have success).  So I've been reading a lot.  15 minutes at a shot, 7 times a day is a lot of reading.

I have two apps on my ipad that are getting a ton of time right now.  The first is NextIssue, which is kind of like Spotify for magazines.  I have about 20 magazines in regular circulation there.  Some are intelligent ones like the New Yorker and Vanity Fair. But there's also Us Weekly with some Oprah, Real Simple, and Rachel Ray thrown in for good measure.

The other one is also like Spotify, but for ebooks.  Oyster just launched, and is only in an iphone app right now (which I use on my ipad) and they don't have a ton of publishers yet, but they seem to be a good effort in how to solve the problem of granting people unlimited reading at a price point they can stomach ($9.99/month).  Yeah, the library is free, but as we all know (me especially from our ebook project at work) the hold times on the popular titles are ginormous, and if this works, they will have a much bigger selection.  Right now the biggest publisher they have is HarperCollins (the only one of the Big 5 I believe they have), and they have a bunch of midsize ones like Houghton Mifflin, Workman, etc.  So they have a bunch of great titles.

The reader is pretty crap - instead of using one that's freely available (ie Bluefire) they went with building a dedicated one.  You scroll up to turn the page.  That's just weird.  They also don't have a ton of flexibility with changing the fonts and colors.  For example, there's a font I really like, but the nighttime setting has its own font, so I can't use the font I like with the nighttime setting, which seems stupid.  Let me pick the font, and the background.  The searching and browsing isn't great, but it's designed to be an app to use on your phone, so I can see why they are trying to keep it simple.  You can search on their website and add titles to your reading list online, so that makes it easier, I guess.

Anyway, on an average night I'm reading on my Oyster app at least twice, and I can definitely see it being worth the money for power readers.  It's available only through invitation right now, but if you sign up requesting one, it doesn't take long for it to arrive.

So between Oyster and the rocking chair, 3am is looking a lot less intimidating these days.  It's funny, the things that have become important to me.

1 comment:

Christy Nicholson said...

You are a rock star for pumping! That is hard work. Sounds like you have a great system, though.