So my last post was about all of the fears I had related to going back to work. Since then I have worked a 12-hour shift and an 8-hour shift. On my end it hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as I feared. It felt way more natural than I expected to slip back into the nursing role. I haven’t forgotten everything. I still remember how to give medicine and chart and all that good stuff. I was able to pump in a private place. My boobs did not explode. I even got out a little early both days! (Granted my coworkers have been very nice and I have been given really lovely assignments with easy kids)
On the baby’s end however, it has been a challenge due to the fact that she will still not take a bottle. She took an ounce of formula from my mom in the course of 14 hours. Which she threw up. Which is not great. In fact it is the opposite of great. From my husband on Friday she took nada over 10 hours.
We are deep into the process of looking for help/suggestions/tips and have gotten a few that seem promising. I ordered a fancy Medela nipple that is supposed to mimic how a baby gets milk from a real nipple (the milk only flows if the baby sucks). We are going to try cold milk, warmed milk. I am going to get some apple juice and put that in a bottle to see if she will take it (this was suggested from a reputable medical site for a baby older than 3 months). My sister was able to get her to take a couple of ounces last night by using her finger in the baby’s mouth and then quickly putting in the bottle. Ryley was perturbed but eventually kind of half gave in and sucked a little, which is definitely progress.
I know (I think) that eventually she will take a bottle. But right now it is beyond stressful, because it feels like all the sudden I am chained to my baby (who is dear and lovely and the center of my world, but who I still do not want to be chained to for 9 more months). Where before I felt like I could go on date nights and take the baby to public places where I wouldn’t want to breastfeed or even entertain the thought of a day trip away eventually, right now it feels like the possibility for these things has suddenly slammed shut.
Luckily I know a lot of other moms have gone though this and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and suggestions. And the bright side is that I now know with certainty that my daughter is both a pistol and very smart. She is not the kind of baby who can be fooled into thinking silicone is the same thing as mommy’s boob. She also is stubborn as a mule and will go 14 hours without eating just to hold out for mom to come home. As frustrating as the situation is, I can’t help but take a certain amount of pride in these things. I think there are few better traits for a Southern woman (or any woman really) than to be both stubborn and smart.
In light of our struggles with the bottle and due to the nature of my husband’s schedule, we have decided it is best for me to change from part time (20/hrs a week) to PRN (non-benefited, 16 hours minimum a month, can work as many hours on top of that as I’d like). With his schedule (nights, long shifts, weekends) we just really need flexibility. It keeps me awake at night to think of us both having to work a night shift or what we will do when my mom is out of town and can’t watch the baby. He has good health insurance and even though it will cost a little extra to add on to his, it’s worth the peace of mind that will come with me not having to necessarily do 12-hour shits or nights.
So those are the updates from the last week. I love my job and I love my baby, but combining the two has been really hard. I am beyond lucky to be in a position where I can adapt my hours and schedule and not be locked into a 40 hour work week with rigid hours. I am so thankful for that fact.
I am also beyond lucky to have such great support from my friends and family. My first day back I got several texts cheering me on and telling me everything would be okay. Those really made me smile when my heart was missing my baby something fierce. Ryland is surrounded by a lot of love J
Hopefully the next update will be that the baby has given in on the battle of wills and taken a darn bottle already. And if not I’m sure we’ll get there, eventually. My one lingering question though is that if 3 months is this challenging, what in the world are we going to do about the teenage years?!