The 5th Trimester continues.
I’ve been at work for 1 month now. It seems like longer, somehow. It also feels like I will be pumping between patients forever. And that I will never have my *&$@# together again. Because I definitely don’t now.
Things I am not currently doing:
– #1 Exercising. Like AT ALL for the past 2 weeks, other than a walk with a friend on Saturdays and sometimes random walks when I’m off. I’m too tired to get up early to do it, and there aren’t other logical places to fit it in. Thankfully breastfeeding burns a lot of calories*, but man I miss my endorphin highs and generally feeling fit.
– #2 Sleeping more than 3 hrs at a time. Yeah. She’s almost 4 months. Looking back at my blog apparently Cameron did this too. I cannot decide if it’s nature’s way of maintaining my milk supply (and it does seem to be working, having fewer issues keeping up, yay) OR she is just going through 4 month sleep regression. On that note, we’re still swaddling. She doesn’t really settle otherwise.
Last night I went to bed at 9, she was up at 11, then 2:30, then 6, then 7. This is a normal night for her. She ate well at all times. I read about other babies her age sleeping 7-3 or 9-6 and will admit . . . I’m jealous!
– #3 Keeping up with documentation at work. I used to be pretty much 100% on closing all charts before leaving work, but that was before I had to devote approximately 90 minutes of my work day to coaxing milk out of my breasts. This has led to catchup on weekends, my days off, etc. Plus I’m less efficient when I’m there, because TIRED. See #2.
– #4 Having much quality time with Josh. I have been trying to go to bed at 9 pm most nights because it’s the only way I can wake up feeling human (ie if G eats at 11, 2, and 5 and then I have to get up and pump on work days).
– #5 Having much patience with A&C. Sigh. Too tired. Yes, there is a theme here . . .
– #6 My planning routines! And as a result, I feel disastrously scattered and, as expected, keep bumping into annoying scheduling conflicts or missed details that end up being more stress and more work. BAHHH. At least we finished our taxes . . .
– #7 Journaling and meditating. I could really use some reflective time. I just don’t have the space or energy (though I am writing this post, so there’s that!).
– #8 Fighting off infections. OMG, we’ve had a sick month. I started having URI symptoms at the start of my call week 2.5 weeks ago. I still have a sore throat and all this gunk back there. The kids have been sick**. Fevers. Coughs. BLAHHHH. Once we finally all recover, I really really really hope this will be it for a while. We were actually pretty healthy from January until mid-March! I definitely notice these things hitting in prolonged waves.
Okay. She’s still asleep (for now . . .) so I will attempt to go through the mail and get my life in order . . . Josh just took the 2 big ones for several hours (THANK YOU BABE) so I am going to try to make the most of this time!
* ie so I haven’t gained 8243 lbs, but I haven’t lost the last of my baby weight either. And body composition-wise I still do NOT feel back to ‘normal’ or even close. Thank goodness for leggings, stretchy lower rise pants, and wrap dresses! AND perspective b/c I honestly care much less this time than I did the other 2!
** Genevieve has actually had the fewest symptoms, though her snotty nose is super sad
This is THE hardest time because the physical intensiveness of it you can’t out source! You are doing awesome! I super admire your strength even though in your tiredness you can’t recognize it. It is there.
Thank you for posting and sharing. This too shall pass.
Can you get a night nurse for a bit? Or have Josh fed her a bottle for some of the feedings? It sounds like you really need some more sleep! Big hugs.
I thought about it but really there’s so little to do other than just feed her that I don’t think it would help! And my supply paranoia prevents me from letting go of a precious bottle (and honestly I’d rather wake 3x than add an extra pump session – blahahhhhhh I hate that thing so much).
It is so hard! I”m a few months ahead of you and it”s srill hard. Just FYI: B is a not great sleeper and we tried not swaddling for awhile and then at 6 months I couldn”t take it anymore and bought a Zippadee Zip. He”s 9 months old next week and we still use it. Otherwise he wakes up a ton.
And also, I didn”t feel good about body composition until about 6 months either. And I was working out pretty regularly, so be kind to yourself!
<3 thanks Erica! And by the way not ignoring your email. I have a backlog -oops!
First, I think you are amazing with managing to do so well and engage fully in so many dimensions of life. However, you are way too hard on yourself regarding breastmilk/feeding. When you describe your pumping challenges, it strikes me as a touch obsessive. Is the cost/benefit to you and your family favourable? Perhaps reaching more of a compromise (ie less pumping) may be optimal for everyone. "Perfect" is often not the optimal solution. I admire, the person you are, blog, and podcast!
Oh, it’s definitely obsessive. I don’t really have a solution. When it’s going well, it doesn’t consume me. When it’s not . . . it’s like full blown OCD territory; I can’t really focus on or enjoy anything else. I’m just glad I’m not like this about other things. Thankfully right now it’s actually going okay, and it feels like I can handle things. I have just had to compromise (ie: this list) in other arenas. I don’t know what the right answer is, but this feels like the right choice for now until 6months.
Hang tough! My second just turned 1 and the first couple of months back at work remain a blur. You are amazing. 🙂
That is one CUTE baby!
Thanks for your post. You’ve been back at work a week longer than me, and it is just nice to know someone else is going through the same current life stage. It is only a season!
Thank you Amanda! YES it’s hard – but it’s temporary!
I started reading back in the TTC days but haven”t posted until recently with your 5th trimester woes. Sounds like my exact experience and now that I”m on the other side I wanted to offer encouragement . I just want to say you”re enough. This season, this stage- doesn”t last forever. It feels like it at the time for sure and the lack of sleep is inhumane. I enjoy my 14 month old soooooo much more than I enjoyed him at 4 months nursing all night and pumping all day and I remember you saying you didn”t love the newborn stage either. Do what you can when you can but remember this stage is all about survival. Place sleep above all else bc without it nothing else is possible. YOU are enough mama.
I don’t love the toddler stage either. Ha! That said, when they can actually talk and reason kids are amazing. I definitely still think this is worth it. And there are such amazing moments. But I’ll also be glad to never do it again 🙂
oof, this all sounds so stressful. Rooting for it to pass soon!
Would she sleep on her tummy? I know it”s controversial (maybe even more so for a doctor), but I have my own analysis of the correlation between “back to sleep” and less SIDS. I started with my #3 because that was when my daughter was bringing every germ home from preschool and he was always so stuffed up. Tummy sleep was the only thing that helped him sleep and breathe. I never looked back and every kid since then had longer stretches at an earlier age. At four months I”m sure she”s strong and close to being able to roll on her own anyway…
As for everything else, I”m sure you”ll hit your stride. It”s definitely an adjustment, and even without a demanding job like yours, it takes time to figure out how all of your stuff will fit back in.
I did try some supervised tummy naps but she actually didn’t seem as into it as I thought! That said, I’ve never tried at night. I’m not against giving it a shot at some point, but last night was better (7:15 – 1:15 stretch, woohoooo) so mayyyyabe the sleep regression is going to end on its own? Maybe!?!?
I am pregnant with baby #2- my oldest is 7 years, and it took me this long to feel like I could handle another. So I am amazed at all you are doing! My daughter had severe acid reflux and refused to nurse after 4 months. I pumped exclusively for 7 months and it was a nightmare, I seriously regret the stress I put myself and my daughter through just so I could say I breastfed for the first year. With my second, I will breastfeed exclusively for the first month (not year) and then transition to formula the second it starts to get stressful. In low income countries with poor nutrition and spotty immunization, there is truly a protective effect of breastfeeding. But in high income countries the benefit of breastfeeding after the first month hasn’t been demonstrated in the published literature- I’m an epidemiologist focusing on emerging infectious diseases so I obsess about this kind of stuff 🙂
Thanks Sharon. I’ve read so many mixed things at this point I don’t even know what to think! I’d just like to get to 6 months (for whatever reason) and then I am officially giving myself permission to ease up a little. It does seem like there are some mild incremental benefits but very very small. And I agree so many studies flawed because it’s just impossible to control for everything . . .
We still swaddle too at 5.5 months! Arms in and everything. We want to break it but she can”t roll back to tummy so she can”t self soothe yet. Hopefully soon! Good luck.
G isn’t rolling yet either. I think she’s too hefty! Ha! She’s getting close but kind of stops on her side . . .