Not only am I short on time these days, but I am short on energy too. #itsaseason #itsaseason #itsaseason, right?
I guess I forgot how hard this part is.
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1) Genevieve is really cute. As you can see from the photo below, she’s really not getting enough nutrition from me.
15 lb 4 oz @ 4 months // 88% weight, 70% height
HAHAHAHA. This would be funny. However, despite appearances it’s still a struggle and continues to be one of my biggest stressors. I am somehow keeping up (although we just started some baby oatmeal, so I can no longer say she’s exclusively breast fed — ps I hate that term, it sounds so elitist). But I can only pump ~12 oz most days (work AND morning pump) and — as a baby her size probably needs 25-30 oz/day, she’s up eating all night long to compensate.
I guess this is “reverse cycling”. It’s supposed to be a “great” way to maintain supply for working women. Except a) being up every 2-3 hrs all night is really tiring and b) my supply seems to be slowly dropping anyway.
2) It’s hard to keep up at work when one is as chronically tired as I am AND constantly being stressed out/interrupted by the need to pump. I am all for the Fifth Trimester movement and its positivity. But you know what? I AM NOT AS EFFICIENT AT MY JOB RIGHT NOW. At all. And I have concrete metrics to prove it, including the fact that I now always seem to be behind on charts and I have 987327 emails that need addressing in my inbox right now.
3) I am (gasp) not happy with my planner. I KNOW. It’s too small. I sort of knew this might happen – after 4 years of using the Hobonichi Cousin, I took the plunge and moved to a regular (much smaller) Hobonichi. I technically can fit all I need to fit in there, but it’s visually cluttered and much less pleasant for me to use. I am moving into a new system (will show it once it’s here . . . .) to better suit this #itsaseason time.
PlannerFail. Yes, it happens to all of us.
4) On that note, I have 94 unread emails in my non-work inbox, am a month behind on budgeting, and feel itchy when I think about how many random commitments and important items I just haven’t had the energy to address.
(Maybe you all can help me with one of them: where should we stay, as a family, in Portland — potentially near Laurelhurst park — and Seattle? Recommendations welcome if you’ve had a great hotel or inn experience in either region.)
5) I keep looking back in my own blog to figure out when I started to feel human again with A&C. It appears that with A, I was doing lots of running and going on date nights by the the 4 month mark. With C, it took a bit longer. Both of them were sleeping really poorly at 4 months and much better by 6. And I had the exact same milk issues with all 3.
all 3 together being cute
6) I am on call but thankfully it hasn’t been nearly as crazy as the last call week so far. In fact, I may actually get a chance to get caught up (both at work + in life). I am greatly looking forward to feeling a little less behind in all realms.
7) Exercise has mostly fallen by the wayside. Which is sad. But I am determined to be back by the time G is 6 months. I really miss running especially after reading all of the Boston Marathon coverage! (PS I’ve alllllways loved Desi Linden — she seems so REAL and I particularly love that she’s as short as I am 🙂 )
8) I am almost done with Beartown. Just woah. I do like it a lot more than I liked A Man Called Ove. And apparently there is going to be a sequel, which I will definitely read.
9) I’ve been listening to some new podcasts lately — will have to do a post on some newfound favorites
10) It is time to pump. I will leave you all with wise words from Mrs Adrienne Bosh:
“In between goals is a thing called . . . Life. And it’s meant to be lived and enjoyed.”
Keeping this in mind through these weeks. Even during #itsaseason.
Really recommend Airbnb for Portland — we stayed in a great cottage. I find it is so much easier (and cheaper) with a kid to have access to a kitchen, laundry, and separate space
Awww. She is absolutely adorable! Its hard. I’m sorry. Hang in there, you are doing amazing. Definitely try to streamline and let things go and be gentle with yourself. You are doing SO MUCH already with working and momming and milking.
I so appreciate your posting updates– it is very reassuring and real to hear. My son is a year old and is a great sleeper, but getting through those months of constant night timefeeding was tough!
I just caught up on your podcast and I wanted to ask about your thoughts on how to function while sleep deprived, especially at work. How do you prioritize and structure your tasks to work through the fog that comes with sleeping in 3-4 hour chunks? And also, to what extent do you throw the baby under the bus and tell your colleagues that you are underperforming because of lack of sleep? I’m sure it also depends on your workplace culture, but I’ve always felt uncomfortable blaming baby or family issues for things like being late to work, or not getting as much paperwork done as I wanted – minor things, but definitely not my normal standards. I work in the arts, so it’s a more liberal environment, but at the same time very few people have kids and there is the "suffer for your art" mentality. Every time someone asks me about how sleep is going, I am conflicted between a wan smile and saying "It’s ok…" Or just punching them.
Also speaking of podcasts- on your last podcast episode you asked for yoga workout suggestions. I’ve been listening to a podcast called "20 min. yoga sessions from Yogadownload.com". I love it because they are only 20 mins, so perfect for the end of day wind down, and also since I’m trying to reduce screen time in the evenings, the podcast format is great. Some of their episodes are video, if you do want to make sure you are doing thing right, but the audio ones have a pdf pose guide that you can use if you aren’t familiar with the poses.
Your kids might get a kick out of staying at an elementary school that has been turned into a hotel in Portland. See Kennedy School — https://www.mcmenamins.com/kennedy-school
omg that looks awesome. I think we may air b&b it now that I"m thinking about it but this is another cool option!
Maybe Josh should plan the trip to Seattle…
Laura’s husband seemed to have done a good job with England. #justsayin’
I might be more of a control freak than Laura. Ha! Actually I think we are going to sit down and do it together this weekend – shouldn’t be too hard really just need to settle on a location.
I don”t think it”s particularly close to Laurelhurst, but I recently had a lovely stay at the Marriott Waterfront in Portland!
thank you Meg!
I don”t have any wise words except YES ALL THIS ⬆️. Mine are now 3y and 2.5 months and I have been back to work for 4 weeks and UGH where did the easy part go? It does not help that I”ve recently had mostly evening shifts – the most difficult part of my EM life (worse than nights or switching shifts) and so my husband is grumpy and long-suffering and the 3-year old hates to go to sleep and UGH. And yet, my roly-poly baby is smiling and getting a kick out of the baby in the mirror right now and life is good and IT IS A SEASON that I can feel disappearing all too quickly and oops hormones 😢. So, it”s not just you. We will ride the wave – calm seas will come, in another season.
ughghghgh evenings – what is that, like 3p – 1a? Sounds like misery. Yes it was much easier at home. Why couldn’t 6 month maternity leaves (even unpaid) be an option!?
The only thing I can say is you are doing awesome. this is the hardest time period to juggle everything on a lack of sleep. I think that is the key to feeling better is when you don’t have to wake up several times a night for feedings.
I don’t have advice to give because I think only you can answer what is right for you in managing your life but please know that there were days I cried (thankfully privately) from trying to balance everything.
Six months will arrive soon and hopefully that will be a chance for things to shift better for you!
AND YES PEOPLE PLEASE STOP ASKING ME ABOUT THE SLEEP. I agree I feel like I’m admitting failure when I’m like "actually no it’s not going well."
I haven’t been commenting much, but my second-born is one month older than G right now, and I have been reading your recent posts with a deep sense of commiseration and empathy. I remember distinctly feeling a "click point" with my now-4yo when she turned four months where I felt like I had things reasonably together and felt mostly happy with our day-to-day, and, well, I’m definitely still waiting for that moment with my son. 🙂
I read The Fifth Trimester right before I went back to work this time and…I don’t know, it was a well-written book with a lot of valuable things to say, and yet I felt pretty miserable the whole time I was reading, possibly because it was affirming a situation that really sucks. I just wasn’t remotely ready to go back at only three months out, no matter how much I prepared myself beforehand, and for some reason I feel the injustice of it much more keenly with my son than I remember feeling with my daughter.
yep, waiting for Click Point.
I enjoyed reading The Fifth Tri, but I’m not sure how helpful it was. I also take offense to how matter-of-factly she mentioned so many women pumping to 11 months. Not all of us are able to make this work no matter how hard we try and I wish she had discussed how nearly impossible many of us find it . . .
Hi Sarah! I live in PDX so if you want to ping me with questions, feel free. (My email is attached to the form I think.) Kennedy School is really fun, but I’m not sure whether they would have a suite setup that works for a family, so you may want to call and ask.) I’d second the AirBNB suggestion if you are looking at being near a neighborhood. I’m guessing your readers will have lots of great suggestions, especially for fun places with kids.
Thank you!! I may bug you later with questions!!!
G is truly adorable – smiley babies are the best and remember that’s why you’re doing all of this! You are doing your best and you can’t ask for anything more from yourself. It gets better.
If you need a change in perspective – what advice you give a friend in the exact same situation? Would you tell them to drop a pump and do some formula? Let another commitment take a backseat for a few months? Just remember to be gracious with yourself!
Thanks Erica <3 yes true . . .
The logical part of me has trouble with this b/c she’s SUCH A CHUNK that I know I am making enough milk. Bah! Going to try to stick it out to the 6m mark . . .
Hi Sarah, I’m a new commenter, but wanted to start by saying that I love hearing you on the BOBW podcast. Thank you! We visited the Seattle area for Spring Break, and stayed at a lovely AirBnB: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5304739 — it’s 2 bedrooms and close to Carkeek park & beach. If your family likes to hike, our favorite of the 4 national parks we visited was Olympic National Park (on Olympic peninsula). We took the ferry over from Seattle to the peninsula. It has such gorgeous scenery, and several of the hikes are easy (e.g. Marymere Falls & Hoh Rainforest Hall of Moss). There are a few National Park Service lodges within the park — we stayed at Kalaloch Lodge, which was right on the Pacific.
My family of four (kids ages 4 and 2) recently stayed at the Inn at the Market in Seattle–it’s a lovely lovely hotel and everyone was so nice to our children. It’s right above the Pike Place Market, which is great for grabbing breakfast or afternoon snacks, and it’s an easy walk to places like the Seattle Aquarium, the ferry terminal (go to Bainbridge Island!), Seattle Art Museum, and public transit (monorail, lightrail, bus).
awesome rec! Thank you! I am already getting excited for this trip!!
Yeah. I was talking to some friends with babies in my residency class, asking how they were holding everything together so well when I know I”d be tired and miserable, and they basically agreed that they felt exhausted and miserable all the time. You”re doing great, I just wish you”d put less pressure on yourself. FWIW I did not feel normal after Dyl until 14 months or so, and we didn”t have a single date night until 10 months… so I think you”re pretty well. Hang in there! She”s such a cutie!
Thank you and yeah, I’m just at peace with lack of doing much these days. I know it’s temporary (and I remember how good it feels to eventually feel more normal again — I know it will happen — no need to rush it!)
Ugh, it is really hard. I finished a major milestone this week and just feel …flat. Nursing is a bit complicated at the moment – baby is just go, go, go and doesn’t want to focus and pumping is an absolute bore, isn’t it? I’m just tired and feeling completely driven by my to do list. I can’t even find anything inspiring to read so I think I’ve been doing more instagram strolling than I should be.
But baby is sleeping a bit better and spring seems to have finally sprung here in Scotland so we’ll take what we can get.
I totally get it – and am jealous of your sleeping baby!! Spring here is sadly NOT a good thing – we’re probably one of the only places happy to have endless "winter". (Because "winter" is like mid-70s and breezy . . .)
YES PLEASE on podcasts! Had to laugh at your not-getting-enough-nutrition photo of G. What an adorable baby! Hang in there with the pumping struggles. I feel very #itsaseason right now with being pregnant with #4, which I’m sure seems laughable to everyone around me (like it’s going to get easier when he is born?!) but I know I will feel a tiny bit more human not dragging around this watermelon on the front of me! xoxo
Haha the last trimester is terrible! 100% agree. You will definitely feel better!! And honestly my miserable phase didn’t really start until I went back to work . . . which thankfully you won’t have to contend with!