Well, this week was a doozy.
I went back to work on Tuesday.
Predictably, Monday night after putting Olive to bed I started to feel that deep heartbreaking sadness that this lovely little period of our lives was over. These last three months were like a dream, getting to know my girl, lots of ample time just the two of us. Constant cuddles, daytime TV and Netflix, driving the brothers to where they needed to be everyday. None of it was real life, bringing the boys to daycare and then heading right back home to a quiet home with my very calm and easygoing and sweet little baby... not real life. But I guess it was, sort of. For the last three months it was our life. That's what Olive and I grew to know, and it felt extravagant and peaceful in all of the best ways.
But all of that is over now, whether I like it or not, so we must carry on I suppose.
So as I packed the pump bag with little yellow bottles and plastic parts, as I made my turkey sandwich and washed some berries and threw a Diet Coke in my bag... I tried not to think about it.
Dan hugged me there in the kitchen and said it's all going to be okay and with a lump in my throat I agreed with him. Of course it will be okay, we've been through this twice before, but surprisingly that doesn't seem to make it any easier.
I love her so much and I love this precious newborn time so much and now I have to go back to WORK. And me and this girl, well we know each other on this level that no one else does. It has been her and me for her whole life. And now she will have to start to get used to this new life that does not include me always being there.
Gosh, I have so been here before, these are the EXACT same feelings I had when I went back to work after having both Gus and Louie. It's kind of comforting that the feelings don't really change, regardless of perspective. It's still sad. And that's totally okay.
So Olive is officially my most stubborn baby with the bottle. Gus never had a problem taking a bottle, Louie fought us all the way until two days before I went back to work, but after that didn't really have a problem. And Olive. Well... Olive is ridiculous. She's all, "Ain't nobody got time for that."
Dan's sister Maria is watching her this summer at our house, which I am so so so thankful for. I would have been even more of a wreck if I had to drop a baby off at daycare still refusing to take a bottle. Tuesday she drank about 1 to 1.5 ounces all day. 9 hours. Yeah.
That night I got her to drink about an ounce out of a different bottle with an orthodontic latex nipple, so Maria tried that one and a number of other bottles on Wednesday... but it was more of the same. She drank maaaybe 2 ounces. She will latch, sometimes, but then very quickly gets pissed.
Then last night I again tried with yet another nipple and she took 2 ounces from me out of that, so I felt some hope. And I sit here tonight so grateful to be able to say that Maria MAY have had a breakthrough today, at about 3:00, when she finally downed a damn bottle. We kept telling ourselves that she just had to get hungry enough, that it was just a matter of time. Well I guess it took 3 days of starving herself for her to get hungry enough.
We'll see. I'm not going to declare victory yet, and let's hope next week isn't just more of the same, because this one was emotionally and physically draining for all involved. Especially poor little Olive, who was just strung out by the time I walked in the door each night (after sitting in traffic for 45 minutes stressing out about the whole situation.)
And my mind goes to crazy places when I feel like any one of my children's basic needs aren't being met. Like, "She's never going to drink from a bottle, and she's going to start losing weight and stop thriving and I should just quit my job because clearly my baby needs me and we are torturing her and I pumped 14 ounces today so that's 14 ounces that she is essentially not getting and oh my goodness her poor little tummy must feel so hungry..." and on and on and so on forever and ever.
Well I've done my very best each evening this week to nurse her to her heart's content. Constant nursing, multiple let downs in each session, dream-feeds, doing everything I can to fill this girl's belly. Amazingly, she's still pretty much been sleeping through the night all week long. Each night she has started stirring at about 4:00 am so I just got her up then and focused on getting her a really good feeding. But that's it. About 8:00 pm to 4:00 am and then back down until 6:30 or so. I really can't complain too much, even when she's being a psycho bottle--refuser she's still so laid back and such a good little sleeper.
Oh and the poor boys have been completely neglected all week, because I just can't even deal with them right now. I know that is so terrible, but it's the truth. I have made some effort to engage with each of them, but mentally I have been so consumed with all of this absurdity. And like I said I've spent each evening basically on the couch nursing their sister. Wednesday night Dan had softball so he was gone all evening. And... yeah. That night was not my finest evening of parenting. I just didn't even want to put Olive down, because I felt so much guilt about essentially abandoning her to starve herself all day, but I had to somehow feed the boys dinner and get the dishes done and play with them and read stories and put them to bed and then pick up the whole house because the cleaning lady was coming the next day. I'll say this, I can't even count how many times I had to apologize to each kid for being quick to yell or snap at them. I kept telling them that I was sorry, and that I wasn't mad at them, I was just feeling really sad and stressed that their sister wouldn't eat when I was at work.
I didn't even want to write about all of this because I'm just sick of it taking over our lives, but I figured it might be nice to remember all of this torture she put us through and have the ability to throw it in her face when she's 16 and giving us a run for our money. ;)
Tomorrow is Friday, Hallelujah! I am done with work for the week and I get to sleep in, or at least lounge around the house, with my baby and be with her all day and be her mom and make her feel safe and hopefully actually be a mother to the boys. I have high hopes for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.
One week down. Check.