I'm now in my third week of maternity leave. The first week was pretty crazy, though not as crazy as I had anticipated. We are fortunate to have a baby who does not scream for hours on end. Of course she does fuss and cry occasionally, but she is calmed pretty easily. My husband was home with us the first week and that helped tremendously. The second week, he had to return to work. That meant we had to come up with a nighttime schedule that would hopefully result in both of us getting some sleep.
My husband is a nighttime person and I am a morning person, so I go to bed at 9 p.m. while he cares for Jane. Usually they come upstairs at about 11 p.m. Often Jane is back up at 11:30 p.m. or so, and this is where my shift begins. I get up with her every 2-3 hours, sleeping for short periods in between. I am amazed at how I have adapted to short periods of sleep and have developed the ability to fall asleep on demand. The schedule is working pretty well so far, with my husband getting about 7 hours of sleep before work and me getting between 5-6. Hopefully that will increase before I have to return to work myself! I do sometimes catch a nap in the afternoon so that helps as well.
This week has been mercifully quiet. I had an eye doctor's appointment on Monday and dropped Jane off at her grandparents' to be babysat for the very first time. It was strange to leave her, but wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I knew she was in good hands! The past two days the weather has been terrible so we have not left the house. We're just enjoying one another's company and relaxing.
Breastfeeding continues to be a challenge for us. Jane hates it and has from the start. If she's hungry she gets upset and screams, and if she's not completely starving, she falls right asleep. It's been frustrating and disappointing for me. Definitely not the way I expected things to be! I try every day but most of the time we both just end up upset. Thank goodness for my breast pump. Thanks to that, I have been able to give Jane what she needs even though she won't breastfeed. It helps to ease the blow somewhat, but I'll admit that it makes me pretty sad every time I have to give her a bottle. I'm dealing with feelings of rejection and and failure, and worries that others who have successfully breastfed are going to judge me for my failure. Not that it's anyone's business, but it bothers me nonetheless.
One exciting thing did happen this week. Jane's umbilical cord stump finally fell off! Thank goodness ... I was tired of smelling it! The other day I actually threw out some breast milk I thought might have gone bad because I kept smelling something foul when I was feeding her. Turned out that it was just her umbilical cord stump! It stunk pretty badly for about two days before I finally discovered during the middle of the night last night that it had fallen off. It's probably a little sad that I'm thrilled about such a thing, but I am. Now Jane can have her first tub bath and I do not have to hold my nose when I'm holding her!