27 August 2014

Becoming a [working] mother of two

Having a {ONE} baby was a breeze. When she slept I could sleep. She grew and got undivided attention all the time. I could take her on walks. Exercise at will. Drive places. Anywhere really. I didn't have to really cater to a schedule at first because she just slept all the time. We were on the move.
Having a second baby, I found myself unable to sleep those extra hours in the morning. After Piper would wake up to nurse, she went back to sleep. Probably no more than 10 minutes after I close my eyes to fall back to sleep, little Miss Bright Eyes herself comes bouncing into the room, announcing "Mommy, it's morning time. I am ready for my breakfast." While I was on maternity leave I would usually entertain and get her ready for the day and drop her off at school, then come home to cuddle Piper. Now I no longer have this luxury.

They say sleep when baby sleeps, but this really only applies to a first born baby. Fortunately Piper is a great sleeper and while i'm tired as any new mom would be, (nursing a 20lb. infant will do that to you), i'm not red eyed and absent minded because she sleeps all night, every night, and almost always has. Unfortunately, Piper usually wants to be awake during Sloan's afternoon nap, which has lent to early bed times. Which is totally fine for me.

The few times Rick and I stay awake a little later to do adult things: like jumping on the furniture and watching trash TV, we both drag through the next day. Fortunately these adult things are well worth the drag.

Here is average day now that I am back to work:
 I handle Sloan's wake up by getting her to lie in bed with me (in the event she wakes before 7am  - her clock doesn't always work to keep her in bed). Sometimes we all fall back asleep until 8:30 (OOPS) and then find ourselves scrambling to get out the door by 9. (but totally manageable)
If it is 7am or later, her clock is green which means WAKE UP TIME. "Mommy , my tock is GREEN, time to get up!"

I have Sloan dress herself, pick anything, i don't care! And while she does that, I jump into the shower. Piper sleeps until Sloan is dressed and then usually she gets the big sis wake up. Sometimes I can occupy Sloan in the bathroom with me by playing "Store". Sloan will take pretend items and purchase them from me, or sell them to me. I am the master of make believe (I used to spend hours on my grandfathers farm making little villages out of sticks for imaginary little people and possibly even fairies. That's another story for another day)

Once we are all dressed, we head downstairs and I feed Sloan. Two mornings out of the week I pump a bottle. [Monday and Tuesdays Bottles come from Friday and Saturday Pumping sessions]. By the time we get to Tuesday afternoon, assuming I pump on Monday morning, I have enough milk for the entire week and only have to pump once at the office, during the time Piper gets a bottle, in order to maintain production.  Some of these bottles are one ounce shy of pure cream. No wonder Piper is such a healthy chunk!  I end up freezing a lot of milk every Friday afternoon.

You should see my freezer stash! 

Getting out the door is down to an art, pre-made bottles are ready in the fridge, I toss one into Piper's bag. Once again, I am able to nurse baby Piper once a day, and pump a second bottle while they feed her one. Fortunately I called my insurance company and I qualified for a FREE pump, so i got the identical one to what I already had at home and it is SO much easier to not have to lug it back and forth. I only carry into work my little cooler and flanges (to wash at home of course) Something about washing the parts that have touched my breasts in the shared kitchen at work in a 90% male environment makes me feel a bit awkward, so i wash those parts at home and bring them back every day. But they weigh nothing and fit right inside my cooler so no big deal.

The other big difference between one and two is now that i'm dropping the kids off in two different buildings and nursing Piper mid-morning/lunch time, I don't have a lot of "ME" time. This is only temporary.

Today I started taking the stairs. Being on the top floor, i have to get exercise somehow. I walk to feed Piper, but the distance is not that far. Here is a picture of the back door to Pipers class and my building in the background. Am I spoiled or WHAT!? :)

Returning to work definitely has it's challenges, but we are taking them in stride.  I may revisit this post in another month or two and tell you how exhausted and worn out I am, but for now, we are hanging in there. One day at a time.

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