Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pumping Ritual

With Spud being so predictably unpredictable, it did take a while for me to establish some sort of routine. The clock literally revolves around her. Being the early riser that she is, I know that 10 minutes of her waking up too early is enough to screw up the entire morning routine. It was a lot of trial and error on my part to get some sense of “our-things-to-do” in the morning before I can even begin to start having some form of ritual so I won’t end up being late for work!

As a result, my morning is nothing short of a mad scramble. It is usually a case of me “beating her to it”. Loosely explained - I’m forever rushing to get me ready first and foremost before she wakes up for the day!

Ideally, I’d like to get up at 6.30 am where I’ll first shower and get myself ready before moving on to prepare her bath (all in takes about 25 minutes). Then I’ll breast feed her while Silver Bullet showers. Once Silver Bullet is done, Spud would have been awake and Silver Bullet will take over to bathe her, while I pump the remaining leftover milk for my stash. We’ll get her ready for when our Nanny arrives to take over by 7.30 am.

But, this is Spud we are talking about and there is no such thing as ideal. She wakes up anytime between 5.30 am – 7 am and like I said, my mornings are such mad scramble.

The real Monday-Friday deal goes more or less like this:

Alarm goes off at 6.10am. No more snoozing like I used to. Instead, I rush to the shower and get myself dressed.

If she wakes up while I am showering, Silver Bullet will pick her up and put her in our bed to distract her. (she usually is all smiley in the morning). After I’m done showering and sometime semi-properly clothed (depending on her wails), I will then breastfeed her first. This is Silver Bullet’s cue to go shower. Once Silver Bullet is done, he will prepare her bath to bathe her and take over from me.

By then, half an hour would have passed us by and it’s my turn to pump and do all the things I need to do with pumping and creating the very first stash of the day.

[If she wakes up wailing away at 5.30 am, we will either try to get her to go back to sleep, or I ended up breastfeeding her first. Chances are, if she gets the breast, she’ll fall back to sleep for another half hour before I begin my mad scramble to “beat her to it”]

Sometimes, Spud does not want to immediately feed when she wakes up before our alarm goes off, preferring to first play and snuggle with us in bed before we have the chance to get ourselves ready. This is when we take turns to shower and mind the baby.

I will usually pump at the same time while minding her while waiting for Silver Bullet, Once Silver Bullet is done (he takes longer shower than I do!), he will go on to prepare her bath while I shower. I will then attempt to breast feed her again before I go off to work, otherwise she’ll have to have the bottle. (I’m beginning to wonder if she really prefers the bottle now).

Like I said – mornings are a mad scramble. They are hardly ever consistent, and very much dependent on when and how Spud prefers to wake up that day. I can’t remember how I managed when Silver Bullet was out of town, but somehow I just did!

Things are a little more predictable once we walk out of the door. For the rest of the day, I’ll just pump every 3-4 hours:

Once at 10.30 am

Another time at around 2 pm

Depending on the quantity from the last pump, I sometimes do another short session at 5.30pm.

I’ll breastfeed Spud when I get home before she goes to bed and so will skip one pumping session. If she can’t wait till I get back, I’ll pump when I’ve put her to bed.

My last pump for the day is usually around 10 pm, coinciding with her last feed at 10.30pm.
While we wrap up the day with sterilizing all my pumping equipment (Silver Bullet is such a gem helping me with washing the bottles and sterilizing my stuff!), I can’t help but think what kind of morning will be in store for us the next day.

We seem to live in Spud’s world of constant wonder. How our day turns out is always a surprising mystery.

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