Exactly a month ago at this time, I was cuddling my newborn baby. It's hard to believe it's been a month. The days have gone so quickly in between but it still feels like yesterday. People check in on me to see if I'm doing "okay." I'm not sure what okay means. Is it supposed to mean that I spend my days bawling and grieving (and not "healing")? Or does it mean that I am happy and chipper and going about my business (and bottling up feelings instead of dealing with them)? Well, I'm somewhere in between those two points.
I'm probably one of the only ones who hasn't minded this extended winter and the fact that we are going into April with huge snow banks still hanging around. I'm ok with time moving slowly. I haven't unpacked my hospital bags yet and have a large stack of condolence cards to open. It's not that I don't want to do these things or that I'm not going to, I just don't feel like rushing. Because once I do these things, what's next? It kind of feels like I'll have to "move on" when all my Naomi tasks are finished and I don't want to do that yet.
I'm also moving slowly because of this.
This is what ~600 ounces of breastmilk looks like. I'm pumping to donate Naomi's milk. I pump 6-7 times per day and it takes 3-4 hours per day, and I'm actually pumping right now as I type this. Now granted, spending that much time at my computer in a day is nothing new! But it means I get sucked into the interwebz every 3 hours, making it a little harder to get involved in much else during my day. Not to mention planning my day's outings in 3-hour increments. I can't even imagine being someone who exclusively pumps AND has a baby to take care of. Seriously, hats off to anyone who ends up on that path.
Besides the cost of time involved, I'm also paying to rent a hospital-grade pump and buying milk storage bags. Yes, it's ok to call me a little crazy. I think that fact has already been well established. I'm doing this for a variety of reasons of which you'll have to read a future blog post for me to fully explain, but what it boils down to is that I want to. Simple as that. It's not fully settled how much milk is going where, but the plan is for some to go to the Mothers' Milk Bank of New England in Boston and some will be shared with local moms.
Thankfully I've had a great milk supply, which will never fail to excite me after all the problems I had with nursing my first baby. This is from my second pump today (after freakishly low results from my first pump of the day). It's a new record for me!
Another nice surprise today was receiving this beautiful peace plant via FedEx, from my cousin. She was my maid of honor and despite our lives taking very different directions and rarely seeing each other, she will always be my BFF. <3 It's probably luck that it came on Naomi's one-month birthday, but I'll let myself assume it was intentional. :)
Physically my recovery has been excellent. Exceedingly easy. Although I have to go on record and say that the postpartum fuzzy brain is not just due to sleep deprivation from a newborn like everyone says it is. I get plenty of consecutive sleep hours and still find myself befuddled by simple mental tasks. I have only recently regained some ability to do basic math in my head, and most of that revolves around increments of 30 and what numbers add up or subtract to 180. (My exclusively pumping friends will understand this.)
In my last post, I mentioned the picture slide show for the funeral
service that my husband and I made. We do still plan to share it
online. I've been slow partly for the reasons all outlined above, but
also because I want to be extra careful that all necessary precautions
are taken. Once something hits the internet, you can't get it back.
Unfortunately there are people out there who will steal ultrasound and
baby pictures and claim them as their own. They do this for money, or
attention, or simply because they are mentally ill. I just need to be
thoroughly sure of what I share before we do it. I am still eager to
show how beautiful Naomi was with all of you.