T minus freakout.

I like(d) my job.

I have to keep reminding myself that before I had a baby, I liked my job.  It was my social outlet, my brain food, my place to wear cute outfits.  But now, I’m not that same person any more.  I have a new job.  And it’s super, super important.

We are interviewing a nanny tonight and Chris has had his radioactive iodine treatment (hopefully now we can say good-bye to cancer!) and is in “isolation” at his mom’s house.  We miss him!  He will be joining us for the interview over Skype.  It’s lame all around.  The nanny, the radioactive iodine, the going back to work.

We are interviewing a nanny because we didn’t get into either day care we were hoping to have B attend after my maternity leave.  We’ve been on waiting lists since August 2013.  Now we’re on several other waiting lists for many other day cares.

Let me tell you, Denver, if there is an infant opening at a day care, you won’t want to take your baby there.  I’ve seen cinderblock homes in Lakewood dubbed “academies” and “teachers” who look like they’ve been dragged out of a back alley and put in charge of wee babies.  The choices out there for infant care are clear to me after searching for weeks; Hire a nanny or get into a top-tier day care (pay beaucoup bucks for each) or stay home with your little babe (and forget ever retiring or being able to send your child to college.)

The United States stinks when it comes to options for new mothers.  Oh.  You’re six or eight weeks postpartum?  Pony up and drop your kid somewhere because you need to get back to work to pay your rent.  And I’m a lucky mother.  I have used five weeks of my earned vacation time for maternity leave.  To complete a full 12 week leave, I am taking the remainder of my time off unpaid through the Family Medical Leave Act (and through choices C and I were fortunate to be able to make).  Not everyone can do this.  In fact, I would wager a guess and say most new mothers can’t do this and are unable to spend this valuable time with their children.  Want more breastfed babies?  Give moms more time to stay home and do it.  I have a feeling there are twenty-five more posts hiding in here…but I’ll stop at this.

It feels bleak!

How can I leave my little muffin in another person’s care?  Especially now that he knows me, it’s even more difficult to think about a future that’s staring me in the face.  I don’t want to fail at this job.

Am I where I thought I’d be?

Actually.  It’s even better that I imagined.

Today is my birthday.  This morning, after nine hours of sleep, B woke up at five with quite the growling tummy.  He went to town, slurping and gurgling and burping.  About 40 minutes later, he had a projectile vomiting session in the living room.  Luckily, C was still home (making me french toast for breakfast) so he helped me spot clean little B.

It’s been a lazy morning since then with some cluster feeding and lots of snuggling and sleeping on my lap.  It’s where he is now, actually.  I’m embracing all of it.

I feel like the luckiest gal in the world.

Pump it up.

As nursing has become more enjoyable, pumping, I’m realizing, is quite the chore.

I mean, I’m doing it.  Once or twice or three times a day to build up a stash for B when I return to work.  But it’s not my favorite thing.  While nursing is a lovely break in our hours together where I can look at the beautiful head and hands and feet I created, pumping is something I do while I’m half asleep, or while I could be napping with Benjamin or getting to the three craft projects I’ve started (ha!).

Two weeks ago we gave B a bottle for the first time.  I pumped into it and Chris offered it to baby.  Once B discovered what was inside, he did wonderfully.  A true champ.

I, however, went into meltdown mode and cried when I saw him gulping so willingly out of that foreign object.  My first thought was, THAT BOTTLE IS PLASTIC!  PLASTIC IS EVIL!  My second thought was, ONE DAY BENJAMIN WILL GO TO KINDERGARTEN.  THEN HE’LL GET MARRIED!  AAAAAACK!  And my life flashed before my eyes and my heart broke in half.

But then I came to again and realized the scene unfolding before me was fantastic.  My husband was able to bond with our baby in the most intimate way–by feeding him.  All because of pumping.

Because I’m able to pump my milk, other special people in Benjamin’s life can also bond with him at mealtimes by giving him a bottle.

I imagine I will learn soon, that pumping will also give me a different kind of freedom to be out and about and offer our baby a bottle when breastfeeding isn’t convenient.

Cheers to that nasty little machine of mine!