Today Zachy got his 4-Month immunizations. We couldn't have them done at his 4-month well-child appointment because it hadn't been exactly 2 months since his last round. He really is such an awesome baby. He cried a bit for the last ones, then did fine at home. No fussines or crankiness, no fever. I had the same expectations for these, and he did not disappoint. Though John said it was my turn to hold him for these. Neither of us like to be the bad guy, holding him down while pain is inflicted upon him. So I did. Fair is fair. But I cried right along with him, and both of us were instantly calmed when it as all over and I could pick him up and cuddle with him. My sweet, sweet baby boy.
On the breastfeeding front, things are going better and worse. I have managed to increase my supply a bit and am now producing about 2/3rds of his total intake. I now leave for work with more breastmilk in the fridge than he can eat in one night, and have a few days' worth built up in my freezer. Of course this progress comes at the cost of me being attached to a pump for what seems like all day. But in truth,I could be a lot better about it. I keep making plans to spend all of my off-time pumping at least every three hours and after feedings, but it seems like things always come up. Truly, I blame it all on my work schedule. We do self-scheduling, and we are currently working on the schedule I completed about 2 weeks after my big return to work after the 5-month hiatus. Instead of scheduling my days in a row, I scheduled myself for every other day. I did this not only because I had been off so long that I started to atrophy and didn't think I could physically handle long stretches of 12-hr. shifts, but also because I figured I would get no real sleep with a newborn who is breastfeeding. It turned out to be a mistake. Not only does Zach sleep like a champ, but I feel like I am never off of work and get even less sleep. Take today for example. I worked last night and had today off. By the time I got home and tried to sleep, most of the day was over. I really only got this evening off. And I spent that time doing things I needed to do. Plus the sleep I get is broken because I wake every few hours to nurse Zach or pump. Now it is 3:15 AM, my family is asleep and I am wide awake. I'll get more broken sleep tomorrow because I am back at it tomorrow night. Well, the next four nights, actually. I picked up 24 hours of overtime this weekend. For this next schedule that will be starting soon, I did the opposite: scheduled for three days at the beginning of one week and three days at the end of the following week, which means I have long 6-day stretches off in-between to rest and regroup and nurse and pump. My goal is to use this time to get Zach totally off of all formula supplements by the time he is 6 months old and ready to start solids. That seems lofty to me at this point but it really isn't when you do the math. For a baby eating solids, the average formula/ milk intake is about 24 oz. daily in addition to other foods. If I can pump just half an ounce more at each pumping session, that will put me way over that mark for daily output! And I will have all of those days off to do it! Ha! Finally!
On another Milk Maid note: It happened finally. I got a plugged duct. But not just any plugged duct. This is in a bad place. A very bad place. I had noticed I was a little more tender than normal. The LC has me hand-expressing after I pump because even the hospital-grade pump is leaving enough milk in there that it literally sprays out after a pumping session. So I do and it has become habit. But when I was doing my little ritual yesterday......oh bloody HELL!!! It hurt. Badly. Because I can't be normal and get a plugged duct on the side or something. Nooooooo! I get one actually inside of my nipple. And weirdest of the weird, you can actually feel the milk passages in there because there is about a 2-inch section of inflamed duct that feels all ropy and knotty. So tonight I waited and waited for Ev to go to bed so I could sit in my living room with a hot wet washcloth on my...well, you get the picture. It is still there. If it isn't gone in a couple of days, I am to see my doctor, according to the LC. Gah! I'm sure this all the result of my sucky schedule, business at work, and erratic pumping/ nursing schedule. I think I have come up with a solution: I bought that damned Freestyle that has the rechargeable battery. I might as well use it. I think I'm going to make its permanent home be my car, so when I am running errands or am out and can't nurse Zach, I can use it. No more excuses. And much handier than, say, lugging around the big pump of Herculean proportions. I don't een have an excuse to take it out of the car since I have a standard power outlet in my car's console and can just plug it in when the batt is dead. There!
So there you have the low-down on my issues once again. Now back to work.