Please don't ask me again what I plan to do with my maternity leave.
This is what a day in the life of a breastfeeding mama looks like.
My day starts at 7am, woken up by the sounds of a baby's cries. No alarm clocks needed.
He cries for milk, and rejects the bottle that daddy offers, so I've to take over this shift and latch him onto my breasts.
I'm still semi-asleep because I'm sick (down with a sore throat from all the screaming I did throughout Mdm Iza's entire breast massage session previously), so I scurry over and do the side latch.
I'm semi-awake, and semi-asleep, while he feeds. Too tired to open my eyes fully, yet too worried about baby to close them shut.
He finishes the left boob in 20 minutes. So I allow myself to fall asleep, too.
He cries again for milk. I move to the other side of the bed and latch him onto the right boob.
My throat hurts and is burning but I can't get up to drink water or take medicine because I'm stuck in this position with a baby at my boob.
I ask my husband to help me grab a lozenge from the kitchen instead.
Baby takes another 15 minutes to drink. I stay in bed, waiting for another hunger cue because he is seldom done so fast.
I wait, and wait. Nothing. Baby Nate is fast asleep. Now I've waited an hour. So I get up gingerly and head to the kitchen to brush my teeth and wash up.
I go in to check on him. Still asleep. Oops! My husband moves the blanket and very nearly throws it over baby Nate. I stop him from accidentally suffocating his son.
Since I've time, I sit down for my breakfast.
I remind myself to take my
- 2 X fenugreek pills
- 2 X lecithin pills
- drink 1 whole cup of water
- drink 1 bottle of BRANDS chicken essence
- eat 1 SLB lactation cookie
I'm almost done with eating when baby cries again. I look at the clock. It's
Wow that was just a short 45 minutes break 😕 but hey, at least I got my morning stuff done.
I head back into the room to latch baby Nate. This time, he drinks for 30 min while I Haakaa the other boob (i.e. use a milk collector).
It's time to change his diaper, and get ready for his morning bath.
I get the bathtub out, fill it with warm water, test the temperature of the water, and place the baby bath soap and bath towel within reach for later. Oh, I almost forgot the stool.
Now that everything is ready for his bath, I go back inside to carry him out to the sofa area. I undress him and clean his eyes, nostrils, face and ears. Then I carry him over to the bathroom.
Done with his bath! I clean and dress him, and start his tummy time.
1,2,3,push! I say. I repeat this for about 20 times, even though my voice is hoarse.
We're done with his exercise! Now I've to put him down while I clear the bath items and put everything back in their original place.
It isn't even noon yet but I feel tired already.
But there's no time for a nap because said baby wants to be held, or he'll scream and cry.
Suddenly, it's time for his next feed again. He cries for milk, and I bring him back into the room to nurse him.
He drinks for 45 minutes and take both boobs this time. I can't do anything except scroll through my social media in the meantime until he's done.
Spent about 15 minutes patting and coaxing him to sleep before he finally conks out.
I rush back into the kitchen to quickly unpack my lunch and eat, before he cries again.
While eating, I watch an episode of The Empress Pride on Viu. It's my constant companion whenever I'm feeding or pumping now.
I remind myself to take
- 2 X fenugreek pills
- 2 X calcium pills
- 2 X lecithin pills
- 1 whole glass of water
Oh, he's up again and crying for milk!
I rush over to pick him up, leaving my dirty dishes in the sink, and bring him into the room to nurse him again.
He takes 40 minutes for both boobs this time. I change his diaper once he's done.
I coax him for another 15 before he falls asleep, then I put him down and run back to the kitchen to do the dishes and wash the baby bottles from last night's feeds.
He's still sleeping! I'm so tired by now that I lie down for a nap beside him as well. And manage to steal an hour of precious nap time for my body to rest. These naps, they're so sweet!
Baby Nate cries again. Turns out he had a bad dream. I carry him and coax him back to sleep.
I go to the kitchen for another glass of water (although I'm not thirsty) and remind myself to eat another lactation cookie. This is my well-deserved afternoon treat, I think to myself.
Time to feed again! My baby's cries jolt me out of my sleep. I really wanna sleep more but some baby needs to be fed, so I get up and nurse him again.
He takes 20 min and rejects the other boob.
I can't put him down this time as he keeps fussing to want to be carried. So I carry him to the kitchen while I take another whole glass of water so that there's liquids for my body to produce breastmilk.
10 minutes later, he cries for more milk. I feel my boobs - they're too soft.
I try latching him on anyway, but he pulls away after 5 minutes in his there's-no-more-milk-for-me pattern. I've learnt to recognise his cues during breastfeeding.
So I put him down, and go to the kitchen to make formula milk instead.
He takes another 20 min to drink cos he keeps playing with the bottle teat, then another 10 to burp him.
He's wide awake and doesn't want to sleep. So I set up the play gym for him and sit down next to him, wriggling the different toys and encouraging him to grab them.
He just looks at me and balls his hands into tight fists. Sigh.
Don't tell me this play gym is gonna be a waste of money again? 😂 he's already wasted the money we spent on pacifiers, Tommee Tippee bottles, and a rocker so far by rejecting them all 😂😂
I give up making him play with his play gym, and carry him over to the sofa where I can change his diaper again.
Oh, and I almost forgot to charge my breastpump! It's down to just one last bar of battery.
I charge my laptop too, because I need to work on slides later for my upcoming talk on personal finance. And no, I'm not paid.
Eeps, it's time for more milk!!
I take the Haakaa from the kitchen as I carry him in one arm, and then I go into the room to nurse him again.
I'm literally like a 🐮 on demand, I think to myself. But hang on there Dawn. You need to go through this and be strong if you wanna have more breastmilk for baby Nate! Remember that.
I sigh, latch him on, and scroll through Shopee because I need new flanges and duckbill valves. Hmm, should I buy a thigh slimmer too? God knows I need some help.
Baby Nate drains one boob and then falls asleep, milk drunk.
I put him down and wait for him to wake up and cry for the other boob, because obviously it isn't enough for him.
30 minutes have passed and he's still not waking up. Okay, time for me to grab my dinner then!!
But first, another tall glass of water.
Oh wow, he's still asleep!
I'm done with my Shopee shopping. Looking at the items on my to-do list, the next I need to do is to research on hiring foreign domestic helpers, and actually source for a good one who will be able to help take care of Baby Nate when I go back to work in two months.
I switch on the computer and head to MOM to understand more. Then I log into Facebook and read the FDW Employees group messages.
Apparently we need to take a Employer Orientation Program first before we can start to hire a domestic helper, since this is our first time. There's an option for physical or online class? Definitely online for us, even though it's more expensive.
Omg but where am I gonna find the time to do the course? I outsource this to my husband. Sorry, busy mama here has a full-time job as a 🐮 right now.
I look at my baby and wonder how on earth am I gonna find time to learn about all these parenting stuff when I barely have time to complete my own to-do list.
When do I start my baby on books?
What books should I buy for him? Cloth books are great, I heard, but I still need to find the time to shop.
(Heng for Book Depository and RateX to help me auto-find and apply all promo codes now.)
Infantcare is full cos we didn't apply earlier. So when do I apply for childcare? Or for primary school?
Am I doing things right? Aside from feeding and changing him, am I teaching him right?
I only just started on the play gym because @isabeltan1 (whose son is a few days older than baby Nate) told us she has started using it.
We only just took off his mittens because coincidentally, we met our church friend over the weekend who told us it's bad to have them wear mittens past 1 month cos it affects their hand movements. Really? I've no time to research either, just listen to her lor 😅
My boobs feel full - I need this baby to wake up soon so he can drink and clear them.
Or should I pump? They're starting to get painful...
But if I pump now and he wakes up halfway, I'm screwed, and won't have much milk left for him to drink.
HAISSSS DECISIONS, DECISIONS.
I look at him stretching in his sleep and making "eh eh" noises in his sleep, and decide I will wait for another 30 min first to see.
In the meantime, I go back to reading about the procedures needed to source and hire a domestic helper, reviews on the different maid agencies, tips from employers on what to look out for in a helper, etc.
There's so much to read, so much to learn, and all in such a short time too 😕
Oh oh! My baby is awake! Yay now I can just latch him and leave my power pump till when the hubs is home from work. He has a night meeting with his colleagues so I've to tahan a bit longer solo.
I load one episode of my Korean drama and watch it while I latch baby Nate.
Omg this baby latched for 45 whole minutes - 10 min on my left and 35 min on my right! My right nipple is protesting 😂
Diaper change, then time to put him back to bed!
OMG HE'S STILL HUNGRY.
i check my expressed breastmilk from today in the fridge - and I don't have much, just 30ml. Definitely not enough to fill him up for bedtime.
Formula milk then! I make 60ml since he has just fed on both boobs.
Once he's done, I need to remember to go and eat
2 lactation cookies
2 fenugreek pills
2 lecithin tablets
2 calcium tablets
and drink another tall glass of water.
He took 15 min to drink 50ml of formula milk! Not too bad - sometimes he takes an hour to drink.
Our baby clearly is a slow eater lol. Fine dining style, much?
I've taken my supplements and water. And have just updated the timesheet on the whiteboard so papa knows later what time he needs to change baby Nate's diapers + feed, just in case I fall asleep before he's back.
But I need him to come back asap so I can power pump? Need to boost my milk supply leh.
Gotta wait till 12am before I power pump.
Too tired to wash the milk bottles so I'm just gonna accumulate them until tomorrow morning 😅
Oops, just got a notification that my handphone bill is due. I didn't even receive the e-statement for last month leh?!
Dang now I need to call them up tomorrow and find out what's going on. I'm not gonna pay my bill without knowing what was charged for.
Hubs still isn't home from work yet 😕 really hopes he makes it back by midnight so I can power pump.
I've brushed my teeth and washed my face, all in record time lest baby Nate wakes up looking for me again.
My skincare routine has been neglected ever since I gave birth 😂 the other day, I put on a mud mask, but only had time to wash it off TWO HOURS LATER!
Damn fail leh. Somemore the instructions were to wash off after 15 min. Lol!!!!
My husband is home! Time to start preparing for my power pump cos with him around, at least I don't have to stop my pump halfway if baby cries.
I'm done with my power pump! Time to transfer the milk into the storage bottle, and rinse the pump parts. I'll leave the actual washing to tomorrow morning cos I'm exhausted now.
*puts on my hospital binder and gets ready for bed*
My husband will take over from here! What a long day! Seriously, this is WAYYY more tiring than when I was at work! A 9am - 6pm schedule with AN ENTIRE HOUR FOR LUNCH now seems like such a luxury! Here, I have to gobble down my lunch unless someone is around to help me with baby Nate!
Sleep now, before it's time to wake up again at 5am to latch him.
Oops I missed my MOTN pump again 🙈
Usually I get up by baby's next feed, where hubs goes to make FM and bottle feed him while I pump, but baby Nate got hungry at 2am instead!
It's 6am and he's hungry again so I've latched him on while hubs gets his sleep before his work later at 10am.
Baby Nate is done drinking and has fallen asleep. Time for me to sleep too!
But we don't have a proper co-sleeper bed so I can only sleep semi-awake, while watching out for him at the same time to make sure neither my hubs or I does something accidental to squash him or throw the blanket over him when we cover ourselves, lol.
Okay this won't do, I'm so tired but can't sleep properly this way. Plus, I'm cold! But I can't pull the blanket up cos baby Nate is below.
I've created a partition using our pillows and moved baby Nate up to sleep in between our pillows. Time to sleep!
Feels like I've only JUST fallen asleep when baby Nate cries cos he's is up and hungry again! 😐
Time to latch him on the other side!
He's done drinking so it's time to get out of bed and prepare my breakfast now.
A whole new day starts now!
And the cycle repeats 😅
So what do you plan to do with all that time during maternity leave?
Did you say TIME?
Well, now you know!
Monday, 7 Jan 2019
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