"We won't break the baby. You have to break the baby."
I'm starting to wonder if some sort of cold turkey—cry-it-out, but for food, rather than for sleep—might be less cruel to all of us in the long run. But they won't do it, I suspect; see quote above, from one of the teachers.
[Who, in the same conversation, told me I was nursing too slowly (Tabby had been at the boob for about 40 minutes, bobbing back and forth between eating and watching the other babies; she was dozing off by the time the criticism came), that I'd have to stop letting her sleep on me at home or else she wouldn't be able to nap at the center.]
To be fair, they'd be the ones dealing with the crying hungry baby if we went cold turkey.
But it's also not clear to me whether she'd take a bottle from them, even if she does take one from Beaker. So far I'm the only one to have gotten her to drink; about half an ounce from a bottle that was about to get tossed, just before we left the center on day 2. And babies aren't supposed to take that from mama, ever!
So: the wheels were spinning on all this stuff. She's only spent about an hour without a parent at the center, the last two days. We're all sort of flipping out. And then Beaker got summoned on a business trip. Leaving for California tomorrow, coming back Tuesday.
I AM GOING TO FUCKING DIE. It's forecast to snow every day between now and then. EVERY DAY. And how are we supposed to keep working on this bottle shit if he's not here?
So we check plane tickets and, amazingly, they're not so bad. Should I go too, and hang out with all our fantabulous California friends? Hysterical IMs trade back and forth. It's promised that I'll be met at the airport, and provided with a car seat and a Pump-n-style for the duration.
Are I running away from my problems, or seizing the opportunity for a little vacation in the sun while I still have a chance? Will it break the process of adjusting to day care, or will it not matter, since we'll be taking a long Christmas break anyway? What about the candidates interviewing at my department? The ones very close to my area? FUCK 'EM.
We eat dinner. We go back to actually buy the ticket and it's gone to, well, what you'd expect a nonstop plane ticket to California bought on 14 hours' notice to be. And again I'm facing 5 days of cold lonesome gray grimness, punctuated with baby tears that are ALL MY FAULT, and I cry.
[I don't think I told you how, when I picked Tabby up on day 1, she'd cried so hard that, for the first time, her tears had stuffed up her nose. As she nursed, she had to stop and pull back for great gasping sniffles, just like the aftermath of a toddler tantrum.]
P.S. Thank you, thank you, thank all of you for your kind words. Hearing from those who have been there/done that/have undamaged children is so, so, so helpful. Below the fold: answers to some questions that sort of got asked in comments... or maybe it's mostly just a rant about my personal pumping experiences.
Timna, whose baby switched days and nights after starting daycare (and oh, does that possibility strike fear into my heart: the one thing we've been able to cling to invariably is that our baby SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT), asks about bottles and bags and all that stuff. Karen F. suggests Avent; Arb suggests hands-free pumping and damns Medela bags. Let me try to tell you what weirdness has been going on on the pumping front.
So, Miss T. sleeps through the night. Has from the beginning. But they told us, early on, to wake her up regularly and try to feed her. She wouldn't eat, but I pumped, back when I was trying to establish my supply. And, in those ancient days when she took bottles (she stopped after a break of a few days in their being offered, at about 8 weeks), she also got very hungry in the late afternoon, when my production was at its nadir. So she got a bottle of what had been pumped at 3 a.m., and all was well.
My daytime supply finally made it to a sufficient level, but the night supply kept on going. I kept on pumping for two reasons: first of all, comfort. I usually do a 5-minute burst of pump-and-massage to clear engorgement before I go to bed, and then straight pump for 15 minutes, both sides, in the middle of the night. I've only skipped the middle-of-the-night once, and it took two days to get unwedged.
My other reason: freezer stash! This is getting me 10-14 ounces of milk per day. 'Cause I bet at least one of the following two things will happen earlier than I'd like: my supply will crash when Miss T. is in full time daycare, or I'll start back on the IVF carousel.
So, I know my Pump-n-style pretty well. We get along (well, aside from that little mildew-in-the-tubing incident). I can websurf and webshop just fine while double pumping, no straps needed. And there's lots of milk to burn on undrunk little bottles now. I have been pumping straight into the Medela bags since Thanksgiving, for milk I know will be frozen.
That half-ounce of milk Tabby drank was from a small Avent bottle with a #1 nipple. We've been trying a lot of different things, but I'm gonna try to take that one event as a pro-Avent omen.
Karen F. asked about cloth diapers. They won't touch them at the center, and tried to blame state regulations. We went to the right state website, found out they were lying about the regulations, and decided that this was a battle we weren't going to fight. They have routines that work for them and that have worked for them for years (all three teachers have been at the center for over a decade), and who are we to come horning in? It's kind of too bad, though; we've been loving the cloth at home. No diaper rash of any kind, ever.
No one asked—but Beaker, bless him, fixed the washer.