Wednesday, August 24, 2005

like a weed

Just got an e-mail from Joe's mom yesterday night:

Good Evening everyone!

RE: 40 Year Old Virgin

Just a quick note to say that this was - BY
FAR - the stupidest movie I have ever
seen..... Save your time!!!!

We are SO going to see this movie.

* * *

Cal seems to be outgrowing his first set of pajamas. I'm kind of sad about this because I really liked those pajamas, despite the fact that the had five million bajillion snaps that required a little more spatial reasoning than I was sometimes able to muster at 4am. I mean, look at the cuteness, with the stripes and all.

Check out his ankles poking out the bottom, though, he's like Pee Wee Herman or something. The question is, how does a one month-old manage to outgrow clothing that is sized for 0-3 months? Either he is freakishly tall or the clothing sizing lies. I tend to think the latter--I mean, Cal is kinda tall (maybe "long" would be more accurate) but according to the label, the 0-3 month clothes hold in only up to 11 pounds of kid, and I feel like most kids are probably more than 11 pounds by the time the get to 3 months.

I decided to cram him into the cute pajamas last night while I still could. Anyway, it's really just the legs, the rest of the outfit fits fine. And maybe that's just the style. Capri pajamas.

* * *

(Warning: more posting about boob pumpage ahead, again, feel free to skip if this is SO NOT YOUR THING, but as someone who extensively researched the specifics of returning to work after having a baby and the specifics of providing expressed breast milk, I was personally desperate for details and practical tips. So here's my contribution to the internet compendium, for what it's worth.)

The strategic freezer reserves

I've been struggling in trying to figure out exactly how to manage the milk line for Cal once I return to work--specifically, how much do I need to pump per day, how much will he drink, how many bottles should I have on hand in the fridge versus the freezer, etcetera etcetera. In a perfect little dream world, Cal would only have the freshest of milk on hand for his daily chow, but practicality dictates that we need to have a little buffer zone of milk for him on the days that I'm home late, or on overnight call, or if his demand is simply outstripping my immediate supply. So over the past few weeks, I've been very slowly, slowly building up the strategic milk stores for The Boy so that he can have all sorts of immunoglobulin-rich goodness while I play doctor during the day. I could have built up the stores much faster, but Cal's still nursing for part of the day and I didn't want to pump bottles that we just going to sit in the fridge and expire on me.

The stash in the fridge, next to the Soy Vey marinade

So here are the facts that have dictated our strategy (OK, my strategy--Joe is only peripherally involved in this planning, to the extent of him saying "uh huh" to my brainstorming and occasionally doing some of the bottle feeds):

As per La Leche League, breast milk stays good in the fridge for up to 8 days, and up to 3-4 months in the freezer. However, as much as possible, I would like for Cal to get the freshest milk that we can manage--no more than 3 days old in the fridge if we can swing it. We have strategic freezer stores of milk, but ideally I would always be able to pump enough and we would never have to touch the freezer stuff. Frozen's still better than formula from what I've read, but the freezing process denatures the proteins and it just doesn't have the benefits of the fresh stuff.

From his bottlefeeds, Cal takes about 3-4 ounces every 2-3 hours while awake. However, he's supposed to be getting somewhere between 2 to 2.5 ounces per pound per day (or about 5 ounces per kilo per day) so it seems from my record keeping (we have this little binder of all his ins and outs so that we can round on the baby every day--only partially kidding) he's getting closer to 3 ounces per pound per day. Of course, some of this is only extrapolation since I'm still nursing him part of the time and my boob has no calibration on it (at least not that I can locate), but it has me thinking: are we feeding him too much? See, this is EXACTLY the type of question that, when I was a Peds resident, would have me ROLLING MY EYES at the CRAZY FIRST TIME PARENT because dude, your kid is FINE, he's not getting super-fat or puking up his feeds or looking distended and uncomfortable, so just CHILL already, Nervous Nellie, GOD. But now, see, here now is my punishment for being so "there there now, silly parent" about those concerns--now I know EXACTLY where those parents were coming from. Are we feeding our kid too much? How much is he really eating, anyway?

It's like we live in a lab, with all the bottles and racks and brushes

So anyway, let's say for the sake of sanity that on my average non-call day, Cal will take something like 6 (or mayyyyybe 7 if I'm running late) bottles while I'm out of the house. Can I manage to keep up? When will I have time to pump during the day? I have it all mapped out.

The pump, complete with anti-theft lock and chain (it's actually a dog collar)
and digital stopwatch to make sure that I'm not overstaying my break

4:45am - Wake up, pump anywhere from 2-3 bottles, leaving one out for Cal when he wakes up, stashing the rest in the fridge
~9-10am - Midmorning 15-minute break, run to locker room, pump 2 bottles
~1pm - Half-hour lunch break, run to locker room, cram sandwich in gaping maw while pumping 2 bottles (thanking the lord that I bought this thing)
4-5pm (hopefully) - Relieved from OR, run to locker room, pump 2 bottles before doing my pre- and post-ops and going home for the day
7pm (again, hopefully) - Get home so that the kid can eat on tap

So hungry, must eat hand to satiate my craving for HUMAN FLESH

I've been trying to replicate the schedule while at home and so far I've been keeping up, and have even been able to pumping more than he can drink in one day. In fact, in the past few days, I've been dumping out one or two of the oldest bottles of milk in the fridge reserves just to keep the milk line current and to have it such that Cal is drinking milk no more than 3 days old. We've been lucky with the supply, but things could always change what with him growing and me shrinking, which is why the 2-3 day buffer zone of milk (as well as the strategic freezer reserves) exist.

I know now that it seems like I'm crazy obsessing about this, but come on now, it's my thing. I don't just kinda do things casually--when I decide to do something, I REALLY do it. Doesn't it make you feel good to look at me, all OCD, and think to yourself, "Damn, when I'm a parent, I'm never going to be that compulsive."


Currently watching: Well, not watching it yet, but wondering if I should take advantage of the fact that Georgia is here for the morning and take a little adult-time break in the form of going to catch an early show of "Broken Flowers." Since when did Bill Murray become the new Steve Martin, what with the indie cred and whatnot? Still, he did do the voice of Garfield in that stupid movie with Jennifer LOVE Hewitt and has even agreed to voice the sequel, so he's not above working for money. Bill Murray actually does a lot of fundraising for the Children's Hospital--I saw him in the hospital lobby just last year, hobnobbing with bigwigs. I think he may be donating money for a new pulmonary center or something, at least that's the word on the street.

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