It's mostly having an infant that makes it tough. Anand is managing to breastfeed most of the time, but only on one breast, because I have an inverted nipple on the other side, which makes it very hard for him. So I'm pumping that side and thankfully, the bottles don't seem to be keeping him from breastfeeding too -- he's got a much better latch in general than Kavi did, and I'm even hopeful that as he gets bigger and stronger (pediatrician check-up put him at 7 lbs. 11 oz. today, so a good gain from birth weight, yay), he might even be able to manage the inverted side eventually. In the meantime, though, it's hard. In some ways, it's actually worse than just pumping, because the scheduling of it gets really complex.
Nurse one side, hopefully enough to keep him calm while I pump the other side, then give him that. It's better if I can get a bottle ahead, but I'm not actually making quite enough milk for that, so if I remember to give him a few ounces of formula at some point each day, then I can get ahead on the pumping/feeding, but it's hard to remember. And he mostly eats every three hours, and the whole feeding/pumping/feeding process takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, so feeding the boy eats up a lot of the day and night. Amazingly, he'll often do a 4-5 hour stretch of sleeping at night, and those nights are gold for me; if I can manage to go to sleep quickly, I can get some real sleep, instead of what I normally get, which are these little 1-2 hr catnaps at night. I should nap during the day too, and then I might get enough sleep, but I've always sucked at napping, and I still mostly can't manage to calm down enough to do it. Though I did today, for a bit, thankfully, or I probably wouldn't have made it through this evening without bursting into tears. Most nights since coming home from the hospital, I've gotten about 3-5 hours of sleep. Not enough.
And poor Kavi gets really bored when I'm feeding Anand or pumping and not able to actively play with her, so she's watched too much tv today, but Jarmila or Kevin should be able to play with her tomorrow, so I'm trying not to feel too guilty about that. But I also actually miss her, and miss playing with her and cuddling with her, which I can't do nearly as much as I'd like to these days. She's bonding pretty hard with her dad right now, which is probably a good thing overall, but still, it's a little heart-breaking that when she's bumped her head or is cranky or needs any kind of reassurance, she wants daddy and not me these days. I guess she's learned that mama isn't so available right now. Which is just the way it needs to be for a few weeks or months, 'til Anand is big enough to eat more at a time and sleep more at a stretch, and it's okay in theory. But in practice, I end up stealing time from sleep I desperately need just to cuddle her a little bit, here and there.
Mostly, it's still good, much better than I was expecting. I was bracing for three months of hell, because that's pretty much what the first three months with Kavya were like -- a long, brutal gauntlet of misery that we didn't know how we were going to get through, except that, of course, we had no choice, so somehow we just put our heads down and pushed through it. But as it turns out, this time around is way, way easier than when we first had Kavi. Which is a little bit that Anand is an easier baby, but is mostly that I'm a way mellower mama than I was the first time around. I'm spending a lot more time actually enjoying snuggling warm baby skin than I did with Kavya, and a lot less time writing up strict feeding/diaper schedules, and crying over my failure to breastfeed, and generally being stressed out and paranoid about the baby's health and well-being. If Anand has to cry for a few minutes when I'm finishing up pumping and can't immediately pick him up (the boy really likes to be held), it's not fun listening to the mad hollering, but I can also cope with it a lot better than I did with Kavi.
Still, I'll be relieved when the other grown-ups are healthy again.
Okay, time to pump. Then hopefully, everyone sleeps.