The Early Morning Hours

I woke up at 3:25 AM this morning. Q was fussing and hungry.

He is most definitely going through another growth spurt like he did around 6 weeks. Yesterday, all he wanted to do was eat and, like clockwork, he’d get fussy, eat, and play every 2 hours. I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch.

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(I love this kid’s smile.)

When I feed Q in the early morning hours, I typically go into the living room and flip on the TV. However, this morning, we sat in silence. I listened to Murphy snoring next to us, an airplane flying overhead, and the AC running in the bedroom (even though it’s not crazy hot here, we’ve gotten used to sleeping with it on). Everyone says I will miss these newborn days, so I’m really trying to soak it all in the best I can.

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Q takes a catnap, so I order a few things on Amazon from my phone: razor refills, Belli scrub, and freezer bags for breast milk. Amazon Prime makes it, oh, so easy!

About those freezer bags…

Mal and I have a wedding at the end of the month, and we’ve been looking forward to it all summer. Our friends are getting married in New Hampshire, so we rented a condo and my mother-in-law and her sister are going to babysit Q while Mal and I do fun wedding things. This means I need to stockpile breast milk, so I’m going to start freezing some of it now. I definitely don’t have an oversupply (there’s never any left after Q eats), so it’s going to be quite the project!

Q is snoozing in my lap, so I try to put him back to bed. The second I stand up with him, his eyes pop wide open. I guess he’s still hungry? We sit back down and hang out. I still don’t turn on the TV; I’m digging the silence. I hear crickets.

Q eats again. He’s a hungry little elf this morning! I check Instagram while he eats. My feed is full of pug photos, which is awesome. I also see lots of photos from people’s travels all over the world. I’m sad I haven’t traveled this summer, but I know that will change soon. Mal and I want to travel with Q as much as possible and we’re already talking about trips to Seattle, Oregon, and France and possibly taking a cruise. I also want to go somewhere tropical. Any recommendations for a kid-friendly resort?

I eat a chocolate chip cookie. My friend Lauren works for FlapJacked and sent me some of their products to sample (high protein pancake mixes). I wasn’t even hungry, but the cookies were so darn delicious when I made them last night, I just wanted one.

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Q finally seems sleepy enough for bed. He ate a lot. His tummy is definitely full. I love that he’s getting bigger and chunkier. The little guy was 11 pounds, 7 ounces and 24 inches long at his 2-month doctor’s appointment the other day. He’s tall and skinny. Who is this kid?

I swaddle Q and put him to bed.

I give Murphy a treat. I know he only gets up with me in the wee hours of the morning because he thinks I’m going to feed him breakfast, but I enjoy his company anyway.

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I brush my teeth (chocolate chip cookie) and go back to bed.

It’s 5:05 AM.

63 Comments

  1. I don’t know, they told me I would miss the infant/early days of nursing stage but ugh, I am tired just thinking about it lol….I didn’t have much left to pump after a feeding until my son was like eight months old. He ate so much and so often that I couldn’t make many bottles but did try as you are so that I too could leave him to attend a wedding!

  2. I always found it easiest to pump extra milk after the 1st morning feeding each day. With both of my girls I always seemed fullest then, so I would nurse then pump and slowly built quite a stash for the freezer. When I would try to pump later in the day after feedings supply was limited.

    1. @Tish: I agree with Tish here – I would pump as soon as 15 minutes after completing my first morning feed (not 3 am, the like 7 am one) and had a good amount to put aside. I never had a great supply, just enough to meet my babies’ needs, but with this method I was able to stash enough so that my first only had breast milk even tho I worked part time and did a bit of traveling without him. Good luck!!

      1. @Ella:
        Agreed! Pump after the morning feeding. This is how I started building a supply. It’s usually the only time I pump. My guy is the same age as Q and I have over 100 oz in the freezer just from doing this everyday.

        I can’t believe how tall Q is! My guy is 21.5 inches and 8 lbs. at his 2 month. Super tiny. I can’t wait for him to get some baby fat on him!

  3. This was really well written! This post inspired me to work on my creative writing this coming school year. Hope the rest of your day was great!

  4. Aw, what a sweet post! It makes me so nostalgic, my daughter is in the process of self-weaning now (she’s two and a half! Crazy!) and your post makes me long for the days when we would just sit around and cuddle and nurse for hours. They do go by SO quickly! And definitely enjoy it while you can, because before you know it, you’ll have a toddler that’ll barely slow down long enough to give you a quick hug. 😉

    And you’re so brave to plan an overnight away from Q already! I didn’t manage my first weekend away until my daughter was 14 months, and it was still tough (and I still had to pump every 3-4 hours, which kind of stunk).

    I pumped a lot during my maternity leave to build up a stash before returning to work, and like you I didn’t have an oversupply and had difficulty managing to pump enough milk to keep up with her reasonable 3-4 oz bottles! What I did during my maternity leave was pump each morning after my daughter’s first feed, getting about an ounce total a day (I wasn’t replacing a nursing session). So it took all 12 weeks of leave to get about 60-70 ounces stashed up. If you have a few weeks to start a frozen stash for your trip, you may be able to make it. A helpful tip I remember from my pumping days is to leave an ounce for every hour you’ll be gone. So if you’ll be gone only about 24 hours, you’ll only need 24 ounces for Q. With two weeks, if you can pump a little less than 2 ounces a day (which would probably be one or two pumping sessions), you’ll be okay!

    1. @Grace: @Grace: This is really great advice! I wish I thought of that when I was struggling with keeping up! I never really thought about how “every ounce counts” and i got discouraged when I ‘only got one ounce’. This is really helpful to a new mama! Hope it helps others! Thank you!

  5. For pumping/building a supply I use to pump every evening before bed. I would feed my son before he went to sleep and pump 2-3 hours later. That way I never had to do anything like wake up just to pump.

  6. Oh and I also wanted to comment that my husband and I LOVE to travel and I was so worried about missing that when we had our daughter. But rest assured, you definitely can travel and enjoy it with a young kid! We’ve done a total of big 4-5 trips since our daughter was born (we got her a passport when she was less than a year old!) and it’s awesome. Crazy and intense and sometimes sanity-questioning? Totally. But also so much fun. 🙂

      1. @Tina: Totally! And I found that it’s easier to travel with a younger non-mobile exclusively breastfed baby than an older one, to be honest! You never have to worry about what/how to feed them, and they won’t be fussing to run around on an airplane! Just grab some diapers, wipes, your favorite wrap or carrier, and go! 🙂

  7. Download the app called the wonder weeks. I write about it on my blog as well. 8 weeks was one of the hardest weeks for us thus far and my baby is 17 months old. I still remember it like yesterday – he wouldn’t sleep for anything and he was so fussy. Every time he acted like this since he was born, it corresponded to a wonder week!

  8. I have a 7-week-old baby and I can totally relate. Sometimes it takes 90 minutes to get him back to bed after waking up in the middle of the night. It’s tough but trying to soak up all the time with my cuddly boy.

  9. I remember being so exhausted nursing in the middle of the night that I would literally feel sick trying to stay awake! I eventually learned how to nurse lying down and that saved my life I think. I would sleep and nurse at the same time. Of course, it led to the kids being in our bed but it was worth it to be able to rest! You’re doing great, the early mornings are hard!

  10. I also recommend pumping after you put Q to bed in the evening. I would put my son to bed at about 7 or 8 and then pump at 9 or 10 before I went to bed. I did it every day and my body eventually knew that I wanted milk at that time of the day, so I was able to get from 2 oz in the beginning to 6-8 oz after a few months of doing it. I ended up having about 500 ounces in my freezer stashed away for when I was at work or whatever reason….. Unfortunately, we found out my son had an allergy to peanuts and eggs (two things I ate almost everyday when pumping) and I ended up having to give all of my precious milk away. It was a sad day. 🙁
    But I would definitely start sooner rather than later, and always try to pump around the same time so your body knows to produce at that time! Good luck, and Q is such a cutie! My little guy just turned 1 and it went by soooo quick. So definitely cherish those early morning hours together!

  11. haha, i read the weight and thought wow! then i realized my youngest brother was 11 lbs. 4oz, 23 inches long when he was born. he’s 14 now and is i want to say 6 4 and still growing.

  12. I enjoyed reading this post, especially since my youngest is turning one next week, which is bittersweet since she is our third and will be our last and thankfully has been a happy and wonderful baby. I am still nursing and pumped for about 8-9 months in order to stock up a huge supply to use as needed. For me, I make the most milk in the morning so once I got Ava on a good schedule, around 3-4 months, I started my own schedule- wake at 5:45: pump, work out, shower and be ready for Ava to wake at 7-7:15 and feed her shortly after. It is very freeing once your supply is built up and you can use bottles as needed. Good luck with Q! He is adorable!

  13. It’s so true that it all goes by so fast. Before you know it, he’ll be sleeping through the night and the night waking and early mornings will seem like a lifetime ago. Enjoy it all! My youngest turns 2 next month and I definitely miss those newborn days.

  14. Tina, you are such an awesome mama already and Q is a lucky peanut! My sweet boy is 2.5 yrs now and I pumped every one of his meals for 7 months! He was a wimpy latcher and I got so hot when he latched, we both cried and turned red! My best tip to get more milk is to massage your boobs while you pump, especially up towards the top and outer quadrants. It increased my milk by a few ounces!! Get a good hands free bra or make your own with a sports bra that you cut circles out of! Best wishes!!

  15. It’s sooo weird everytimes I see your baby pictured with the same onesie I dress my baby in 🙂 My born birth date is June 10th.

  16. I have nothing to do with babies and am no where close to having one, but I really love these posts and your little family! he is truly adorable!!

  17. Love it! Glad to see you are being intentional about taking in and enjoying every stage, which I am making a mental note of when I am there in a few months! Why didn’t I think of ordering razor cartridges from Amazon! They seriously have everything!

  18. He looks so much like your husband in that photo! 🙂

    Have you tried lactation cookies to up your supply for stocking up? I only heard about them after I was done nursing (wish I had tried them!) but I’ve heard so many people say how much they help!

    The newborn stage is so sweet and special, and it keeps getting better. I swear that every stage is my favorite!

  19. I have never heard of FlapJacked and just read their story. I feel the same way about pancakes (and other starchy foods) that you can never eat them and feel satisfied. Hence the reason I always tell my patients to eat something with protein, and just not the starch. This is great! I live in the NY area and am definitely going to find them to try. Thank you for your continued great posts!

    Also, baby Q is just precious. Congrats !!!

  20. I hear you on the supply issue. You make what your baby needs. Try the Milk saver. I used this with my second and third and actually had food to save. One of the best mommy products.

  21. Try pumping after Q’s first feed early in the morning – it should be when your milk supply will be best. The more you pump, the better your supply should get! Supply and demand 🙂

  22. Hey Tina! Longtime reader, but mostly lurker here. I love your blog. Q is so precious! I just wanted to pop in and give you links to a few products that have made a HUGE difference for me and my seven month old daughter.

    I struggled a lot with milk supply and two things made a huge impact: 1) this supplement for nursing moms. I tried fenugreek and such, which helped some, but later I tried these and they really help. I also still take my prenatal because of the DHA, but I do think that the quantity and quality of my milk has improved since taking them. It’s a matter of putting milk in the freezer vs. having to take it out to supplement with! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003L66URM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. 2) I also had a hard time pumping in general and I felt like these have helped: http://www.pumpinpal.com/

    And then, this has nothing to do with nursing, but I love this thing. Seems crazy (and maybe it is?) but my daughter has slept through the night pretty consistently since 10 weeks (I’m knocking on wood now) and I think part of it is this sleep suit: http://www.magicsleepsuit.com/.

    Good luck with everything! Try to remind yourself that you are already doing so much. You are literally caring for and nourishing another human! Go easier on yourself and know that you are an amazing mom. Email questions at any time.

  23. Hi Tina,
    My advice would be travel with Q as much as you can. My husband and i started taking road trips with our daughter when she was 1 (mostly to the grandparents). But as she got older we turned those trips into 2 week vacations and would take her all over the US to see all the wonderful attractions this country has. Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, Niagra Fall, Yellowstone, all the fabulous sights in DC and many more places. She’s 26 now and remembers all of it. She tell her boyfriend all the time I’ve been there and hopefully once she’s married she’ll take him and her children to all those places. Enjoy every minute with Q my husband and i talk all the time about when our daughter was little. We are now waiting for the grandchildren 🙂

  24. Beautiful post! I remember those days too. I didn’t want to ever look back and think “I wish I savored those moments more”. I know for a fact that I did and I’ll always be thankful for them. You’re a great mom!

  25. You go girl. I am having our first in 5 months (eee of delight and also terror!) reading these posts puts a smile on my face of what there is to look forward to. Amen about Amazon Prime, on island we don’t get the two day shipping, but we still get to ORDER and free shipping which is awesome! Cheers to the extra sleep!

  26. Just curious, are you exclusively pumping? I have been having lots of problems breastfeeding and am considering switching to exclusive pumping to give myself a little rest!

  27. We are taking our 19 month old twins on a 2 week vacay that includes a cruise. Royal Caribbean has daycare with folks trained and certified from the state of Florida and in room babysitting for after hours. We are hoping to try those out. We are also going to Seattle and Vancouver for some of that time. The first time away I was solo with both kids who were 6 months. It wasn’t the most fun I ever had but it was still a good time. Traveling with baby or babies is totally doable.

  28. Tina, I’ve never commented before, but I’ve been following your blog for a while.
    I’ve been wondering, have you tried nursing Q while laying down? When I had my first baby I always nursed while sitting upright, and honestly, it was torture. I spent sooooo many hours sitting on my butt staring at the wall, my back was tired, and those newborn days seemed oh so difficult, emotionally-wise. For some reason, nursing while laying down didn’t work. Several years later i had a second baby and finally learned how to nurse while laying down – and what a difference! It’s so relaxing now. We often take naps together during the day, it’s so cozy and cuddly and i actually LIKE breastfeeding now. Just wanted to share in case you haven/t given it a try yet

  29. Pingback: Quinn Turns One

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