My first week back at work was a little rough. I was exhausted at the end of each night and went to bed at pretty much the same time as Elliott did. After that first week things started to get a little easier and we began to find a routine. Supper wasn’t as much of a problem as I thought it was going to be, but we have been eating takeout a lot more than before.

Elliott didn’t have any problems adjusting to the Day Home. I think he enjoys going. There are always kids there to play with since the owner has a son of her own, just a little bit older than mine. But he did catch a cold after his first day there. And then he gave his cold to me and his dad.

So on my second or third week back at work I had a cough and hot/cold flashes (which was probably actually a fever). I was coughing so much that my back and sides were sore and it made it hard to sleep. After about two weeks of that I finally started to feel better on a Saturday. I started cleaning and disinfecting the house and was feeling happy that I was getting better.

Then the next day on Sunday I woke up feeling like death. This is T.M.I. but, I had diarrhea and was throwing up. I threw up at 5:30 am which of course is when Elliott decided to wake up. I started making breakfast for us around 7 am and could barely stand without feeling like I was going to be sick. I had to throw up again in the sink.

I spent most of the day sitting in my chair with my eyes closed because I was exhausted. Thankfully Elliott was happy to entertain himself for most of the day. When he went down for his nap, so did I. When we woke up from our nap around 11 am, I got sick again.

Thankfully my boyfriend was able to come home at 2 pm instead of 6:30 pm. As soon as he was home I went to bed and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the night, getting up once to throw up for a fourth time. This was so unusual for me because I never throw up.

My coughing and my sore body made it pretty hard to sleep so I tossed and turned most of the night. I spent much of Monday sleeping as well. Tuesday morning I felt so terrible that I decided to go to the doctor to see if he could help me. My sides and back were in so much pain that I was hoping he could recommend something to help.

The doctor told me there were two viruses going around and it sounded like I had caught one after the other. He said there wasn’t really anything he could do for the cough but did give me a prescription for cough medicine to help me sleep (which didn’t help at all). He also said I had a low fever, which my home thermometer didn’t pick up. He told me I should be taking Advil or Tylenol so I went out and bought both, as well as cough drops, honey tea, and anything else I thought might help.

I started taking Advil and was surprised that it actually helped calm my cough. I lived off Advil for the next two or more weeks. At night I was up blowing my nose every few hours and I couldn’t lay on my back without having a coughing fit. This was the worst cold I remember ever having, and in hindsight wonder if it could have been the Coronavirus which was just starting to enter Canada (I don’t think it was).

My family and I were finally better around the first week of March and I was happy to get back to working without feeling terrible and actually getting some stuff done.

At this point, Coronavirus had started taking it’s hold on the world. At the store we started slowing down and we were unsure about what was going to happen next. We were waiting to see if we were going to close to the public. But then we got some bad news from head office (more on that in the coming months).

As things progressed, the store was slowly closed to the public and sales were dying. They decided to temporarily layoff everyone in my store except for the manager. I’ve now been home for a week taking care of my son while we wait to see when things settle down.

Before having a baby I didn’t realize how difficult it was to breastfeed. When Elliott was one week old he had his first doctor’s appointment. He was weighed and checked out by his new doctor. He was already past his birth weight which I was very happy about.

We discussed my struggles to get my milk to increase and he wrote me a prescription for Motilium. He also set up an appointment for me to see a Lactation Specialist.

My first appointment with the Lactation Specialist was the following day and I really didn’t want to go. At this point I really just wanted to give up with breastfeeding. The only reason I really wanted to do it in the first place was because it was cheaper. But giving Elliott bottles was so much easier and I didn’t have to be the one to always feed him.

Going to the appointment was my first outing alone with baby which I was nervous about. At the appointment we talked about what our routine was so far and she was not happy to hear that I was sleeping at night. She told me that I had to take over all the feedings and make sure I’m pumping at least once throughout the night, making sure not to go more than 5 hours without pumping.

I did already know this so I wasn’t surprised to hear it. And I was planning to move Elliott back upstairs to my bedroom (he was currently spending his nights in the living room with his dad).

At the appointment we also tried a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). It’s basically a syringe hooked up to a tube that you tape to your boob. You put the formula in the syringe. You latch the baby onto the boob and feed the formula through the tube while the baby is sucking from the breast.

The nurse sent me home with the SNS to see if it would help but I found it very difficult to use. I already was having troubles multitasking with a baby in my arms. I used it once at home but he just started sucking on the tube like a straw instead of my breast. I gave up on trying again with that set up.

The day after my appointment I did break down and cry about wanting to quit breastfeeding though. My boyfriend told me it was my choice and that he would support me with whatever decision I made. Although I did already know this, it was nice to hear and helped calm me down a little bit. I decided I would keep trying at least for another week when I had a follow up appointment with the Lactation Specialist.

Up until this point I was only producing milk from my left side. When I pumped I would only end up with about 3-5 ml combined for the whole day. At about 8 days postpartum I finally started leaking from the right side as well.

During my first few nights with Elliott in my room things went pretty smoothly. He sleeps in 1-2 hour spurts which gives me a little bit of rest. I wasn’t as tired in the mornings as I thought I would be.

By the time of my follow up appointment one week later I was able to pump milk from both sides and I had gone from 3-5ml of milk per day to about 20ml a day. However it had started getting very difficult to latch baby again. He would scream like he was starving until I gave in and fed him a bottle. He would push me away with his hands which kind of hurt my feelings haha.

The following day or two was better though. I was able to get him to latch on for about 10 minutes per side whereas before it was only about 3-5 minutes. I feel like if I was producing more milk he would stay on better. Right now he is drinking about 75ml of formula during each feed. He also falls asleep pretty quickly when I’m breastfeeding which is very frustrating.

Just after two weeks postpartum my boobs had finally started to feel full and lumpy which I guess is a good sign. Now I’m starting to get worried though because if I miss a feeding (which I sometimes do at night because I’m so tired) I’m scared I will get Mastitis. There is always something to worry about.

On a side note, my postpartum bleeding was stopping around a week and a half after having baby. We will see if it starts up again. I had a little bit of spotting about 5 days after it stopped but it only lasted a couple of days.