The Work-Life Balance

So about that whole “back to work” thing…

Saturday, my first day back at work, did not go well for Baby Eleanor. She flat-out refused to take a bottle, and when Zach tried to use a syringe to squirt some milk into her mouth she was screaming so hard she just choked and gagged on it. She also spent a lot of time screaming. I was so upset after calling home on my lunch break that my work sent me home early. Thank God they did, because by the time I got home and fed Eleanor it had been almost 14 hours since she had eaten anything. The poor babe was so dehydrated it took hours before she was making wet diapers again.

I’ve been talking with my (very, VERY supportive and understanding) boss and we’ve worked out a plan for now. It involves me working fewer hours, in shorter shifts, so that if Eleanor continues to refuse the bottle she won’t be going too horribly long without it. If it’s just dire and Zach is really desperate, he can drive the girls over to my work and I’ll nurse her there for one feeding. Not ideal, but certainly better than a dehydrated, screaming baby.

This is really hard. I do want to be back at work, but I want – and need – to be able to focus on work and not be worrying about my hungry baby at home all day. I want my baby to be healthy and happy. I don’t want my husband to spend all day trying to love a baby that does nothing but scream at him. I don’t want Zoey left to entertain herself alone all day with minimal supervision because Zach is desperately trying to calm Eleanor.

I don’t know why Eleanor refuses the bottle. She was taking it just fine from 2-6 weeks old, and then BAM. One day she just stopped wanting it, crying and turning her head away whenever we tried to offer it. Within a week the binky – previously her best friend – was an evil item that must be avoided as well. We have tried multiple different brands, shapes, textures, flows, temperatures, positions and people to get her to take the bottle – just like we did with Zoey. No luck. For whatever reason, my babies are just really, REALLY opinionated about how they get their breastmilk.

So we’ll just keep trying and hope that sometime soon she changes her mind. If you have any advice, internet, feel free to comment. “Eventually she’ll get hungry enough” just doesn’t seem to apply to Eleanor (just as it didn’t to Zoey).

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