As you know by now, we are total hippie parents: we practice exclusive breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, etc. – all those annoying parenting techniques that are continuously discussed in media and commented on by experts, parents, doctors and anyone else with an opinion. As I’ve mentioned before, our motivation is not always exactly based on any ideological beliefs, but could perhaps be attributed to laziness.
In any case; our parenting style has meant that we’ve never had any baby bottles in our possession – we’ve never fed our babies formula, and we’ve never been in a situation where I’ve consistently had to pump milk to be fed to the baby in my absence. Until now, when I have to go to the hospital every day. It’s not like I’m gone for a long time – an hour and a little more at most – but we’ve learned that no matter how little time I’m going to be away, I should never leave the house without leaving some milk behind. Maybe it’s a preemie thing, or maybe it’s just normal at this age – I can’t remember – but it seems our baby wants to eat all the time, so even though I feed him right before I leave, he still seems to get hungry while I’m gone. We have a cheap hand pump that comes with a bottle, and it only takes me about 10 minutes to express 4 oz, so it’s not really any trouble (except after several days, my wrists are quite sore from squeezing the pump!).
This morning I was gone exactly 50 minutes, and when I came home, Courtney had changed the baby’s diaper twice, fed him the whole bottle and lay with him until he fell asleep (until they both fell asleep, actually). He stayed asleep for almost two hours after I came home, leaving me time to clean up the house, vacuum, load the washer and dishwasher, make a big breakfast, and spend some time taking care of my neglected older boys (bangs were cut, clothes sorted, stories read, music discussed, etc.). It felt like cheating, somehow: baby was cared for, fed and put to sleep AND I had all that time to go to the hospital AND catch up on other things.