I didn't care if I had to spend more than 10 hours at work. As long as I had somewhere to take a power nap. It didn't really matter that I'd remain unbathed and without a fresh set of clothes. As long every frame was perfection. A seamless narration of peoples lives, companies services or someones grandmother's birthday. As long as it was done and ready to be enjoyed, it didn't matter back then, when it was just me, when it was just us. Now, I think of my son as the minutes tick by and I see the sun rising as I take my ride home. Did he wake up in the middle of the night? What time did he go back to sleep? Did he wake again? Has he eaten? How much? How little? How frequent and what? All I can think of is how I can make up for not being home when he wakes #overtime #mommytales #youngmaster #sobrangantokgrabe
Aside from the commute being long and difficult (Q.C. to Taft! Ang stress level!). Unfortunately Cid was very demanding at night. He refused to settle down unless it was me who was cradling, feeding and sleeping next to him. He left his Tatay, nanny and our house help with less than an hours rest. He was up and crying all night long and would only fall asleep at 6 in the morning when he had exhausted every single bit of his energy calling out for his mommy the entire night (pati sya nag nightshift din kakaloka!).
It broke my heart.
So I took to the internet to find a solution, looking for mothers that were in the same situation. Breastfeeding, nightshift-ers with fussy babies in the Philippines. NADA. Nothing, c'mon guys, why aren't you talking about your experiences? I'm sure there are tons of you out there. So I figured I'd write about what I did and hopefully help someone along the way (kasi grabe expert talaga ako, LOL!)
How did I deal with nightshift schedule at work, no in-laws or family to help and an adorable baby to boot?
- If you are breastfeeding and determined to breastfeed all the way than build your milk stash EARLY. Make sure that before you go back to work your baby has enough milk for the 1 oz per hour rule or whatever feeding plan you prefer for a really really long time.
- Have a sleeping schedule and stick to it. Obviously you won't be sleeping right when you arrive from work. Spend time with your baby before you go to sleep (maglambingan muna kayo ni baby), wether it be playing, feeding or giving him his morning bath. I was lucky that by the time it was my bedtime, Cid would be ready for his morning nap and I could keep him by my side while he nursed until he fell sleep.
- Establish a feeding schedule. This was were I was stomped when I was away at night, as in nagtanong ako sa groups at walang sumagot. What I simply did was to follow the 1 oz per hour rule. If he would wake three hours after he had fallen asleep at night then, 3 oz would be prepared for him for his next feeding.
As a breastfeeding mom I had to wake up to feed Cid every time he was hungry. As long as someone is able to bring the baby to you for feeding it won't be difficult. Lay your baby beside you and catch some Z's while s/he feeds. :)
- Get some help. Whether it be your in-laws or a nanny/yaya who will agree to take care of your baby at night while you are away. Make arrangements and talk to them about your sleeping schedule/feeding schedule.
- Figure out what your baby needs in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. In my case, Cid was a fan of comfort, warmth and movement. If I could provide two out of three we were set for the night. So we opted to buy him a duyan installed it in his room, this gave him at the very least 6 hours of sleep at night. WOOT!