and yes, it's freakin' hard. Especially when you don't have any help.
It does get easier, it really does. trust me. That first month is the hardest but then it gets gradually easier. By 6mos, it is much easier. By age 2, you'll be thinking, yeah, I could totally do this 10 times over! lol. It also depends on baby's personality but with my two, this was the pattern and by talking to others too. It's interesting. And you forget how over whelming it can be.
You do need to mourn the life you left behind by becoming a mother. I still would like to just jump up and run to the store when I think of it but, no, must make arrangements. But then, this too shall pass, right??
For me, I had to accept the baby's schedule and not try to conform him to one but that was him. My DD was a bit more maleable (sp?).
Do yourself a favour and do not read any of those sleep books.
unless your baby is a typical/text book baby where you can plainly see the play/eat/sleep pattern. My DS was eat/play/eat/sleep/eat/play/eat/eat/eat. ugh LOL and he'd change the pattern every time, just to keep me on my toes. By 3mos, he could snooze for 5-10 which would fuel an hour's play. I was so tired, it was my sister who noticed it and said he's a cat-napper. as soon as I saw it too, I became more zen about it.
for the sore nipples, is it from all the pumping? I have a solution, maybe. Try putting on some lanolin cream before you pump or express some milk and rub it on so that there is lubrication between you and the pump cup. I had this problem and the LC suggested this and it helped, as well as pressing them on really tightly to minimize the friction.
Pumping sucks. It does.
I had nipple pains from pumping and from bad latch. It got better by 3mos but the latch, I really had to be vigilant until some time around 7-8-9mos, I forget now. thankfully. lol
How old is your sweetie now? although breast milk is the perfect food for her, formula is a good tool too and pretty darn good too. (this coming from a woman who BF for 2yrs. You just have to do what is best for all--I used formula in a sippy once solids were started, just to have milk in a cup. I didn't make enough milk to express it so was thankful for the formula, once again)
if you don't have any lanolin ointment yet, get some, that stuff is magic and you don't have to wipe off or wash off before nursing/pumping. It's safe for baby.
I still use it on cuts and scrapes, helps in healing.
enjoyed reading your update
me:43, DH 44
DS: born by c-sec Apr15'03, 9lbs5oz 41wks gest. (after 4 years of ttc, starting in 1998)
DD born by c-sec Oct 13 2007, 8lbs13oz 39wk gest. (after just under 3 years of ttc)
~~DS was conceived naturally the cycle following a cancelled DE IVF, using my good friend's eggs. She was on the verge of hyperstimming.
~~DD's nat conception I attribute to using OPKs like a crazy nut, eating grapefruit daily and using preseed. also 5 cycles of TCM ending 2 cycles before that lucky cycle.