Friday, January 21, 2011

Here we go again.

Today was my first day back at work after maternity leave, and I’ve been focused on two things: 1. I hate being away from my kids. 2. The idea of pumping for 12 months is exhausting. Okay, okay- so June is already 6 weeks old. That leaves roughly 46 weeks of pumping….x at least 5 days a week….x 3 pumping sessions per day…x 15 minutes per session…

I don’t feel like doing the math, but it’s a lot of time to have one’s boobs hooked up to a machine.

It wouldn’t be as annoying if I hadn’t *just* got done pumping for Lucy in October- I pumped for her for 13 months. Even though pregnancy diminished my supply months before, I could still manage to get a couple ounces, and I was determined to keep giving Lucy breastmilk (she was, and still is, breastfeeding when I’m at home).

I don’t regret pumping for Lucy at all…it’s just that another year of pumping sounds like such a drag. It’s months more of carrying my pumps around (I have 4, by the way- a Lactina hospital-grade my insurance pays for and that I keep at work, a Medela Pump-in-Style, a Medela Swing for car use, and an Avent Isis manual), marking and freezing bags, washing pump parts...

If I had the money, I’d pay someone to wash my flanges, bottles, membranes, etc. I HATE IT THAT MUCH.

I should be grateful I have no issues pumping. In fact, I’m glad I had an extra cooler stored at work, because I partially filled 2- 8 oz bottles plus 4- 5 ounce bags. That’s roughly 36 ounces, people. Plenty of milk for June plus some to share- and believe me, I do. I’ve been blessed to be able to give around 300-350 ounces to another mama so far.

I should be grateful that I have a desk job that allows me to pump as needed and coworkers who don’t say anything (well, I have had some “top off my coffee, please” comments- but that just makes me laugh).

The funny thing is, no matter how much I complain about it, I know I’m gonna do it- all for the privilege of coming home at the end of the day, putting up my feet, picking up June and watching Lucy crawl into my lap, and getting back some of the intimacy with them I lose during the day.

On a lighter note, I’m going to check another box in my “weird places I’ve pumped” list. On Monday I’ll be taking my students on a field trip of sorts, and will have to pump somewhere- it might be in a hangar.

Where's the funniest/craziest/strangest place you've pumped?


Jenny said...

I didn't really like pumping, either. Medela doesn't make a flange that fits me right, and I don't respond well to the pump and can't get what I'd like to be getting even with a lot of compressing and massaging. I think I'd like it better if I were like a milk fountain and could fill the bottles. Pumping three times a day for a total of 45 minutes (and having to wash all those little plastic parts) would be a serious drag. But dry nursing. I like that even less than pumping.

Emily said...

Pumping is definitely a learned skill...when I first started with Lucy, I barely got anything. After a while you just adapt. Funny- I actually will have a let-down sometimes just putting the pump together or washing the parts. Crazy, huh?

Dry nursing really stinks. I would get this sensation that was like nails on a chalkboard- only it was a feeling. Does that make sense? I literally wanted to run away sometimes. Once Robert is here, things will be so much better.

Ed and Elizabeth said...

When I actually did try to pump at work for over a month I was forced to pump in a storage closet and sit on a cold, hard chair. Hustle and bustle was right through the door and anyone could technically open it at any minute. It was awful. I hated it. After a month, along with my breastfeeding support group, a lactation consultant, and three different breast pumps I still would only get 1-2 ounces when pumping. The boobs just couldn't be fooled. If it wasn't a baby, they weren't giving up the goods. Just thinking about it makes me so mad. You're lucky you have a desk and privacy. I was also away for 14+ hours per workday. Sigh. Hopefully things will be different this time around. I am cheering for you Emily...I know you can, and will do it!!!!

Jenny said...

Ha ha--yes, that definitely makes sense. The feeling is like "get OFF meeee!" I try to remember how wonderful you wrote about it being when Lucy latched on and got milk again.

Beth said...

I nursed in the backseat of a moving car...not super weird, but it's all I've got! Thank goodness our windows are tinted! :)

Emily said...

Good one, Beth!

I have the hands-free setup...have definitely pumped more than a few times while driving. I just pull my shirt over the top and go..