Being the “milk-lady”

I thought I would take the time to write a bit on what its like to be the sole provider of food for our dear daughter…or as Royce like’s to put it…being the “milk-lady”.

Honestly, when I started I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  I had friends who had it easy, friends who had it hard, and friends who did OK at the start and then stopped shortly after they went to work.  Given this, I really didn’t set any expectations for myself when I set out on this journey.  I armed myself pre-baby with as much info as I could.  I took a class, read my breastfeeding chapters in my pregnancy book and wished myself the best (while subliminally knowing I would have trouble from the start).

Many readers know my struggles I had in the beginning.  I’m not sure why we had problems.  Was it because Syd didn’t make it to breast until over 4 hours after birth (supposedly they have the strongest sucking reflex within the first hour after birth)?  Was it the lack of lactation support immediately after birth?  Was it the stupid nipple shield they started me on at the hospital? Was it Syds tongue?  Was it the fact that my boob was 3x the size of Syd’s head?  Who knows…  Let’s just say whatever caused our problems they somehow got solved after a month.  We figured it out and all was right with the world.

When I returned to work, I also didn’t set any expectations for myself.   I just blindly went into it figured I would give pumping the proverbial college-try with 6-months being my goal.  But the thing is, I had been pumping since day 1.  I pumped 8 times a day my first month, and then 2 times a day my second month, and then about 1 time a day my third month.  Me and Mr. Pump were getting along just fine.  I had plenty of practice (and plenty of milk in the freezer).  This practice (and stock) made pumping when I returned to work a complete breeze.  It wasn’t foreign, or weird.  I knew what I had to do and I got it done with in 10 mins flat.  Actually, now I don’t mind it at all.  It gives me 10 mins two times a day where I can lock my door and be alone…no one can pester me, nor can I use my computer all that effectively.  I can stare into space (I prefer to stare at pictures of Sydney) and just relax for a while.  It’s my office reset button.

I think one of the reasons I’ve had so much perseverance is that you can’t talk about breastfeeding without considering the press recently on the benefits, both financial and other, for it.  But no matter how much the media guilt’s us into doing this for longer periods of time, I have to wonder when things will give?  When will lactation consultants be reimbursed through insurance plans?  When will employers be required to set up lactation rooms and provide good hospital grade pumps to their breast-feeding mothers?  When will breast pumps and other lactation devices be reimbursed through medical insurance plans and flexible spending accounts?  How can something that is supposed to be free cost so much and then sadly be available to only those who can afford it?  When will women be able to feed in public without having to cover themselves with devices to feel secure and avoid getting stared at?  When will all women be given 6-months of properly funded maternity leave so that they can do what the medical profession and media tell us is best for their babies; stay at home and be the ‘milk-lady’.

I’m lucky that I had the resources I had through my pediatricians lactation consultant to get me started.  Now that I’ve found my rhythm I’m thinking heck with getting through 6 months…lets try a year!  It will keep me from going on my much desired solo vacation with girlfriends, not to mention keep me from playing long rounds of golf this summer, and of course my relationship with Mr. Pump won’t be going anywhere anytime soon either.  Not that I have the energy anyways, but it will also push back the time til I can really (comfortably) get into running again.  But the benefits, o’ the benefits, not just for me (can we all say together ‘weight-loss’) but for Sydney too.  I’ve come to really enjoy our times together; I read or just stare at her and I’m not sure her excited face when she realizes she is about to nurse will ever get old.  These moments are really quite the juxtaposition from our teradactyl wrestling sessions we had just a mere 4 months ago.

Give Syd milk from the ‘milk-lady’ until she can get milk from the moo-cow.  It’s a lofty goal and I hope I can stick to it.

Comments

  1. Good luck! Hope you can do it! Albert’s sister-in-law nursed for a full year while working (although she had 6 months of maternity leave) so it can be done! Just not by me…

  2. Love the way you write! What a great goal! Kids are a bit off for me, but my neurologist (I have MS) did want to have a frank discussion with me when it comes time for the little pitter patter of feet and being the milk lady. Because of the drugs I take to manage my symptoms, she doesn’t want me to nurse for more than a few weeks. It made me a little sad to know that even before I get to consider it as a longer term option, it was taken away. And I don’t even have kids yet! Enjoy it while it last!

Trackbacks

  1. […] been a bittersweet year.  Bitter at the beginning, but sweet in the end.  We put some serious sweat and tears into getting it right that first month.  It was hard, no […]

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