A lot of you have been asking me to blog more often about my experiences as a new mom. I have to preface this post by saying, I am not writing this post to offend anyone. As many of you know already, I am a firm believer in the fact that everyone is different and what works for you may not work for me and what works for me may not work for you. I am aware that this post my elicit some comments or discussion, but I have to get this off my chest…figuratively that is since I literally just finished pumping. As many of you can likely guess, I am referring to breast pumping.
A few years ago I never, ever would have imagined breastfeeding my child, let alone doing it for as long as I have—I am now going on four months. As I have mentioned before, Baby J has gotten formula since she came out of the womb and still gets 1-2 bottles a day from our friends at Enfamil. I know that I am doing a good thing here but boy is it hard. Everyone talks about how hard it is in the beginning to get the baby to latch and on a feeding schedule, etc. No one talks about how it is still hard a few months down the road when your life revolves around pumping or feeding or both. I still think it’s hard. And I am sharing my thoughts to let anyone else who has them know—you are not alone.
Who knows, maybe I am flying solo on this one?
I am now an exclusive pumper as it has become a much more efficient practice for me (again, everyone is different…what works for me may not work for you and that is OK.) After four months I will still say, breastfeeding (or pumping in my case) is STILL HARD. I am just starting to feel for the most part back to normal. My old clothes are starting to fit, I feel good (ok that is an exaggeration, I feel better than last month) when I get dressed in the morning. I have fully recovered from labor and delivery and can walk up and down my stairs the same way I did a year ago. I would say ALMOST everything is normal again—everything that is except for the fact that I have to stop what I am doing 4-5 times a day, put on my Simple Wishes hands-free pumping bra, and pump a bottle for Baby J. All this pumping is making me feel a little bit like an animal. I have to plan my day around when to pump and admittedly and maybe selfishly, sometimes I find it annoying. When I was back at my old office for a few weeks (before making BCB my full time gig) I had to lug my pump on the el to go downtown and then pump in a conference room (where I once found people eating), and then put my milk in the communal fridge. One time I forgot my milk and got halfway to the el before I realized and had to turn back around to go retrieve it. This was annoying and I am sure my feelings about pumping would be even more down in the dumps if I were still functioning that way. A friend of mine on the other hand visits the Four Seasons of Lactation Rooms every day at her company. They provide private space, lockers, mirrors for when you have to get re-dressed, hospital grade pumps and even little Lucite frames to put pictures of your baby in. And oh yeah—she has access to a lactation consultant too! For those of you out there who have access to this kind of support you are VERY LUCKY!
I know I am very fortunate in that I am still producing milk. Since I am, I am going to keep pumping it out for my baby girl. I don’t know how long I am going to keep going, but I wanted to share my sentiments with all of you in case you feel the same way. If there is anything I can guarantee, it is that you are not alone. I promise.