Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I Pump, I Pump, It's off to Work I Go!

Our week of "vacation" together ended sadly with Jeremy heading back to work Monday morning. Jeremy was lucky enough to be able to turn work off and actually take a paternity leave.

I, on the other hand, am self-employed, Type A, an anal control-freak, and emotionally attached to my clients so I have not taken a day off yet. It would be more stressful to take time off than to fit in everyone's needs.

Enter, my evil nemesis, the Breast Pump.

Contrary to nature's intent and design, my milk spigots function about as well as a clearance bin item at Goodwill.

With Carson I lasted all of nine days at the mercy of the Breast Pump before I waved the white flag. To re-cap, with the blessing of my lactation specialist (kind name for boob nazi who tried duct taping my child to my nipples), I threw my Breast Pump in the closet and bought gallons of formula.

Unfortunately with Carson, I didn't wean my "girls" off the milk truck but instead quit cold turkey. This was a VERY BAD decision which led to double mastitis, scar tissue, a misdiagnosis from my OB/GYN, then a breast ultrasound for "masses", which freaked out the ultrasound tech, who ordered a mammogram.

The mammogram tech freaked out and ordered a double breast biopsy, only to discover, that all this pain and suffering was due to a back-up of milk in the tubes, which I could have told them from the get-go. That was a hellish experience that I wouldn't wish upon anyone.

Back to 5 am in the morning, when I am again pumping away. Every 3 freaking hours to provide my teeny-tiny son with nature's nutrition.

My first day back at work without my awesome husband to help out . . . I pumped just before we left for the day. Loaded up 8 bags into the car, might as well have moved out the entire house at that point. Dropped Carson off at school, went to work with Keaton and breast pump in tow. Unloaded four of the bags at the office including a breast pump backpack (ah yes, conveniently disguised as an every day item), diaper bag, briefcase, and bag full of files.

Pumped again, this time in an empty conference room with the blinds drawn, praying no one would knock on the door to inquire about the rhythmic machinery sounds coming from within. Reloaded three bags, changed a diaper and off to my next appointment.

Pumped again, this time in a shower room at my hair salon. So cozy and warm, not!!

Off again to my next client appointment, Keaton has now been asleep for almost the entire day. Made it through the next appointment only to look at the clock and realize it was 4:20 and I had to be in Hillsboro to pick Carson up at 5 pm. Flew out the door leaving my client and professional photographer to finish up themselves.

Raced down the freeway, somehow made it at 5:05 by some miracle of the traffic gods. Met Jeremy at Fred Meyer (rock star dad had already picked up our to-go meals) and we all headed back down the freeway to Carson's swim lesson.

At which point, my boobs were tingling and crying out for the hard plastic cones of their savior, the breast pump. Most women's milk "lets down" for crying babies, warm cozy, sweet cooing babies. My milk lets down at the sound of a machine and the sight of artificial suction.

I begged and pleaded for more privacy than just a curtained off changing room at the swimming pool. The front desk gal looked very confused and ushered me into the owner's office. She seemed to think I was the most private "nursing" mom in the world. Clearly she was fooled by my "backpack in disguise". I turned my back on the three giant windows and prayed no one would open the door during my extraction session.

And the day starts all over again...

Top Ten Reasons I hate Pumping

1. It feels like someone has my nipples in a vise-grip and just keeps turning the handle tighter and tighter.

2. I feel like a cow getting milked.

3. I have to keep an eye on the clock to make sure I don't go more than 4 hours without pumping or my boobs fill up to my chin with milk, feel like they're smuggling rocks, and I risk getting clogged milk ducts or mastitis.

4. I have to lug around a pump cleverly disguised as backpack and hope to God there is somewhere discreet for me to pump. I have yet to use the battery pack and pump in the car. Trying very hard to avoid that situation.

5. Night time feedings take twice as long because I have to pump first and then feed Keaton or vise versa.

6. Cleaning all the pump parts after every use.

7. Wondering if my boobs will suffer irreparable damage from the constant pumping action.

8. Having to lean forward once a minute to dump out the milk from the cones before it overflows. Considering investing in "Pumpin' Pals", oh yes, that's for real. A website that specializes in milk cones that angle down for the seated pumping.

9. Having Carson ask me, "Mommy is it time for you to pump milk for Baby Keaton?" and then stare at me as my machinery works overtime to provide. Is this going to scar his images of boobs forever?

10. Having my husband stare at me and try to say convincingly, "It's a beautiful thing" as my machinery works overtime to provide. Is this going to scar his images of my boobs forever as I drip breast milk on the couch?

What do I like about pumping??

1. I finally have giant boobs!! It's fascinating for both Jeremy and I. Not completely sure they suit me but they sure are providing temporary entertainment (not for Jeremy sadly but for me). But is it motivation enough to keep pumping?

2. I can eat like a blue ribbon pig at the fair and still lose weight!

3. It does provide extra special nourishment for Keaton.

That's it, and no, I will not be posting any pictures with this post.

*** PS- the lactation specialists at Providence truly are wonderful and are not boob-nazi's. They are very supportive of whatever works best for mom and baby and try to figure out what that really looks like.

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