Posts Tagged ‘hygeia’

Bottled Up

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Even though I had a wonderful time at BlogHer and am so glad I got to attend this year, leaving Caroline was a mistake. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have realized this wasn’t the right time to go and sold my ticket and spent the weekend hiding from Twitter, feeling sorry for myself and glaring at Caroline…but at least I would have been here for her. Every time I saw someone with a baby I was wracked with guilt and babbled endlessly about how I had a baby too but she was at home and I was pumping and I’m sure my husband had gotten her to eat by now even thought she’s never taken a bottle before but don’t think I’m a bad mom… and I secretly worried they thought exactly that.

It didn’t help that one mom said “Oh, I could NEVER leave my baby” in that tone of voice moms use when they’re judging you (even if they don’t THINK they are judging you and would deny it TO THEIR DEATH). Like the SAHM to the working mom: “Oh you are so strong! I don’t know HOW I could leave little Johnny all day!” or the cloth diaper mom to the disposable mom: “Oh I WISH I hated the environment so much that I didn’t care about filling up the landfills!” Well, maybe not that last one. But you get the idea.

One of my challenges is that I have never pumped with a purpose before. The freezer full of milk I left E with was just overflow from my early days of engorgement or Caroline sleeping a few extra hours at night. (Sidebar: I thought I had a GAZILLION GALLONS of milk in the freezer but between bottles she refused, bottles she didn’t finish, and a few bags with holes/freezer burn I came back to less than 20 oz. I was shocked.) I’ve never pumped to actually empty my boobs before, or to keep up my supply, and both proved to be a lot harder than I anticipated. While I was traveling all I had was a couple of hand pumps – my plan was to pop one on each side and get the job done faster – but doing that while standing up in an airport bathroom was impossible. And messy.

I was so sore. I couldn’t move without a constant reminder I was away from my baby and I SHOULDN’T be. My body was straight up guilt tripping me with the added benefit of physical pain to make it EXTRA GUILTY. It distracted me from focusing on the people I was there to meet and prevented me from giving everyone the hugs I was there to give.

Thank GOD the kind people from Hygeia Baby lent me a double electric EnJoye breastpump while I was at the conference¬† (and that my roommate was kind enough to drag it back to the hotel for me)(and also show me how to use it because I was freakin’ TERRIFIED the first time I looked in the box). By Friday afternoon I had gotten the hang of the fancy double electric action and was a regular milk machine, filling up bag after bag to donate to a local mom. I LOVED that pump.

But Sunday screwed everything up again – I returned the fancy pump and was left with my hand pump, I was stuck in an airport, and it was almost midnight when I got home. I had only pumped three times all day and after just a few minutes of nursing Caroline I was out of milk. My once insanely-overabundant supply had dwindled and we had to use the last of the frozen stash to calm the baby down. BOOB FAIL.

I threw my diet out the window and threw a giant chocolate bar into my face and I THINK we’re almost back to normal in terms of milk production but there still seems to be a lot of screaming. I suspect a top front tooth is to blame (which was NOT such a nice surprise on my poor nipple) but I’m going to worry about my supply constantly until the screaming quiets down a little. It’s made reentry to real life post-BlogHer (what?! it’s HARD) stressful and sleepless, both of which hurt my supply even MORE and then I’m trapped in a vicious cycle and can’t get out.

Also, I don’t think E is ever going to forgive me for the screaming he put up with before Caroline caved on the bottle. (She DID eventually cave, and now sucks them down like a champ. She might actually even PREFER the bottle, but too bad so sad baby girl, it’s back to the tap for you.) I suspect there was a LOT of screaming, but he’s being vague on exactly HOW AWFUL things were. Bless him for not complaining – although it might be because he’s barely speaking to me – but it hasn’t helped me feel any better about the situation.

So, to sum up, I am a selfish bitch who is now starving her baby and her husband hates her. I’m not doing so good at this mom gig right now.