The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nursing Woes

To moms who nursed long-term, a question/request for advice...
I am sick, sick, sick of nursing. Correction... I am not sick of nursing- I actually love nursing my daughter- just pumping. I have been a real trooper about it, but it is a lot of work. On days when we have block schedule at school (2 days a week), my only break during the morning is nutrition, and it is not very long, so pumping takes most of that time. I hate it because I used to be very available to help my students at nutrition and lunch, but I have now banned them from my room during breaks, so that I can pump. Then there are other issues.... like detention.

The teachers all switch off covering detention during nutrition. I requested that the office manager not schedule me for detention coverage on block days, which means Wednesday or Thursday, so this week she scheduled me Friday, which would normally be okay, because I normally have a break 3rd period on Fridays, but today we were on a special block schedule and I forgot I had detention, so I ended up just having to do it. I know they are required to give me a nursing break if I need one, so I had my boss come cover me for a few minutes during homeroom (after nutrition), which worked okay, but honestly, I hate asking for those favors.

And I hate having no time for myself during the day. At least we had a prolonged lunch today, which was AMAZING. I actually had lunch with friends today, which is a rarity lately, since a 30 minute lunch does not allow time for eating, socializing, and pumping. Eating and pumping are musts, so I will let you guess which was one gets cut.

I am also sick of worrying about my milk production.  I have given in to the reality that I am apparently just not making enough to keep her satisfied. I am able to pump about 12-16 ounces during the day at work, and she wants to eat about 20 ounces a day, so I pack four 5-oz-bottles and I have to add a couple of ounces of formula to each, depending on how much milk I have, to make them full. Some days, I have to add like 2.5 ounces to one of the bottles. I guess in a lot of ways, it is not that big of a deal, but then it makes me feel like, "What the heck? If she is getting formula anyway, why am I bothering to do all this damn pumping?"

Why? Well, several reasons. We are B-R-O-K-E!  (Funny side note, I had a discussion with my students today about why we use the figurative expression "broke," instead of just saying "I have no money." We decided it is just because it makes it feel so much more desperate and sucky that way). Formula is expensive, so not having to buy it (or at least buy a lot of it anyway), is really, really nice, and sort of worth the pumping hassle.

I also continue to do it for the obvious health reasons, but even more so, because I do honestly like nursing her. I like that when she is cranky or tired I can just pop her on and she is happy. I like the sense of calm I get from her when she is nursing. It is really nice. I like that if I have to feed her in the middle of the night, there is nothing to prepare, and I can just fall asleep. I sort of wish that I could just stop nursing while at school and continue nursing the rest of the time, but my production is already low and my best time is the morning, so I do not know if I would continue to lactate if I didn't pump for 10-12 hours at a time. Maybe I could just drop to one time pumping during the day? Right now, I pump 3 times during the day- 2 on a bad day, but usually 3.

She already eats a lot of solid food (about 3 ounces for breakfast, 2 ounces for lunch, 2 ounces in the afternoon, and 3-4 ounces for dinner) and really loves it. You can tell she is already getting tired of pureed spoon feeding, and she is not even 6 months old! She is always reaching for our food, staring at our food, etc., but I know the majority of  her diet will continue to be milk for the next few months. Ugh... what do I do? I want to quit as much as I don't.  I just wish I could quit at school.

In other news, Vinny's teacher told me today, "He is SO creative!" I replied, "Yes, true, but what makes you say that?" She told me that there is always some story being created and some show being put on during play time. He is always the director and he is always searching for actors to be in his shows. Hahahahaha. I wonder where he gets that. She said today he was putting on a "Princess and the Frog" show and was insisting that he didn't have enough background singers. Too funny.

1 comment:

  1. That seems like a lot of milk to me. But yea, I was always terrified of never having enough milk either. But for some crazy reason I had waaaay too much! I got tired of having to pump and feed all the time too. So It took me about 10 days of pain and pumping and frustration and weening, but now I have barely anything left. Maybe 2-3 feedings Max in a 24 hour period. It's sort of a weird feeling. I feel free, but I feel sad too. If you do wanna continue, maybe you can try some things. I've heard oatmeal and bread products produce more milk. Perhaps thats why I had a problem? lol. But to produce more you need her to suck suck suck! Maybe it's cause you are mostly just pumping. Cause the pump doesn't trigger milk production as much as she does. One night I was nursing in bed, and we both fell asleep. She continued to suck for hours and hours like a pacifier. Well, a couple days later that breast was 10 times bigger than the other side. Oops!!
    I think you should switch to Formula. I have some coupons that I'm not gonna use, and I can get formula for FREEEE so if you need some, let me know.