Motherhood’s blog is back and we’re keeping it real: Real Mothers, Real Stories, Real Life!
Hi, I’m Daina and I work for Motherhood® as an editor and copywriter. I also reside in the real hood of motherhood.
I have two daughters: Val is a little over 3 and Roni is fairly new at only 5 months.
I came back to work this summer after giving birth and have been doing that crazy balancing act of nursing in the morning, pumping at the office and trying not to cry about the reduction in my breast milk. [Editor’s Note: I’ve cried.]
At the moment I am an exclusive breastfeeding mom. I was able to get my first daughter to 7 months with nursing. I would pump at work, wake up in the middle of the night to pump [by hand so no one would wake up from that oh-so-soothing noise] and yet by 9 months I would produce a total of 3 ounces a day.
With the change in my hormones, the loss of my milk and the day-to-day life of being a person I never was before with responsibilities I didn’t even know existed… I was drowning, unfortunately not in breast milk.
You see, with Val, I felt it was my sole job to provide every last drop of breast milk. When she was born, she was not a peachy pink or even a plucky red. This kid was purply-blue. Having what the doctors thought was a seizure, she was immediately taken to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to be put on a cooling bed.
Now despite me watching the first 6 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, before Denny came back from the dead, I am not a true medical expert. But I believe the cold was to slow down any brain damage that may have happened when she didn’t get that first breath of life.
While I was left alone, my mind kind of went numb. The only thing I asked for was a pump, because I had to do something, anything.
It was not until day 5 that she was able to eat. She was being sustained with sugar water via a feeding tube through her belly button. I blame my now toddler’s need for fruit snacks and chocolate milk on her introduction to life. Jokes aside, she latched, and I was in awe. I was warned by the lactation specialist that she may not because she took a bottle and pacifier prior to a nipple. I think she was just starving. And despite her traumatic entrance into this world, she is a normal little girl. She remains a drama queen, but the apple doesn’t fall too far, ya know?
So, this time around I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t allow nursing and pumping to cause any heartbreak for me. But, at month 5 Ron hardly wants much to do with these boobs. I had an oversupply early on, so luckily, I have enough frozen bags to thaw for the babysitter and at night. I must put my pride aside and succumb to the adage that fed is best.
I still pump at work. What began as 3 times, quickly became 2, because meetings are scheduled, deadlines approach and work is due. Drinking water has taken the backburner to forgetfulness, and I am left with producing 4-6 ounces a day. I am refusing to set an alarm for 2 a.m. pumping, but lucky me my baby doesn’t sleep all the way through the night, so I feed her then. She isn’t as picky in those wee hours; bottle be damned.
The fact that the start of National Breastfeeding Month is not lost on me. I clearly support breastfeeding and pumping and understand the frustrations of feeling embarrassed when in public. In 2019 women should not feel that shame, but it still happens. Every time I am out, and my baby gets hungry I get that hot body, cold sweat hoping no one will notice me doing something so natural. But again, it happens.
If I am away from my baby, but need to pump to keep my supply up, I am frantically searching for a private room or bathroom stall with a plug as to not cause a scene. It’s rough. It’s still taboo and it shouldn’t be. I am fortunate to have access to nursing bras and nursing clothing, as well as a workplace that provides an actual pumping room. But, women all over the country are still in dark offices and repurposed supply closets.
The easiest and quickest thing we can do is be real about the struggles and successes that come with breastfeeding and pumping. This is National Breastfeeding Week and as a company we really wanted to get people’s truths about this topic.
I am attending a Global Big Latch On event in Philadelphia. We also sat down with 10 moms to talk about their experiences, including the good the bad and the ugly beautiful.
Whether you have been here before, or you are new to us and motherhood – welcome to this crazy new life of yours. Learn more by visiting us at motherhood.com.
With Understanding – Daina