This is a post about my boobs. Just warning you so you can decide to keep reading or not.

My boobs hurt. They hurt because they're full of milk that Annie is not allowed to eat. Milk that I'm not supposed to pump and save. Milk that is slowly drying up because I'm going back to work in a few days and Annie is switching to bottles.

I'm not ready to stop breastfeeding. With my first child, breastfeeding was the hardest thing I had ever done, physically, emotionally. I had to be talked into persevering for three months. But then an amazing thing happened. We figured it out. It got easy and convenient and I loved it.

This second time around, I knew what to expect. And Annie was a natural. We've been rocking the nursing since day one. And ironically, this time no one has to talk me into three months of breastfeeding. Instead, I'm having it give it up at three months.

Remember that picture of supermodel Gisele breastfeeding her one-year-old while her team swarms around her, doing hair, nails, make-up? It caused an outcry around the world - how fabulous! What a great example! She's doing it and so should you! Well, that picture just irritated me. Because there are so many of us mamas who want to keep nursing our babies, but where's my team? Where's my regularly scheduled break from work every three hours? She's lucky, but she's not the norm. (I don't mean for this to turn into a rant against the antiquated and ridiculous maternity leave laws in this country. That's a different post for a different writer.)

My What To Expect book had all sorts of laughable tips for going back to work with a nursing baby. Have your caregiver bring the child to your work so you can nurse. Work half days to start with. Find a quiet place to pump every three hours. Hilarious!

I won't be able to pump once I go back to work. I only get two breaks a day. One is a 30 minute lunch that is actually only 20 minutes once we walk to the lunchroom, I get all my students through the line, seated at the table, milk cartons opened, napkins procured. I'm not sure there would even be time to walk back to my room, lock the door, pump, clean up, walk across the building to the refrigerator, rinse the pump parts, back to the lunchroom to clean up our table, get the kids back in line and out the door before the next class needs our seats. Notice I didn't have time to eat my own lunch in there?

Then there is my planning period. Sure, it's 45 minutes (minus the time is takes to get the kids to specials and pick them up). But once a week we have grade level planning (my team loves me, but I still don't think they want me pumping in front of them) and multiple times a month, other planning periods are taken up with school mandated meetings, professional development sessions, parent conferences, etc. Not to mention the myriad of things my planning period is needed for: checking email, returning parent phone calls, making copies, grading papers, planning for the next day, the next hour... I can't depend on a consistent time to pump.

So this is it. I'm sad. I'll miss the snuggle time, holding her warm body against mine, her little hand grabbing onto my shirt, her drowsy, milk-drunk expression when she come sup for air. The bottle is fine, she takes it well, I make sure to give her plenty of kisses and snuggles while she eats. But it's not the same. My boobs hurt. And my heart hurts.

1 comment:

  1. Can your body get used to not nursing during the day, but do it before and after work and at night? Just to keep a few feedings and snuggles? I think your milk would adjust to that with no pumpin I'm sorry. That is sad :-(


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