Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Daycare: Day Two

We survived yesterday. Okay, what I mean is, I survived yesterday. Jackson, it seems, could care less. He had a great morning, got some quality booby time, got his fancypants changed (and by that I mean, his diaper and a fresh pair of footie pajamas), cooed happily on my bed while I put on some "in front of other people" clothes, and gurgled all the way to the school. He was grinning like a dummy when I left him there, while I was holding back tears until I was locked in my car. I did not want to drive away. But I did. I ran some errands before coming back home to start my first official day of work. I needed distraction. Walking past the baby aisles at le Target was not what I had in mind. More tears. More woe. I channeled all that misery into effort, mostly mindless and menial tasks. And now my office is the Cleanest Place on Earth.

And now for a whole lotta TMI. If you're a boob-man kind of girl, read on. If not, skip this post brought to you by the letters OW.

I had my first experience with pumping all day yesterday. Um. How did I not realize that the breast shield flanges might be too small? How did this escape my attention, even with only 1-2 pumping sessions a day until recently? Because OW GODDAMMIT. Nipple trauma, y'all, it's no joke. I ordered two larger sizes to try, and await my amazonian delivery with bated breath. And sore nips.

I also didn't pump nearly the volume I'd hoped for all my effort, which worries me. I have a meager stash in the freezer (started with 100 ounces and using some every day this week....) and need to at least make enough for the next day, if not enough to freeze some extra. Not happening right now. I'm pumping every 2-2.5 hours regardless of how much I get to try and get my supply up, so I need to stick with this plan for a couple more days to see if it worked. If not, I dunno. I don't want to use formula and worry about potential digestive issues. And I just don't want to, anyway, for general reasons. I should be able to do this, dammit. Of course, one unpleasant side effect of my increase in pumping lately, if the two are related, is that since I started pumping 2-3 times or more per day, nursing has become painful, mostly on one side. I may have caused a harder let-down reflex to occur, in turn causing the Milk Monster to nom-nom my nipple to clamp down on the flow. Yikes. Think about it. Just, yikes. I had a clogged duct that was on its way to mastitis a couple of weeks ago (Merry Christmas! Love, your dickhead ducts xoxo) and had to pump and nurse like mad to get rid of a milk blister and then empty the duct(s). Since then, ol' lefty has not been the same. I can empty after nursing or pumping, but the nipple still feels terrible. So you can imagine how good Jackson's nom-noms feel on said booby. Gah. Until my shiny new super-sized flanges arrive later this week (I could not justify spending twice the amount the things cost for expedited shipping, although maybe this would have been a great time for an exception), I am trying to turn down the suction and just pump longer. I got the same volume this morning doing it that way as before when was I cranking up the motor to move things along.

My nipples, they weep. Woe is them.

And, side note: the pumping volume thing makes me curious. If pumping all day is representative of how much milk the little guy is getting each time I nurse (as I'm pumping more or less on his usual nursing schedule, getting anywhere from 2-5 ounces total each time), and yet he is taking full 5-oz bottles on the same schedule, what gives? Was he starving before and too polite to say anything? Or is he being a little piggy with the bottles? Huh?

And as for how I'm feeling today about the whole letting-someone-else-care-for-my-son situation? Still tears this morning. But I feel better about it overall. He was happy and playful when I picked him up yesterday. He nursed and napped in my arms while I rocked him and told him I love him. Then KB came home, we played with him, and forced a little Torture Time, er, Tummy Time, on him until it was time for bed. He slept pretty well last night and woke up happy again. So I guess it's successful so far. I'm hoping each day will bring more confidence and less sadness when I drop him off.

But for now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get back to more mind-numbing work-related drivel and also (and more importantly) counting down the hours until I pick up my little monkey.


Lauren said...

I hope the daycare situation continues to improve for you!

How much you can pump is indicative of just that - how much you can pump. It's not indicative of how much milk is actually IN your breasts, or how much milk your baby takes out of your breasts. A baby is MUCH better at emptying a breast than a pump. So if Jackson was content after nursing, he was getting everything he needed from you, even if you're only getting 2 ounces at a pumping session.

My boobs don't respond that well to a pump unless they're really full. I have a really hard time letting down from the pump, and even when I know there's a lot of milk left, the pump won't get it out. I would never be able to pump and bottle feed, so I'm very lucky I'm a SAHM with a baby who refuses the bottle anyway.

But that is why some women start to "dry up" when they're pumping. The pump doesn't necessarily empty the breast very well, which makes the breast produce less, which makes it even harder to empty the breast while pumping... etc etc. Hopefully this won't become a problem for you and you can continue to provide EBM for Jackson!

Kelly said...

Aww...that sounds hard and painful. I obviously don't have any real world advice for you, but I completely empathize. It sounds tough.

I hope your days away from him get easier and easier.

'Murgdan' said...

#1: workandpump.com

#2: La Leche League website pumping and working discussions forums.

Tons of good tips!

Yes, changing flange sizes might make a difference. It helped me get a few ounces difference in one breast. Also, just give yourself a little time...soon your body will get used to emptying on that 'schedule' and output might improve....I'm on an 8, 12, 3 schedule and if I don't pump at those times, I feel it now! And someone once told me to pump for an extra 5-10 minutes even after I stop expressing just to continue stimulation, but I generally get so busy at my desk I sometimes just leave it going for 45 minutes (YOWZA!)....Ummmm...And, what else....let down button!!! 2-3 times, I can usually let down an extra time or two and gain a few ounces out of it. Ohhhh....and you should suction just below the point of pain, I'm generally as low as it can go, and may increase when trying to stimulate a second or third letdown....pain inhibits the letdown reflex.

Hang in there! Hope any of that made sense...pumping at work as I type.

Esperanza said...

So sorry you're back at work. I know how hard that is, I just went back recently myself. And pumping at work is soooooo hard. I lasted 3 weeks but then I quit. Now I'm only breastfeeding twice a day, at 6am and at 4pm when I come home. It's soooooo nice. I love it. Good luck with the pumping and the work. The good thing is, the time you have with your monkey at home will be AMAZING!

bunny said...

*Covers eyes and ears for pain in the nipples parts*

The crying in the car scene is so heartbreaking. But I guess it's probably all for the best that you don't want to ditch your baby. I truly hope the pain eases soon.

hope4joy said...

I agree with Bunny - OUCH!

I hope both types of pain ease up in time. I used to work in a daycare and from my experience the little ones, especially Jackson's age were always spoiled by us staff. It was harder on the mommys and dadies then the sweet little babies. Good luck.