So, I've been having trouble pumping. No, not iron. Breast milk. Nothing is coming out. I used to be able to fill at least a bottle and a half. That may not be a lot for some people, but I did nurse the child nonstop the first four months of her life so I don't think there was a whole lot left to squeeze out. Which brings me to my first question...when in the hell do you pump when you're constantly feeding a child/holding them? I did start to pump on one side and nurse on the other. I am convinced that one day she will ask me if she used to be a Siamese twin or if she had a sibling that had a big nose and sounded like it was wheezing all the time.
Well, I went back to work right around the same time I noticed she would get a rash all over her body whenever I had milk or something with milk in it. So I cut out dairy, much to my doctor's chagrin. He informed me that, "It's probably just eczema." I replied, "I don't think so." He countered, "Babies get it." I say, "Well, this one only gets it when I eat dairy. As you can see she doesn't have it now." His response, "Hmm...." I remind myself it's the practice of medicine. And that I'm her mother and I know best.
Anyhoo...once I started working I wasn't nursing and pumping as much. I blamed the no dairy on my milk supply being cut in half. What had fallen to one bottle is now below half of one bottle. I'm so sad. It's heartbreaking. So I now believe it's a combination of the two. I'm going to stick with that. And stress worrying about her not having anything to drink when she's with a sitter (my mom or my friend).
I had to block time at work to pump. This really pissed everyone off. The owners and the head receptionist (I don't know if that's her exact title, but she's been there 18 years--don't ask me how--so that's what I call her...when I'm being nice) don't have any children. They seemed to get very irritated by my blocking out a half hour to pump. I finally said, "This is just as aggravating to me as it is for everyone else." They were always telling me someone wanted to come in during the time I had blocked off. This was after they were just giving me massages over my blocked time anyway. I finally had to say something. There is a hair dresser (I believe they like to be called 'stylists' now...too bad) who pumps. Her son is almost a year old. She has two sons. She is able to leave her client in the chair to process or whatever she tells them needs to happen to their foil covered head and go pump whenever she wants to. I cannot leave my client laying on the table during their massage and come back 30 minutes later. What would I say? "Oh, that is something I like to do. I like to leave and not touch you for a half hour just so you'll appreciate it that much more when I come back. Don't forget to tip." (Tipping is a post I'll save for another day.)
I was talking to the hair dresser who pumps and telling her my sob story. She summed it up for me. "Yeah. Your milk is drying up. You might as well just start her on regular milk. It will be fine. My son eats everything we eat right at the table. It makes them better eaters. Besides, you don't want her to use you as some weird attached pacifier thing. That's just creepy."
Um...hi...lady? Have you met me? I'm a massage therapist. I drive a 1995 Jeep something or other. I don't have any mascara on, let alone makeup. I shop at the thrift store. I don't know what the name of the color is I use on my hair that I haven't cut in six months, I only know what the chick looks like on the box. I don't care if my black shirt isn't the same shade as my black pants. And my child rarely wears clothes that match and I didn't stick her in daycare today like your client so I could go get a pedicure and lunch with my friends. I've nursed in Target, church, the grocery, a baseball game, parking lots, parties, and restaurants. We are not the same kind of mommy. I'll nurse her until she's 14 if that's what she wants. (Not really, but you see what I'm getting at.)
So now I'm jacked-up on four different vitamins and a tincture called More Milk. I don't think it's making a whole lot of difference for me (even though my friend had to quit taking these vitamins because she was making more milk than she could pump) because I'm still not pumping much milk, but my daughter still wants to nurse and I know she's getting plenty. She's gorgeous and growing so fast.
I'll continue to keep trying. And when someone else comments to me at work while I'm eating licorice "Do you find that the sugar keeps the weight on?" I'll just say, "I'm nursing and need to eat more calories. And oh yeah...I don't really care."