Oh, the Crying! by Heather Bowles
If I’m completely honest with myself? I have just about had it with this exclusive pumping mess. I don’t know who I let tell me this was a good idea. Maybe it was one of those silly nurses in the hospital. “Well, since we’ve stopped your daughter from latching ever, how about you rent this pump. Go ahead. Take it home for a week or two.” Then when you’ve got her completely in the bottle, we’re gonna make you feel guilty for EVER daring to think about using formula.
Then, of course, I’m surrounded by these amazing women, all of who are at least ten years younger than me having their babies at home and questioning why I couldn’t. There are many reasons, but let’s just say what you and I know. That when you get the chance to have a child so late, and it’s what you always wanted, you make sure it goes off without a hitch.
That meant going in at 40 weeks and one day, worrying about the state of my placenta and thinking, “She’s not moving enough.”, letting them scare me into induction, and then refusing painkillers because I won’t take a chance no matter how remote, of having a seizure on the table. You know they wouldn’t even let me see the placenta afterward? I bet you there was nothing wrong with it. Stupid hospitals. Grrr.
Fast forward four months… she won’t stop crying when we’re alone and I’m on the pump. It never fails. I’m on it maybe seven minutes, and the whimpering starts. From there, I have about ten minutes to do as much as I can before she echoes in the baby monitor, and about 4 more minutes from total meltdown. None of it is acceptable. I’ve tried getting her up before I pump to feed her, but she wakes up cranky, drinks maybe two ounces, and goes back to sleep. For ten minutes. Then the screaming starts. I can’t win.
I read somewhere last week that the average woman breastfeeds for 16 minutes. I’m on this pump almost 45 minutes, every time. On bad days, it can take over an hour. So, of course she’s crying! She needs her mommy. I wonder at what point the socialization damage this must be causing is worth it. Am I setting her up for educational failure? I know the stress hormones aren’t good for her. They aren’t doing me any good. I’ll tell you that for free.
And no. I’ve gotten absolutely no packing done. Sigh…
Tags: breastfeeding, early socialization, exclusive pumping, hospital birth, infant formula, infant heath and wellness, late term pregnancy, natural childbirth, parent-child bonding, pitocin, pregnancy complications, stress