Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Down

I don't know if it's from my newest clogged duct (how many does this make? Eight, nine? I lost count, GOD HELP ME), or if it's my hormones, or if it's just being overwhelmed lately, but I'm feeling really depressed.

I told my husband last night that my life is made up of three M's: Mother, Matron, Maid. I am mommy first, wife second, and homemaker third. My work as 'maid' actually includes the jobs of housecleaner, butler, driver, mediator, secretary, manager, cook and gofer.

But there's also another job: Pumper.

My job as 'pumper' adds so many restrictions to my life. It's not just about the time it takes to pump, although that is very significant. It's also about not being able to go anywhere for any length of time, since I always have to watch the clock to make it home in time to pump. It's about not being able to eat what I want, since Darth D. is not only lactose intolerant, but also allergic to cow protein, which means absolutely no dairy for me. It's about not being able to excercise, because it might make my milk acidic. It's about the whole mentality involved in pumping, which I can't even come close to describing. It's like, I am so proud of myself that I can do this, I can pump to feed my baby and provide the best food I can for him, but at the same time there is a part of me that is so fucking resentful that my body has become part milk machine. My breasts don't even feel like they are a part of my body anymore, they are just the equipment needed to make the milk, just like the pump is the apparatus to draw out the milk. I can't go where I want, I can't eat what I want, I can't sleep when I want, because the boobs, they need to be pumped. My breasts are no longer attached to me, I am attached to them.

Add to that all the stress of being a mom to three kids, having to make meals for them, solve fights for them, having to take the baby with me into the bathroom because I can't even pee by myself anymore...I am just wiped out.

There should be another 'M' in that list: ME. Me, myself, the person who existed before I became all these other things, and who still exists in some pale form. I realize that my other jobs must come first, they MUST take priority, but still, I should be somewhere on the list, damn it. Even if I am last.

But since the baby's arrival, the three M's have taken over. Even when I am pumping, I am usually trying to do something else at the same time. I am taking multi-tasking to a whole new level.

I know, I KNOW, eventually things will get better. But right now....

P.S. Thank you, thank you for your comments and emails to my last post. Your words of encouragement help me so much.

11 Comments:

Blogger Suz said...

I was so depressed when first one breast got a clogged duct and then the next. The pain just made it exponentially difficult to complete everything that I needed to do and I just had the babies! You should be proud that you're able to do this for Darth D; it is amazing! I'm thinking of you as you struggle with this umpty-umpth clogged duct.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Okay, so Mother Nature has seen to it that I can never be a Pumper, but I HAVE made up about a bazillion bottles of formula and changed every shade of poopy diaper known to mankind. Does that at least get me invited to the Christmas party?

To make up for my lacking of Pumper experience, you might find this article useful, about (literally) the best parenting tip my wife and I ever received, called The Five-Minute Drill. It might save you hours of sleep some night - it certainly did for us.

5:49 PM  
Blogger pumpingmom said...

Andrew! My first male commenter (that I know of!) I would totally invite you to a Christmas party, except that I don't celebrate Christmas. A Chanukah party, on the other hand...;-)

Your five minute drill is something similar that we did with our first baby, Darth A. But Darth D. is still too young, in our opinion, to be left to cry, even for five minutes. (I'm not talking about fussing, I'm talking about full-blown screaming, like he would do if left alone in the dark for more than thirty seconds.)

7:28 PM  
Blogger PortLairge said...

I think you are amazing. I am 30 weeks pregnant and plan to breastfeed and then pump when I go back to work, all going well. I didn't realize you can't exercise in case it makes your milk acidic. Aaaaaggggggghhhhhhh.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks so much for visiting To Love, Honor and Dismay. You're right, the 5-minute drill has to be used when they are an appropriate age.

All the best!

4:10 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Oh... and a Chanukah party would be just the ticket! :o)

4:11 AM  
Blogger liz said...

Now, here's why the hands-free thing is so glorious. The pumping time is "Me" time if you can do something like read or whatever during it. After all, this is enforced can't-be-cooking-cleaning-wiping-tushies time. You're sitting still. You HAVE to sit still. You can't hold the baby. You can't have a toddler in your lap. Hands-free pump and a book. And chocolate.

2:22 PM  
Blogger liz said...

I truly hope you feel better soon. I know that this is hard.

2:23 PM  
Blogger chris said...

I also pumped with my son, who finally decided to breastfeed at four months. Have you thought about investing in another pump? I used my Medela Pump in Style everywhere, including driving down the Beltway in Washington DC. You can probably get one used on ebay. Also, for quick portable pumping, I used an Avent Isis, even in a movie theater. I regret that I stopped when he was 7 months (I got pregnant). Making milk was pretty amazing, as I recall.

Hang in there.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hang in there. I almost quit at about 4 weeks and now my daughter is almost 7 months old.

Have you thought about reducing the amount you pump -- stretching out the time in between? I quickly realized that being chained to the pump was NOT for me. So I moved from 3 hours to 4. Then 4 to 5. Now I pump about every 5 hours -- morning, lunchtime, dinner, and just before bed. I have been able to keep up with her so far, especially now that she's eating some solids.

Even if you quit, remember you have given him 4 great months! And even if you reduce your pumping and have to supplement, it's still a gift!

4:08 PM  

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