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Thread: Need Encouragement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Need Encouragement

    I had no clue what to title this. I'm really getting frustrated with bfing. Gracie is three months old, I've been back to work since she was 6 weeks old and am just feeling ready to give up. It seems like no one is supportive of this. My sitter is not cooperating and I've been very concerned about a lot of the things she's doing. There were two times this week when I picked dd and ds up and she told me that dd wouldn't take a bottle of ebm and she almost just gave her a bottle of formula. Now, dd has three nine ounce bottles of fresh bm and a bag of frozen, just in case. So, we're not having supply issues. Well, I had dh give dd a bottle at night, just to see how it went and it was fine, so yesterday I made time to be sure I could ask questions, turns out sitter is propping bottle on a pillow with dd in carseat and expecting her to eat that way. Dd is ticked and of course won't, she's used to being held. I think I need a new sitter and am feeling the pressure of having to find one.

    Not only that but dh is currently unemployed and not being quite the husband I wish he would be and when I sit down to nurse he sits down too. So, I get home from work and sit down to nurse the screaming infant, only to find him flopped down next to me. No dinner, no playing with ds, no dishes, or prep for tomorrow, he's just taking it easy. Nursing takes up so much time!!!

    Then at work, it's my busy time and I'm trying so hard to catch up and keep up and be successful, particularly since I had to take six weeks off for dd and taking the twenty minutes a pop twice a day to pump is killing me! I need to then work late to compensate for the time it takes to pump and I'm just getting so fed up!

    Maybe I just needed to tell someone all of that

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    Sounds like a rough situation. For what it's worth, DH & I were in the same boat as far as him not really getting what it takes to take care of the baby. He would even make comments about how I needed to take more time for myself to relax. Hello?! Meanwhile, he'd be watching movies all night while I went to bed at 7 from exhaustion and not doing anything to help out around the house. It's a big adjustment, especially if your husband isn't working. It's got to be that much tougher for him. We had a few conversations (OK, yelling matches) over it and he's starting to get it. Now he'll lay down with DD in the evenings and let me do some things for myself a few nights a week. It makes a big difference.

    Soon the baby will probably start spacing our her feedings so that you'll be able to get a respite. By 3 MOs, mine was kind of an every 3 hours girl. By 6 MOS, she was maybe every 4 hours. Now she's 10 MOs and only nurses usually 4 times a day.

    I'd definitely find a new sitter, even though that takes legwork. Even if your baby were on formula, you wouldn't want her left to just have a bottle propped in her mouth. I have a terrific sitter, and it makes all the difference, believe me. Once you find someone you really like, it will make your work day much easier.

    Do you think you could invest in one of those truly hands-free pumps, like the Whisper Wear? Then at least you can sit at your desk and read email, do filing, etc. (assuming you have a desk job) while pumping. If you're not at a desk regularly, is there a way you could schedule your responsibilities so that you're able to lump a bunch of sitting-down things together and do them while pumping (if you have the hands-free pump)? Or if you have a long-ish commute, could you do some pumping then and cut out one of the sessions at work?

    Anyway, just some ideas. I hope everything falls into place for you! It's taken us 10 months, but I feel like we're finally starting to get things figured out!!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
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    15

    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    It is really hard! My DH suggested that I give up complaining about pumping for Lent. It sounded not too hard so I agreed, and it has been more of a challenge than I anticipated - I guess I was complaining a lot!

    Anyway, to help my DH see how much assistance I needed to pump, work and (sorta) keep our household going, I started asking for help on simple, discrete tasks. He is useless if I say, "I need more help with the dishes," because he doesn't know when, or how often, or what. If I say, "I need to nurse DD. Could you go upstairs to gather water cups, clear the table, unload the clean dishes, load the dishwasher, put my pump parts in the front, add the detergent and start the washer?" he does it!

    Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to just do it myself because he has SO many questions, but after he's done it a few times, he can do it himself. Now when I come through the door he asks for my bag of pumping stuff so he can label the milk and load the dishwasher! It's an enormous help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    I know it is so hard. I've been back to work and pumping for 6 months now. My commute is an hour each way. Some nights I am so tired I could cry.

    My suggestion--talk to hubby about doing little things like cleaning bottles and starting dinner while you nurse. And just know that some things like house cleaning will just have to go on the back burner. And be sure to take time for yourself--even 15 minutes--every day.

    Good luck

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    Jennylin, you sound so frustrated. I'm so glad you were able to vent to us, sometimes that makes everything just a little better.

    While I can't address your personal situation with DH (maybe some communication issues?), I'd like to comment on a few other things. ;-)

    Sitter said she wouldn't take EBM, so she wanted to give her formula instead? I don't follow her logic. Maybe she's never had a breastfed infant before?

    Tell her that you expect her to be holding your daughter at every feeding. If she's licensed, and/or on the Food Program, she's REQUIRED to hold any infant up to age 6mos while they are taking a bottle. No exceptions. And, since you're paying her, you're requiring this of her, too, even if she's not licensed. It's a safety thing, to prevent choking.

    At work, you're doing the best you can. I promise. It's very hard, mentally and physically draining. You have to take care of yourself - eat as healthy as you can manage, stay hydrated, exercise at least a little bit, do a little something for yourself once in a while.

    Working and caring for an infant is hard work, even if you're not breastfeeding.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

    I'm horrible at html and encoding links, so I apologize in advance for all the long links!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,866

    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    Quote Originally Posted by jennylin
    There were two times this week when I picked dd and ds up and she told me that dd wouldn't take a bottle of ebm and she almost just gave her a bottle of formula. Now, dd has three nine ounce bottles of fresh bm and a bag of frozen, just in case. So, we're not having supply issues. Well, I had dh give dd a bottle at night, just to see how it went and it was fine, so yesterday I made time to be sure I could ask questions, turns out sitter is propping bottle on a pillow with dd in carseat and expecting her to eat that way. Dd is ticked and of course won't, she's used to being held. I think I need a new sitter and am feeling the pressure of having to find one.
    UGH! That would make me me SO mad. Definitely talk to the sitter. If she won't change the way she does things, it would probably be in your dd's best interest to switch.

    Does your dd drink 27 ounces of ebm while you're at work? I don't know how long you are separated, but that does sound like a very high number. I'm wondering if your sitter might be forcing her to finish off this amount, or otherwise tossing the milk you're working so hard to express?

    Quote Originally Posted by jennylin
    Not only that but dh is currently unemployed and not being quite the husband I wish he would be and when I sit down to nurse he sits down too. So, I get home from work and sit down to nurse the screaming infant, only to find him flopped down next to me. No dinner, no playing with ds, no dishes, or prep for tomorrow, he's just taking it easy. Nursing takes up so much time!!!
    That sound so rough! Is it possible that he is missing you and your dd and he wants to spend that time with you? Maybe he doesn't know how important keeping the house running smoothly is for you? Maybe try sitting him down and having a heart to heart. Tell him EXACTLY what you want. Leave no room for guesses. He needs to understand what you expect, and what you need.


    Quote Originally Posted by jennylin
    Then at work, it's my busy time and I'm trying so hard to catch up and keep up and be successful, particularly since I had to take six weeks off for dd and taking the twenty minutes a pop twice a day to pump is killing me! I need to then work late to compensate for the time it takes to pump and I'm just getting so fed up!
    Could you pump hands free with a bustier, and maybe catch up on emails and other desk work while you're pumping? You know, some mothers actually find that they are able to pump MORE milk when their minds are occupied with other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by jennylin
    Maybe I just needed to tell someone all of that
    I'm glad you did! You're doing a FANTASTIC job! Remember that, okay? Remember, too, that you're not super woman. Ask for help when you need it! That includes telling your dh in no uncertain terms what you need. You can do it!

    Let us know how things are going. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    78

    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    I HEAR YOU!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    22

    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    Thanks everyone. I'm at work, still hanging in there. In fact, I've discovered that pumping only one side at a time frees up my hands and I can do paperwork while I pump. I had a heart to heart with our secretary the other day and just pointed out that pumping is tough and i've put a lot of things in place to help her help me, now if she would just use them.

    I also took a break from pumping on Friday. My nipples were almost bruised from pumping so much and dd has started pulling on them when she nurses. She's trying to look around and not let go, I guess?

    I'm going to chat with sitter tonight. She knows that I don't expect dd to take all 27 ounces. i take that to the sitter so there's no excuses. I also printed some useful tips about bottle feeding ebm off this website and tucked them in with bottles with a little note on being "helpful" and how much I love this site. My sitter is licensed but I'm not very happy. She has WAY too many kids and I get the feeling the babies, she has two that are 3 months old, are just ignored. it is really worrying me. I'm trying to stick it out until the end of the school year (I'm a school counselor), then change since I don't want to upset ds. But we may not make it without some adjustments.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    102

    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    I'm pumping at work and found the "Made by Moms" pumping band to be very helpful. At first it was a little difficult figuring out how to get into it without the velcro sticking to my clothes, but now that I am more skilled I can pump and read or pump and type or pump and make phone calls. There are other kinds of pumping bras designed to make you handsfree if you don't like the "Made by Moms" one.

    There's still the set up and clean up time, but knowing that DURING pumping, I can get a few small things done really helps.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Need Encouragement

    Jennylin, vent away!
    Ok, some practical ideas.... first, recognize that you are doing a *lot*. You have three full-time jobs: your job, your baby, and your household.

    I hope your talk with your sitter goes well. It might be that she has never had to deal with human milk before and is unsure about it...but, if you are uncomfortable with her, I would change sitters ASAP. It's a hassle, but we're talking about the well-being of your children. This is important! You need someone you can trust with your children.

    A heart-to-heart with your husband will likely help. I've had to learn to be very specific about what I need. My dh teases me with it-- he knows me well enough to know I want him to do something, but he'll gently insist that I tell him exactly what it is. (I'll help you any way I can, but you need to say what you need). I *know* it's so frustrating when you are dog-tired and it seems like he's doing nothing. It may be he's struggling with some blues and frustration with being out of work. Is he actively looking for work? Would it make more sense for him to stay home and keep the kids while you work? Only you can answer these questions, but an honest discussion can help. ("Honey, when I come home from work exhausted and have to immediately feed the screaming baby, I feel so overwhelmed and frustrated just thinking about all the other things I have to do. There's dinner to cook, pump to clean, preparation for tomorrow's work, kids to get in bed.... Could you start dinner before I get home, or prepare tomorrow's bottles if I show you how, or....? That would help me feel less overwhelmed so I can spend some time talking with you too in the evening.")

    Are there ways you can streamline your day? I have learned to make the crockpot my friend . Prep the food the night before, dump it in the crockpot in the morning, and dinner is ready when you walk in the door. Do you have extra pump flanges so you don't have to wash them at work? Just put the used ones in a zipper bag and clean at home (or have dh clean them).

    Working and pumping and caring for a baby is hard. I worked full-time and pumped with my first child, and I had never been so tired in my life! But, breastfeeding is so much easier-- you don't have to deal with bottles when you are with your baby, your baby is healthier (so you don't miss so much work and have to catch up with *that*), and you can really re-connect with your baby each day, even though you have to leave her for a while. Is there an LLL meeting in your area that meets at a time you could attend? I know it sounds like one more thing to add to your schedule, but the support is invaluable. I drove 40 miles to the evening meeting when I was working; I picked up my daughter from daycare, picked up dinner on the way, and soaked up support and validation at the meeting. It was hard to drag myself there when I was already so tired, but I was always energized afterwards. I highly recommend the meetings if you can get to one.

    Hang in there! Babies grow and change, and eventually you won't have to worry about pumping at work. It does get easier in many ways.

    Dawn

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