(feeding the dude (6 months old) between patients at work)
If you are not a mom, you might want to skip this post. I know I was sooo not interested in stuff like this before I had Cohen. Anyway, sometimes I fall into a hole of blog-reading, where I end up reading about someone's life for hours. I recently became totally addicted to reading these adventures in breastfeeding stories on this really cool blog, Verse. My experience with breastfeeding has been so excellent and easy. This is what nursing has been like for me:
Before Cohen was born, I never really thought about breastfeeding vs. formula much. I was sort of under the assumption that most women these days at least tried nursing. I figured I would try, and I ordered a fancy breast pump, because I knew I would be returning to work early.
When Cohen was born, the nurse had him latched within moments. My mom is all about breastfeeding, and the delivery nurse I had was also a believer. For me, it was relatively easy. In the hospital and for the first few weeks at home, Cohen nursed at least every two hours. It took me sometimes 30 minutes to get him latched properly every time. So basically I felt like I was always nursing. Which I am thinking all mothers feel at the beginning. Nursing became easier and easier. Now Cohen is a total pro. These days, I dreamfeed Cohen twice every night since he sleeps 12 hours straight, and I am just not ready to give up those night feeds. I sneak in and feed him before we head to bed around 10 pm, and I set my alarm to feed him again at 2 am.
I actually look forward to nursing Cohen these days. It is a time that I have to just sit on the couch and be still. Sometimes I read, or close my eyes. Other times I just look at Coco while he looks up at me. I find it really relaxing.
On the days I work, I set my alarm in the very early morning to pump. I find that I have the best success with pumping in the morning. I have to pump mid-morning at work, and sometimes again after lunch. The pump that I have is super quiet, and it only takes me about 10 minutes to fill a bottle. I usually pump in the washroom between patients, but I have definitely pumped in one of our patient chairs before when the washroom is being used and I am feeling too full. At first I was really shy about pumping, but now my (mostly female) staff are super used to it. Sometimes the receptionist comes in to ask me questions while I am pumping. Everything is completely covered by my shirt anyway. I used to worry about my supply, so I would over-pump. But now I have a freezer full of breast milk, and Cohen is starting to eat solids, so I don't worry about having enough milk.
I currently work 5 full days every two weeks. I really love my schedule. I love that I get to be with adults all day on my work days. I love that I get to spend 2 or 3 days a week with Cohen. Though it is still tough sometimes. Last week when we got home, I went to take Cohen from his sitter, Paula. He turned away from me and buried his little face in Paula's neck. He didn't want to come to me! Then he cried when she left. Then I cried. Haha. It mostly just made me feel happy that Cohen is so well taken care of when I am at work. I am incredibly grateful to have someone I trust to take care of Cohen. I would definitely not work if I didn't have that.
I am hoping to breastfeed until Cohen is one year old so that we can avoid ever buying formula. I would love for him to switch right from breast milk to whole milk. For future mamas who are planning to breastfeed and also go back to work early, I think it is totally do-able.