Adventures in Breastfeeding

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from a local school district asking if I could sub at their elementary school for three days. I arranged for a babysitter and took the position, but then the worry set in. Teaching for three days meant that my kids would be in the care of another individual. I had been home since December with Ellie and I have yet to leave Grant for more than 4 hours.

That first night after accepting the job, I was unable to sleep. There was so much that needed to be done - the house needed cleaned, the laundry needed done, the kids' rooms needed straightened up, our "schedule" needed to be written down, I needed to go grocery shopping, and worst of all, Grant needed to learn how to drink from a bottle!

I can count on both hands the number of times I'd tried to get Grant to drink from a bottle. I had tried to get him to take it the first time after successfully breastfeeding for six weeks. Aaron's firm's party was coming up and I'd have to leave Grant for the night with my parents. Since Aaron was in the midst of tax season when Grant was born, he was unable to be home to help feed bottles and Grant is no dummy when it comes to the bottle vs. boob debate. Grant screamed for the few hours that I was out of the house that night...and I was afraid my parents would never offer to watch the kids again.

Since I was unable to find a full-time teaching job for this school year, I've continued breastfeeding exclusively. There's no need for a bottle when your food source is always around. I enjoy breastfeeding so much - the snuggles, the closeness, the warm and satisfied baby. I never had that with Ellie and I don't know if I'll ever experience it again. I'm thankful that I have had this opportunity and I'm willing to continue until Grant chooses to wean himself.

Anyway, last Monday was my first day away. A few hours into it, my sitter started texting me - Grant won't take a bottle. He's screaming. He won't eat his fruit and cereal. All he'll eat is puffs, etc. My heart was broken. I was stuck at this school for nine hours away from my baby. The kids were horrible, the sub plans were scrawled out in a bulleted list that she complied from other teachers' plans (right in front of me - 10 minutes before the kids arrived), and I was physically in pain because I couldn't nurse my baby boy.

Pumping and I don't get along. It was helpful in the early weeks when I faced engorgement, but I haven't had a need to use it since. No sense stockpiling the freezer with bags of milk when the baby won't drink it. That right there is a perfectly good reason to cry over spilt milk. Breastfeeding is hard, don't let anyone tell you any different, but it is truly amazing and worth the effort.

The first two days, I had two separate breaks - one during lunch and one during their special (gym or music, etc.). Last Wednesday, I had one break because lunch and special were scrunched together into one block of time. Add into there that I took the kids to lunch late and there was a bunch of papers that HAD to be graded during the kids' special, I had one 20-minute break to pump and then scarf food down on my way back to the classroom.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I do not enjoy being away from my kiddos even though I get caught up in it and wish for some adult interaction during the day/some free time for mama, but yes, it felt good to actually get dressed with hair and make up and yes, it felt good to be back in the classroom. Subbing was not as scary as I feared it would be, but a different schedule everyday is very difficult for new mamas that are exclusively breastfeeding.

breastfeeding in the hospital for the first time

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