Before I had Isla, I wasn’t really sure how the breastfeeding thing would work once I went back to work. I bought a pump and planned to pump, but I wasn’t sure how/when I’d fit it into my schedule (Hi. My name is Katie. I’m a workaholic.), whether I’d be able to maintain being the primary food source at night, or whether I would find it worth the additional hassles to continue.
It has been worth the hassle, but that hasn’t made the other two issues–scheduling and nights–any easier. Additional challenges–namely not being able to pump enough–have cropped up as well. I learned that it doesn’t matter whether I pump 4 times a day or twice a day. I’m only going to get 8 oz. pumped during the day. Frustrating, and not enough to keep up with Isla’s daily intake, but. I’d rather her get 8 oz. of breastmilk and 8 oz. of formula than 16 oz. of formula, so there you go.
In all, working and pumping isn’t easy. But I keep doing it, because I think breastfeeding gives my baby important health benefits and because, frankly, I enjoy nursing and want to keep nursing to at least a year if we can.
Here’s what a day in my life looks like:
6:30 AM: Wake up, shower, get dressed while Kellen gets Isla up and dressed for the day.
7:00 AM: Make sure my pump and work bag are packed and ready to go.
7:10 AM: Nurse, take my pill for low supply
7:40 AM: Load up and head off to work (I look like a pack mule heading out with all of my bags and water bottle.)
8:00 AM-11:30 AM: Work
12:00PM-1:00PM: Go home for lunch, take pill for low supply
5:00PM: Head out to pick up Isla at daycare
5:45PM: Make it home, get started on dinner
6:00PM-6:30PM: Usually eat dinner and get started on bedtime ritual
8:00PM-10:30PM: Usually some combination of housework, preparing bottles and diapers for Isla’s next day at daycare, repeating the bedtime routine with Isla, catching up on TV shows and e-mails
10:30PM: Get ready for bed
11:00PM: In bed usually
11:00PM-6:30AM: Have 2-3 nursing sessions, depending on how much Isla wakes up
6:30AM: Start the cycle again
I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like, I don’t get to nurse/pump as much as I’d like, and we are no longer exclusively breastfeeding, because my supply can’t keep up. BUT. We’re making it work for us, and I think that’s the most important thing for any family.