Oh Yes, Today Is Also My Birthday
Christ on a $9 Cracker

Confessions of a Wise Old Daycare Veteran, Who Has Been Using Daycare for Three Whole Half Days Now

Oh Internet, how I've neglected you. You're all probably wondering if, on my second day of work, I decided to blow past the daycare center and hightail it to Mexico, with Noah in one hand and my breast pump in the other, laughing maniacally because I left the extra diapers in his cubby at daycare and now I have no money to buy new diapers BUT HE DOESN'T NEED DIAPERS BECAUSE HE HAS MY LOVE, MWA HA HA, and then maybe I fell into some kind of ditch.

Hint: That is not what happened!

What really happened is much less interesting but much more not insane.

I drop Noah off in the morning, usually much later than I intend to, I get big dimply smiles and he gets big kisses, the teachers all smile and indulge me for many, many minutes before they remind me that I should maybe get to that fancy job of mine, I get to work and pout for a little bit, drink some coffee and eat some of the endless parade of leftover holiday goodness in the kitchen, then I work and then I pump milk (with not one, but two chairs and several heavy binders propped against my office door because the lock will not be installed until next week) and then I leave around 1 pm and plow through anyone who tries to stop me and I drive like a maniac back to Noah, my BOY my BOY my PRECIOUS BOY, and he totally ignores me and his teachers all tell me how awesome he is, which DUH PEOPLE, and then I drive home and Noah realizes that hey, it's the chick with the rack and he stage-dives for my boobs and stays attached for the rest of the day and then we play for awhile and then take a little nap together until Jason gets home.
 

So. Day three.

Is it getting easier? No. I still have those awful Oh God, what am I doing? moments out in the parking lot after I've dropped him off, seething with jealousy over the nice ladies who get to spend the day with my son and feeling my chest tighten in panic, before I pull myself together and make the five-minute drive to my office.

But I will not lie. I enjoy my job. I like my office. I love my coworkers. I missed it here.

To spend a few hours wearing Actual Clothes with Actual Shoes is nice, as is knowing that there is only a very, VERY remote chance that someone will vomit on your sweater. I'm very much needed at my job, but it's not that exhausting, constant kind of NEEEEED that comes from a non-potty-trained and floppy-limbed individual. 

(And can I tell you how secretly delighted I am that everything did, in fact, go to absolute hell in a handbasket while I was gone?)

(Am so beyond delighted.)

I'm only working half days this week, so we'll see how I feel next week once I'm back full-time, but I feel like I'm taking better care of Noah in the hours I have with him. Maybe it's guilt, or a cop-out, or a total cliche, but a few hours away from him mean I no longer mind that he wants to be held every blessed moment of the day and will scream if I attempt to put him down for a few minutes to pee or microwave some damn macaroni for lunch.

How could I mind? Every delicious Noah moment makes me feel like I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

And now, the Big Annoying Issue:

Pumping is not going well. Pumping has never gone especially well, so why I thought pumping would magically become easy and fantastic once I went back to work is probably a sign that I am sort of stupid.

Supplementing with formula is nothing new for us, because despite what certain lactation consultants will tell you, there IS such a thing as chronic low supply and I'm sorry, but there's a limit to how much fenugreek I can take and how long I can stand smelling like maple syrup, so Noah usually gets a bottle of formula about once a day, because damn, my boobs get TAPPED OUT.

I haven't written about breastfeeding in awhile, because in True Amalah Fashion, I wrote gobs about it when it was a crisis!crisis!crisis! and then abruptly stopped writing when things sort of calmed down.

(This is kind of a bad habit of mine, which is why the archives are riddled with plot holes.)

(Judith Light Brigade, anyone?)

Anyway, I just wrote this whole long thing about my boobs and how only one really works and the other doesn't and went into way too much detail when really, the only things you need to know are that I cannot keep up with Noah's feeding schedule through pumping, I'm already out of the frozen milk I worked so hard to hoard during my leave, and I'm going to have to send formula with him tomorrow unless I can magically produce about 10 more ounces in the next half hour.

(Guess what I'm doing RIGHT NOW! Yes, am multi-tasking. And typing with one hand.)

I'm only sharing this so y'all can get the full sense of my hypocrisy: I've supplemented with formula since Noah was five days old. But I didn't want the daycare people to know this. I wanted them to think Noah was the 100% exclusively breastfed baby I wanted him to be, because...why?

I DON'T KNOW WHY. I AM NEUROTIC AND STRANGE.

I am also going to pick my baby up from daycare RIGHT THIS MINUTE and take him home and spend the rest of the day marveling at his brilliant new ability to reach out and grab things, like his squeaky toys or Mama's hair, and so longsuckersIamnoteven going to takethetimeto punctuatethislastsentence

Edited to add: Am home now, and here's your precious baby photo, you needy, demanding whores.*

Homebaby

*I LOVE whores. I think whores are FANTASTIC.

Comments

Michele

The last part of my comment, ignore it. I just read back and saw the answer. I will say this, as a mom who has done both, staying home was right for me. Who knows what the future holds, and whatever it is...I hope it's a good one.

phlegmfatale

Noah is adorable, and Ceiba is quite the fetching little beast. Happy new year!

warcrygirl

Haven't commented in a while, just wanted to say in my little corner of the blogosphere we spell it "hoar". I even have a bracelet that says so.

The picture? Love. It.

Muffy

Hi Amalah,

I've never commented before. I'm just a lurker. But I wanted to let you know that I've been there with the low supply and took all the fenugreek in the world but it never helped.

I wish the LCs would do some research or help make people aware of other options. I wanted to share with you what worked for me and the bonus is that its also completely natural.

At this site: www.motherlove.com they sell these vegi capsules called More Milk Plus, they also sell it as a liquid form but ewww! Nasty. I took those pills everyday and never had a problem since. Within 24 hours I saw a huge increase. I was pumping 4 oz. max and was able to get at the most 10 oz. but averaged 8 oz. a session.

You can also take Goats Rue capsules in combination with the other ones which is just an added booster. They aren't cheap but they worked wonderfully, so wonderfully that I was able to stop supplementing with formula. I hope you'll give them a shot.

Erin O'Brien

The simple fact is this: kids are tough. We worry about all these little things (breast or bottle, stay at home or daycare, cloth or disposable) and the little beans just go on and grow up and are just fine.

It's us parents that are worse for the wear.

amyp

I remember worrying about supplying child #1 with enough pumped breastmilk for daycare (which you may now call "school" - it will make you feel less guilty -daycare providers are also "teachers" - both labels are more appropriate descriptions of good quality childcare anyway). I had a good supply and found it almost overwhelming to supply Evan with enough milk for my 3-day workweek. I am always a proponent of sticking with it (I breastfed my first two sons exclusively for 16 months), but is not breastfeeding your son going to kill him?
For me, breastmilk is like the Prada of child nourishment while formula is more like Levi's. I can't afford Prada anymore, but is my life going to be over without it? I have the luxury of being able to breastfeed my children - It wasn't always easy and sometimes it's inconvenient to my life - but it's my decision.
I will go out on a limb here and tell you - Formula is a healthy way to feed your child. If you want to breastfeed your child in the morning and evening please do it. Also, you'll want to pump during the day to keep your supply up. Save the milk you pump for one feeding a day (or save it so that you and your husband can spend some time together alone).
Give your baby formula for school, before you know it, he'll be adding solids, lessening the load of breastfeeding anyway. If you decide to exclusively formula feed your child you are not harming him. Hell, most of us live in Levi's anyway.

Maya

Comment for today: Where did your entry from today go? C & D letters are pretty scary, I hear... might be better to play it safe, yes? That was some total crap and I think that chef should stick her big tall hat....well, you get my drift.

Genevieve

Amalah, I've been there with the pumping and supplementing and low supply. Apart from the fenugreek, two things that helped with the work pumping were:

Pumping at about the same time every day - it helps condition letdown because your body is expecting to make milk then

Having a specific and relaxing pumping routine: I would turn off the overhead fluorescent and put on a desk lamp, put on headphones and a tape I loved, and then start pumping (and often read the Web while doing it). After a while, I'd start to feel letdown when the music started - again, it was the conditioning.

Good luck to you and to Noahalah, the cutie in his striped VELOUR pants!

The comments to this entry are closed.