Friday, March 20, 2009

The feed

There is a brown bag on the floor near the front door. It contains the breast pump I bought two weeks ago and have not yet touched. The bag and I are engaged in a staring contest and so far I can't tell who's winning.

I am of two minds about how to do the food thing when Margot goes to daycare in May. On an intellectual level I know that breast milk is the best option and given that I am producing a startling supply and she is feeding like a little raptor (at our last pediatrician's visit we found out that she'd gained 2 pounds in a week and a half), it seems like a waste to cut off the supply of boob. On the other hand, however, breastfeeding is a full-time job in itself. Pumping at work would require a commitment that I am not sure I can fulfill. It's not just the theoretical 15-20 minutes of actual pump time, it's the setup (which requires stripping from the waist up and putting on a corset-type garment that holds the pump horns in place and simultaneously destroys any and all semblance of dignity/self esteem I might have left), pumping, cleaning the pump, and refrigerating the milk. Two to three times a day during work hours. I admit, I am intimidated by the very thought of this endeavor.

Formula seems like it would be much simpler for everyone involved and it would actually allow me to do things like eat lunch, not get fired, exercise, and have my boobs to myself. But there is so much guilt involved in choosing between the two--at a very granular level there is a deep feeling that I would be a terrible mother if I chose to stop breastfeeding for what seem like purely selfish reasons. Of course she would be fine on formula but the politics, the politics. I find feeding Margot very satisfying right now and have not even been able to bring myself to deal with the bottle issue yet. And so the pump remains in the bag and every day I continue to stare at the bag warily as if it contained a giant spider that was waiting to jump out and eat me.


Ashtanga Renate said...

I watched a youtube video of the machine. I'm still trying to forget what I saw.

mom of two said...

dignity? what dignity? i don't know what kind of pump you bought but if you can still return yours and get a medela pump n style back pack style one it will be worth it. there is no harness thing, it comes with its own refrigerator pack, and the equipment can be quickly cleaned with wipes they make or with a baggie that goes in the microwave. i pumped 2x a day until I couldn't stand it anymore, then cut down to once a day for a while. Good luck. this is such a personal decision and there is no right answer.