I'm back at work, and even though my awesome boss lets me work from home a couple of days each week, it's still hard. I am glad to have the job, and some space from All Baby All The Time Land, but being away from Etta is hard, and then there is the pumping.
I am committed to breastfeeding, and Etta's only had breastmilk (aside from a vaccine and some baby tylenol) since she was born. It's a pretty easy thing to maintain when at home with her all the time, but being back at work puts a new spin on the whole process. I typically have to spend some time pumping several times each workday in order to supply slightly LESS than what she seems to want to eat. I can usually make up the difference by pumping once or twice when I'm home, but the hand pump I have at home is not very comfortable and doesn't seem to be as effective as the Pump in Style (with fashionable backpack!) I keep at work.
When Cree called me yesterday and mentioned that she spilled almost half a bottle I felt my heart drop. That's a lot of invested time and energy, down the drain.
I flip-flop, thinking that maybe a bottle or two of formula a few times a week wouldn't be the end of the world. After all, millions of babies thrive on formula for their entire infancy. It is millions, right? This is usually followed by feeling determined to somehow pump more often so that she won't have to drink formula. The feeling I get when I think of feeding her formula is similar to the feeling I had when I realized I was going to be induced at the hospital, and wasn't going to be giving birth at the Birth Center. It's this weird mix of sadness, disappointment and a feeling of futility.
Cree called back an hour later and played "Wish you were here" by Pink Floyd into the phone. I welled up and listened to the whole thing. She is the best.
Then last night, we had the discussion about implementing formula into Etta's diet when necessary rather than have her hungry and me rushing all around to get home to feed her.
It seems like an easy decision to make, but it's hard to let go of the ideal breastmilk-only situation. But I guess that's part of what parenting is about, realizing that you don't have control -- being flexible, adjusting to new circumstances, and doing what is best for your family (all of us).