My neck, my back (lick it)KHIA
Obviously the quote above is meant to be a joke, and warning in advance today’s blog is going to be a bit of a vent session. So if you aren’t interested in me being a whiny baby, I apologize.
Lets talk about boobs. We all have them (Well… about half of the population anyway) Breast pumping post pregnancy has been very difficult. I was attempting to pump within one hour of Corbin being born, per the recommendation of our lactation specialist. The first two to three days I was pumping every two hours, even through the night in order to try and stimulate milk supply, because not only was my baby in the NICU and not physically with me, but also my body was supposed to be pregnant for seven more weeks, and wasn’t quite ready to start that process so soon. My body was very confused. Luckily by mid week I was producing droplets, and then colostrum, and then milk for the baby! Which was great. I am still pumping every three hours or so, and Ill take a slightly longer break overnight for about 4.5 hours so I can attempt to get some REM sleep, but overall I am very tired, literally… all the time. The first few days between the lack of sleep and the post C-Section drugs I felt like I was having hallucinations. Those day are literally a blur, and I have pockets of lost time that I do not remember at ALL.
As any of my fellow moms can attest, when your milk finally comes in, it is… a little overwhelming. I have always been a chesty person, so to go up at least one cup size overnight was really shocking. I kept looking in the mirror, bewildered and having a mini episode of body dis-morphia. I remember showing my husband and his exact words were “Oh good lord, what are those, and what happened to you?!” As of now, luckily I have been able to supply enough milk to the NICU to feed the baby. Which is awesome and I am very proud of, but its hard to keep the supply up without being with your baby all the time. As that is what normally gives your body its cues, and as of today I have been unable to try to nurse nipple to mouth. The baby is still getting a small amount of breathing support and until his tube is out we cannot work on latching. So I pump, all the time, constantly to try and combat that.
My posture has been… TERRIBLE. Posture is something I already actively work on in my normal non displaced pregnancy life every day. My mother has told me to put my shoulders back everyday since childhood, my dance teachers would always yell at me, etc. In my 20s I started doing yoga fairly regularly, which helped a LOT, but I have been unable to work out since fetal surgery. I also work an office job, so back in FL, I would try and stretch consistently to avoid lower back pain or hunching related to working in front of a screen everyday. Since beginning to pump… my posture has been… completely awful. Between the heaviness of my breasts, fatigue, and just the placement of the suction cups I look like a hunched over witch, or a hag. I look like the old woman who tried to convince Snow White to eat the poison apple.
Last night my back hurt so terribly that it was hard to sleep. I cried out of exhaustion and frustration because I couldn’t sleep due to the pain, and then by the time I maybe would nod off my alarm would go off to pump again, and of course, pumping really hurt, and then my back would hurt again. Lather, rinse, repeat. After about round three of this, I shuffled over and fought through the fog of exhaustion to take some Ibuprofen. and got down on the floor to try and do some yoga stretching hoping that would help. My husband eventually woke up to my tears, and like the rock star he is, he tried to give me a back rub and massage out some tension around 4:30 am. Eventually I fell asleep again, and awoke around five hours later, which then caused another hormonal breakdown and panic because I was sure that taking TWO 4+ hour breaks between pumping would dry up my supply (Something that had seemed to dip over the last week anyway) and I would be ruining my chances of breast feeding long term due to this back pain issue, and me not waking up in time to pump again. I felt like I was sabotaging all my weeks of hard work, because said hard work was making me tired and grumpy and physically spent.
So what is the point of this blog? Nothing other than an outlet for today’s post.
I am tired. My entire body hurts. After this I am going to go back to my cycle of child’s pose, cat and cow position. Trying to stretch everything out. I took one of my remaining “good pills” given to me after C-Section, which I was trying to save in case of an emergency or a really bad day. I guess last night and today was said day. I will also attempt not to cry again until at least tomorrow (no promises!) Later on I will go see my baby and none of this will seem as important, because he lights up my heart and my mood every time I see his little face. He is worth all the hard work, and the late nights. but.. MAN. Being a mom is no joke. For all my exclusively pumping or breast feeding moms… kudos to you. This is some HARD WORK.
If anyone has any good stretches or advice, the comment section is open.