Pumping Rights

My rights have run out…

Now that Henry is a year old my rights to pump at work have gone away. I have no more legal right to pump at work, and my employers were never very accommodating about me taking time out of the day for me to pump before Henry turned a year old. They allowed it, but begrudgingly- mostly because it would be illegal not to. When Henry turned a year old the expectation was for me to stop. And, honestly, that was my plan as well.

There’s just a few problems. In pumping for 3 times a day for the past six months (when Henry started daycare), I’ve built up a really great supply. I did go down to pumping 2 times a day about 2 weeks before Henry turned a year old, but I still wanted him to be able to have his 3 bottles a day, and not start the weaning process until after he turned a year old. Which means, after he turned 1, that I then had engorged boobs and became incredibly uncomfortable during the day. So, to stop that, I started pumping on my lunch break – averaging 8 ounces (see – proof of a REALLY good supply).

Now, I still have to go over to the other company that let’s me use their conference room. And, they mentioned to my bosses that I was still going over there, and my bosses are not so happy about it. Granted, I’m entitled to a lunch break, and what I do on my lunch break is my business. But, I just don’t like feeling like everyone’s keeping tabs on me. I’ve contemplated finding a secluded parking lot and pumping in my car, but my windows aren’t tinted and everyone could see what I was doing, even if I had a cover on, and that just makes me too uncomfortable.

I’ve started looking for alternative places to pump, but I’m not having much luck with that. I feel kinda stuck and at a loss for what to do. I’m not ready to wean Henry, and Henry isn’t ready to be weaned either. The incident with his daycare giving him formula was more than proof for that.

I’m just not sure what to do….anyone have any bright ideas?

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Thinking Ahead

All of the reminiscing that I’ve been doing about Henry from the past year has been making me think about having another baby….

 I know, I know.  I hated being pregnant.  I’ve even gone back to reread some of my old blog posts about how uncomfortable I was, how miserable I was throwing up all the time, how I didn’t sleep for months on end, how I couldn’t drink for nearly a year…  Yet, there’s still apart of me that wants to hold and snuggle another baby of mine.  And, this next part is going to be weird, but if I’m being truly honest, there’s a part of me that wants to give birth again.  I know…weird, right?
J and I aren’t anywhere near ready to have another baby financially.  We can’t afford the daycare costs or to even pay the midwife or hospital fees.  My insurance benefits at work went WAY down, and now my deductible is $7000!  That’s almost twice what I paid last time!!
It’s sad to think that we may only ever have one baby.  Don’t get me wrong, the baby we do have is awesome and great and I try not to take him for granted for a second.  But, I’d really like to experience having another child.  I’d like for Henry to have a sibling.  And, I honestly don’t know if it will ever happen.  I guess we’ll have to see where life takes us.

Month 12

Dear Henry,

Baby, you’re now a year old! I can officially now use the phrase “remember that time a year ago,” and have it apply to you! I can’t believe you’re a year old. It makes me so incredibly proud and sad at the same time. Proud that you’re growing and developing, learning and flourishing. Sad because you’re no longer the itty bitty baby that we brought home from the hospital, and that time we’ll never get back.
You and me in the hospital the day after you were born

You and me in the hospital the day after you were born

You have turned into one awesome little boy. You can blow kisses and raspberries, give high 5’s and hugs and kisses. You like to play patty cake, you’re interested in taking things apart and trying to put them back together (you haven’t quite mastered that part yet, but you’ll get there!). You’re so interactive! I have so much fun playing with you. The other day you were playing quietly by yourself for a bit, and I looked over at you and couldn’t tell what you were playing with. On closer inspection I saw that you had found some of my makeup – black liquid eyeliner to be exact….and you decided to get it EVERYWHERE!
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You’re also getting all over the house now. You belly crawl all through the house. You love to play in the dog’s water bowl (and I’ve even caught you drinking out of it a few times – it doesn’t matter if I give you a sippy cup full of water, you’ll still go for a sip at the dog bowl….). You’re investigating everything. The other day you got yourself up onto the fire place to check that out. You’ll make it from one end of the house to the other, and you’ll leave a trail of things that you pull out a long the way, or things that you’ll bring with you to later leave behind. You pull the books off of the bottom bookshelf, you’ll drag along cat and dog toys, and you’ll take your toys with you too from room to room. I like to let you explore on your own. I’ll check on you a lot, or trail behind you, but I love love love the fact that you’re getting more and more mobile everyday.
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You’re learning to communicate more and more. You’ve learned to sign for “more” and “milk,” and you’re starting to put together that when you sign for it, that you get what you signed for. You’ve also started saying a few words. You can say Mom (pronounced in a weird combination of mem and mam) and Dad (pronounced Dat or A-da). You can also say “no” and “up” (pronounced hup-ha).
Happies when naked and carrying around the remote...you're such a boy!

Happiest when naked and carrying around the remote…you’re such a boy!

Your doing awesome at your physical therapy! You’re starting to get onto all fours way more, and for longer periods of time too! On Saturday, your Dad and I saw that you’re beginning to crawl. You’ll inch your legs and arms forward when you’re on all fours. That had me smiling from ear to ear. It won’t be long until you’re just zooming all over the house! You’re transition from in and out of all fours is going well too. You’re starting to get out of being in all fours by twisting yourself to the side. We do need to work more on twisting yourself to your side when you get in to that position. Your neck stretches are going ok. Some days you’ll tolerate them better than others. You and I have been practicing your balance and strengthening your core by placing you on a yoga ball. I’ll hold your hips and gently roll the ball in all directions so that you have to actively change your balance to stay up right. You’re getting pretty good at it too! You’ve come so far in such a short period of time. I’m immensely proud of your progress and how hard you try.
With all that muscle building that you're doing you still need to remain flexible

With all that muscle building that you’re doing you still need to remain flexible

Feeding you continues to be the easiest thing for us. You’ll generally eat anything we put in front of you. You still don’t like tomatoes, but you do try them from time to time before you’ll hurl them from your high chair. You love to play and explore with your food, and right now I’m inclined to let you. It means your Dad and I have to clean you up a lot, but so be it. Some days you eat way more than other days, but I really do try to go by you hunger cues. I let you eat until your full, and if you don’t seem to be interested in eating, then we try again later. I’m trying really hard to never force feed you, and I don’t want to ever coax you into eating when you don’t want to. I’m hoping that this will creative a good relationship with food when you’re older.
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You’re still nursing like a champ. And, I hate that I have to do this, but I’ve been forced to start the weaning process, but don’t worry, it’s going to be a long process. Since I’m not allowed to take time out of the day to pump at work anymore, I’m now pumping once a day on my lunch break. I get about 8 ounces (or at least I am right now). I don’t know how long I’ll continue to do this for, but I know that you’re no where near ready to wean for good, and honestly, neither am I. So, I’ve had to start to cut back on my pumping, which also means that we’ll have to start cutting back on actual breastfeeding too. So, we’ll go from nursing 5 times a day to only 3. I have no idea how you’re going to take this, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping that it won’t upset you too much. It upsets me more than I can say. I really have enjoyed nursing you. It’s always a quiet and relaxing time for both of us. Last night when I was nursing you before bed, we both fell asleep in the rocking chair. I think I was only asleep for about 30 minutes, but your Dad came in to check on us and said that we were both dead to the world. I love nursing you. I love the extra snuggles that it provides, especially now when you’re too busy playing a lot of the time to cuddle with your Mama.
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On your actual birthday we took you to the Zoo! I slathered you in sunscreen, plopped a sunhat on your head and we loaded you up in the stroller and walked around the Zoo for about 4 hours. Your Grandparents came, as did your Great Grandparents, your Uncle Matt came and the Kathleen, Eric and their daughter Addison came too. I think you had more fun watching Addison than you did looking at some of the animals. But, I do believe that you had a blast. You liked the seals, puffins and otters the best – at least from what I could tell. They were all moving the most and you would just point and smile. It was a really fun day. There was a carousel at the the Zoo, and I paid to take you on it, but you DID NOT like it. You sat on the elephant with your arms out shaking for the first rotation, and then hurled yourself at me after that and refused to let go. But, as soon as we got off of the carousel, you were looking back at it and pointing to it acting like you wanted to have another chance on it. We’ll try again sometime soon.
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Henry – this past year has been amazing and one of the best years of my life. You and your Dad are my reasons for everything. You have truly changed my life for the better. You make me laugh and smile everyday. You give cuddles and hugs like no one else. The way you smile when you see me always melts my heart. I’m thrilled that you came into our lives and changed everything for the better. I make it a point to tell you multiple times a day that I love you, and I hope that you can feel my love and know that I’ll always be there for you, that I’ll always love you, that I only want for you to be happy in life. You’re my baby, my reason and my love.
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Keep growing!
Love,
Mom

PT Session

Henry had his first physical therapy session on Friday. It went really well. It lasted about 40 minutes because Henry started to get tired and wasn’t as receptive to it anymore.

At first, Henry was very standoffish. He would just watch this new woman trying to interact with him. It took a solid 15 minutes for him to warm up to her. But, he did eventually start to play, move and interact with her.

She mentioned some things right off the bat. She asked if we ever noticed that Henry’s head is tilted. I told her no, I had never noticed. After watching him some more, she said that Henry has torticollis. She explained torticollis as having a shortened neck muscle on one side – causing the head to tilt. She said that children with this condition usually have a type of motor delay, because they hate tummy time. All of this was ringing bells like crazy.

So, to correct the torticollis (does this sound like a large Greek man to anyone else?) J and I have neck stretches that we’re supposed to do with Henry. We place our right hand on his left shoulder, and our left hand on his head and gently bend his head down, so that his right eat goes towards his right shoulder, and that stretches out the shorter muscle. We do this 2 or 3 times a day – twice at a time for 30 seconds at a time. Henry reacts to it as you would assume any baby would. He screams, and cries and looks at you like you’re torturing him, and tries to throw your hands off of him. Ahh, fun times. But, despite Henry’s best efforts to make us feel guilty and to stop with the child abuse, J and I have been dutiful about doing it.

The therapist also told us that we need to help Henry to spend some time on his knees. We have to get him up on all fours, and see if he’ll reach and grab at toys in front of him. He’s been really good about doing that. She did say that when Henry’s on his tummy that he keeps his legs really wide, and that’s why he’s having a hard time getting up on all fours – his knees are simply too far apart to make it easy. So, by getting him used to keeping his knees together, we’re strengthening muscles that need to be strengthened. She is also going to get him a pair of spandex pants that have the knees sewn together. My sister laughed at this and announced that my son is going to be wearing spanx….the funny thing is, it’s an apt description.

So, that’s what happened at this week’s physical therapy session. She did tell us that Henry has improved his motor skills since the last time he was assessed. He was at the 5 to 6 month mark when he was seen 6 weeks ago, and now he’s at the 7 to 8 month mark, so he’s making progress on his own, and hopefully now that we have some tools we can get him going even farther.

Physical Therapy

Henry’s first physical therapy session is tomorrow afternoon.

Henry’s come a long way since he had his original assessment, but he still has a ways to go before he’s actively mobile. His only way of moving at the moment is to army crawl everywhere (I’ll try to get it on video for you to see soon). He’s starting to get up on his knees, but won’t stay in that position for long. He’s been trying to pull up on things, and he’s been successful a few times, but nothing consistent. He’s also not cruising at all. So, I really think that physical therapy will help him get caught up.

I think that I’m going to take a half day off from work tomorrow so that I can be at this first session to see what it’s about and what we can do during the week between sessions.

I’m excited and hopeful for these. I know that Henry’s smart and will eventually figure all of this moving stuff out on his own, but I think it’ll be better for us all in the long run if we go the physical therapy route.

Aftermath

I guess I should start off by staying that I’m still pissed.

It doesn’t make matters any better that Henry, J and I all had a rough night last night.  Henry woke up at 10:00 whimpering.  Those whimpers turned into cries and those cries escalated into screams.  Eventually, so that we could all get some sleep, we just brought Henry into bed with us.  He spent the whole night hooked up to my boob.  Any time that he woke up crying, all he wanted to do was nurse.  J tried to hold and cuddle him several times last night, and Henry would quite literally push him away and reach for me, and cry until he was nursing again.  It’s my guess that he did not like that formula, and wanted his mama and his mama’s milk.  It’s also possible that the formula was rough on his stomach and digestive system and that he was hurting and needed comfort.  And, while it’s sweet and warms my heart that my baby loves me and wants me so much, I’m exhausted, and beyond exhausted, and my back hurts from sleeping in funky angles all night.  Although, I guess this states unequivocally that Henry is not ready to wean.
This morning when I walked into the daycare I stopped to talk to the woman who runs it.  She brought me into her office and told me how sorry she was for what happened and that she truly gets why I’m upset.  She told me that they have policies in place for situations like this, and that I would have been called had she known about it.
I asked her what steps we can take to make sure that this never happens again.  She said that Henry’s teacher is going to be written up and it’ll go in her file.  I think that’s a fair outcome.
Then I took Henry to his classroom and handed him over to his teacher.  I asked her about what happened yesterday and she told me that she couldn’t find the bottles of breast milk and thought that since Henry is almost a year old that we had decided to wean him, so she gave him formula so he would have something to drink.  I told her that I have no plans to wean my son.  And, that if I made any changes to his routine or diet that I’m responsible enough to tell them about it.  I then went on to show her where the bottles had been in the bag.  Her response was that she never would have though to look in that pocket (the milk was in the insulated pocket to keep in cold on the way to daycare), because she doesn’t like to root around in diaper bags because it feels like an invasion of privacy.
….it’s a diaper bag…..there are diapers, bottles, wipes and a few toys in it….if I put something personal in there and she finds it, that’s on me.
I stressed that Henry is to never have formula again in the future, and that all of this could have been solved with a phone call.  I stressed the fact that they can’t call me too much.
His teacher didn’t seem that upset about what had happened, and didn’t seem to register that I was really upset about it.
After talking to some people about this at work (one in particular who used to run a daycare), I decided to write a letter to the daycare instructing them to never give Henry formula, and that he is to have the provided breast milk until we decide to stop bringing it, and that I would give them notice before that would happen.  I also mention in the letter about the diaper rash cream.  And, that if they ever have any questions to CALL us!
I guess that I still can’t get over the fact that I wasn’t called.  This may sound weird, but it was a point of pride for me that Henry had never before had formula and had been exclusively breastfed.  And, now I feel like I cant’ say that anymore…
J and I have a lot of thinking to do about whether we want Henry to go back there.  Thankfully we have the summer to shop around and look at different daycares.  J is going to be a stay-at-home dad this summer while eh’s on summer vacation.

What Would You Do?

I need opinions.  I’m so incredibly angry and upset and it’s really hard for me to remain objective about this, so I welcome comments – with the caviate that they are constructive.

I’m having a huge issue with Henry’s daycare right now.  Here’s what’s up:

Our daycare provides a sheet that has all the information about Henry for the day.  Meaning that when I pick him up I can look at it and see what time he was given all of this bottles, when and how long his nap(s) are.  How many and what time diaper changes were and what was the contents of his diaper.  It also has what he ate that day in terms of solid food.  And last, but not least what activities they did for the day.

When I picked Henry up today, I glanced at his sheet and noticed something on there that I had never seen before and it immediately sent me over the edge.

Under the bottle section, it said “Gave Henry our formula.”

WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I snatched the paper up and walked over to his afternoon teacher.  I asked her, “what does this mean “Gave Henry our formula”??  His afternoon teacher had no idea.  She doesn’t get into the room until 4:30, and Henry’s done with all of this bottles by then.  So, together we walked over to the administrator to ask her about it.  The office administrator looked confused, and said that she was going to call his daytime teacher to ask about it.  She was hoping that his teacher had accidentally written on the wrong form.  That hope disappeared when I looked in his diaper bag and saw ALL of the bottles of breast milk that had been packed in there.  Three bottles, totaling 12 ounces that all had to be dumped down the drain because they’d been sitting at room temperature all day…

The office administrator couldn’t get a hold of his teacher while I was there ,and promised to call me this evening to let me know what happened.

I just got off the phone with her.  She said that his teacher hadn’t seen the bottles in the fridge or in the bag, and had assumed given Henry’s age that we had decided to stop with the breast milk and that we wanted him to be formula fed.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Don’t you think that I would have communicated that to his teacher, if that had been the case?  And, since nothing in our routine has changed one little bit for the past 6 months, don’t you think that if something does change all of a sudden that his teacher should have gotten off of her ass and called me to make sure this is what I wanted????  How fucking hard is it to use a phone??

And, I’m pretty sure that there was a dig in the comment directed at me.  “Given Henry’s age.”  I took that as “well, he’s almost a year old, and shouldn’t be breast feeding anymore.”  It could be that I’m reading more into that than I should, but I’m livid right now and that’s how I’m taking that statement.  

 

I’m seriously considering changing daycares.  They gave my breastfed son formula!  I’m not trying to start a formula vs breastfed debate.  But, I should have had my wishes regarding his nourishment respected and they weren’t.  Henry’s never had formula before.  What if he had an adverse reaction to it?  What if he was allergic to it?  I feel like my wants for my son’s care are not being listened to and undermined, and I am SO not ok with it.

We’ve had a few other issues with them too.  They stopped giving him the food that we were bringing “forgetting it in the refrigerator .”  Instead of fighting that battle, I just gave up and went with it.  They also keep putting diaper rash cream on Henry, and it doesn’t matter how clearly I explain that diaper rash cream used with cloth diapers creates diaper rash, they keep doing it anyway.

I don’t know whether I’m overreacting, or justified in my thought process.  I am seriously considering withdrawing him from this daycare and enrolling him in one that will respect my wishes and demands without condemnation or throwing digs when they’re the ones that fucked up. 

What would you do?