Friday, February 25, 2011

Reassurance and excitement

Today a lactation consultant confirmed that my nipples do indeed look like they are recovering. Also, I got the appropriate dosage of nifedipine (30 mg/day slow dose), which is reducing the episodes of burning pain and nipples changing color. I have to continue the diet for a few weeks after I stop the diflucan, but signs are indicating that perhaps, maybe, I’m close to returning to normal.

I asked the consultant about our trip away next weekend, thinking that perhaps I could/should try to start pumping and see if I could get enough for a night away. She advised against it, saying that if Willow hasn’t even taken a bottle yet, then I suddenly leave for almost 24 hours, that could cause a nursing strike. She said I didn’t need any additional problems to deal with, and since I’d have to pump while away anyway, perhaps it’s not so different to have her there. So she’s coming along, but I feel better that it’s the best thing to do in the circumstances.

I also received some helpful information on pumping. We are planning to travel for the month preceding my return to work and I know from experience that I’m not going to keep up regular pumping while traveling. So I basically have the next three months to start building up a supply in the freezer.

The consultant suggested starting out with pumping once a day for 20 minutes, so I did so when Willow took her afternoon nap. I have an old hospital-grade Lactina Select that I purchased off Ebay when I was about to lose my supply with River. I sat on the couch, watched TV and got just over two ounces. Not bad.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard the whir of the breastpump. It’s a noise that lodges in your brain, a constant vroom, whish, vroom. I recall the moments spent pumping in the passenger seat of the car, in the driver’s seat, in a classroom with an unlocked door, in bathrooms, where I cringed with embarrassment at the loud noise that could easily spook someone who is not thinking about breastfeeding. I’m not too thrilled to spend a lot of time attached to that thing, but I also need to be able to get away, so I’m glad it’s available.

In other news, the trip we planned to Wisconsin Dells has now turned into a month-long journey. I received a brochure for a conference the other day and almost threw it right into the trash. This was the same conference I went to when River was eight months old and almost lost my milk supply during the nine days away. I wasn’t going to do that again. But instead of throwing it away, I held on to it just to read through, in the same way I flip longingly through the dessert cookbooks. Food porn and intellectual porn.

Then I realized that the dates weren’t so far off from our planned trip. We changed the plans a little bit, my parents agreed to take River for the week, and I did a little research that leads me to believe I could take Willow with me, getting enough childcare to give me plenty of time, but being able to feed her at night, in the mornings, and perhaps even once during the day.

A month away is a long time and has its stresses. But I figured I should use the freedom while I have it. Granted, we aren’t going to any exotic destinations, but I’m super excited to be able to see family, to spend some family time as tourists, and to be able to do something of interest to me, while still caring for Willow. It’s as close to an adventure as I can get these days, so I plan to make the most of it.

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