Friday, 13 September 2013

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to express at work I go.....

So it's been a bit quiet on this blog because I am working my freaking socks off in my actual job.  I'm back, part time (so amazing). 

I was very apprehensive about my return but it has been wonderfully smooth.  The main thing is that the kids are OK.  My son is loving being back at nursery and the only sign of any disruption is a slight backward step in his potty training.  My daughter seemingly has been quite happy and has slept in my absence, which, given that I breastfeed her to sleep, is quite a shock.

Expressing at work is weird.  I've never had to do it before.  Firstly, I was quite fussy about where to express.  This is largely because I am a teacher - I have to know that I am secure.  I cannot tell you how horrified I would be to have a pupil in any way aware of what I was up to.  So, I needed a maximum security room, which I have.  But then comes the issues with the deed itself.  It's a bit weird to be getting my boobs out at work.  It's also hard to express well when I am anxious about the noises of the pupils running around outside and bashing into the door even though I know I am safe.  Plus their noise is distracting.  It takes a while for the milk to flow and I'm not surprised.  I worry about the noise.  I know it's only a quiet click and there would be nobody that would even care enough to even waste their time worrying about what was going on within the room, but it still makes me nervous.

It is lovely to spend a few minutes of my day doing something for my baby girl.  To have an enforced pause in my chaotic and busy day.  I am going to have to be strict with myself about finding the time. 

Wandering around with my milk extraction kit is uncomfortable too.  I have squirrelled my manual pump in a lunchbox and am praying nobody ever looks in it.  My sister in law has lent me her electric pump (yeah, sharing pumps, whatever we don't care) and I have yet to figure out how to hide it as I make my way from the staff room to my room of expression to the fridge.

I can see that I won't keep this up.  I'm not surprised that women who exclusively express sometimes struggle with it.  But then I've never been a fan of expressing.  I am quite happy breastfeeding in front of my family, but  It's....undignified.  Or at least that's how it feels.  I suppose in the fullness of time I may give my daughter cows milk.  I don't need to pump for supply reasons - I am only at work 3 days a week and supply was never a big issue for me.  In fact my milk never even went away after I stopped breastfeeding. 

So this is a new development in my public breastfeeding adventures - expressing outside of my home...expect more musings :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The end of maternity

My return to work is drawing nigh.  I was quite worried about this but now I feel differently.  I am looking forward to a little less stress and the odd opportunity for downtime.  It will also make a nice change to wee alone.  I will of course miss my gorgeous children a lot, but I am fortunate to have a busy job that makes it unlikely I will think about them.

I took a year off on maternity with my son.  This time I am returning after 8 months (largely to make my life easier at work).  This means it is a rather different matter leaving my baby.  My son was only feeding once a day when I left him.  My daughter is mostly breastfed and just has little bits of food.  So, it seems I am entering the world of expressing.  

I have expressed before on occasion, but not regularly like I will now.  However, the new realm for me is expressing in public.  It's one thing getting my boobs out, which will inevitably be hidden by a baby's head.  It's another to be milking myself.  The truth is that I will have a secret room to go and lock myself away in, so nobody will see me.  This is very important as I am a teacher and I would most likely get fired for that level of exposure. 

I am a bit concerned about the noise of expressing.  The click of the handle.  When I know that just the other side of the door are hoards of screaming teenagers.  I am also concerned about transporting my breast pump to and from my expressing room (in a closed cool bag I am thinking) without anybody knowing what I have been up to.  And hiding the accoutrement's from my colleagues.  It will also be interesting to see how much of a drain on my time it is, given that in the past I have chosen to work through all these breaks. 

I am sure it will be fine.  But I hadn't really thought about this side of the world of breastfeeding.  Watch this space!