I Know What It Feels Like to Be a Cow

(18 weeks pp)

I know what it feels like to be a cow. Every morning, I wake up, and perform my toilette, wake up the calf, and feed. Said calf feeds twice if I’m lucky (and she’s not too sleepy) before heading out to work.

Once I arrive at my place of employment — where I spend the day grazing on my 50 million snacks because I am always hungry — I have about an hour or so before I have to hook myself up to a machine that vaguely resembles this for fifteen minutes. I repeat twice more every three hours. Collected milk stays in our fridge in a small black cooler with a giant ice pack designed to fit around the bottles.

Once home, I transfer expressed milk into four freezer bags — totaling four servings — for my calf to eat while at calf care from one of these. My freezer is full of milk. There is barely enough room for the sustenance my bull and I require, but we manage.

When the calf comes home with the bull, she feeds directly again. Repeat process at least 4 times before her 7-8 pm bedtime, and I’m pooped. At this point, I require a large ice cream on a sugar cone. I take a few moments to thank God for the cow that provided her cream in my cone before consuming, and promptly go to bed.

…only to repeat the next day, and will continue to repeat until my time is over.

Dear friend, I commiserate with you. Our babies require the best food possible, so we do our best to provide. Unfortunately for you, you’re feeding thousands (including me), and I’m only feeding one. It’s a tough life, but someone’s gotta do it.

5 thoughts on “I Know What It Feels Like to Be a Cow

  1. So your work has a place where you can do this? Or do you do it in the bathroom? I’m thinking it will be close to impossible to keep breastfeeding when I’m back at work with the way gamestop’s bathrooms and back rooms are. Also do you just rinse the pump before you pump again? Before you went back to work how many times a day would you pump? I just bought this thing that holds the pump for you, have you ever seem?

    • Jenn, do I have a wealth of information for you.

      My office location has lactation rooms located within the bathroom on six of our seven floors. There’s a chair, a cabinet standing in for a table, and an outlet. Other locations have other arrangements but should have those three items.

      By law (patient protection and affordable care act signed march 2010), employers with 50 employees or more are required to provide lactating mothers with a private place to pump at work and allow a reasonable break time to accomodate your need, as many times as you need. This place is also required to be a room other than a bathroom. Not sure how the back rooms at gamestop are set up, but contact your manager ahead of time (o would say by three weeks before you go back) and ask them to make arrangements for you to have a place to pump. Like I said, they’re required by law to accomodate your request.

    • Disregard the last bit. My phone crapped out on me.

      What i was trying to say is that i started building a supply three weeks before going back to work. The first two weeks i pumped once a day, in the evening, while andrew gave her a bottle. I was lucky that i still had milk from her hospital stay, so i used that while i built it up. I did this for two weeks, if you dont already have a supply i would recommend pumping after a feeding to begin a small supply.

      Time them with a feed. It gets your body on a schedule. The last week i pumped three times a day and gave her the bottles myself. Having the hands free bustier from Medela really became useful here. She sat in the bouncer while I pumped and gave her the bottle. Essentially i pump at work when she should be eating at daycare.

      I use the medela quick clean steam bags to clean the parts. Its kind of tedious but id rather have realy clean parts and not expose her to nasty stuff. I clean them in our kitchen and not the bathroom. I think thats disgusting when i see other women do that. I lose privacy, but again, i’d rather people see my parts than have the crap people flush in her milk.

    • While driving to work, I just thought of this — my lactation consultant taught me how to calculate what she needs each feeding. Basically, breastfed babies need to eat 6-8 times a day, so perform the calculation with each number to see what you get.

      Take the baby’s weight, multiply by 2, then divide by 6 or 8. That number is the number of ounces per bottle. So take Aliana – last doctor’s appointment she weighed 15 lbs 3 oz, so, rounded to 15, times 2, divided by 6, equals five ounces. That’s the minimum she should be getting in each bottle.

      Don’t worry about not making enough milk. When Elsie starts her growth spurts, your body will adjust and make more. If you do happen to have a low supply, contact an LC and they can help you with maintaining and/or increasing your supply. I drink ‘Mother’s Milk’ tea from Traditional Medicinals to maintain my supply, but there are other things you can do at home (as well as your doctor prescribing a galactogoguge) that can help you increase your supply, should you have any issues.

      Also, upon reflection, I realized that bathroom comment was pretty harsh especially if that’s the only option some women have. In that case I definitely recommend the Medela Quick Clean bag to sterilize your parts.

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