Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Breastfeeding Issues

Well. I pretty much had the worst week ever. It started last Thursday as I was getting ready for work. I was feeding Z on one side, and pumping the other when I hear a gurgling sound. I look down and my pump is full of milk, rather than the bottle being full of milk.

Yes, that's right, my pump broke. And yes, I had to work three days in a row. Luckily, I had plenty of milk in the fridge, but Thursday during one pump break, I had to hand express - not fun. Before I left for work I ordered a Medela Harmony. It was like $30, came on Friday, and a manual pump. So I had that to get me through the weekend thankfully. Also, I am getting replacement parts for my electric because of the warranty.

Which work this weekend was awful. I got scratched, one of my coworkers was bitten twice (two different kids), and if I wasn't holding someone to keep them from attacking, I was trying to verbally de-esclalate them. It was emotionally and physically exhausting.

Then on Monday, I went to take a pump break, and come back and my shift lead asks me where I had been. I told her, pumping - and she asked if I clocked out to pump.

Um, no. Why would I clock out for a break, the smokers don't clock out.

Then she proceeds to tell me that I need to get my shift covered by a shift lead for every break.

Ok, but shift leads aren't always around - does that mean I just don't get a break?

"Well, that's what (your coworker) had to do."

So - I have to clock out, when no one else has to for my breaks.

Let's recap together. Legally, I am required to have one 15 minute break for every three hours of work. That means that in an 8 hour shift, I get two breaks. On a normal day for me, I only get one. Especially if I am working with a consumer that is 1:1, I might not get a break until 9p when my shift starts at 3p. Also, I found this little facts sheet about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

It says here that employers are required to provide a private space, free from intrusion for me to use when I need to pump. Well, that certainly doesn't happen. We have four staff offices, two which have obstructed view, and all of them are locked. But every time I pump, I am interrupted by my coworkers that have to use this office because it stores every that is needed for the job - meds, toys, a phone for consumers to call people, van keys etc. Not only have I not gotten my required breaks, I have also not had a private place.

And they want me to clock out for a pump break? Oh. Hell. No.

So Tuesday I called the Dept of Labor and filed a complaint. If the smokers can take a break and get paid for it, I should be too. This where it gets interesting - I get a call last night from another of my managers. He asks to talk, and I explain the clocking out situation. He tells me it's not my specific workplace that has that policy, but it came from HR.

Human Resources has this blanket policy for nursing mothers to clock out for breaks because it takes longer than 5 minutes.

I'm sorry, but the smokers take longer than five minutes, and when I pump I am still in the building and can easily put myself back together and be out on the floor if something is happening. The average smoker will take at least three breaks (oh wait, fifteen minutes total through the shift? Hmmm....that sounds like how much time I usually take...), and sometimes more. I don't take any smoke breaks, and if you don't smoke, there is no real break from work.

You want to know what else takes about fifteen-twenty minutes for me? A BM. That's right, I know its a lot of information, but it can take me about twenty minutes to poop. Am I supposed to clock out for those times too? You can't tell me I can't poop at work.

Want to know the best part? This fight is basically over 30 minutes of time for each shift. That's right, this fight is over 5 dollars.

I am pissed off, and I will not back down in this fight. This is unfair, and I refuse to deal with it. I won't go down without a fight, and guess what, the law is on my side. I have to fix this for every nursing mother at my workplace.

I hope she never works there.
Edit: PS This is my eleventy-first post. My blog is like Bilbo Baggins!

Pump broke, getting new parts, work sucks. Laws.

Monday, February 20, 2012

3 months and counting...

My little monster just turned three months last Saturday. It has been such a crazy trip, but she is growth spurting again. Instead of waking every two hours and just needing some love, its every two hours a goddamn meal. I'm tired, but at least I have a few days off before my weekend on.

On the subject of pet names, I can't figure out a good one for Z. My friend's baby has one, and I'm super jealous that it rolls together really well. The names I use most often for Z are stinkerbot and monster. I'm trying to figure out something less geeky than Dovah (which if you aren't apart of the gaming world, it means 'dragon' from Skyrim). That's cute, right? Little Dovah?

But aside from that, I have been exhausted. I'm ready for Z to start sleeping for longer. I had two nights last week with 4 hour stretches, exciting right? But as soon as the 3 months hit it was back to square one.

Tired, don't  want to be at work. I want to see my baby.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Day Late

Even though she wears pink almost every day - it is almost special with all the hearts.
Since my partner and I are celebrating Valentine's Day a day late, I figured it was a good time to post about it  day late. Yesterday was just a normal day for us, I went to my breastfeeding group, took a nap, and went to work. Came home, made dinner, and the only thing I added was some overpriced Pillsbury sugar cookies.  And I even managed to mess those up.

Sugar cookies are still delicious even with a fork.
I got a call from one of my best friends, and she reminded me that it has been five years since we have spent valentines day together. It's been crazy how old I feel, especially with a baby now. But aside from this contrived holiday where one partner is required to buy things and the other is required to put out, it wasn't too bad of  day. Z slept for a four hour stretch - which is quite the accomplishment. She still usually sleeps in two hour shifts, which is getting kind of tiring since she is three months on Saturday.

And she giggles now. Totally worth the not sleeping.

Play mat/gym thing tummy time!
In other news, she loves this play mat hanging toy deal thing. We got it a long time ago from a friend, and I finally managed to set it up. I can't believe how strong she is, I swear any day she's going to start scooting away from me. This week she started pivoting on her stomach, and can turn to face a new direction.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This is the TRUTH

Found on
This is the complete truth. Baby's are full of the weirdest crap and I can't believe how much poop, drool, spitup and boogers come out of my kid.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Things You Shouldn't Say

I've been going through a few issues with some people, so here's my list of things you shouldn't say to a new mom.

1. Are you sure that baby is getting enough milk? As a breastfeeding mother, this is already really troubling. Boobs don't have markers and mixers like formula. I feed her when she is hungry, she nurses until she's done, and oh look - she's almost twice her birth weight in two and a half months? Don't tell me how to feed my baby. I've got it under control. Thanks.
2. You're still doing [blank]? Still only sleeping two hours at a time? Still co-sleeping? Still breastfeeding? Yeah, actually I am. My baby is fussy, she doesn't like to wake up or go to sleep on her own. We are still working on things, she's still little. You can't expect a baby to just magically start sleeping alone through the night, that's not reality.
3. Have you tried [blank]? I'm sure I have at least read about it. But thanks for the suggestion. I tend to base my parenting techniques on scientifically researched topics, not on just anecdotal evidence. I read a lot of parenting things, a lot of studies, and I try to fit what works for my daughter from those. Not everything works - for instance swaddling. She likes her arms to be free, and now her legs. Tummy time? Yeah, she spends a lot of time on her stomach.
4. You look tired. No. Fucking. Shit.
5. Your apartment is really messy. Again. No. Fucking. Shit.
6. What do you do all day? I'll admit, I used to think this. What the hell does a stay-at-home-mom do all day? Well, when the baby is under school age, it's child rearing. It's playing and laughing and singing and dancing and trying to get chores done but deciding that you don't give a fuck anymore because everything can wait until after a goddamn nap.
7. When is she getting a little brother/sister? Never. I only have enough love for one child.
8. [Your baby] isn't doing [all the things] that [my baby] was doing at [whatever age]. Children develop at different paces. I'm a little sick of hearing how well other babies sleep through the night, and sit up on their own and such. It's not a race, it's not a competition, and I hate the comparison. Trying to compare Z to anyone else makes me feel inadequate. It's fun to reminisce on when baby started doing thing with other moms, but with some it feels like I'll never be good enough.
9. Do you pick her up every time she cries? Yes. She needs me, therefore I pick her up. Why? None of your damn business.

But here are a few things that have been said to me that make me smile.

1. "Look at how chubby she is! Must be from all that good mama's milk!" My friend K from my breastfeeding group mentions this to me at least once a month. And it never gets old. She breastfeed four kids, and all of them are beautiful and healthy.
2. "You're doing a great job with her." This cannot be said enough. I have only heard it from three people though. Two of those are the leaders of my breastfeeding group, and the other is my own mother. I wish I could get that sort of approval and appreciation from more people. Because I am doing a good job.

Except right now, as I listen to her cry. Duty calls.