Friday, October 30, 2009

The milk maid

I woke up on Wednesday morning with rock hard boobs - my milk had come in overnight. Since it had been about 2 and a half days since I delivered, I had a significant amount of milk from the get go. I've never been so pleased with my body, especially after what it's gone through with carrying triplets, and recovering from HELLP Syndrome.

The nurse who helped me out of my "between a rock and a hard place" predicament, was amazed at the amount of milk I pumped the very first time. To the point where she ran out to the nurses' station and shared my good fortune. I could hear the nurses from my room, the sound of them cheering traveled all the way down the hallway! When you've gone through IVF there's precious little modesty left, so instead of feeling like my privacy had been violated, I feel proud that I could do this one thing for my babies.

After pumping every three hours and generally getting the hang of it, I met with a lactation consultant. She was very supportive and not your typical judgmental Nazi lactation consultant. Given that I'm hoping to pump and breastfeed three babies, I really appreciated her guilt-free "whatever works for you" and "take care of you first" approach. She walked me through several scenarios, including pumping exclusively, breastfeeding exclusively, breastfeeding two babies and giving the third a bottle of expressed breast milk, or breastfeeding one baby and giving the other two expressed breast milk and/or supplementing with formula.

My Dh was in the hospital room for the entire conversation and overheard all of her tips, including how to try and avoid mastitis.

Once she left, my husband said, "I didn't know women could get mastitis too."
Me, "Why? Can men get mastitis?"
My husband, "No. Cows do."

I laughed hysterically for a half-hour.

My Dh spent the night rooming in with me at the hospital. He had the presence of mind to pack a cooler so we could store the expressed breastmilk overnight and take it to the NICU in the morning. Never has he looked more masculine proudly carrying the cooler filled with breastmilk through the hospital hallways and into the NICU. It made me smile.

Today, I was wearing a shirt that said, "Meet me at the bar." The milk bar, I mean, of course. I keep referring to my little pumping operation as the "Dairy Farm" and the description was never more apt than this afternoon. One of the NICU nurses asked me to relabel all of the breast milk bottles in the NICU fridge (with labels for all three babies so the bottles can be shared among the triplets).

So, there we were, with dozens and dozens of bottles, placing them in date/time order and relabeling them. It looked like we were working in a lab. Several nurses commented on our project...

I ran out of the NICU pre-printed labels and went to ask for more, "Holy Cow!" the nurse behind the desk exclaimed. "Exactly," I said laughing hysterically for the second time.

8 comments:

Amber said...

I love your husband's comment. Mine is a veterinarian so I constantly get compared to dogs, cats, cattle, etc. He can't understand why IUI is so much more difficult in humans...

Anonymous said...

Phwoar, talking about it taking a village to raise a child, I could have fed a village with my milk for a singleton - so you go gal - for as long as you can...pump away......the more you pump the more milk you will produce! (and it will help prevent painful mastitis) re: my last post.....er, um, you may need to take your pump into the movies with you, HA HA HA....it's all about timing, you'll feel the tingles when you think about your babes, when you move out of the hospital.....and instinct will want relief! Do what you can to take care of yourself and I trust all your support systems are in place so you can get those 45 min to 1 hour breathers (even for a cup of coffee locally)....or whatever you drink, while "someone" keeps an eye on your beautiful girls. Can't wait to see pictures...and what a happy Christmas this is going to be....lets trust they'll be home and settled long before then. HUGS> Shaz

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! First to your babies! And then to the fact that everything seems to be going so well! Best wishes! Eva

Life with Erin said...

Way to go! I am cracking up at all the cow-humor. I have always wondered if that is what it will be like when I pump someday soon too. And I pray for a great supply too, keep growing little ones :)

Dana said...

That is so awesome. I am jealous!

Kate said...

Holy Cow is right! Awesome comment from that nurse. So glad your body's cooperating well with this part of things. You're sounding lots better too, after the whole HELLP thing.
Hope the girlies are behaving themselves in the NICU!

Ali said...

I've been so behind! CONGRATS on the girls coming into the world. Sounds like you all have been through a lot so far. Sending prayers your way for continued progress of your health and that of your three precious lives!!!!

Ali said...

I tried to leave a comment...not sure if it worked. I've been behind, so, first of all-CONGRATS!!!! Sending prayers for continued progress of you and your precious little lives!!!!