I am pumping for Merrick so that Dan can feed him. We made this decision so that the two of them could bond early on and also so that I could possibly have 5 seconds to myself. The latter has yet to happen.
I had forgotten how crazy I get about my breast milk. The only thing harder than sitting still to nurse a newborn when you have things you need to get done is sitting down to attach yourself to a whining breast pump. A breast pump has all of the function with none of the sentiment, and honestly, at this point I am composed of 90% sentiment. So when I sit down for 20 minutes and let this whiny machine tug 3 hard earned ounces out of me and give that bottle to Dan I expect that every ounce will be savored by that baby. I expect that every second of feeding him will be utter bonding bliss for my husband. Most importantly, I expect that bottle to be sucked bone dry at the end of that feeding.
Dan refers to my breast milk as liquid gold. Would you believe that he calls it this because it is the amazing life source for our beautiful new child? If you would, you need to go back to day one of this blog and get to know us a little better. Dan calls it liquid gold because I go absolutely ape shit if I find a drop of it anywhere. The first bottle he gave to baby Merrick he left over an ounce in the bottle. This was only two weeks after Merrick was born. Do you have any idea how hard it is to negotiate 3 ounces of breast milk out of my body via pump on week 2?!
It's like negotiating a fucking hostage situation.
The immediate area in which I am pumping should be evacuated. The first time I tried to involve Cohen in the pumping process she had a Spinal Tap moment, reached over and turned the suction on my breast pump up to 11. Also, forget about Merrick being in the room. If the new kid smells me eating he has to eat, if he smells my breast milk and is not simultaneously sucking down every last drop of it he will proceed to melt his face off with the heat of his own blood curdling screams. Evacuation is mandatory.
Cover all points of entry/exit.The nipple must be completely surrounded. This will define the difference between a slightly uncomfortable task and torture by way of pin pricks to the nipple and tiny fires being ignited on the areola.
Demands must be assessed and met. If the milk is going to come out the pump placement must be perfect. Otherwise perfectly good and valuable milk cannot be expressed. Adjust and reassess. Repeat. The pumper cannot be thirsty. I must remember to have water with me when pumping. To have to detach at this point and pour a glass of water is not an option.
When the milk is fully expressed it must then be transported from the bottle to the freezer bag. If a drop spills negotiations have been for naught. Lives lost. Doom. Minutes of my free time wasted. So you can imagine that I don't spill often. The milk is then frozen. At this point I have been successful and negotiations resolve in peace. Pick up the megaphone. The milk has been released from the breast folks, you can all go home!
So you can imagine my reaction when I get home from class and ask how Merrick ate. "Great, he ate it all," Dan says. Then I find Merrick's bottle sitting with a full ounce of milk left over. Left overs? Merrick doesn't leave leftovers. Dan asks what the big deal is and I recount for him my hostage situation analogy.
Only I am not making it funny for him. For him I am crying. For him I will bring up that ounce of left over milk two days later. I will be using that ounce of left over milk as concrete proof that Dan does not value what I do as a mother. I will convince myself that if he could waste something I worked so hard to produce he could not possibly love me or value me as a person. At this point it might be fair to say that Dan has entered a hostage negotiation of his own. "Crazy lady, can you please release my wife - I know she's in there and I am going to need some proof of life!"