my biggest problem

Pumping is hard!!! For the past five days I've been pumping breastmilk in order to increase my milk supply. I try to pump every two hours, but sometimes four or five hours quickly pass before I find my way to the pump again. I'm using an expensive Medela hospital grade pump. It's a great machine, but that doesn't make it fun. I am not able to pump "hands free" yet so the whole time I am unable to do anything else. I also have not found a comfortable position. I sit tall and slightly forward in order to the milk to fall into the bottles. Also, I tend to watch the milk the whole time which means my head is tilted down, resulting in neck and upper back pains.

This morning I had a breakdown. The tears began falling shortly after 7:00am as I sat hooked up to the pump waiting, waiting waiting for milk to fall. Twenty minutes later I still didn't have one drop of milk yet. Sitting on the center cushion of our old orange couch I began to cry. I felt hopeless. "When is my milk supply going to return?," I thought forlornly.

Around me the house was a disaster. Every single room, including the hallways were lined with items that didn't belong. Bills were waiting to be paid, toilets were disgusting, etc , etc, etc. Chad came into the room to put his shoes on for work. He sat and looked at me with concern. "What's wrong?"

"I don't know why I'm so upset. I'm so overwhelmed." I replied.

"How can I help you?"

"I don't know."

He hugged me and sat silent for awhile. Then left for work. Less than two minutes passed before Laura let herself in through the garage. She came and sat by me. I spilled my guts. "I'm so overwhelmed with pumping, the house, the baby, and work." She immeidately sprang into action. She cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen. She bathed, fed, and held Melody. She did four loads of laundry. She hung all my clothes up that were piled on the floor. In the meantime I walked around the house with a foggy brain. I emailed a mom-friend and told her about my hard morning. She called me less than a hour later to talk. She assured me that I'm doing a good job and that things will be easier soon. She made me feel so much better.

After that I found Laura in Melody's bedroom, sorting through a pile of random stuff on the floor. I sat on the unmade bed and sighed. "I'm so glad you're here. I don't think I could let anyone else -- besides my mom and mom-in-law -- clean our gross toilets." She smiled and said, "Kotter, keeping this house going is a HUGE job. You shouldn't attempt to do it alone." (She calls me Kotter which is my maiden name. I think it's a cute option for a baby boy someday?) Hearing those words from here was such a breath of fresh air. I know she is right.

I am a strong and capable individual. I'm fairly organized and on-top-of-things. I am very guilty of taking over and doing everything myself because that seems easier than delegating and teaching others to help me. Chad has always been willing to help with house work, but 90% if the time I just do it myself. When I get sick or a crisis happens (ie: breastfeeding problems), things fall apart quickly. I hate that everything depends on me, but I recognize that I've made it this way.

Does anyone else struggle with these problems? How can Chad and I come up with a plan so that we both participate in running this house? How do others clean their houses? Do you do it every Saturday morning or a little bit each day? Do you nag each other? Do you fight about it? I don't want to nag or fight. This is one of the first times in our 4+ years of marriage to have a communication barrier. I'm just not sure where to start in order to change this pattern. Help, anyone?


Rose said...

You're doing great! I will send you an email.

Erin said...


I do a little each day. Laundry on Monday. Dust/Vaccuum Tuesday. Maybe mop with a swiffer-wet. Wednesday clean bathroom. Thursday laundry again and then I'm usaully set for a clean weekend for my husband to come and make it dirty again. I do all of the cleaning here, so you might get better advice from someone else on delegation/seperation of chores.

SonSon said...

First, congratulations! Mom will be the biggest and most important job you will ever have. And the most rewarding. Here's my experience and suggestions, for what it's worth.

I had surgery that comes with a minimum one year recovery. My husband had to do ALL the housework, bill paying plus take care of me. We had a 6 month old at the time whom my parents kept during the week and we kept on the weekend when my husband was off. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! My husband was terrific though. Now I've retaken some of the chores. Permanent injury has required my husband to continue to assume some of them. He has his jobs and my main responsibility with his jobs is to stay out of it and let him do them his way in his time. Once I learned to do this, we were both quite happy. We still hire in on a monthly basis which might be something to think about for a short term basis. There's no shame in it! It's hard hard hard not to feel guilty about not doing things like before. Just remember that things are not the same. You have a lot of new jobs now with mothering and they are a lot more important than your other jobs were. Don't be hard on yourself.

Let your husband choose a chore (or two) and a particular day of the week to do it on. Then break down your chores like erin suggested so they're not so overwhelming. Good luck and again, congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I've never posted, but have been reading your blog since before you little sweetie was born..I too am from Arkansas.. I have three little girls and I went through the same thing you are going through with my last one... i had never brestfed before and loved it, but by five months my supply went way down. My dr gave me some meds that helped a little, but I spent so much time pumping trying to get the supply up that nothing was getting done(you can imagine what my house looked like with three kids) I finally gave up,which I regret.. Sarah is 20 months old now and my house is still a wreck...LOL As far as DH I just flat out ask him if he can help me with certain things.. Your not alone..I remember sitting and crying my eyes out that things would never get better.. They do, but the hardest part is not pulling your hair out until then...
feel better soon

Stephanie said...

Pumping is hard! I hated every minute if it!
I would sit there just watching the milk also!
It seemed to just trickle out so slowly. Ugh!
I guess I am not a good one to give you advice on the pumping thing since I just gave up. I wish it hadn't been so stressful for me. I hate that I just gave up.

As far as the household goes. I just do one thing each day. I have to say..... it is nothing like it use to be though. I use to keep the place clean, now things just pile up. Yesterday I looked at Kyle and said...When was the last time the cat box was scooped? Neither one of us could remember. Had it been a week ,or two weeks! Of course it's not as bad as it use to be with only two cats.
Kyle and I divide up some of the chores, but I still do all of the vaccuming, and moping.
I am so glad that Laura was there for you!
Hang in there bek. You are a wonderful mom with a super sweet little girl.

Laurel said...

I used to have certain days with certain chores when I was pregnant... but that fell apart when Benji was born. Some days I am able to do lots around the house and other days my son needs me almost all the time, which is of course much more important - so the house is a mess that day.

I have a checklist at the beginning of week (some weeks but sometimes I don't get around to making it) and I put all the major chores I want to accomplish that week. Even not-so-major chores because I like being able to check off my chores - I know, I'm weird! That way they all get done eventually, just not all at the same time.