After reading this post, I instantly recalled a breast pumping situation that left me fuming. So I decided to share - well vent really. Please do the same and comment. Spill the beans and share one of those times when you wanted to shout, "Mind Your Bleep-iddy Bleep Business!"
While Jon and I waited, a short bird like woman with short ash blond hair, literally popped into the room and introduced herself as the Lactation Consultant. Suddenly, the volume in the room went from silence to ear-popping and our quiet space was filled with words and movement. Lactation Consultant was a cross between Tigger and Cinderella - after she fit into the glass slipper. It felt like she was going to break into song at any second. To me she seemed inappropriately gleeful and bouncy.
Lactation Consultant let me know that she would be dropping by my room later so that we could get the breast pumping process started. I can't remember the entire conversation, it could not have been longer than a minute.
I said something about having breastfed two babies before and really needing to speak to her another day.
She said something about Noelle being a fragile preemie needing my colostrum and milk ASAP.
"Another time." I pressed.
She pressed back - harder. "It's so-oh important...preemieeees need the bre-est. It's the best thing for them to get stronger."
I can't recall what else she said in her sing-songy voice, but when Lactation Consultant finished, guilt rested right on top of all the other emotions I was reeling from. She got me good. I was a bad mother, only concerned about myself while Noelle's life hung in the balance. I gave in. Lactation Consultant left just as chipper as could be promising to return. My baby had died less than three hours ago.
The nurse brought Lauren in, the details of my holding her I will reserve for another post. After about an hour, I was told they were moving me my hospital room was ready. I wasn't going back to the "sick" ladies ward, where I had been for a couple of weeks. I was going into the maternity ward. As they started to wheel me out, I looked over at the bassinet. In seconds someone was wheeling Lauren alongside of my gurney.
In my room I held her some more, cried some more, held Jon, cried with Jon - asked for a Pepsi and finally settled down. It was time. Jon pushed Lauren into the little foyer next to the bathroom where I could see the bassinet, but I could not see her. It was time for me to let her go. Just as I was about to start crying again, I heard a loud woodpeckish knock on the door. Before we could answer, in strides Lactation Consultant pulling a blue industrial sized breast pump, with a manila folder stuck under her arm, and a bulky plastic bag in her hand.
"Hi-eye!" she greeted, "It's mee-ee Lactation Consultant!" "Is now a good time...oooh isn't she beautiful?' She paused at Lauren's Bassinet. "Just a perfect doll-baby! She is so-oh sweet." I glanced over at Jon and wondered if he was thinking what I was. Did she think the baby was ...alive?Lactation Consultant peeked further into the bassinet and loudly oohed and ahhed, I thought at any second she was going to "kitchy kitchy koo " Lauren under the chin. I thought of telling her that wasn't Noelle when she said, "I am so-oh sorry for your loss, but God needed another angel in Heaven. It was just His will." I couldn't believe it - not only did she just barge into my room (twice) to guilt me into breast pumping immediately, now she was telling me that God killed my baby because He wanted her for Himself.
"Is now a good time?' Lactation Consultant asked again. "No." I replied, but she wheeled her crap in anyway. "I have to leave early - so this won't take long. Breastfeeding is so-oh important. Little Noelle nee-eds it." she sang. I raised my bed to a full sit. Lactation Consultant pulled her pump over, which was a blue wheeled version of the one I used. She went from showing me the on switch to telling me I could keep the the breast kit. I told her twice that I breastfed and pumped with my sons on the same machine. No acknowledgement. Lactation Consultant got particularly excited when she told me the bottles actually came in two different volumes and the bright yellow screw caps fit them both.
My anger was starting to bubble up, I was about 30 seconds away from pulling my fat, bleeding, leaky, c-sectioned self out of that bed to slap the jolly out of her. Jon quickly removed himself.
Lactation Consultant shuffled through her papers and pulled out the rental agreement and some general lactation information, explaining everything in excruciating detail. When finished, she slapped her folder shut and smiled. "Well we are good to go! I just wanted to leave you the machine and get the paperwork to you before I left. Star-art pumping as soon as you ca-an!" she sang along with a jaunty finger wag. She said her goodbyes and left.
I started pumping after they rolled Lauren away. The next morning when I got to see Noelle for the first time, I had a filled all the bottles. The nurse was shocked to see the volume. I expected that they would feed her immediately, but I was quickly informed by the nurse and Noelle's Dr., that it would be a while before Noelle could even be tube-fed. When my Dr. came to visit, everyone got an earful. HE stormed off to complain.
I had every intention of breastfeeding Noelle. I was one of those rare women where breastfeeding and pumping was relatively easy. I wasn't guilted into breastfeeding. I just needed a moment to get myself together. I was angry because I felt manipulated and strong-armed into doing it under someone else's terms. Lactation Consultant made it clear that Breast pumping was the only important thing, so much so that she willingly and knowingly injected herself into my final moments with Lauren without thought or reservation.
I would love to hear you stories. Please share.