>A Woman’s Work

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If this grosses you out, I apologize.
This is what I have been working toward all along.
To give Zachary a piece of myself each and every day, multiple times a day. To do what is best for him. And it has been harder than I could’ve imagined.
I’ve learned about galactogogues, and have consumed them in large quantities. I’ve had the herbal teas, and I don’t like tea–not even sweetened iced tea. I am now eating a bowl of oatmeal daily, even though the texture gags me. I am taking a medication that could damage my nervous system, though it most likely will not. I have had many nights where I have set my alarm clock to wake me every hour so I could pump. I have cried when those efforts only produced as little as a half a ounce at one point. I have felt the thrill of the first night I left for work with 12 ounces of pumped milk in the refrigerator, enough to meet my baby’s needs while I was away, even though it took 2 days of incessant pumping to produce that. I have felt joy that I was able to pump 2 ounces at a time, total, then felt the deep disappointment when I realized even this was inadequate.
But this? This is 4 ounces of pumped breastmilk. From one side. My production is sort of lopsided, so I only got 7 ounces total. But this? This is victory. This is my work for the past 2 months of my life. I am proud of myself for sticking with it when it would have been easier to give up.
The happiness, the relief, the joy, the heartbreak, the dedication, the perseverance, the resolve….Who could’ve know it could all fit in 4 fluid ounces?
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