>…like Andrea pissed.
Seriously. (I think I may say “seriously” entirely too much. Kind of like the word “like” when I was a kid. Oh well. Roll with it because I am really pissed off.
Zach usually takes a bottle of evil formula at night before bed. One little 6-ounce bottle. Now, let me remind you that my boobs have been through sheer hell in the past (almost) nine months. I seriously cannot believe I have kept this shit up this long. (Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that you should expect profanity in this post because, once again, I am pissed.) Like the days where I found random black bruises on me. Or the plugged ducts. And how could I forget the days where I got as little as 2 ounces in 24 fricken HOURS. I didn’t do this crap for fun. And it sure as hell has not gone as planned. I didn’t want to take herbal supplements to keep the milk coming. I certainly didn’t want to buy a hospital-grade pump. And I really, really had no intention of getting nice and intimate with a piece of equipment every two @#$%&* hours a day for at least a year. Okay, now with that being said…
You may or may not remember the early days when I returned from work a mere 5 weeks post c-section and all was sunshine and roses. We have the lactation rooms with the hospital grade pumps and leather recliners, etc. And if you have to pump, you have to pump. No questions asked. Period.
I have not pumped a single time at work in the past 4 days. And I am still doing the 12-hour shifts. In the wee hours of the morning when my boobs seem to be the most productive. So if I can’t pump at work, it is a serious issue. And that issue has been my way of life for 4 days now. So while this time last week, Zach was taking one bottle of formula before bedtime, yesterday he only got one 5 ounce bottle of breastmilk all day. Because just one day of missed pumps is enough to do that to me. Now it is all but gone and I am back to killing myself practically in order to get my supply back up. One of my fave ER docs is working tonight and I am on the verge of asking him for another course of Reglan. It is that bad.
It went like this: I have had the ER, despite the fact that I told my boss that the ER, because of its lack of predictability, its distance from the lactation rooms, and the acuity of the patient population, is really difficult for me to cover while still breastfeeding. And she told me to have my coworkers help me and if anything came up, to let her know. I’m sure she doesn’t really want me to do that. I would be in her office daily. Long ago, I stopped having someone cover my cell while I go to pump, which is really what I am supposed to do. It’s just easier that way because I don’t have to deal with the rolled eyes of my coworkers or have to explain why it is that I need this time to them. But the downside of that is that, when I get a call in the middle of a pumping session, I have to call my coworkers to get the patient seen. And the people I have worked with for the past 4 nights are not the type of people to help. For example, I was so busy in the ER last night that I didn’t even get to attempt to pump until almost 7 hours into my shift (8 hrs. since the last pumping session). And when I finally got up there, as soon as I took my stuff out of my bag to get ready to do the deed, my phone rings. And it is a nurse who wants a PRN treatment for her patient because he is short of breath. I call the first coworker, who says she got called to a patient in the ICU. I have no reason to not believe her at this point, and so I call someone else. This someone else just happens to be the first girl’s BFF. So the second one syas she is “up in the tower” ( a region of the hospital), not specifying which floor she is on, what she is doing, or anything else. I tell her what I need and her response was, “That doesn’t sound urgent.” And she hangs up. While it is entirely possible that she was correct in her assumption, we have no way of knowing this until someone lays eyes on the patient and does some sort of pulmonary assessment. And so I try to call a third coworker whose phone is saying he is “out of the zone”, which means he is in an area of the hospital where his phone has lost signal. So I call the nurse back and let her know what is going on, and could she please give me specifics on the patient’s status. She does and tells me he can probably wait until I am finished. So I start to pump. And literally 2 minutes into it, the phone rings again. 2 minutes. So of course the same therapists who were busy with the first call are still busy. And I have no choice. I stop pumping, throw my parts in my cooler without even washing/wiping them, and I go to the patient. Except on the way, I pass the first two girls, giggling and walking down the hallway. On the complete opposite side of the hospital from where I had assigned them at the beginning of their shifts. Together.It was all of 10 minutes after I had spoken with them and they were too busy to help me see one lousy patient. And so I was very pissed. And after that, I was just too busy to even leave the ER and never had another opportunity.
So tonight I report to work. For the first time all week, I am not in charge and so I do not make out the assignments. I told the one girl I can’t do the ER tonight. Not after the issues that have gone on for the past 3 days. If I do, I will probably have no more milk for Zach. That’s it. All of that work brought to an end like that. And she ignored me and put me there anyway. And in the morning I don’t know what I’m going to do. Raise a stink? Go to HR? Post a printed copy of Kentucky breastfeeding laws on her locker? It’s all enough to make me want to put in my notice, but my status as the breadwinner means that I need something else lined up first. Incidentally, my hospital was one of the first to recieve the Unicef designation as Baby-Friendly, meaning it makes extraordinary strides to foster breastfeeding. Pretty rich, isn’t it?