I pack my bags at least a week before I travel. I never cram during exam periods. As much as I can, I want to be ready, always one step ahead. Imagine how I must be feeling when there is no expressed breastmilk I could leave for my baby as I return to work!
Ideally, my breastfeeding plan was to express milk, put in storage bags, put in the fridge or freezer then have the caretaker thaw/heat it and give to baby while I am away. I imagined bags of milk enough to last for at least 2-3 days of feeding.
But that is the ideal. Our reality is different.
Right now, there are no storage bags with breastmilk in our fridge. I express/pump just enough milk for his daily feeding. There’s no extra! Sometimes, I frantically pump at lunch time so he can have his feeding in the afternoon. It’s like only starting to review minutes before the big exam. I hate the pressure. I plan to wake up at 2 or 3 am to pump but realize, I do not have enough milk to pump. Benjamin has taken it all. Now that we’re separated during the day, he compensates by feeding longer at night, both for hunger and need to feel close to mom. The moment he releases his latch, hardly there’s any more milk left.
I thought this was going to be easy, like it was with Pristine. I was able to continue breastfeeding her even after going back to work. She was exclusively breastfed for 22 months.
But what I forgot was, I was separated from Pristine when she has passed her sixth month while I am back to working again and Benjamin is just three months. Pristine was already introduced to solid foods and could take fruit juices and water. She was ok with feeding only during my lunch break but Benjamin solely relies on breastmilk. He needs to feed twice in the morning before I go home and be reunited with him on my lunch break and also twice in the afternoon.
I need 4 bags of milk everyday. FOUR.
After Benjamin feeds, I can hardly manage one bag with 50 ml of milk. The frustration! My milk supply has greatly decreased after going back to work mostly because of stress, fatigue and God knows what else?
I’m at my wit’s end because I do not want to give formula milk!