I really need advice. Work, Baby, Everything... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I had no idea what to put as a title.  Mods, please don't move this.  A lot of this has to do with my own personal growth, so while it could go in other places, I'd like it here.  Thanks.


I'm expecting my third child in September.  I'll be 22.  I have two existing children, 2 and 4.  My other two were planned, this one was not.  I have been struggling a great deal with that, but I think it has finally sank in and I have come to peace with it.  I don't feel very "connected" to this baby, but I do hope that will change (and I'm sure it will).


We've recently had financial troubles.  I was looking for bankruptcy attorneys and spoke with a few but haven't found one I like enough to keep going with.  I was laid off in February, but my job took me back last month because I opened up my availability (I had initially not wanted my children being watched by my MIL, but I bit the bullet).


I work in a mostly seasonal position for a souvenir photography company.  The promotion would eliminate the "seasonal" aspect of it, and I'd be able to work year round, full time.  Since *my* manager is leaving next year for grad school, he has said I'm in line to take his place.  He makes even more money.  Before the promotion, my plan was to just leave before I had the baby, which was right at the end of the season.  It worked out perfectly.  I had plans to save a little money to go back to work as a CNA after about 9 months- which I am trained as.


Now, with this promotion, I will make the same if not more than I would at a CNA job, doing something I love, with people I enjoy working with (as opposed to sickness and death and sadness, and possibly neglect of patients by others).  The promotion I'd possibly be up for next year would make the CNA job look like pocket change.


Here's the thing... I won't be able to take very much time off after having the baby.  Literally, 6 weeks maternity leave, and that's it.  I really wanted to breastfeed this baby.  I mean, I still can.  My body doesn't respond to a pump, I don't know of any place feasible that my job can accommodate for me to pump anyhow, and if pumping just doesn't work for me, I'd hate to make them go through the hassle (even though it is the law in Illinois).  I'm going to have to nurse when I'm with the baby, and formula feed when away from the baby.  My mother in law would be watching my children (though I may put my middle child in daycare, so I'm not sure about all of the logistics), and I trust her much more with formula than I do with breast milk storage and handling.  I'm just having a hard time getting past the not being able to exclusively breastfeed. 


The job I currently have will also allow me to space my days so that I'll be able to go to school.  I would really, really love that.  If I worked as a CNA I'd be on a rotational schedule and wouldn't have set days to go to school.  I'd also be stuck working the night shift in most cases, which I really, really do not want.


I *need* to work during the winter.  We could barely afford our utility bills last time around!  We had to pay them off with our tax refund, and I'm still a little bit behind but nothing major.  


Anyone want to give outside perspective? 

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#2 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 10:08 AM
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It sounds like this job is a great fit for you in every way except for the pumping part. I understand your anxieties, but I'd like to encourage you to give it a try before letting nerves get the best of you. There are lots of moms that work full time and pump, and many of us have faced similar challenges and have still made it work! Yes, they can find a place for you to pump, or at least let you go to your car or something to pump there. Have you ever tried pumping when you're not with your baby for a whole day? How many different pumps have you tried? I'm guessing there are a bunch of tricks and tips we could share with you if you find it's difficult, but it sounds like this opportunity is almost too good to pass up!

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#3 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I will for sure give it a try.  My first few months of nursing DD2 were horrible (she just weaned at 26mos, probably due to the pregnancy), but we stuck it out.  I'm so nervous that history will repeat itself.  We had thrush, mastitis, plugged ducts... and I don't know if those would be exacerbated by not pumping, or if they would be worse with the pump.  


My job is outdoors.  We work with a host venue who leases the space to us and gets a percentage of what we make in return for letting us be there.  Our only spaces are two appx 6x8' printrooms which constantly have staff in and out printing photos.  I think we have a storage area, not sure where or how big it is.  I'm not opposed to pumping in the bathroom, the one near our print room is hidden so the public isn't really in there, and it's fairly large.  I'd need something battery operated.  

I don't know how to store breastmilk when at work either.  We don't have a refrigerator due to the limited space in our printroom.  I'd need some sort of cooler bag, and I'm not sure how long that would work for.


I take public transit, an hour long on a good day, longer on a not-so-good day.  I'd need to factor that into my time as well.  I'd be working 8-10 hour shifts depending on demand.  Sometimes longer- I don't see it working without a refrigerator.  I don't know how to drive, but by next tax season I hope to learn and spend about $3-4k on a small car to transport myself to work.  The venue I work at has parking, it's $20+/day and we don't typically get employee parking.  I did however hear a co-worker of mine mention that the big boss was looking into giving her a parking pass because she has to commute from so far away.  


Another thing is, I'd be supervising shifts.  I'd be responsible for 8-10 employees during every shift, as well as paperwork, operations managing, etc.  It gets *very* busy during the summer months.  Peak season starts in May and lasts through late August.  Depending on the staff I am given, I just may not be able to even get enough breaks.  I could probably arrange for a "second in command" but if I do that, I'm worried I'd face some sort of pseudo-demotion due to not being able to supervise the entire shift.  


My bosses have been very accomodating and understanding with my pregnancy, so I have no reason to believe they'd shun me for breastfeeding.. it is just so much of a hassle and I'm worried about even committing to it because I feel like it will be a miserable failure and I'd be hugely dissapointed in the end.


I haven't done enough research about how often to pump, etc.  I'm guessing every 3 hours or so?  I'd do once before my shift, once during my lunch break, and once during the shift, and then after the shift.    I don't know enough about breastmilk cooler storage, either.  I'm needing to do more research.. I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'm having a hard time trying to wrap my head around not EBF as well.  All of the reasons why it's not possible can't convince my mind to be okay with it.

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#4 of 9 Old 04-09-2012, 10:30 PM
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i think you are at a point where you are going to have to take it as it comes.


i hope you get promoted. 


it doesn't always happen that way. the guy who's supposedly leaving may decide not to. *he* said you are in line for his job. but is he the hiring manager?? no doubt in this economy there will be competition for a well paying position...


re: breastfeeding and pumping: pumping hasn't worked for you because it hasn't needed to work for you. if you do get a position that is too good to pass up, and you NEED to pump, don't you think your body will give you what your baby needs? i do. if it's "do or die" (not literally because there is formula thank God instead of death should a woman not be able to nurse her baby), the body rises to the occasion. that's what i believe anyway.


my advice would be to NOT interject your worries and anxieties about what will happen or might happen NEXT FALL into your life and especially your work life in APRIL. take it as it comes. day by day. enjoy your job. DO AN AWESOME JOB AT YOUR JOB. make them want to promote you if the opportunity arises. grow a healthy baby. focus on your priorities... getting out of debt... growing at your job... raising your children the very best you can given your financial constraints and the compromises you are forced into (ie, MIL babysitting) and most of all, be grateful for what you have.


you can do this! and it will all. work. out.

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#5 of 9 Old 04-10-2012, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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The promotion I'm starting training for is for sure, unless I do something to screw it up and get myself fired, but that's unlikely.  The one next year isn't set in stone, but the hiring manager lets the venue manager choose to hire/promote their replacement internally before they begin looking outside of the company.  So while not set in stone, I have fairly good chances.  As of right now he has his plans set in stone, he's going to grad school but needs to go across the country to do so, and is waiting until his roommate finishes school next year as they'll both move together.  Or something.  But even if not, I still have this promotion, so I'm semi-content with that.  I do realize that those things can change, though.


And thank you so much, I really hope you are right about the pumping thing.  Certainly if my brain won't believe it will work, it likely wont, so I should probably give it a little more hope.


But thanks.. I tend to want to micromanage my life, months in advance, although it gets me nowhere.  

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#6 of 9 Old 04-10-2012, 09:36 AM
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I am a worrier and a planner, so I like to micromanage my life and plan well in advance. But I also fond this heightened my worrying too much and drove others around me a bit crazy. It also didn’t ensure things would go my way, which has lead to a LOT of disappointment.


So I let up a bit and now I focus more on what is happen now. How do I feel about the present situation? What can I do now to improve that? And how can I trust that life will take care of me?


The downside to preplanning in your mind what will happen over the course of several months, is that you can feel locked in. You can feel that if just one point in the plan derails, everything is off course. By keeping your mind open and focusing on each step and choice as it presents itself… you can rearrange your plan and change your mind. You feel more in control, not the need to control things.


Doing this has helped me to trust more and calm down that inner dialogue of worry.


If a great job opportunity is presenting itself right now – go for it!

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#7 of 9 Old 04-10-2012, 11:38 AM
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For the problem of storing the pumped milk this could work if it's in your price range. http://www.target.com/p/Koolatron-Fun-Kool-Cooler-P-25/-/A-10590839 if you have access to an outlet at work it would keep everything cold. When my husband and I moved into our own place we had no fridge for the first month so we borrowed our friends and it did great keeping milk, eggs and meat cold. Because it's an insulated cooler it should be fine being unplugged for the commute home. It also looks like they are available in soft cases as well. 


I only did a quick search but there are probably other brands and prices offered. Maybe something like that could work for you. 

Wife to a wonderful man, not a mommy yet but looking forward to when we are ready. 
"Love isn't something you find. Love is something that finds you." Loretta Young
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#8 of 9 Old 04-11-2012, 11:53 AM
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I work 10.5 hour shifts and pump for DS2 while I'm at work. There isn't an ideal place for me to pump either, so I end up in the bathroom, or I have a car adapter and will sit in the car. Would that be possible for you? I just use the little cooler bag that came with my Medela pump in style. It has one of those plastic blue things you put in the freezer. Its very small and can fit in the pump bag. It will hold 4 bottles of milk, so if I fill them all the way to the top that would be almost 28 ounces. The milk is definitely still cold when I get home. Someone once told me its safe for 24 hours in there? Anyways, I did the same thing for DS1 and it worked well.


During the first 4 months or so with DS1 I had extremely cracked nipples, multiple bouts of mastitis, breast abscesses that needed to be surgically drained, thrush, clogged ducts, Reynauld's syndrome, a bleb... You name it, it went wrong. With DS2 (who is now 4 months) so far I've just had one round of mastitis. Its been going MUCH better this time!

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#9 of 9 Old 04-17-2012, 06:01 PM
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Congrats on this great opportunity. I agree with other PPs that you shouldn't worry about the pumping part right now. You can do it if that's what you want to do. My pump works off a battery so doesn't need to be plugged in, and you can use a cooler bag. You can also pump in the am or pm, and even if you haven't responded well to the pump, that doesn't mean you won't this time. This time, you have a big incentive to find something that works. Just think of it as one more thing that you need to plan for, but will totally work out. 

As for feeding breastmilk, if my DH can do it, anyone can. lol.gif He had never even touched a baby before DS. There are SO many resources out there and so many of us here on MDC who pump and can help you get set up. When you get closer to the baby coming, you can post on the breastfeeding or the Working Parents group and we can help you find a solution that fits into your life. I remember worrying about how I would work and still bf, but here I am at work pumping for my 8 mo old.(literally, I'm pumping right now.) Feel free to PM me if you want some tips.


You can do this mama!

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