I have now been separated from my son for over 24 hours and I am definitely stressing my pump. I have never been super excited about nursing in general. I really don't like the feeling and I always hated how much time it took up. However, I know that it is the best thing for my son, so I have sucked it up (ha!) and kept on. My goal has always been to get him to 6 months, but because of how bad this flu season is this year, we decided to keep him nursing through the winter. That means that I have to pump during this separation. I HATE pumping. It hurts, it takes forever, and I find it just a little bit gross.
Trying to tell your boss in the military that you need to go pump is just about the most uncomfortable thing you can do. You might as well tell him you have cramps. While the military has done a good job of integrating women into almost everything, we are still significantly outnumbered. There have been many times when I don't work with other women for weeks at a time. As a result, talking about something as feminine as breastfeeding is not the most pleasant experience. Many times, they just don't understand. This last week in particular has been bad. We have been working through lunch which is when I pump during the day. I try to be as vague as possible as I head off to the bathroom with my black bag, but sometimes I just have to come out and say it. Often times, being a women in the military is like a constant fight to remain in the loop. I feel like everytime I have to pump it's just another tick against why we don't belong. I know in my heart of hearts that this is the right decision, but I just wish it was a bit easier.
Since he will be taking bottles for the next 5 days, I am worried that he will not want to nurse when I get back. I never thought that I would be upset about this, but now that I face it, I am sad at this thought. It means that my little baby is already growing up. I have been thankful for the time that I have been with him, but I fear this is just the first in a long line of things that I miss. I know that growing up is normal, but I am just not ready to lose my little baby.