Thursday's coming.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

via Instagram @whitneynewby
I'm heading back to work at the hospital on Thursday, and it's incredibly bittersweet.

Bitter...
Missing hundreds of toothless baby grins
Having to pump at the hospital (not sure how that's going to work)
Being away from my guys for a 14+ hour stretch

Sweet...
Serving patients physically and emotionally
Seeing coworkers again for the first time in months
Getting my feet back on the ground as a nurse

Thankfully, Liam will be in great hands - his Mimi's - and I think it will be a sweet bonding time for both of them. But phew... I get to thinking about it too much and it makes me teary. I just adore being this little man's mom.

Working moms... any going-back-to-work advice for me? 

30 comments:

  1. Praying for you! I know it will be a hard transition, but i am thankful you have family to help watch your little sweet boy. I would imagine there will be a pumping room at the hospital you can use. Be sure to ask when you go back about that so you can keep it a priority. Blessings on you!

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  2. Adorable picture! It seems so soon - all the luck in the world! It means you will cherish the moments with him even more.

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  3. I just posted about this exact same thing today too!!! I also go back to work Thursday..... and I'm dreading it.

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    1. Loved that post!! Can't wait to hear how it goes.

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  4. I'm not a mum, so no advice per say.. But good on you for going back to work:)
    I'm sure he will love his time with Mimi :)

    http://becstitches.blogspot.com.au/

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  5. When I went back to work after baby #1 I made sure to take a photo album with me--everyone wants to see pics of the little one. As far as pumping at work--I worked home health so it was a little easier for me. I would encourage you to look at your employee handbook for your hospital's policy on pumping so you are armed with what to expect. I'd also contact the lactation consultant as there may be a hospital grade pump and private area for your use. It is a hard transition for Mama but I think you'll find that it makes all of the time you do have with him much sweeter. Good luck!

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    1. Good ideas! Thank you. Our hospital is pretty tiny, so no lactation consultant (or labor and delivery, moms/babies, etc.) but I know my boss will be as understanding as possible.

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  6. Bless your little heart! I did it 4 times with 4 babies and it just hurts! So don't deny yourself the tears! My babies are now 26, 24, 21, and 18 and yet I remember vividly the dull yet piercing ache of leaving them. Knowing there will LOTS of mommys in your work area who understand will help you get through it. I wish I had some profound advice but I always say in times of trial or pain....Ask God to just walk through it with you!
    I so enjoy your sweetness of your blog. :0)

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  7. I work in a children's hospital, so a lot of our nurses have had babies recently. Most of them just use an empty patient's room, or one of the offices in our leadership office. The administration is understanding and works with them. I second the recommendation to consult your handbook/talk to your boss.

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  8. As far as pumping, a friend of mine found that bringing baby videos/photos/etc helped with letdown. She is also a nurse, and I believe she went somewhere on the mother/baby floor and pumped. I can't imagine how hard it will be. I hope it all goes smoothly!

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    1. I think I'm going to have to bring baby pics and videos just for my own sanity. :)

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  9. My first day back was rough, definitely shed quite a few tears while saying goodbye. Biggest reassurance I can give you? You get home at the end of the shift, and realize he is still your sweet little boy. He's not going anywhere, and he will be right there waiting for you. And the awesome thing is, it will make you enjoy your time with him all that much more! PS - I'm a nurse too, didn't know you were!

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    1. I know I'll be so ready to see him! Glad I'm not alone in this. :)

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  10. If your hospital has a NICU they should have a pumping room. My hospital does and employees are welcome to use it and the hospital grade pumps, you just have to purchase your own tubing.

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    1. I so wish we did! Our hospital doesn't even have labor/delivery, postpartum... nothing. Babies aren't born there (except in an emergency, I guess). I'm sure I'll figure it out somehow. :)

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  11. Oh my, isn't it fast? In Denmark we have maternity for about 1 year!

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  12. Will pray for you on Thursday! I think one of your best attributes is your passion to do what you love and what God has called you and equipped you to do. You wouldn't be Whitney without that passion. I just know Liam will benefit so much from having a mom with such a big heart to serve and help others. I will pray that God finds little ways to bless you all the way through those 14 hours. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Chrissy. What an encouragement.

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  13. I love all of these above comments. I went back to work after having both of my babies, and while it was hard to leave them in the arms of another--even though those arms were my own mother's--my time with them was so much more intentional and complete. I tried so hard not to think about what I was missing, but instead what I was relishing in during those precious hours before and after work. I too felt passionate about my work and felt that I was a better "me" and a better "mom" for continuing in working outside the home. Allow yourself the tears and the joys of doing what you love in a new way with a new purpose. (You will figure the pumping thing out. Don't worry.)

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    1. More intentional and complete. Sounds good to me.

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  14. As far as pumping- typically you get different amounts at each session bc your supply varies all day, don't let that alarm you. I would pump into bottles instead of bags (personal preference) and just keep them out until I filled one to the amount my guy drank at that time (like 4 oz in beginning, more later etc). Breast milk is fine at room temp for a few hours. I also would have a wipe with me and just wipe my pump parts down after each time, but completely wash them after my work day was done. Saves you time and as a nurse I am sure you need it! I know this part will be hard with your job- but if you feel your breasts get real full pump soon. Otherwise your supply will go down.

    As far as the emotional part of it, everyone's different. I really really struggled. Whitney Winkler (that's how I found your blog) watched my guy for the first few weeks and would send me pictures. That meant the world to me and helped a bunch.

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    1. The wipes were SUCH a great idea! They ended up being super helpful. Thank you!

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  15. Hi Whitney,

    I read your post and I know exactly what you're going through. My son Elliott is 10 months old now and I am still breastfeeding him exclusively. However, there were a few times after going back to work, that I really thought I would have to supplement with formula and/or give up all together. Now, I don't believe that there is anything wrong with formula feeding...but for my pocket book and just general peace of mind, I wanted to stick with breast feeding. Here are a few things that I've found out along the journey of working full-time and nursing full-time that have helped me and I hope help you:

    1. Make sure your care giver understands that babies metabolize breast milk faster than formula and therefore may get hungry sooner than if fed only formula. Feeding them several times (2 or 3 feedings depending on your work schedule) in small quantities (2 to 4 ounces) can be very useful. I wish I had known this sooner. My mother watches my son while I teach and she would give him two 8 ounce feedings! That would have been ok if I were able to bring home 16 ounces everyday but I couldn't (and most women cannot).
    Now that he is older we've worked out a compromise. She feeds him table food twice during the day along with 2 feedings of 5 ounces of breast milk. He stays satisfied, my mother is assured that he is full, and I can keep up the supply:)

    2. Use the MSS (massage, shake, stroke) technique when pumping at work. I only found out about this about 2 months ago and it has worked wonders! You will learn, if you haven't already, that the breast pump, even the hospital grade pumps, do not empty the breast as well as your baby. However, there are things you can do to boost milk production. I've included a link to give more information on the technique. Basically it helps empty the breast more efficiently. The more efficiently the breast are emptied the more milk your body will naturally make. I never has any real issues with nursing my Elliott, but I did have issues keeping up my supply in the freezer. I even tried herbal remedies like fenugreek, alfalfa, and blessed thistle. None of these worked as well as the MSS technique.
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbjulaug96p118.html
    http://lllrochester.weebly.com/uploads/7/9/5/4/795404/marmet_technique_tearoff.pdf

    3. You may find it necessary to pump on weekend mornings and/or in the morning on weekdays. You've probably already noticed that your milk supply is most abundant in the mornings, especially if you little one sleeps through the night like mine. I found it necessary to do both at one point to keep up a supply for Elliott while I am at work. However, I am happy to say that now I only pump in the morning on the weekends thanks to the MSS technique.

    4. As far as separation goes. It was very difficult for me the first few times I had to say goodbye to Elliott's smiling face. It gets easier though. I have pictures and video recording of him on my phone. During those first few weeks back to work, those photos and videos sustained me during the day. I would also get text message updates with the occasional picture from caregivers (early on friends from church watched him). Being away from him is hard at times but coming home and seeing him smile when I walk though the door like I was never gone keeps me going.

    I hope some of this is helpful to you Whitney. I really like your blog. You have such a bursting love for Christ and truly inspiring creativity. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks so much!! That is all really helpful!!

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