Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pump, Pump, Pump it UP!

Ah, breast feeding.

Such a controversial topic and yet, if you are a young woman in your twenties and should find yourself in a group of either pregnant women, new moms, or even experienced moms its a topic that is almost inevitable to arise.

Lets just clear the air on something right off the bat. I did nurse each of my 3 babies, but not necessarily because I think its "better" than formula. I always wanted to nurse when they were newborns for the antibodies helping their tiny immune systems and selfishly for the bonding aspect. Plus they're just so sweet! But to be honest, once my babies hit 4-5 months I'm kind of "over it". Not to say I don't enjoy holding Anniston and spending time with her. I just don't enjoy having to get half-naked to do it. Every 3-4 hrs. Regardless of where I am. BUT... vastly different from formula, breast milk is free. Gloriously free! And tailored to your child's digestive system, full of every nutrient a baby needs, yada yada yada!

So to sum it up, I don't looooove breast feeding and I don't hate it. But if there is one aspect of it that I hate it would be.... pumping. As I'm typing this, I'm avoiding pumping. I hate pumping.

First there's the inconvenience of having to sit next to an outlet which is always near the most uncomfortable chair or off in a secluded room so you have to go sit alone. Then you have to hook everything up - horns on bottles, tubes in horns - and if you're using a double pump there's the added un-coordination of attaching both sides to yourself at the same time and figuring out how to keep them attached while you turn the pump on. And then you wait. And listen to the pump "talk". Yes talk. The repetitive suction starts to turn you into a crazy person hearing phrases over and over... "re-lease. re-lease. re-lease." Its true. Ask any pumping mom. Then there's the physical let-down and then the emotional let down when you realize you've only pumped 3 oz when you know your baby's drinking at least 5 when she takes bottles. And the panic sets in... "What if I'm not making enough? What if she's not gaining weight? I should start taking fenugreek.  Maybe we need to be supplementing." and on and on.

Why would a person put themselves through such distress? Why, I ask you? WHY?

Because we moms are crazy. In almost every sense of the word. We go through crazy bodily and hormonal changes during pregnancy, intense pain in childbirth; worry, doubt, absolute adoration and elation are emotions that we feel on a daily basis - sometimes all within in the same instance. All because we love our children. More than we will ever be able to communicate and more than any woman could understand until she first lays eyes on her baby.

so even though I do it to pump, I go.

1 comment:

jjchildress2002 said...

My goal with Jolie was to ONLY pump. I wanted her to have the benefits of breast milk, but I didn't want to be so "leashed" by ALWAYS needing to be present for a feeding. But I also wanted my milk to come in, so I followed the instructions about holding off on bottles til 4-6 weeks. Little did I know I had a strong willed little girl on my hands who would decide that she wanted NO PART of a stinkin' bottle (or a pacifier!) once I introduced them! And believe me, I tried. Over and over. And cried. Over and over. Lol. (Breastmilk may not cost any money, but to have found the time to pump in between 2 hour feedings, and to have accumulated enough milk for a 2-4 oz bottle, just to have it WASTED... felt like I was dumping liquid gold down the sink.) Ugh. We plan, and God laughs, right?

Long story short, I ended up w/ a (basically) completely wasted $300 pump and a baby who needed me to get half naked every TWO hours for over 7 months, and every 3 hours after that. She finally weaned herself... at EIGHTEEN MONTHS. I honestly don't know how I made it out of that experience with any sanity (perhaps I didn't?). There were so many times I sat sobbing, just feeling so overwhelmed by being so NEEDED. In retrospect, I feel like breastfeeding should come with a disclaimer that if you're in a situation w/ ZERO support system (i.e. husband gone for months at a time, no babysitter, and no friends or family in a 300 mile radius, as was my situation at the time), it may not be for you. It definitely felt like the stage that would never end... I'm so glad it's over!

And if/when stopping breastfeeding feels right to you (and if you're lucky enough to have Anniston cooperate), more power to you! Happier mommies make for happier families! Until then, keep that "liquid gold" pumping :D And don't worry about hearing voices from the pump - it's when you start talking back to them that you might be concerned ;)