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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pump It, Pump It Good

Entry originally written on Wednesday, August 31st...

How am I still pumping?  I must be crazy...

Maybe pumping is a challenge that I take too seriously.  Through trial and error, I have perfected the art of pumping that works for my family.  It is something that I'm very proud of, but it's not exactly something that I get a lot of credit for doing.  I don't need people to pat me on the back and cheer me on (or do I?), but I would appreciate it if they could understand that it's no easy task.  Not only do I have to take care of my baby's needs, I have to spend 20 minutes at the pump every 2 hours.  It's definitely not easy.

My original goal was to pump and provide Baby E with breast milk for 3 months.  At the time I was 6 weeks postpartum when I made that goal.  I thought it was a foolish and impossible thing to do.  Haha.  Well it's not impossible, and I have surpassed my original goal.  I would like to think that 6 months is my next goal, but I try not to think a certain number.  I just take it one day at a time.

I consider myself extremely lucky to be an exclusive pumper who has been able to provide my baby with 100% breast milk for the last 3.5 months.  I also have a nice freezer stash, which often surprises people.  Isn't it crazy how modern technology has allowed a mother like me to provide breast milk to my son without him ever going directly to my boob?  I am lucky.

I still face ongoing battles.  Having mastitis was a total nightmare.  Frequent clogged ducts are a bummer.  Many lost hours of sleep every single night add up and make for a very tired Yin.  My schedule revolves around pumping, and I have been tied to the pump for the last 155+ days.  I don't know when the end will come.  This has become part of my life, and it's hard to find the right time to let go.

Honestly I thought I would give up by now.  3 months is good enough.  Why do I have to go longer?  Maybe because I'm physically capable of doing so.  Maybe because it is one of the biggest challenges I have come to face, and I don't want to see myself give up just yet.  Maybe I fear how Baby E's life will change once formula enters his body again.  Will he have an upset stomach?  Will he miss the taste of breast milk?

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