I'm just about ready to do as the title says and burn my breast pump! Seriously. As I mentioned in the previous r
I started the breasfeeding journey with childlike enthusiasm. I went to the classes, read a bunch of stuff and even watching some educational videos. I really thought 'why do women make such a big deal about breastfeeding?! It's how nature intended you to raise your baby! Nature will take care of it. I got this- NO problem!' HA! Joke was on me!
|I'm adding in completely non-relevant pictures to make this post a little lighter, ha!|
At Autumn's first post-birth doctor's visit, we discovered she had lost a pound+ since birth. I stressed the importance of breastfeeding so they told me to nurse her, supplement with formula (boo!), and then pump. Prior to finding out she had lost so much weight, we had the.crankiest.baby.on.earth. We thought she hated us. But nope, she was just a huuuunnnnnggggrrrryyy gurl! Now, when she starts crying like she did in those wee baby hours, we tell her 'we're sorry we were starving you those first few days, but we promise we won't do it again!'. LOL. Seriously, how are you supposed to know how much food they're getting?!
I was determined to stop the 1-1/2 hour insanity of nursing, bottle feeding then pumping, having a half hour break then doing it all over again. It was Exhausting (with a capital 'E') on top of recovering from a c-section and taking care of a newborn. I remember just crying those first days because I was so frustrated, exhausted and in pain. Anyways, so we went to the lactation consultants (yet again!) and we went through this whole process of discovering Autumn was only expressing 1oz of milk from me (insert: supply issues). They told me to stay on the same track because she was at least gaining weight, mostly from the formula.They told me to take this nasty ass Mother's Milk. Which tastes nothing like milk, or anything a human should even ingest. I had to make shots of it by mixing it with apple juice. But it gave me an excuse to use our shot glasses again! Long story short, we did this pattern of nursing, bottle feeding then pumping for about a month and a half. The bottle feeding and pumping was ok, but nursing was beyond hard. Autumn would just get so frustrated and started screaming or she'd get so annoyed she'd just fall asleep at the boob. So after much internal debating I made the tough decision to stop nursing and just pump exclusive. I figured she would still be getting the benefit of breasmilk without the frustration we were both feeling with nursing. Let me tell you, I debated this for weeks before I finally made the decision. I was afraid I would lose that closeness and bond that comes with nursing, that somehow I would screw her up and that I was a failure at the most basic mother-baby function. I realize now this thinking was a little more than crazy.
Fast forward 4 months...I'm still pumping. Autumn is still getting every ounce of breastmilk I can produce (which isn't a lot but it's better than nothing, right?!). I always swore I would not be one of those mom's who gave their child formula, bleh. But you know what? Shit happens. I wasn't about to let my baby starve and these boobies just ain't producing as much as her little growing body needs. She still gets mostly bm and we supplement with Enfamil Soy (we discovered she has a minor milk allergy after what we thought was colic and a bad rash, but the doctor is confident she'll grow out of it).
I pump about 5-6 times a day which equals out to every 3 hours or so. I dropped the middle of the night pump simply because it would take me 20 minutes to pump then I'd be wide awake for at least an hour leaving me very sleepy and cranky. Pumping at work is nothing less than awkward. I know, I know, it's a perfectly normal fact of life. But, it doesn't make dragging my oh-so-descreet little black bag to the ladies locker room where I remain for 20 minutes any less awkward. It does give me a chance to catch up on Emily Owen's MD (my favorite show!) and just have a break from work. But it's been increasingly hard to pump as I get busier and my boss relies on me more now that he knows I'm not going to drop a baby at any given second. But I keep pumping.
Now, supply issues. I typically produce a total of 2oz (except the first pump where I get about 3-4oz). My right boob works it's ass off and the left boob is just a lazy bastard. It's basically worthless at doing it's job of being a boob and usually doesn't even make a measurable amount of milk. Jerk. You can see from the beginning of this post where the supply issues began. Although, I'm not sure I wouldn't have had these problems even without all our other issues. Everyone kept asking 'did your milk come in' and proceeded to tell me about the tidal wave gush they felt when their milk came in. I never felt anything remotely like that. I really wasn't sure when my milk came in. To try getting my supply up we went to the lactation consultant, I read numerous articles and books on how to increase, did super pumps (pumping every hour), took Mother's Milk, Fenugreek pills, drank Nursing Tea, made lactation cookies (taste great, not certain they work), eat lots of oatmeal, I even got a prescription from my doctor (which helped while I was on the meds but went back low right after) etc. etc. etc. Seriously- you name it, I've tried it, twice. To no avail. Oh, and the 'myth' that breastfeeding will make you lose all your baby weight plus some, bullshit! I did lose the majority of my weight right away, mostly because I barely had time to eat. Ten+ baby pounds are still
Despite this roller coaster ride of breastfeeding, I continue to pump for Autumn. Some days (today!) I want to burn my breast pump and all it's annoying little parts and just be done with it. But I continue, because I'm her mom, it's my job, and I know it's the best thing for her. Even if she isn't getting bm exclusively, I figure it's gotta be better than nothing. Maybe if I was making more it'd feel easier. So there you have it. My
|One of my favorites! She's just too cute!|