Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I don't care how long it's been since I last pumped. I'm still MAD.

This is a post about nursing and pumping so if this is the kind of thing that weirds you out or you think is gross, this is your opportunity to leave.

Go! Go now!!

If you are a mom, empathize with a mom, plan to be a mom, plan on feeding a baby breast milk, or are just plain interested in understanding how a grown woman can cry over spilled milk, well this is the post for you.  It is closing in on a year since I last pumped and it has been nearly three months since I last nursed but each and every drop of the precious milk I produced for my child was just as I described, PRECIOUS.

Maybe for people who have never pumped or didn't struggle to pump this may not be a big deal to you, but I despised pumping.  My severe aversion for the pump started the second I hooked myself up to those uncomfortable cones at the hospital.  The hospital kept sending me lactation specialists to check on how I was nursing my daughter.  We had no problems nursing.  What they should have been sending them for was to teach me how to pump.  Nursing just kind of clicked with me.  Pumping did not.

The number of problems I seemed to have endured in the beginning could have been taken as signs that I should quit.  I'm stubborn so I didn't.  I bought different size cones, inserts, soothers and even a new pump.  I bought creams and oils for days.  I Googled and YouTubed so many how to videos I started to feel like I was in my internship to be a pumping consultant.  Finally there came a point where I'd gotten good enough that I could deal with whatever discomfort came that day.

Most days I pumped 6 times or so while still nursing in between.  I carefully bagged and labeled each and every ounce.  I froze and bagged each Lansinoh bag into a gallon size bag for careful transport and to know if my supply every got low.  My goal was to get my daughter to one year with no formulas or other supplementation.  I didn't it but it definitely did not come easy.

I made sure that I pumped until there would be enough milk until she turned one.  Nursing wasn't so bad for me so we still nursed in the morning and before bed at night until she was 15 months or so.  

I remember the day I quit pumping.  I just couldn't bring myself to pump one more time.  It definitely wasn't a planned date or anything.  That day, I'd packed all of my pump supplies, lugged it all to work and even gone to the room where I normally pumped.  I sat down in the chair, I pulled out all of the supplies.  Then I just stared at them.  I sat there for a good five minutes before I picked up my phone and called my husband.  The first thing I said to him was, "I quit."  

Those words could have been taken in a few different ways but he immediately knew what I was talking about.  His response was, "Good.  How do you feel?"  How could he have known that was what I was talking about?  Well, because he knew the struggles I'd had with it.  Maybe he didn't know the full extent of the tears that came with it but he knew that I hated it.  

See this bottle?  This was 45 minutes of torture.

Here is the part where I cry over milk...

Now, I have knocked over nearly 4 ounces of milk and nearly lost my mind.  I eventually got over it but I never forgot the carelessness that caused it to happen.  It never happened again.  

There have been two times where I found milk in bags that got wasted.  Once, I found an entire gallon sized ziplock bag full of the smaller Lansinoh bags in the trunk of my husbands car.  The other time came just earlier this week.  I found four small bags of curdled milk in a lunch bag that had been in the trunk of the car for 6 months or more.  I know we all make mistakes and forget stuff but those hurt.

The rational me had to convince the enraged pumping mother me that it was just a mistake and it happens.  I don't care how many times I tell myself it was totally unintentional that it happened, a little part inside of me starts balling like a five year old who's ice cream cone fell on the grimy sidewalk in a pile of cigarette butts.  

If you have never felt complete disdain for your pump, pumping, or have no idea how someone can be so irrational about milk just remember this post.  There are actually people who put their blood, sweat and tears into pumping.