Hooray Kathee! You give me and others hope that we continue on another day, another month...
post #1581 of 1785
10/2/08 at 1:59pm
oh man... we are dropping like flies around here. I'm out too!!! That makes 4 of us in like a week... I've pumped 17.5 months and still pumping a couple of times a day for probably 2 weeks just so I can say I made it to 18 months. part of me is so excited to be done and the other part is so sad. I've cried so much about it it's just crazy.
When I started pumping my goal was one year... I did that! Then it was 2 years.... then I had the crazy goal of the cold/flu season after her 3rd open heart surgery. That would put me into 2011! Then I thought I would stop after she stopped vomiting. (for those of you that don't know my dd has been vomiting anywhere from 2-15+times a day since birth. She's seen multiple specialist, had multiple tests done, tried multiple medications, and even surgery that *should* have stopped the vomiting with no sucess. She's been tube fed all of her life through a g-button) Well, about 3 weeks ago she just. stopped. vomiting. : Nearly 17 months of it and one day, it was gone! So I reached 2 of my goals, and I feel pretty good about that.
I'm really sad about stopping right before the winter season though.... If she gets really sick I know that's going to make me feel so bad about stopping!!
I am down to twice a day, once for 15 mins, once for 10 minutes. I am weaning, slowly but surely. I'm down to less than 2oz/day. I am HUTH.
It has been 27 months, and I have pumped every. single. day. Multiple times per day. I woke up in the middle of the night, even when Katie was sleeeping through to pump. I had nipples so painful I sometimes cried when I first put the horns on each session. I took everything under the sun to increase supply. I love to say I smelled like the IHOP on Sunday mornings for months. I altered my social life, racing home every two hours to pump, trying to figure out if I had enough time to go to both the grocery store AND the library without having to go home to pump. I carried a pump with me on vacation, I stored pumped milk in hotel sinks filled with ice. Bags of "emergency" milk fell out of our freezer. I sobbed hysterically on the phone to my best friend over "starving" my daughter the first few days when I didn't realize I literally did not have enough milk (tubular breasts, for those who don't know). I tried for months to "woo" my daughter back to my breast (she's no dummy - much easier to take Mama-milk from the bottle, and I didn't know about SNSs and all that jazz back then). I cried over spilled milk, literally.
And, I found untold support. I found it in the likeliest places - from MDC - especially from you guys, who understand that sometimes, it's NOT the easiest thing in the world to breastfeed and that NOT everyone can do it completely problem-free. From my best friend -who easily breastfed her three kids, and COMPLETELY supported me, even when I had to supp. with formula. She even dealt with my hysterical phone call at seven in the morning on a Saturday with compassion. I found it from my mother, who breastfed me for a week or so, and quit, but always understood when I visited that I'd have to "get back home to pump". I found it from my grandmother, whose response to my tentative admission that we weren't getting Katie the MMR vax was, "Well, you're still breastfeeding, right? She'll be fine."
I found it in the unlikeliest places, too. From my daughter's optometrist (who, God love him, supports non-vax and extended breastfeeding). From my employers - who told me to take whatever time I needed to pump, even AFTER Katie was a year old. One memorable night, I found support for pumping for my nearly 2 year old from my husband's male, childless, unmarried Army buddies (didn't see that one coming).
And most of all, from my husband and my Katie-bird. My *husband* has had to deal with the pumping for these 27 months as well. The rushing to get home. The planning vacations and driving and all that around when I'd need to pump. Taking the baby while I pumped. Understanding that if we went to a party, I'd need to be home at a certain time. Understanding that he'd have to move some bottles of milk out of the sink to shave at the military ball. Washing pump parts, and carefully handling the milk. The "Don't touch me there! I just pumped half an hour ago - they hurt!" And my Katie, who is absolutely the best support in the world for me doing this. She is healthy, intelligent, funny, and probably more self-sufficient than most 27month olds, just due to the fact that "Mama has to pump now" is a stock phrase in the house. Heck, she can assemble and disassemble a pump on her own, probably blindfolded if necessary. She is beautiful, in every sense, and I like to think that my milk helped to make her that way.
It has been a long, hard 27 months. There are times when I absolutely resented it. I absolutely wanted to quit. If you had told me two years ago, I'd still have this pump on my table, I would have laughed hysterically. But, it's time. I think it's so hard for me to quit, because for 27mos, I've known that this is a "noble" thing to do for my daughter, and I could take pride in it. I knew my milk helped to keep her healthy, and strong, and helped her grow. And, now, I won't have that "sure-fire" good stuff. I'll need to find other ways to help keep her healthy and strong, and that's kind of scary. I know it isn't that logical, but, in many ways, I think pumping has become a bit of a crutch for me, and *I* need to find new ways to grow, if that makes sense. But I will always be able to say with pride that, despite obstacles, I breastfed my daughter for over 27 months. : : :
I am so glad to have found this thread. A kind friend on other forums linked it for me. I read and cried (and then went off to pump....)
I have now been pumping for 16 weeks. I tried for the first 3-5 to get my sweet baby girl to latch and failed miserably and after that - and throwing the breastfeeding book at the wardrobes and spending a weekend reading a revelation about myself - threw money at a good breast pump (currently using Medela PIS Advanced) and got on with the job. After reading Kathees farewell post I went ahead and registered here. I don't even know you, and Lady, I salute you. You are an inspiration.
Right now I just want to make it to 6 months (after that we’ll see at the moment) and my DH and family are being very supportive. My supply is holding steady as long as I stay hydrated. I also drink mothers milk tea when I can remember. I do 5 times a day, daytime only. I am supplementing with one formula feed a day to buy me enough time. I have fatigue issues in my underlying health and therefore do not get up at night to pump (last pump just before 11 @ night - going to do it in a sec, first pump about 6 am or so before the baby wakes) as when I was doing that I got pretty sick. I have pumped through two bouts of mastitis and a UTI (all before she was 6 weeks, I felt foul!!) but am much healthier and happier now. The Medela cost us a lot of ££ but has bought me sanity in a greater degree.
I do not know anyone else doing this and am desperate for support. I plan on asking my health visitor (who is also a lactation consultant and medela agent as well as being generally awesome) whether she has other pumping mamas around here because it is a lonely job sometimes. Apparently I believe in breastmilk more than I thought I did! But I'm glad I'm doing this when I see her taking milk and putting on weight and being happy. If I have a bad day and she needs more formula i try not to get on myself about it.
I'm so relieved I'm not the only one. You know you can't be, but it's nice to know for sure.
I might start exclusively pumping. Right now i'm doing it half the time. My baby keeps popping off over and over again. She didn't do this in the beginning but started doing it a week ago.
I might start exclusively pumping. Right now i'm doing it half the time. My baby keeps popping off over and over again. She didn't do this in the beginning but started doing it a week ago. She's about 4 weeks old now. Breastfeeding is just stressing me out, not to mention painful. She started pulling back and twisting her head while feeding. I don't know why she does it... but it really hurts! I'm even making sure to keep my hands away from the back of her head so I won't cause her to feel the need to pull back. Between the popping off and the pulling, my nipples are getting all sorts of abuse. Pumping doesn't hurt me. I'm finding myself breastfeeding her less and less and feeding her from the bottle with pumped milk more. The only unfortunate thing is that I can't afford a good pump. Right now I only have a single electric meant for occasional use. I still can't help but feel guilty. How did all of you overcome the guilt?
It sounds like she is getting frustrated about the flow. The milk flow from a bottle has a consistent speed, whereas the milk from the breast varies. The baby has to suck for a few seconds before getting anything at all, gets a fast let down, the milk slows down, then you switch sides or get a second let down.
The baby has to work for the milk at the breast and some babies have trouble regulating a too fast flow, or might get frustrated by a too slow flow (especially if you are using bottles).
Have you thought about using a supplementary feeder (Lact-Aid or Medela SNS)? You could phase out the bottles entirely - eliminate the confusion - and the extra time spent feeding at the breast would also help increase your supply/make pumping easier.
I think most mums would be unanimous here that breastfeeding is much easier than pumping, although it might take a bit/lot of extra work in the beginning.