OMG I can't believe I just found this.
I'm an EP'er. 11 months now & still going strong. Pumping 5x per day (okay, sometimes 4...heehee). DD eating about 30-35 oz per day, plus some (whole grain, organic) cereal, bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, peas, and sips my water now and then.
DD has a chromosome disorder, so she was born with a bilateral cleft palate (only behind the gumline, no cleft lip). She is also tongue tied and has low muscle tone, so I think she's be a poor nurser even w/o the cleft palate. She uses a Haberman feeder, and can drink from a cup but gets frustrated after 1/2 to 1 oz and wants the bottle back
she's had one surgery so far and another one is scheduled for Oct. Hopefully that will be the last one, or maybe one more.
I have an Ameda elite. I've been very happy with it. I only experienced one significant drop in supply, at around 4 months, I got 4.5 oz every 3 hrs instead of 5 oz. However, because I was making more than the baby ate anyways, this didn't affect us, and we have never had to supplement with formula (except in the NICU before my milk came in, hospital policy forced it on us).
I've had mastitis five times. I've had a blood blister pop inside my breast causing me to pump up to 1/2 oz of pure blood before milk would come out, several times over the course of two days. During that same time, I had about a month where I had chronic blisters on one breast. They spontaneously resolved and I have no idea what they were or why they happened. But they were VERY painful! glad that's over.
I'd like to continue to her second birthday, but we'll see. I'll make EVERY effort to at least continue through her next surgery, but there is a chance that after that, I could just have a mental breakdown and throw the darn thing out the window. I haaaaaaaate it. I'm so sick of it. yes, it's easier now than the 8x a day for the first few months. But it's still awful.
Like yesterday. We went to the park to check it out as a location for the baby's 1st birthday party. It was a beautiful day, the first without rain in weeks. On the way back through a quaint town, DH said "I wish we could stop for lunch." Of course, I looked at the clock, and said "Sorry. I have to pump in 1/2 hour." I really can't wait for the day when I can just say, "Sure! let's go out to lunch on the spur of the moment!"
and yes, I do have a hookup to pump in the car, but I don't pack everything every time I go out, nor do I want to! it's just not a great way to live, I feel so trapped sometimes. DD is great about playing with toys by herself for 20 minutes, usually she doesn't even have to because either I do it while she's napping or when DH is home. sorry this was so long. no one else understand