The Pumping Goddess is a straight up B.

Before I rampage, I would like to point out some ground rules for reading this post and some base knowledge that you should have before diving in:
  • If you are under the age of 18, read at your own risk.  No, I won't get too graphic, but I know some of my past and present 8th graders are stalking me on here.  This post may not be for you, but I say as a science teacher, sometimes knowledge is power.  Up to you.
Maybe the basic qualifier should be that you had to watch the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers growing up?  (Meaning you were old enough in 1993 to know that the pink ranger was the obvious choice to call when playing P. Rangers after school.  Duh.)
  • I know that producing milk and/or having a reason to produce milk is a blessing.  As with pregnancy, complaining about something that others want so dearly and wholeheartedly deserve is not my intention.  I started this blog with the purpose of having a safe place for me to cope with all the changes happening in our lives.  Humor and sarcasm are my go-to strategies for dealing with situations, so I apologize if I offend anyone.  Please don't chew me out or guilt trip me.  I already admitted that I am privileged to be able to complain!
  • Please accept and do not question that breastfeeding by putting my kids to breast will not be in the cards for me.  Yes, I could strap 2 kiddos to me at a time and work through the painstaking process of getting them to latch/feed, then move on to the next 2 kids.  Along with this, I could teach my toddler patience and the beauty of what the female body can create and do.  Or I can just say F*CK IT and strap on a pump and make the whole breastmilk production process a 20-minute ordeal, instead of an hour-plus.  I feel like this justifies my position enough for the general population, not that it concerns you...but I know there are people out there that care for their own reasons.
  • I'm a science teacher and I have fully researched the benefits of giving my infant children breastmilk.  Don't worry, I am doing all that I can [within the limits of FDA-regulated methods] to get all that I can out of my tits and I will do so until it is not healthy for myself or my children.  This being said, you [or someone you know/love] may have jumped right to formula -- I DON'T CARE.  It is your child, your body, and your family, which means that it is your choice and none of my business.  

I think that's it for ground rules.

Let me dive right in and say that my BOOBS ARE SO SORE.  I wasn't sure what was happening, but I went through this last time where I felt like they are going to straight up explode at any point after 1-hour away from the pump.  For example, I had to stop in the diaper aisle at Target to massage the sides of my boobs while hoarding ALL the Up & Up training pants.  I straight up blocked all of the 2T-3T* boxes from all other shoppers.  This is how desperate I was to check to see if my boobs were still intact.

Turns out the Medela Freestyle that I was using did not have enough suction, so I was getting clogged ducts.  Here I thought I could get some hands-free benefits while being weighted down for 20-minutes at a time, but NOPE.  Back to the Spectra I go.  The equivalent of a curling stone.  No joke.

Regardless, my biggest beef with all of this is that it's a crapshoot.  You aren't guaranteed to be successful at producing breastmilk and I think that's BOGUS.  In most ways, it is incredibly [but on a much lower scale] similar to fertility.  Just because you have all the parts doesn't mean they are going to operate at optimal levels!

I did breastfeed my toddler.  She was a bilirubin baby, so bottles were immediately introduced with my pumped milk and I also put her to breast.  I did OK for the first 5-6 weeks, but then Elsie became what is known as a "snacker."  Night feeds turned in to 60-90 minute sessions, so I began pumping to feed her.  Then the pumping goddess had no mercy on me and I started to stress over milk production/supply.  This all went down as I came off of maternity leave.  Going back to school combined with coaching track and field wasn't helpful in the anxiety game since pumping sessions took place in my classroom, in my car, etc.  Ultimately, Erich was the one that recommended I consider quitting after having me [literally] cry to him multiple times.

This time around, my pump is more demanding than my children...which is why I refer to it as my 6th baby.  I'm trying to have a carefree attitude about the whole "situation" in hopes that it assists in the production department since stress can have a negative effect...


...but it's not exactly working.

Cue the resources!

I started with general websites for pointers and reassurance, like this rabbit hold of a link.

I'm trying to drink ALL THE WATER IN THE WORLD and eat all the foods.  However, I've subbed in the oatmeal-filled monster cookies in the hospital cafeteria for lactation balls...but when we are done with the NICU, I have a definite easy go-to recipe!**  

Then, escalated to a book, which actually isn't too bad so far! [Click the picture for the details.]  No, I'm not planning on going back to work this school year...but I might as well be with all that will be going down once the babes come home!


Last, I'm now in the works of upping my equipment game.  Meet this beauty coming on Friday!
They claim it's the equivalent of the hospital's Medela Symphony, so I'm game to try it!

Is all of this going to work?  Who the heck knows.  All I know is that when push comes to shove, this is going to be the first thing to go.  Not because I don't value the process of creating food for my littles and saving money on formula -- don't act like you didn't know this was a factor! -- but because I need to have control of at least a few things in the future.  If pumping is causing me any sort of stress or anxiety, then it's got to go!  That would be gaining me back at least 2 hours and 40 minutes*** of my life each day, which I'm going to view as "mommy's hands-off time" as a silver lining for now!

If you made it through all of this but disagreed with every bit of it along the way -- KUDOS!  I have found value in reading opposing viewpoints, so hopefully, you found it worthwhile.  I do not agree with most North Dakotans' political viewpoints, but here I am taking in all the diversity has to offer.  At the very least, I hope hearing the "other side" gives validation to your stance.  In the end, I loathe pumping, but here I will be for as long as I can handle it!



*In unrelated news, I have to go back to trade in the size I bought for the next one.  Our toddler is a monster who has peed through her diaper the past 5-nights consecutively.

**Here's the easiest lactation energy ball recipe that I've found:
2 cups oatmeal (dry)
1 cup chocolate chips - milk or dark
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup flaxseed
2/3 cup (raw) honey
2 tsp vanilla
Combine in a bowl.  Roll into balls or flatten in a pan and set in fridge to set up.

***8 sessions of pumping at 20-minutes minimum a piece

Comments

  1. I have been waiting for the pumping blog!!!! I read it, while pumping and appreciated it so much. I had twins in May and feel like I've practically pumped my boobs right off. 🤪 Yes it's good for them but YES not spending money on formula. 😆 You've got this mama!

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    Replies
    1. I had twins 8 years ago. It was like a 3rd infant. When i have ut up after 3 months...I felt a weight off my shoulders. My kids are fine....even great! Gotta do what's right for you and your situation.

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