I started pumping with hopes that Lovise would learn to breastfeed but it never worked out, so I pumped exclusively 8x per day for 20mins a session. I never pumped more than 1.5oz per session, so she got around 12oz a day and we supplemented the rest. I wrestled a lot with giving up exclusively pumping, but here’s the story that sent me over the edge.
It’s 1am, my baby is awake and my alarm goes off for pumping. Nooooo. I know she’s going to take extra long to bottle feed because she always does at night.
I’ve let myself go an extra hour since my last pump so I’m already ‘full’. It’s been 3.5 hours of consecutive sleep, which I’m thankful for. I put her down after bottle feeding her for 45 mins and she doesn’t go down. I wait for 15 minutes while she sucks her hands to self soothe, but then she starts squawking. She needs her mom and all I can think about is avoiding mastitis again and pumping..
I rock her for 15 mins, put her down and she doesn’t settle. At this point I grab the pump from our master bedroom and fumble in the dark with it. I’m trying to keep her quiet so that Benton doesn’t wake up, although pretty sure he’s awake since I just hit something that sounded like a fork landing on the ground.
I get set up and sit on my exercise ball beside the crib with the pump attached and now she’s fully crying. So I keep one hand holding the pump flanges in place and drape the other arm over the crib to put my finger in her mouth, all while balancing on the ball. My arm goes completely asleep over the crib.
Damn. I realize that my phone is underneath the exercise ball (which I need to track how long I’ve pumped for) so I quickly move the ball and bend down to pick it up. She has my finger removed from her mouth, which makes her cry loudly and I proceed to spill my precious milk all over the rug from bending over too far.
I rage lol.
This isn’t the first time my milk has spilled. Nope, I dumped a hand expressed bottle on the floor, Benton has spilled it at least 4 times and I know I’ve kicked the pump accidentally a few times. Serious despair. There’s nothing like liquid gold being spilled to test a marriage, haha!
After my pumping session is finished I take the attachments off while she cries and then pick her up to rock her. Of course I’ve forgotten to turn it off, so I can hear a crackly pump noise which makes me rage even more. I resent that stupid thing lol. So then I fumble again to try to balance on one foot and turn it off with my toe without tipping it (and my milk) over and not drop her in the process. This is my daily life, a constant battle with the pump and trying to be there for my baby.
At a certain point exclusive pumping just doesn’t make sense anymore. Now that it rules my life and demands me over my child I just have to throw in the towel. I want to hold my baby guilt free without the urgency of emptying my boobs from a machine all day. I guess I feel like I’m bonding with my pump more than my baby and that’s not what motherhood is about.
It’s with great joy that I pass the pump over to London Drugs and no longer think about how I’m going to pump while driving to our next social gathering or the stress of trying to finish my pumping session while my baby starts crying for me. Goodbye ball and chain!