Saturday, July 28, 2007

Puttin' away the pump

I made it to a year. I'm still nursing my Bean two to three times a day, but the dreaded PUMP has been shelved until number two (if there is a number two) comes along. Actually, I shouldn't say "dreaded" pump - that wonderful device allowed me to feed my baby breastmilk even when we were apart.

When Bean was consuming the most - around the six month mark - it was quite satisfying to pump and get six to eight ounces, plus a couple more for the freezer. But once she was eleven months or so, I'd massage my breasts and vary the pump speed and drink mug after mug of lactation tea and try all sorts of tricks to increase the flow, only to eek out an ounce or two....hardly worth the time spent drawing the blinds, assembling the pieces, pumping for fifteen minutes, and then cleaning everything afterwards. It was taking me several pumping sessions just to make one bottle.

I don't think I realized that the last time I pumped would be THE last time. I don't miss it (the way I'm sure I'll miss nursing after Bean is weaned). And I REALLY don't miss pumping at work. Luckily, working from home 4+ days a week meant that the in-office pumping sessions weren't that frequent. Another bonus is that I have an office at work with a door and blinds, which makes it very easy to get the required privacy. My "Mommy things in progress; please come back in 10 minutes" sign and the hum and whir of my pump behind the closed door raised some eyebrows (oh well). My boss is a dad, and I know he supports my breastfeeding efforts; but I also know that the thought of or the sight of my pump makes him uncomfortable (to which I shrug my shoulders and keep on pumpin' - it's my daughter's health and well being at stake here, after all).

Anyway, it's a relief to not have to lug the pump into the office, find 20 minutes three times a day, stash the little bottles in the community fridge, and then make the 1.25 hour drive home with them on ice.

So, while I'm glad to be done with my pump, I also am immensely grateful to the thing. It allowed me to meet my breastfeeding goals and keep my Bean healthy while working full time and even having a (very) occasional night out. And for that, it's worth its weight in (white) gold.

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