Today’s post is another one in the series from Life With Levi (the Breastfeeding Blop Hop). The topic is “Pumping”.
Pumping. Where do I even begin?
My journey with pumping started in 2008 when Lil Miss A was born. She had a hard time latching (so much that I had a lovely rubber shield to “help” her out), so once I was released from the hospital, it was evident I was going to have to pump to help myself out. I had a “hand me down” pump—body only—and would have to sit for 40-45 minutes to get a few decent ounces for the little one. It wasn’t a supply issue, but I think a lack of money led me to a lack of options, thus I took what I could get and ended up with a horn style that really didn’t fit with my body. Plus, I hadn’t heard about the wonders of a Pump Ease, so I had to sit and hold the horns while still paying attention to my newborn. Luckily, I didn’t have to put up a fight with the pump for long—A didn’t take to breastfeeding because of her milk allergy, so it was off to formula we went.
When it was time to have E, I knew I was going to try to breastfeed again, but I didn’t know what to do about the pump. In fact, I didn’t even look at it to see if all the parts were there. The day I came home from the hospital, I went to pump just because I didn’t feel completely empty after a feeding and realized the bottles were at my parents’ house and one of the valves had deteriorated to the point of no use. I was lucky that my friend sent me home from the hospital with an amazing supply of Medela 2.5 oz bottles, which somehow fit my Playtex pump, so I was able to pump one sided directly into a bottle. Phew!
I pumped one sided for a few weeks (everyday, out of necessity to relieve my body from a little one with a sucking addiction) and I got irritable, cranky, and tired. I didn’t give up, but I knew this would never work when I went back to work. My mom told me about how lucky I was to have an electric pump and a safe place to pump at work—she used to have to hand pump in the restroom—but it didn’t help my frustration with myself. That and the pump was starting to give up on me, groaning with every turn. I hear those things can smoke, so I didn’t have it so bad. Eventually, I gave in and picked up a Medela Pump in Style.
I was addicted. It was so amazing to have a pump that really worked, I felt spoiled! I was able to build up a great stock that kept E satisfied while I was away on work business in March and it’s kept up with me since. My pump goes everywhere I do and has been a huge help. While excusing yourself during the day to pump or going to your car to pump while out and about is not so fun, it’s all worth it in the end.
While I might not have the amazing guts to pump while working out or walking the dog (check out Life With Levi’s videos), I have pumped without fear many times. In the parking lot while waiting to get my Steeler tattoo? Check. In the car while driving to Columbus to get said tattoo? Check. In the airport? Check (albeit a horrible experience). Running through Las Vegas to get back to my hotel and pump? Check. Pumping while working on multi-page reports for work? Check. In the end, it’s so worth it, knowing that I am giving E great nutrition, even if it can be painful at times (if you wait too long in between) or a drop or two gets spilled. I’m proud to say, I am a pumpin’ mama!