Friday, January 28, 2005

What the numbers mean to me

It has been:

26 months. 2 years and 2 months of my life spent pumping milk with my pump in style breast pump

14 months 20 days that Haley was given breast milk.

11 months and 11 days that Easton was given breast milk.

792 days that I had to make time to pump every 4 hrs. In the beginning I pumped 8 times a day. Thats every 3hrs. I slowly dropped the night time pump and let myself get 6hrs of rest at night. I was making almost 3 gallons of milk a week. Most of which was dumped out after 1 year, because well Haley only drank milk in "cc's" there's 30 cc's in an ounce. She didn't make 1 ounce for quite awhile.When she came home she was at 2 ounces. So I had freezers full of the liquid gold. Soon she drank more, but I still had freezers full because I was giving her mostly fresh milk. I had milk all across town. My sister had some at her house, some at my in laws, some at the hospital. My cousin even stored some for awhile.

182 days that I didn't pump because I was pregnant with Easton.

3,960 times, I sat down in a chair, in bed, a car, a bathroom with pumpers aka "horns" attached to me.

59,400 minutes I sat looking/playing at the computer, eating lunch, talking on the phone, all while attached to the pump. I was amazing at pumping no handed!

thats a total of 990 hours spent attached to my breast pump, my trusty pump.

That would equal 41.5 days of straight pumping round the clock!

MOOOOOoooooo Just call me ol' Bessie! Which my husband often did. I was a milk cow. I felt like a milk cow. I have been milking for the last two years of my life. And when I was done for that short time..I was preparing to do it again. I was nursing Easton for about 4 months when he was first born, but I was pumping off and on during the day if we were gone, or at night so he could have a bottle too. He is almost a year, and this time around my supply was a lot lower. So I just decided that since he is almost one, I could stop now. I can't believe I am stopping, with out having a reason. Just because I want to, not because I am pregnant. Just because I want my boobies back. I want to go to women's retreat without taking my pump. Without being awarded "the maids a milking award". For once maybe I can try to get to bed before midnight. The last two years, I pumped before I went to sleep, so that meant as close as possible to 6-8hrs of sleep a night so I didn't need to wake up in the middle of the night to pump. I don't need to take the pump in the car with me if we are going to be longer then 5hrs.

Today. I am wrapping up the cord and putting the pumpers away. Today the pump is going into the closet. I am actually really sad about this. As time consuming it may have been, we worked it into our schedule. Strangely I had a lot of good memories with that pump. The days of Kyle letting me know it was time to go pump and sitting in the family room at the nicu. We looked through past preemie pictures, of babies who came and left the unit. We sat and talked about how well or not well Haley was doing. The times I woke up in the middle of the night, sat sleepily pumping, while I could tap Kyle awake and he would go wash the pump parts for me at 3am. So sweet. The time, I pumped in the hospital bathroom, while my family sat visiting my sister who just had her thyroid removed. Talk about weird. It became such second nature, that with Easton, family sat in my room after having him, while I pumped. It didn't bother anyone. I pumped by his bedside and in my vistors room. Pumping in the car..that was fun. haha I got so good at it, that I was able to do it all under a blanket with out anything being seen or knowing what I was doing. Except for that swooshing sound that is all too familiar now. Friends call.."Are you pumping again Bree?" The pump went camping with us, has gone to softball games, to California. That pump has gotten around. It was increasingly harder having two kids and trying to pump though. One would be turning it off and on, while the other was crying next to me.

Now its time to say good bye to my pump. My excuse to get 15 minutes of computer time because I have to. :) I am proud to say that I stuck it out, became a pumping pro, and all because I wanted to give my babies breastmilk. Since Haley was so early, it was important to me. I wasn't against formula, but since I made so much milk, why not give it to her. With Easton, it was just out of habit. The last few months he was getting half and half since I wasn't making as much. But it has been an accomplishment. Something I can say I have done. But don't get too sad yet. This pump will be back. Trust me, it will be back! :)


Erin said...

Wow! You're awesome!

Ya know what's weird? I'm a little squeemish about the whole bf'ing thing. I formula fed from day one and have never looked back. But I feel like i would be LESS likely to be so squeemish about exclusively pumping than I would about nursing. Sounds pretty time consuming though... eeps!

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs. Flinger said...

WOAH! That's why I didn't bfeed. Well, that, my breast surgery, my uterus infection and the 14 hours in the ER that kept me away from pumping/feeding LB. I was totally sad to not be ablet o bfeed. I think it's awesome that you were able to do that for so long.

But GAH! That's a LOT OF TIME pumping. You're my hero!

Traci said...

Holy cow! Your breakdown really puts everything in perspective. Way to go! I stuck it out for 11 weeks, and I thought I would go nuts, 2 years and 2 months, that is just awesome! I love your last line, 'it will be back.'

Rachael said...

That makes me kind of glad I didn't get a chance to breast feed. Holy smokes woman, you devoted so much time to it. Way to go you! Seriously, most women would have given up. I know I would have, in fact I did LOL. You rock!

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