In order for her to survive, I have to get the milk out of me and into her.
I knew nursing wouldn’t be easy. My first two fought the breast and wouldn’t latch, but this time things were different. I wouldn’t subject myself to the emotional and mental struggle of fighting with inverted nipples and huge milk filled breast and a fussy hungry baby. I made my mind up before giving birth. I would pump for her. In my mind, this seemed so easy. I was wrong.
The first 4 or so days she was on formula. I was in tremendous pain from a c section and tubal ligation. Again, I knew how emotional it would be to fight with nursing. So I took the formula route.
I didn’t pump until we got home. I wasn’t uncomfortable or engorged and the milk actually was flowing. By our third day home she was on half formula and half breast milk. I had been pumping every 3 hours around the clock, even if she was asleep. By day 7 she was on breast milk only. I was so proud of myself.
Then sleep deprivation hit. Was it worth it? Could I keep it up? Then I looked at my sweet baby. Yes. She. Was. Worth. It.
I made the commitment to her then and there. No matter what it took I would pump for her. I knew she couldn’t get the milk out. In my mind, I created the scenario where in order for her to survive I had to get the milk out of me and into her. There was no other option. If I didn’t pump she would have no food and she would die. I accepted my relationship with my pump. It was my friend, her lifeline. I never felt shackled by it or resented it. I loved that pump. I didn’t resent pumping every 3 hours. I wanted to. I needed to. I did it for her and I did it willingly. Lovingly.
Family and friends questioned my dedication. “Aren’t you tired of pumping?” How could I ever tire of giving Isa the perfect milk for her? What kind of mother would I be if I stopped pumping because it interfered with my life?
I had supply drops. Seeking the advise of wise mothers I was able to use tricks to get it back up. I used donor milk from loving generous mothers. I struggled. Yes it was hard, but SHE not it was worth it.
I exclusively pumped for Isa for 13 months. Looking back it seemed to pass so quickly. I can not put into words how exciting it feels to have accomplished such a thing for her. How I sacrificed so many things, with a loving heart, for her. Sleep, foods, time, leaving the house, did I mention sleep? I have no regrets. No ill feelings toward that wonderful pump. In fact. I still have it. And can’t bring myself to get rid of it.
I don’t think I could have lasted 13 months feeling chained to the pump. How can you do something and not love it? Changing my outlook on it is what saved me. And Isa.