Today’s Mommy Moment Challenge is Object. When Andrea first announced the Mommy Moment picture challenge the first “object” that popped into my mind was my camera. Ever since Xander was born, I have become obsessed with taking pictures to document his life. My camera is an important mommy object, but it’s not one of life’s necessities. My camera nourishes my soul, my breast pump nourishes my baby. A few weeks ago, when my working mommy life still involved my best friend and enemy, my breast pump, I didn’t see it as an object deemed worthy of its own blog post. Sure I’ve mentioned it on my “must have baby gear” post, but never felt inclined to dedicate an entire post to the work house. Now that I am going on my third pumping free week I feel it’s time to brag a bit about this awesome milking machine. When I was shopping around for light weight breast pumps before returning to work after my first child was born, my husband convinced me I needed the Medela Freestyle. I had a hard time justifying the steep price but glad I finally caved in. We ordered it through AAFES (the Army and Air Force “Sears”) and it soon arrived on my doorstep. The first time I used it I was amazed at how such a tiny machine could have so much suction. Amazingly enough I was able to pump enough milk to supply two children with milk during Xander’s first year of life. Seriously, talk about an over-supply of milk! As milk began taking over our tiny freezer, we purchased a deep freezer. By the time Xander was about 9 months old the freezer was completely full. I weaned from pumping around 10 months and strictly used my freezer stash milk until he was about 13 months old. I nursed him in the morning and evenings until he was a little older than a year. Overall I would call my nursing/pumping experience as a first time mom a successful and rewarding experience. Sure it was hard work and painful at times, as I am prone to plugged ducts, but I survived and Xander thrived.
My experience the second time around has been much different. I have battled some challenges along the way including low milk supply with pumping, many painful plugged ducts, a few bouts of mastitis, rescuing my milk stash after a power outage due to Hurricane Irene, and experiencing an earthquake while stuck in a small lactation room. Oh and I’ve never told the story of how I was pulled over while pumping on my way to work. Yeah, that was a whole lot of fun!
If you are a regular reader you may recall the most recent challenge has been a few weeks of attack of jaws when Noah suddenly wanted to practice using his shiny, new pearly whites on my nipples. Ouch, just ouch. I pushed through this too and am proud to say I exclusively nursed/pumped for twelve months. In the early days I was pumping every 2 1/2 to 3 hours for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a day! Once Noah was nine months I fell into a nice schedule of pumping three times a day or every 4 hours. That’s a whole lot of time spent attached to a suction machine.
About three weeks before Noah turned a year old I began the long process of weaning from the pump. I started by stretching out the length of time I went between pumping sessions. I also decreased the amount of time I spent pumping. It was painless process, which I am thankful for. I will continue to nurse Noah but haven’t decided on when it will be completely over. One change at a time. Now that I leave for work without the little yellow box, I don’t miss hooking myself up to the tubes with my hands free bra (seriously one of the greatest inventions ever!). The funny thing about parenting is that when you are in the midst of the everyday routine you just go with it, it’s no big deal. Looking back I think, “Wow, that was a huge time commitment. No wonder why I was exhausted and lacked motivation at work.” But you know what? I wouldn’t change it for the world.
My baby and this mommy thanks you little milking machine.