So, the other day I waxed philosophical on breastfeeding. About 24 hours later, I was ready to throw in the towel. Or nursing pad. Or whatever.
I apparently am hard on pumps. I had a Medela Pump in Style for Jack, which worked really great, right up until it didn’t. I didn’t realize it until it was too late and my supply was shot to hell, but there was some kind of leak in the pump. Thankfully, I had an enormous freezer stash to get us through, when he was taking more at daycare than I was producing at work.
So, with Genevieve, I borrowed a pump from a friend. The exact same pump. It’s been doing pretty well so far, but about 2 weeks ago, I noticed it was making a familiar swishing sound. A sound my old pump made, when it started losing suction.
I replaced the horns, the valves, the tubes and membranes. I replaced everything but the boobs. It seemed to work for a few days, then started up again. And then I realized it was taking me two or three times as long to get less than I was getting even just a week ago.
It was getting frustrating. And new pumps are not cheap. But neither is formula.
Philip understood my frustration — I was pretty much freaking out about losing supply, or getting mastitis from exploding boobs — and spent the better part of last night disassembling breast pumps and troubleshooting, which involved a comical moment where he basically circled me while I pumped and tried to listen for air leaking. I felt a little freakish. And a lot grateful for his help.
In the end, who the hell knows what is wrong. But you’d think for the hundreds of dollars a pump costs, they wouldn’t be such pieces of crap.
So I had to stop at a store and rent a pump on my way to work today. It comes in a huge, giant, industrial blue case, that looks like I am literally carrying a power tool around. I feel like a dork with it. Even dorkier than usual. And while it worked well today, I have a noticeable drop in supply that is frankly depressing. I still have a good freezer stash, but I’m going to run through it quickly if I don’t get things going.
It is so stressful. And this is the first real problem I’ve had with nursing. I can’t imagine women who have to deal with this 2 days post-partum, or 2 weeks. It would be enough to make you want to quit. It’s almost enough to make me want to quit.
For now, I’m using the rental. I have some feelers out to borrow/buy other pumps. And I’m chugging water and hoping to get my supply up. Customer service at Medela was really nice today, but there’s nothing they can do. I’ve already replaced everything on the pumps, and they are no longer under warranty.
In other news, here are some photos of us from dinner last night:
And Philip and his mini-me: