I have been really cranky lately about breastfeeding. Well, not breastfeeding, but pumping. I am so, so sick of it. I realized I have spent almost four years being either pregnant, pumping or breastfeeding. That feels like a long time.
I can honestly say that I love breastfeeding, even with the different troubles I’ve had. I love that it so soothes the baby. I love that I don’t have to make or pack a bottle. I love that it’s nature’s way of saying, “Hey, mama, take a little break.”
But I fucking hate pumping. I mean HATE it. I didn’t mind it at first, either pregnancy, three times a day at work, an extra time at home. I loved watching my freezer stash grow, in case I had supply issues toward the end with Genevieve like I did with Jack. I read books while I pumped, and somehow found a way to fit it into my work, running and home life schedule. After a while, I got smart and started leaving my pump at work during the week, so it was one less thing to haul back and forth. And then I got even smarter and started bagging the milk at work, so I just dropped off bags of milk when I picked the baby up at daycare — so I didn’t have to do THAT at home, either.
About a month ago, I started getting really crabby. My freezer supply was dwindling (I am guessing I am down to 50 frozen ounces now — from probably 1,000 at least). I am only pumping 5-7 ounces a day, in one or two pumps, and Viv is drinking 12-15. This happened with Jack, no big deal. I continued to nurse him exclusively on weekends for a long time, and just gave him more solid foods, and he was fine. We supplemented with a bit of formula at daycare toward the end. The same thing is happening with Genevieve. Daycare or daddy give her one formula bottle most days, the rest breastmilk. She turned her little nose up at the formula for a while, but she’s doing better with it.
I was seriously considering just quitting pumping. I’m so, so over it. But then as I watched my freezer stash get smaller, I thought, my god, I do not want to give her a bottle. It has nothing to do with breastmilk being best or being a hippie or anything. I just am lazy. I am not making a bottle, friends. I am not carrying one around with me. I’m not giving up that nursing can be so hands-free so I can hold a freakin’ bottle (I gave her one recently when I picked her up early from daycare, and they were just finishing one for her, and thought, my god, what a pain in the ass this is).
I had been sort of toying with pumping just once a day, and some days that’s all I was doing. Bringing my measly 4-5 ounces to daycare. Watching the freezer stash go. Thinking about how goddamn expensive formula is. Jesus god, the sticker shock.
So then I did a little math. I realized, I have 94 more pumps to go. That’s it. That will be twice a day during the week, a few Saturday mornings (I pump before a long run so Philip can give her a bottle) and taking into account a family vacation where I won’t have to pump, and a marathon, where I will.
Ninety-four more pumps.
Can I do that? I’m going to try. I will nurse her in the morning, overnight and before bed for as long as she wants. But I need a deadline for pumping. I need a countdown.
So, here it is: 94. Two more containers of these:
Two more months of hauling my rental Medela Lactina pump around. That’s it. I can do it, right?