It is 4am, and bubs has woken up for his feed. I am exhausted and there is nothing more I would rather do, than cuddle up with my boy (the little one 😉 ), feed him, and go back to sleep.
But the tingling nagging voice at the back of my head refuses to shut up, and explains that if I don’t get up and pump, then my baby might not have enough for the next day – even though I had a few packs in the fridge.
So with a sigh, and a heave ho, I get up and move to the corner of the bed, taking my bunny boo along, and pump while I feed him as well – tandem! Two birds with one stone and all that! The other and more important benefit of tandem feeding/pumping is that I get to sleep for ten minutes longer! Woohoo!
And then again at around 6am, when I need to get up, but my boy needs his milky, I try and tandem pump as well. And the routine continues everyday!
At the outset, let me tell you that this is indeed a self indulgent, and whiny-ish post. That is what happens when you spent many days feeling as if the pump is an extension of yourself – because I am constantly pumping.
I have been pumping for almost six moths regularly for six months now, and it does not become easier or more fun as you go along! No Ma’am!
The highest points in the pumping journey are when the bottles fill up fast! Ha! If only that happened often! It might have happened twice in the entire half year!
The lowest points are obviously the spills! Oh boy! It breaks my heart. Every drop matters, and I have almost cried when there has been a spill. Thankfully, not that much though.
But the lowest of the low for me was one night when my pump refused to work properly. The piping needed to be fixed, but it was around 3am! And I absolutely almost had a break down. I did not have much stock; and I was panicking. I was ready to jump out of bed, and drive to all the 24hour pharmacies to check for the piping. But I didn’t. I just lay there tossing and turning and wondering how my world had come to an end, and feeling guilty about it! Till the next morning, when I was able to replace the piping and the world was wonderful again. Well. As wonderful as it can be when you are constantly pumping.
FUN FUN FUN! NO!
The funny thing about days when you are struggling to make the necessary quota is how every drop of milk that was poured down the drain, or spilt come back to haunt you. It is like the ghost of breast milk past. Really.
And of course there are the silly goof ups that could have ended in tears! Once I started pumping ad noticed that I was getting wet! Only to realize I had not connected to the bottle to the pump! And another time, I pumped, screwed the cap back on the bottle, kept it at the corner of my bed, and went to sleep. When I woke up, I saw that the lid was not on!! Yikes! That was when I knew. There was somebody up there who loved me! I cannot imagine how the milk didn’t spill!
On some days, I need to pump a lot of times. Three sessions of tandem at night, and three sessions of double pumping at work, followed by maybe a session at home. Till I get enough for his next day at the nursery. Ounce by ounce; drop by drop. And when I hit the target – Woot woot! Hallelujah! Thank God this is not everyday though – else I won’t really be as sane as I am now (yes! yes! arguable point)
Having a tabletop dishwasher has been a game changer for me. Washing six bottles and pump parts, apart from the five odd bottles, and other items that need to be washed and sterilized for the nursery; well – not exciting. At all. But the dishwasher (which btw was obtained after an insane experience which included paying massive amounts to get one shipped – which then blew up because it was on US voltage – and then hunting down one in Qatar, and getting a dent on my car in the process of obtaining it) has been very much worth the hassle.
Yes Yes Yes!
I have friends who have asked me how I do it. And sometimes I say I don’t really know. But would I keep doing this till as long as I can? Would I do it all over again, if I had to? Yes! Most definitely. Without a doubt.
My pump and I – we share a love hate equation. On some days, I hate my pump, and can’t wait for the day I stop using it but on most other days, I am extremely grateful to have that chance to continue to breastfeed even when I have had to return to work at just two months.
Is it easy? No! Is it fun? No! Is it tedious and exhausting? Yes and Yes! But it is also worth it. 100%!!
One last thing! MOOOOOOOOO!