Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Saying Good Bye

Every morning between 7:10-7:20 am.
Then again around 10:30 am-ish. 20 minutes each time.

Swee- swee - swee...

I pump. I read. I watch TV. I look at the fish. I gaze out the window at the weather. I listen to my kids shrieking and giggling and pounding at the door, the walls, the floors. I fill one bottle into the other and put a lid on it. Then I get up and either stuff the dirty pump parts in a towel to be scrubbed at home or I take them to the sink and wash them off.

I have been pumping since around Marisa's 8th week of life. That is 11 months.

I pumped for just about 12 months for Matthew, give or take a few weeks.

My little black bag with its hidden engine, and pump parts, extra lids, bottles, battery pack and hand pump has been hauled back and forth from home to work and back again for 23 months. Almost a full two years.

That Medela Pump In Style Advanced cost us $300+ to buy before Matthew was born in 2005 and it has served me so well. I love my pump. Especially considering the fact that some of the ladies I work with were also working moms back in the day and there was no such thing as an electric pump. Hand pumps, that was it for them. I told Kathy I have no idea how she did that. I would have given up long ago with a hand pump.

When I was pregnant with Marisa last year, one "fear" if you will was whether I would have the gumption to nurse and pump like did for Matthew. I loved my breast feeding experience with Matthew infinitely. It was by far one of many wonderful and surprising things that I adored about having a baby. I knew I would breast feed Marisa but I was scared that I would not be able to hold up through it all.

Yet, it was better then riding a bike. Breastfeeding came easy with her. She learned to do it the way Matthew never had the chance. It was amazing to watch her do this during the minutes and hours after she was born. I was not drugged up this time and so I was fully aware of the experience. It was amazing to take in the most base of human instincts coming out in this minutes old baby.

And here it is, so suddenly, 13 months later. There are absolutely no doubts in my mind that I will nurse Marisa as long as I can. But pumping will be coming to an end soon. Like in the next few weeks. As much as most people hate pumping I have always liked it. It was strangely enough a quiet time away from everything twice a day.

Pumping was definitely harder this time because I produced far less milk then I did last time but I had experience to draw from and I held the faith that I was producing enough milk for Marisa's needs. My supply has trickled from 3-5 ounces per pumping session down to about 2 ounces. Marisa no longer takes a bottle in the morning at all. She is nursing about 2-3 times directly from the source and drinking a bottle of about 4 ounces in the afternoon. We will slowly wean her from the afternoon bottle and I will be done, pumping.

I am sad about this in an odd way. My time alone will done but I will have more time with the kids in the morning. I will put the pump away for good. Two long years of hauling that thing back and forth. It is like saying good bye to an old friend.
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