Friday, February 24, 2006

Milk II - My Pump, My Pump, My Pump My Pump My Pump

[This is Part 2 of a very long post about boobs. Part I is here.]

Lumpyhead is a sloooooow eater. I would present these chest rocks to him, and he would leisurely nibble at one for a half an hour or so. Then he would fall asleep and leave me stranded with one partially relieved orb and another I could use to mill flour. When he detached, the full nipple shield would douse us both with breastmilk, leaving us wet and sticky. I would still have to use the pump to stop the throbbing.

Eventually, we gave up on the booby rasslin’ altogether. I knew I would have to pump when I went back to work anyway, and bottle feeding meant that Bump and visiting grandmothers could feed the baby - which made them all very happy.

So I’ve been pumping exclusively pretty much from the start.

Um, if you’ve never done it, let me tell you that pumping sucks.

I never got those late night bonding moments with the baby. You can say, “Sure, but you didn’t have to get up every time to handle late-night feedings!” Go ahead, say it. I’ll respond with, “No! But I had to get up for late-night pumpings!” Yes. Where’s the motivation there? There is none, except that sleeping with throbbing hooters is like sleeping with a full bladder next to running water.

And up until last month, I had to pump every three hours. Yes. Three. Attempts to stretch out the time between pumpings resulted in plugged ducts and mastitis. I went nowhere without the breastpump. It was annoying.

Almost instantly, production waaay outpaced demand. I was pumping twice as much milk as Lumpyhead could consume. That woman in the hospital video with the four ounces of milk? I scoff at her lactation ineptitude! (okay, not really. I was bummed that I could no longer pump into four-ounce bottles without fear of overflowing. Let me tell you, an overflowing breast pump receptacle redefines “mess.” You know how when you go ice fishing, and you finally break through the ice with the auger and it sends water sploshing all over your boots? That’s what overflowing a pump container is like.)

And what exactly does one do with extra breastmilk? It’s not like there are recipes on the internet or anything.

(I’m gonna take a minute to let the people who are still scratching their heads over the ice fishing reference catch up. With us now? Good.)

Freeze it, you say? Oh, we froze it. I now curse those stupid Medela CSF bags that we used; what a pain in the ass they were. We sealed them with packing tape (because they are poorly designed) and painstakingly labeled and dated them and put them in our freezer. Soon our freezer was full.

So we used Aunt Bob’s freezer, too. And then her freezer was full. We used Aunt Bob’s beer fridge’s freezer. And then that was full. We bought a chest freezer from Craigslist and put it in Aunt Bob’s utility room. And then that was full.

That was back in September.


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