The secret is out: I am a MEGA Procrastinator. I had 0 ounces of milk stored in my freezer as of Friday, June 24 after my sitter used my last 5 ounces to feed my son while Hubby and I went out for a date. (gasp!)
To give you an idea of how much of a procrastinator I am, in college I used to skip school (a lot.) My freshman year I was enrolled in a 9 am (way too early for me then) Psych class. I rarely made it. The day before the exam I realized I knew nothing about psychology and had no notes. I took my text book to the library and read THE ENTIRE 900 page text book in one session. Coincidentally I made an A on that exam.
I’ve been avoiding pumping because it is one of my least favorite activities (much like Psych Class!). Since my son latches well and I rarely leave him there has never been a need for a stash of milk in my freezer. I have a sitter who comes every Friday and I leave the house for 4 hours and work from Starbusk or another location. If I haven’t pumped any milk I stay home and work. If we know we are going out I pump a bit. I have never had more than 15-20 ounces of milk in my freezer at a time, and usually I have closer to 0-10.
I guess I am lucky that I don’t have to pump and I get to stay home and nurse my baby when he needs it.
Let me explain WHY I avoid pumping and maybe you’ll know what a big deal it is when people say they have a 100+ ounce stash of breastmilk.
First, I have to make sure pumping is going to be worth it. There is nothing more depressing than geting everything aligned to pump and coming up with less than one ounce. So far I have acheived this by either pumping in the morning (on the breast that I nurse from the least) or “block feeding” (feeding on one side more than once in a row, then pumping on the other side after storing up milk for a bit).
Next, my Flange (the part than goes on your breast) has to be clean. If I were a better woman I would wash it as soon as it has been used and put it back on my pumping table. Alas, I am not. Often times I find an opportune moment to pump only to realize my Flange is buried under some glasses in my sink and needs to be washed. That often makes me say “nevermind.”
Clean Flange- Check. Boob(s) full- check. Kids asleep/husband home to watch kids/ or kids entertained for 10 minutes? eh………….?!?
Damn kids. They are always crashing my pumping parties. If the stars have aligned and I am READY to pump, usually the kids aren’t in agreeance (thank you Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame). I keep my Hygeia Enjoye in my room for the serious pumping sessions and my old Medela Swing Single can roam to wherever I need it. Currently it is on my couch. The Hygeia is going to be a Godsend at BlogHer when a double pump is a must, and it is ridiculously quiet.
So what’s a girl (with engorged) boobs to do?
It depends on the day and the mood of the kids. Often I let the toddler amuse himself in whatever activity will hold his attention for at least 10 minutes. The baby is trickier. I prefer to have my husband watch both kids but if he isn’t around I put the baby on the bed with me and play with him or leave him on the floor of my room so I can keep an eye on him while he plays. It is about to get more interesting since he started crawling this week.
*CRASH* *SCREAM* *CRYING*
What was that?!
Occasionally a loud bang or crash will cause me to hastily disconnect from the pump (and squirt milk in all directions). This blows. My biggest fear is that I will have a few ounces in my bag or bottle and will have to rush to attend to the scary noise or screaming child and the milk will spill.
Take this morning (please! badum ching). I was pumping and the kids were on the floor in front of me. Toddler whacked the baby with a plastic hanger. Baby screams. Then toddler tried to help by hugging him, which knocked him to the ground. Cue more crying. I disconnected and ran over while my left breast was still squirting milk. Jealous yet?
See what an ordeal pumping can be?! Pumping at work or while kids are away must be easier than while kids ARE around. I definitely respect the pumping mamas out there.
I have to pump every single day between now and when I leave for BlogHer on August 4. I have exactly 30 ounces stashed away since I started pumping daily on the 24th. The past 2 days I have added a second afternoon session and I hope to continue this in case something prevents a daily session from happening.
If I only pump once a day and get an average of 3.25 ounces it will take another 22 days to get to 100. Of course, I would love more than 100 ounces just in case but I HAVE to hit that goal. I will be gone for 4 whole days including travel. If my son drinks 1 ounce an hour that is 96 hours away from him! I will definitely aim to have more than 100 but that is certainly the smallest I could leave. (I don’t want to consider supplementing at this point but I realize it is a possibility. I would rather my husband give him formula in the event that my milk runs out early than him starve.)
Now maybe you can see why the women who lose 100 ounces to a delivery mishap, a TSA Agent, or a husband who left the freezer door open (yikes…) would potentially go postal. I know the hell I would.
I WILL reach my goal because that is the kinda person I am. I thrive under pressure. I haven’t missed a day and in just 6 days I have 30 ounces now. BlogHer and 100 ounces or Bust!
A HUGE thanks to my BlogHer Sponsors. Swaddlebees (makers of the fabulous and trim Simplex cloth diaper), Boba (makers of my favorite SSC for toddlers that is so comfy) and Hygeia (who sent a pump for me to use in getting milk ready for BlogHer and to pump while I’m gone)