100 ounces or Bust! Breastmilk Goal for BlogHer!

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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!

See also- Pumping at BlogHer?  Consider Donating Breastmilk!

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)

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  • Set an alarm on your phone or computer and when it goes off pump no matter what!  You’ll do it and it will be SO worth it!

  • Leigh

    I have multiple flange/boob part sets for my pump. I pick them up used as I find the and boil to sterilize. It is so much easier to wash four sets at once and then have a few days brake from all that.
     

  • Lisa

    I exclusively pumped for 4-5 ish months when my daughter was born because she wouldn’t latch. The first three months were while I was on maternity leave and the last month or two I pumped at home and while at work.

    My experience is that pumping at work was more difficult, because I was stressed from my job and had a very hard time trying to “pump quick” in the 10-15 minutes that I had at lunchtime. In most workplaces, it is also very difficult to find an appropriate, private place to pump.

    I have a lot of respect for the EPing moms out there who stick with it for even 6 months, much less a year!

  • Anonymous

    Good luck! I often put a kid show on to get pumping time in or a snack. They give me enough time usually that way. I love my EnJoye since it’s fast, efficient & portable with that rechargeable battery. I only typically get about 1oz combined, but every ounce adds up!!

    Btw–put your flanges in your fridge in between point sessions so you don’t have to wash them a bazillion times.

    • Btw–put your flanges in your fridge in between point sessions so you don’t have to wash them a bazillion times.

      This. Gallon size ziplock bags were a godsend when I was pumping and dumping last year. (Elimination diets suck!) I generally washed once a day. I also kept the pumped milk in the fridge and combined/portioned it out once every 24-48 hours, too.

      • Kristen

        Whoa…that is brilliant!  Why have I never thought of that!?!?  

  • I agree…pumping at work is much easier!  Good luck and hope you make it to your goal!!

  • Green_mama10

    I had well over 100oz in the freezer until a friends son come over and started playing with the freezer (deep freeze) 3 days later I noticed that he had turned it off!! All my milk had spoiled. Needles to say I was very upset

    • Anonymous

      oh dear…..  I would have been one unhappy mama (which is an understatement.)  That blows so hard.

  • Laura Graham

    I don’t know how moms exclusively pump either.  I have a couple of friends who did so on a long term basis, and I have so much respect for them.  I swear the minute I got the pump all set up and attached to me, my son would always have some sort of breakdown!  Luckily, I didn’t need very much pumped milk either.

    It’s a shame we can’t simulate the true pumping process to those TSA agents.  If they had any idea what it was like, they’d have to treat breast milk with the respect it deserves..

    Go, Go, Kim, You can do it!  (I personally don’t know how, but I have total faith that *you* will reach your goal!)

  • Mrs. Smitty

    I could have written your post, minus the 4 days away part. It’s so difficult with 2 running around to even find 10 minutes! And it sucks when you’re feeling full and only manage to eek out an ounce or less. But.. Every tiny ounce counts if it means hubby and I are able to sit down to a (short) meal and a movie uninterrupted!

    Hubby learned the hard way how upset spilt milk can make you.. I pumped a whole 4 ounces in one session (unheard of!) and he offered to put it in the freezer. The next morning I went to make coffee and there was my pumped milk, sitting on the counter.. Not a happy mama.

    Good luck making your goal!

  • Anonymous

    I have so been there!!! You can always cheat and use a little fenugreek to pump up the supply now. Oh, memories!!! I hated pumping.

  • Npeerson

    So ready to be done pumping. I work 36 hours a week at an awesome hospital that has a lactation room. Its calm and quiet there. And while I get ready in the morning I use a “simple wishes” hands free pumping bra. I can pump and play with the baby at the same time too. but I love my days off when I don’t even have to think about that pump… Wondering how this will work when theres a second baby!

  • Exclusively pumping for a NICU preemie for the second time – 5 weeks and counting this time, 6+ months the first go-around (and we supplemented after 3 months then). I had very low supply the first time; this time is low but not horribly so. I’m sure we’ve got over 100 oz in the freezer, but there were 2 weeks baby didn’t eat, and she’s so small she only eats about 7 oz a day, leaving another 10-15 to put in the freezer each day.

    Have you considered pumping on one side at the same time you’re feeding on the other? Supply & demand – convince your body you’re tandem nursing twins. Every little bit helps even if it’s just an ounce here or there – those little bits add up.

  • I didn’t pump much either – Thank god I didn’t ever have an emergency. My son is 9 months old now and if I leave him I just have someone feed him solids. (I’m never gone for a whole day though.) Good luck!

  • I just got back from a 6 day vacation away from my 9 month old and I had to pump once a day for a month to store up 200 ounces. The only way I could pump with two kids was to pump while little one was nursing; I did that around the same time every day and that really helped get more milk that way 🙂

    I ended up pumping 100+ ounces while I was away and was one of those who lost it all due to a shipping mishap which I’m still fighting with the UPS Store about that caused the errors 🙁 And I’ve also had issues with TSA over an 8 oz bottle with my son, I feel like I can never win =/

    • Anonymous

      200 ounces in 30 days!? That is amazing! Over 6 ounces a day is
      impressive! I’m leaving my milk behind to avoid losing it! I hate that you
      lost your milk 🙁

  • Kelly Denton

    Oh my goodness this had me rolling in my bed with laughter.  I feel your pain.  I pumped for 15 months straight.  My son was a horrible latch until we discovered nipple shields so I was pumping before every feed for the first 2 weeks (with a single pump, ouch).  At 3 months I went back to work and like you I procrastinated.  Good luck with the goal and maneuvering pumping while at the conference.

    • Anonymous

      I’m up to 65!