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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ending for the Third Time

I am finished with breastfeeding/ exclusively pumping. It was great. It was real. We did it. I'm glad we did and despite all of the trouble, there is no doubt in my mind that I would do it all over again. I love him that much. But it's really over. I finally got myself down to where I can quit pumping. Yesterday, I pumped twice and only produced 1 ounce total, on both sides, for the day. Yes, I'm really done this time. And to tell you how really done I am.....(Erm, I should say "finished", because the mix-up of finished/ done, as well as the exchange of good/well are just two of my pet peeves.)

So anyway, I was about to explain how finished I am.

I am so finished that I made a phone call to a local breastfeeding boutique tonight to see how I could go about selling my pump. The big MamaJamma. The Symphony. The one that retails for $2K. And at first the woman didn't really believe that I bought one. She said that most people who have brought them in have stolen them, that they only own one themselves and the rest of theirs that they rent out are actually leases from Medela, etc. I gave her the serial number and she called Medela and discovered that it was indeed sold to a buyer by the name of Andrea XXXXX, that it is available for resale. And she offered me $1K (and another $200 in merchandise was thrown in), which I thought was pretty damned good considering I have used it for the better part of a year. And with my employee discount at the hospital, I only ended up paying $1600. So if you do the math, it cost me $400 to use my own Rolls Royce of breastpumps for 8 months. And so I met her this afternoon and sold my pump.

I sold it.

John couldn't understand why I teared up as I was packing it up. Because he is a man and just doesn't get it. I did everything. I really did. And we had a good run, Zach and I. I remember when he stopped nursing altogether and I thought it was over. And then the pride I felt when he drank a full bottle of my milk and seemed to prefer it to formula. When Zach was about 4 months old, I dropped down to where I was getting 1/2 an ounce total output for both sides and I thought it was over. And I kept on. We have toured every nook and cranny of Cincinnati in order to find obscure herbs recommended online by sites advising on increasing milk supply: teas and tinctures and capsules. I remember the day John went to run errands and came back to find me completely topless with Zach in just a diaper in his Moby Wrap while I was doing the dishes. Desperate for time to do Kangaroo Care in between my crazy pumping schedule, this was the only way I could manage to do it. He really did think I had lost my mind at that point. But if it was supposed to increase supply, I was going to do it. I didn't care what it was.

I sold my pump.

I hated the damned thing. Waking me up every 2 hours. Sucking the life out of me in more ways than one. Making it so my life was consumed with pumping schedules and ounces produced and ways to get more, more, more. But I loved the thing. Because you cannot convince me that it would not have been over when Zach was just 2 months old if I hadn't bought it. And I am so connected to this baby, and I believe this is why. Because while my body wasn't tough enough to maintain him during the pregnancy, damnit I was strong enough to feed us both.

I sold it because I knew that I would always try to do better, try to do more. That so long as my body kept making mere drops of milk, I would try to make ounces. I had to close this chapter.

I sold my pump. This chapter is closed. I love you, Zachary.


  1. I didn't breastfeed my first daughter, but did with my second. It was difficult and wonderful and I wasn't bad at it and I hated my pump too but I cried and cried when I packed it away and passed it on. For good. I will forever miss nursing a baby. I wish all moms success with nursing. Boy does it take effort, but the rewards... oh the rewards... :)
    Good job momma!

  2. Thanks St. Sarcasm of Blog! (I still crack up over your Lent post!) It's nice to know you understand me, because honestly before your comment, I was feeling a little silly that this was affecting me so much.

  3. it's a milestone. like packing everything away, like watching the kids grow, it affects you because it's part of growing up. part of the kids growing up, and you, too. you rock, andrea! and also, i have awarded you an award at my bloggity blog. : ) congrats!

  4. I totally understand this as well. I have a love/hate relationship with my pump and am so looking forward to the day when I can stop counting ounces. it's funny, my pump is one of the ones that have been recalled because the line of pumps seem to be just dying on people. mine, however, keeps going. as much as I want it to just die, part of me worries what the hell i would do if it did.
    congrats on getting such a good deal!