A Different Take on Breastfeeding

I am not a normal pumping mother.  My situation is different than the majority of women that pump their milk.  I haven’t been able to connect with anyone that is pumping after a loss or did pump after a loss, but I know of a few, but not many.

I don’t have a baby to feed with my milk.  I don’t really have anyone riding on me pumping all day and night every day.  I don’t have to keep doing this.

At this second, I have 68 ounces in my freezer.  I have been pumping for nine days.

Now, I make milk like a cow.  I did with my daughter and I am now.  It helps this time that I pump every three hours, and I pump each breast twice during each of those sessions.  I am trying to build my supply with the single pump I have until the double pump gets here (hopefully tomorrow!).

I went to the La Leche meeting and there were mothers that pumped for their babies in the NICU, for their children when they went back to work, for their baby that went on a nursing strike, and also a mother that donated her pumped milk to Africa.  There was a mother that switched to formula as soon as she had to go back to work because she couldn’t pump.

These were all mothers with children that had to have breastmilk or formula.  They had someone riding on what they did.

For me, I can quit whenever I want.  This isn’t something I have to do.  This isn’t something that is even typically done.  When I talk to family or friends, I don’t really talk about it.  First off, I am terrified that people will say I am crazy.  This is one thing that is keeping me sane since my son was born, and if they made fun of it, I would break down.  Second, I am just worried what people will think.  Even when people pump milk and donate they get weird looks or people wonder why.  Formula is so accessible people don’t realize that women donate their pumped milk for others to use.

And yet, to me, this isn’t hard.  Again, I have no one riding on this.  I don’t have a crying newborn to take care of and feed while I do this.  I don’t have to worry about my supply or if my baby is getting enough.  I don’t have to wake up, I don’t have to pump, I don’t really have to do anything.

I love pumping this time.  I hated it with my daughter, but I think it was because nursing her was so much easier.  This time, since I don’t have a baby, pumping is easy.  I am so excited with every ounce I get.  This precious milk is for a baby that truly needs it.  This milk is for a baby that would get formula if someone didn’t donate their milk.  This milk is the most precious gift I could ever give.

So many people have said I am an inspiration, and that I will help show women that if I can do this, they get can through their nursing rough patches.  I don’t think I am that special, heck, I don’t think I’m an inspiration of anything.  I am doing what I am comfortable with.  I am doing what seems natural to me.  If I had a friend that would let me be their wet nurse, I would jump on it!

I weaned my daughter at nine months because I didn’t have any milk in the freezer for that day when I went to work.  So we gave her cows milk.  I didn’t regret it then,  but I regret it now.  I wish I had gone longer.  I wish I had nursed her until at least a year.  I wish I had known how important it was, how much healthier she was when I was nursing her.

Breastfeeding is work.  Breastfeeding is worth it.

I feel so blessed that I am able to do this for other families.  To me, this doesn’t feel like work.

Moms, I wish I could explain how I feel about breastfeeding and breastmilk as well as others can.  I wish I could explain that breastmilk truly is the best food for infants.  I wish I could help you have the best breastfeeding experience possible.  I wish I could donate milk forever so I could help all those that need it.

There are so many different breastfeeding stories.  So many different women, babies, lives.  I am proud to be one of them for the time being.  Right now, I am a pumping mother, and I am loving it.


7 Responses

  1. Beautiful! My sisters don’t understand my view on breast milk. They think I’m crazy for going though the pain of it when like you said formula is so accessible. I wish I could make them understand but they won’t and for that reason I am thankful for twitter. I feel blessed to have found you and that you allow us a glimpse of your journey. Thank you!

    • Thank you!! I know exactly what you mean. Without twitter I would never have found so many people that think just like me about things. Breastmilk being one of the big ones!

  2. I wish that we could have stuck with it longer. I wish that we didn’t have such a hard time at it. Next time will be better (that’s a promise to myself).

    Oh, and really what’s with people being afraid to admit that breast multi-task? Just last night at a get together it came up and half of them were so embarrassed they made me change subjects! And we are close friends! It’s like they aren’t used to me talking. 🙂

    • Haha! I am turning you into me more and more lol. And seriously! Even when you say “breast” people get all squirmy and blush. It’s a little ridiculous!

  3. What a beautiful selfless gift you’re giving of yourself. I wanted to donate but I barely have enough energy to pump for the occasional bottle for my 9 month old.

    I wish more people knew about donated milk because it literally saves lives.

  4. You are so amazing Kayce!

  5. as I read this I am breastfeeding my 9 month old, breastmilk is amazing, my eldest had both and I weaned her at 10 months, my next I weaned at 11 months, my son I got to 14 months and I want to get to at least there this time…

    we dont even have milk banks in NZ, if they did I would donate to it… good on you for doing this, if it helps you get through this then its great

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