I’ve always struggled when it came to producing breast milk. It was hard! I knew I wanted to be a breastfeeding mama but the struggle was real. Delivering early, I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t do enough research. I didn’t know how much effort was put into the simple task. You see mothers all around you having no problem. Well it seems that way at first. But no! The constant pumping every 2 to 3 hours, trying to breastfeed when you don’t have enough milk and baby is freaking out, you go from baby to pumping to washing all the pump parts and bottles…back to baby. Back to pumping. Back to washing. Baby. Pumping. Washing. Baby. Pumping. Washing. It was a never ending cycle, with very little sleep.
Plus the added baby stuck in the NICU ordeal. Having a baby and being with it constantly to increase your breast milk is one thing. But not being able to be around my little one 24/7 caused my milk to slowly come in.
Ugh! The dreading pumping every 2 to 3 hours. With everything adding together: 3 month early baby, stress, worry, sleeplessness. It was hard to stay focused and determined. Plus, I’d rather do kangaroo time than pump.
Once Ethan was home, they had me supplementing some of his feedings with formula to get him to gain weight. Which made me: A. Not produce as much. B. I would keep putting off pumping since Ethan needed to be held upright after feeds due to his reflex. C. Dealing with all of Ethan’s reflex issues, I was to tired to care about pumping with the constant throwing up and needing to change someone’s clothes. D. I didn’t have the will to push myself or someone to force me to complete my mommy duty of pumping.
Fast forward to 5 months old, Ethan started sleeping through the night; I did too. Whooohooo!!! It was the best feeling to be able to sleep longer than 3 hours at a time. I relished in the freedom of sleep. But the down fall to my slumber bliss, I stopped pumping during the night and just breastfed in the morning. Over the next few weeks, down and down when my milk supply.
At 6.5 months, I’m all dried up.
It is the worst feeling in the world not being able to give something so important to your baby. I fought with myself for weeks to keep fighting to get it back and going again. It was hard to finally let go and stop breastfeeding. But I caved, I started working and spending extra time with getting our family business running.
Now 3 weeks later, I’m once again determined to get this down. I’m keeping up with a pumping schedule and breastfeeding when Ethan will allow. Within the short time of taking a break, I forget how much work and dedication goes into this simple task. I’m constantly hungry and parched. I need water!!! Plus, I get the extra needed help of a husband who is down my throat with, “It’s time to pump, stop what you are doing and pump. I mean it Amber!”