When I have a baby my milk production is my #2 priority. #1 Caring for the baby. #2 Making milk. It's a big part of #1. Making, feeding and saving breast milk is a part time job and then some.
When I went back to work two months ago I was nursing Brecken at every feeding plus pumping and extra 3-4 times a day for the excess milk. Going back to work was going to make breastfeeding very difficult. That first week I went back my milk took a big dip. I hoped it was just stress and I'd get it back. But pumping is so different from nursing. Plus, I would check emails or plan lessons while actually pumping. I couldn't really take the full 20 minutes to relax and get all the milk to let down like I needed to.
When I first went back to work I would feed Brecken at 4 or 5 am. I would pump at 7am before we headed out the door. Then I pumped at school at 8:45, 12:00 and 2:30. When we got home I would nurse him at 4:30 and then again before he went to sleep at about 7:00. I pumped again at 10:00pm.
This cycle went on for an entire month. Gradually I stopped pumping before I left for school. Then I cut out the 10pm pumping. In early October I quit pumping at 12:00 because I was just a frantic mess trying to get my class through the lunch line, slam down a Lean Cuisine and pack in 15 minutes of pumping only to race down the call to pick up my class. That was a relief. A couple weeks ago I stopped pumping before school. Last week I stopped pumping at 2:30. I nursed on the weekends. In the last two weeks Brecken seems to be over the bottle. He doesn't want it at daycare and he's never really cared for it at home much. We're careful to make sure his meals have a lot of breast milk in them. Currently I nurse when Brecken wakes up at about 6:30am and then again before he goes to bed at about 5:30pm.
I have had a tv tray holding the pump and all my accessories, including different size bottles and the handy dandy pump cup holder Mark created to fit the edge of our kitchen table, sitting next to our kitchen table since the day we brought Brecken home from the hospital.
When my milk came in just minutes after getting him home I was so relieved. I pumped at times I didn't want to. I tried to make the most of of by reading during it. Planning my day around nursing and pumping. Getting up at night to nurse and/or pump for months. Being so stressed at work trying find the time to lock my classroom door.
Today I actually pack up the pump. Tomorrow I will pack up the one at school.
It's a little sad that one more part of Brecken's babyhood is closing. However, I am proud of myself for pumping enough milk that I can pack up 100 ounces of frozen milk each Monday morning for him to enjoy through the week at daycare. I am so happy I sacrificed all that I did to get him the breast milk he needs until he can drink cow's milk. I love that I can send Victoria to the deep freeze for a bag of milk whenever we need it. I love the idea of not worrying about how much water I drink or what I consume going right into my baby. I would love my knockers to go down a size (or two) as we transition out of nursing completely.
The transition has been as smooth as I ever could have wanted it. It seems like the perfect time since Brecken has just cut his third tooth and can pull himself up and has taken a few assisted steps. Our baby is growing so quickly!