Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the last of the juice...

I pumped. I pumped and pumped. I pumped for 9 months, stopping last May. I spent a lot of time in front of the laptop watching Hulu, hooked up to the milker, almost hearing my babies being cared for in another room. (Read Tina Fey's BossyPants if you want to learn more about how strange this feels.) My supply had plummeted when I went back to work in February, and I had to get up at 5am so I could pump before leaving for work, I pumped 3 times at work, and immediately upon returning home. I pumped twice after the babies went to sleep. I pumped in my car in Walgreens parking lots. I pumped behind curtains in Monkey A's hospital rooms. I grew used to the inside of my bra being slightly damp most of the time. I watched all of ALF, from beginning to end. In April, I decided I'd had enough. I began to wean, and pumped my last pump the day the babies were dedicated at church. I'd stocked some away in the freezer in case Monkey A needed additional surgery (breast milk counts as clear fluid...starving a baby is no joke.) I just cancelled the bronchoscopy Monkey A had scheduled for next week; I decided he's been breathing fine and there wasn't a need to risk having him put under anesthesia. So I pulled the last 18 ounces of frozen milk from the freezer, and the babies sipped it with their other milk over the last couple of days. Tonight, Baby B chugged hers down and looked for more. Baby A drank less than half, burped some up, and refused the rest. And that was that. The end of my labors. I'm generally relieved that I didn't forget about it and let it "expire," but I'm also...sad? guilty? These are mixed feelings. I meant to be an extended breast feeder. Being a dairy cow was never in my mind. I didn't even buy any bottles that didn't come with my pump because I was so certain that they would just...get it. And we never did. And while I logically know that I did well, that I did more than many would have done, I'll never stop wondering if I maybe didn't try enough.

p.s. if you're looking for my previous post, entitled "the other parent," I removed it out of respect for the babies' father's privacy. He did not ask me to take it down, I did it myself as I failed to ask his permission before posting it. The short of it is...we'll be fine and we're doing our best. :)