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The Reason I Pump

**I get asked a lot to share my breast feeding story. To share my success with pumping so long and any tips and trick I have. But mostly it’s more of “why in the world would you want to pump for two year?” Here is where we start:

I didn’t always want to pump.

My mom breastfed me about 3 months. She went back to work, and switching to formula was just what you did then. My coworker breastfed her first little girl for 4 months before she dried up and switched to formula. A family member tried in the hospital to get her baby to breastfed and was unsuccessful, she gave him a bottle of formula right away.

These were my only real life encounters with breastfeeding before I had Miles. This was it. It was all I knew, and all I thought I needed to know.

I went into it knowing how badly I wanted to try to breastfeed, but I had a plan that I’d probably switch to formula after 4 months because that worked great for her. It was a great laid out plan that I felt very comfortable with.

I horded those free samples* of formula. I loved getting them at dr’s appointments, and in the mail. It was great. I looked at pumps. I knew everything there was to know about every pump ever made. (I’m a bit of an over researcher…. k?)

When he was born, he nursed like a champ. It was so easy. I remember when the nurse would come in to ask when the last time he ate was and I would say “He’s still eating.” Seriously, he would stay latched for HOURS at a time. Our favorite thing to do was to watch movies at home. I could watch 2 movies while he nursed.

Day 3: (home from the hospital)

My milk came in. I was miserable. He was starving. I was a mess. I cried and cried and cried. I would feed him, Aaron would take him and try to put him asleep. 30 minutes later he’d bring him back and say “I think he’s hungry.” I would angerly snap back at Aaron, “How can he be hungry, he just ate for an hour??”

On the way home from his doctors appointment that day I made Aaron stop at the Lactation store. We were getting our pump. Little did I know that pump would become my best friend, and the person (thing?) I would end up spending the most time with.

I started pumping, mostly to sleep longer.

When my sister came to town to help us out for awhile I had to wake me to feed him, then realized I could just wake up in the middle of the night, pump and she could feed him.

It was only a couple days later when both her and Aaron agreed that he did SO much better at night with a pumped bottle. He did better without me.

Being so deep in PPD I was fine with that. It worked better for me too. So I pumped. It was great for all of us.

I returned to work less than 3 weeks after he was born. I’d pump every two hours at work, get home, sit down with him on the couch and he’d breastfeed until we went to bed. Seriously.

We kept up these one time a day nursing sessions for quite awhile. Every once in awhile he’d let me squeeze in another if we were out and about with no bottle, or super engorged boobs. Mostly, It was just once a day.

“4 months. I can do this” I’d remind myself of that often. But by this point I began to find friends through blogging that breastfed for WAY longer than I ever imagined. And I like the idea.

Then that faithful day came around 4 months when we discovered all of Miles’s allergies.

My first instinct was to panic. What would he eat? Surely I can’t keep pumping for him. I got our all my samples of formula. He couldn’t eat any of them so in the garbage they went. I called and got samples of “special” formula and tried to feed him those. He wouldn’t drink them. I panicked more. Terrified of what he would eat.

Never stopping to realize, I had everything he needed.

As the months went on we learned that his allergies went on and on and on. I panicked more, my supply plummeted. I wasn’t making anywhere near enough to feed him now. And to make matters worse, my diet was slashed. Everything I loved to eat was gone because he was so allergic to it. I had to live in a world with no dairy, no eggs, no soy, and no peanut butter. AND keep up my calories so I could still feed him.

I calmed down.

I sat down with myself and realized, He is my son. I will do WHATEVER I can to protect him.

God gave him to me to protect. I promised Him I would do that. No cheese, or peanut butter cookie is going to do that for me.

So I did. I stopped eating all of the things that were making him sick. I committed then and there that I would pump until he was at least 2. Until he’s at least 2 he will have breast milk to drink. Not, “I might” or even “I’m going to try” I WILL.

It has been the farthest thing for easy, but I will do it and I continue to do it because he is MY SON. I will protect him. I will do anything I have to for him.

I have friends walking this slippery slop with me. Feeling so alone. Like no one understands them. One is just starting. I talk to her a lot on the phone. Answering what questions I can, pointing her in the right directions, just letting her vent. (because I KNOW how much that is needed.)

She said something to me.

“I don’t know how to do this..” (she’s 4 months in)

I replied,

“I don’t have a choice.” She told me that wasn’t good enough for her. There had to be an answer. There has to be something she can do. What my heart was screaming and what I should have said was

“How can I not?”

If Miles needed my arm, I would give it. I don’t care what he needs. I have it, and he can take it from me.Especially when it come to feeding him. Is that not my #1 job as a mother? Keep my children safe, fed and happy?

How can I not?

He is my reason. I am all he can have. How can I not provide that for him?

It’s not selfless, its not a huge sacrifice. To say I choose cheese or yogurt over my son? I could never do. I have had pain (not as bad as hers, but still I have had pain.) and I would be in pain every day to still provide for him. I know we’re unique because Miles literally has nothing else he can drink. Nothing. Breast milk is his only option. So really. I don’t have a choice. What I told her is right, but I don’t want a choice.


I am now on month 17 of pumping. Miles stopped nursing around 9 months old. Before that he would only do it about 4 times a week. I am going to make it to December pumping. He will be 2 then. Only then will I reevaluate. Who knows, I may go longer.

Edited to add: I made it to 25 months!!!! Miles was 25 months old when I stopped pumping for him. The only reason I did was so I could get started on my surrogacy journey. I never regretted one second of my decision to pump for that long. It was HARD. but  I am so proud.

*Those free samples of formula deserve a WHOLE post to themselves. In the mean time go read THIS post where she starts talking about it!

Please know, that I KNOW that every person is different. Every situation is different. What’s right for me is not right for you. What worked great for you might not work for me.
I love this friend dearly. I know her struggle. I remember being totally and completely freaked out in her shoes. I remember so well. I know how she feels. She feels trapped and so did I. Now I don’t, and I know she soon will feel that peace. It takes time.

Friday Night Pump..

Following in my good friend’s footsteps I realized I need at least one time a week to just dump out everything in my head. And since I, well, sit at the computer every night to pump. Here we are.
I feel like a broken record sometime when I say over and over how much I love this stage that Miles is in. It just keeps getting better and better. And THIS, this is my favorite. (My new favorite, so far, maybe not tomorrow.. you know.)
I’m still in awe every time he walked across the room, or comes running up the driveway. I can’t beleive he can walk. It seems like it was just yesterday we were propping toys in front of his face to keep his binki in. Time goes by so fast.
He learned how to say Hello today, and it is the cutest hello EVER.
The days are more trying for him and dad. Aaron’s trying so hard to get things up and running with his store, but Miles needs so much attention too. Combine that with the reduction of naps and by 6:30 when I roll into home I have 1 very cranky baby and 1 very tired daddy. Thank goodness for bed time.
I’ve been pretty stressed lately. Feeling like I am on the VERY.EDGE of a breakdown. Somedays I welcome it. Thinking if it would just come I could deal with it and move on. My work gets further behind every day, there is always something that needs to be done at home, my cake business is really picking up, I have so many new things to add to my etsy, I need to move my blog over to wordpress, I need to make an actual cake site (and need help) there are bills to be paid, and no money to pay them, I want to put the laundry away, I want to clean up the kitchen. I just feel it all piling. From what I can tell, the balance never gets easier.
I made the most AMAZING coconut milk ice cream this week. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and all the different flavors I could make. Cookies and cream. Cookie Dough. Cake batter. YUM!
I can’t believe in just a few days I actually get to meet so many awesome people at CBC. I’m very excited to go and for the little staycation it’s giving us.
I’m kind of adicted to staycations. There is something so refreshing about just getting out of your house for a night or two. Even if it’s just down the street.
Most night I watch Miles sleep on our video monitor and think about how I’d give anything to go cuddle in his bed with him. He has never slept in our bed and never wants to, but I want to cuddle with him so badly. I can’t wait till he moves to a big boy bed so I can sneak in there sometimes (or every night.. whatever)
Most days I feel like I’m going to blink and all of this will be a memory and I’ll be signing Miles up for drivers ed. I’m not ready for that… yet.

A Mormon Mom’s Proudest Moment

We worked with signs for a while with Miles but he never really picked them up, until one day out of the blue they all clicked!

He has a few he can do now, but his most important (to him) are “eat” and “more”

I made the mistake in the video of asking him to show me “eat” while he had food in front of him so basically he just ate! :)

You also get to see a small sampling of the battle we deal with at EVERY meal between Beez and the dog. He is pretty sure the dog needs his food more than him. The dog feels the same way.

BUT.. In more important news. We have accomplished our crowning moment in Mormon parenthood as our son knows how to “fold his arms” (Mormon’s fold their arms and bow their heads while saying prayers. I tried finding a good link that explains this and couldn’t. I’m sorry)

Without further adieu, The signs and the folding:

Beeza signs from Ryley @That's My Family on Vimeo.

We are a family

On March 3rd and 10:56 am I read this post. Everything resonated with me.

I was having a particularly rough day. I remember it. I was frustrated with everything. I had a rough evening at home. I had a rough week.

I wrote a comment on that post. Something I had NEVER told anyone. Something I never said “out loud” before. I needed to get it out and thought of that blog as the perfect safe haven. Nobody knew me there. No one was going to judge me and I wasn’t a frequent commenter so I probably wouldn’t have many people come visit me from one little comment. I thought.

{It has taken me this long to talk about it, because I never wanted to put these words out there for someone who knows me to read. But I can 100% say I no longer feel this way. It took me A LONG time to snap out of this, but I think I am finally there. Sure sometimes I lay in bed and still wonder the what-if’s of if we had waited longer to have children, but I no longer wish we hadn’t. Not even for one second. Not one second. And that is the only reason I feel comfortable talking about this now. Because I am not there anymore. It’s just a memory. And not one I am fond of.}

The post was about Postpartum Depression. At the end of her post she said:

“How are you dealing with it?

Are you medicated?

Or do you use other therapies?

Do you talk about it on your blog?

Or are you too scared to admit it out loud?”

On March 3rd at 10:56am I commented:

I don’t talk about it.

Even 14 months after having my son I
feel like I struggle with PPD daily.

I hate

I don’t feel completely attached to him. I love him with all
my heart, I
really do, but I still don’t see what the joy is in this whole

Everyone says its so worth it and so
rewarding. I don’t
see that.

I’m pretty sure I don’t ever
want another one.
It’s so hard.

So, I just don’t talk about

How do you say out loud that you don’t like being a mother?
That you wish you had waited longer (I was 26!!) or that you kinda wish you
hadn’t even had your son? How
do you say that out loud and be okay with it?
So you just don’t. you keep it inside, you smile and tell everyone how great it
is to be a mom.

How do you say you wish you weren’t a mom when
all around you people are having miscarriages, your friends have having still
born babies, your friends babies are dying of SIDS, or cancer, or dealing with
some horrible disease. How can you be so selfish? They want a baby so badly, and
you have one and don’t?

You just don’t say those things..So I
keep it inside.

Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m not ashamed of
medication, but I don’t see how it could help. how could a pill change my way of
thinking? Will taking a pill make me love my son more? Make me love being a
mother more?

I just don’t see it happening.

So, I


I thought I would be “safe” posting those feelings on a blog I never comment on. By 11:30 my first email came. The subject line was “I couldn’t ignore you response” She went on to pour her heart out to me while telling me what helped her and she would do anything she could to help me.

20 minutes later, another subject flashed in the bottom of my screen “I’m sorry this is so random” Again, another brave mom who sat down and wrote me a LONG email about her struggles and how her heart broke reading my comment and she wanted me to know I wasn’t alone.

Again, another email and another email, until I received 6!!! emails from women I had never talked to before from a blog I don’t frequent.

My eyes welled up with tears at the thought that these women with lives and families and struggles of their own took time out of their day to email me and show me love.

I don’t know why I am constantly surprised and blown away by this community. The community we have is amazing.

Women that drop everything to offer support. Women that drop everything to offer advise on everything from cooking, to style to breast feeding and birth. We weep with each others sorrows with cheer with each others joy. We are a family. We talk about bodily functions that you shouldn’t mention in pubic. We offer breast milk and emergency breast feeding to each others children’s. We send each other presents and love notes. We drive hours to have lunch with each other. We are always there to commiserate in temper tantrum moments and we always invite ourselves to the pity parties! We all seem to have a bad day together, and we all seem to have good days together.

We are a family.

{just to reiterate. I am feeling better. MUCH better. I don’t have thoughts like that anymore about parenthood, or Miles. He is my sunshine these days, even when he is dark clouds and rainstorms, he is still my sunshine.}

I promised..

I promised myself that before CBC came, I would be a stronger blogger. I would stop worrying about what I’m talking about and just talk.

Then life gets in the way. You work 10 hour days. You leave before your family is awake and you get home in just enough time to give your son a quick bath and tuck him into bed.

You throw together something edible for dinner then sit bleary eyed staring at your computer while you think about how you can see the clumps of mascara on your eyelashes. So you start picking it off. But you just switched mascara and no instead of being dry and crumbly when you pick it off its gooey and sticky and just makes your eyelashes stick together more, then OH LOOOK over there, it’s twitter and facebook and everyone’s blogs. And then its time for bed.

Every. Single. Night.

Yet all day I day dream about the kind of posts I want to right.

Someone asked me if I have ever written about my breastfeeding and pumping journey. I haven’t, but I should. Not very many people give up breastfeeding for pumping and stick with it for 16 months and aim for 24 months. Not very many. But I’d like to be a support to those that want too.

(oh man, my mascara is currently doing that clumpy-make-all-the-lashes-stick-together thing. and its all I can see..)

I really want to write a better birth story. I am amazed at the details I still remember after 16 months. The one I wrote did our birth no justice at all.

I want to talk most about how horrible those first few months were for me. And how everyone tells you that its okay to ask for help but you still think you’re okay, until you realize you aren’t.

I want to write a post DEVOTED to all the women who email me (a stranger) after I left one little comment on one little blog. This community is amazing.

I want to talk more about my husband’s role as a stay at home dad (turned work at home dad thanks to his AMAZING new business.

I want to get more spiritual SO BADLY. We are struggling right now with our religion. Let me rephrase that; Our faith, Our testimony and our love for the gospel is NOT struggling. We are struggling to live our lives the way we know He wants us to. We are struggling to be the son and daughter that our Father in heaven deserves. We are struggling. He is not. I admire people like Nie and Cjane for being so open an honest about their religion and not offering any apologies. I need to be more like them. I want to shout it from the rooftops just like them. If for nothing more than to help me.

I want to post my recipes every now and then. I have blossomed into my own with these diet restrictions. The sky is the limit and I’d love to share some of my successes with you.

I just want to write.

But I can’t stop day dreaming about him…