Our Teddy Bear's Journey

Theodore was born with renal failure. This is his story.

So I stopped pumping

on July 26, 2013

And I’ve been reluctant to write a post about it, because it still makes me kind of sad.

I stopped pumping in early June, Teddy was not quite 19 months old.

During our admit in May for Teddy’s liver biopsy, I was only able to pump maybe twice a day and for maybe 10 minutes max. He just needed my attention pretty much constantly.

When we got home, I went back to my regular pumping schedule, which had been to pump for 60 minutes every 2-3 hours during the day, last pump around midnight and first pump at 5:30. But after a week of that, I was only getting about 100-200 mL per DAY (he uses 600 mL per day). For 6 plus hours of pumping, that just wasn’t very much.

So I decided to cut back on pumping, and over the course of the next week or two, I cut back to pumping just three times per day, and then to two times per day. A week of twice daily pumping, and I was averaging under 100 mL per day. Most days, it was 30-50.

It just stopped being worth the effort.

So I stopped. Thanks to some awesome moms who shared their extra milk with us, I have a LOT of my own milk in the freezer for him to use during this time, so he’s still on breastmilk, and will be for a while. That makes me happy.

And the last several weeks at home were nice, not having to interrupt every activity to go pump. We could go run errands without my getting anxious about needing to get home to pump. And at the same time, I somewhat missed having a reason to sit on my lazy bum for 6 hours every day and watch TV and knit. 🙂

This hospital stay’s been a LOT easier, not having to worry about pumping so much.

The whole ER trip/kidney stone is less complicated.

But it’s odd and sad that I have a baby for whom I’m not making milk.

Genna still nurses, so I technically am still nursing and still lactating. She says she gets a little, so I’m not completely dried up.

And I still feel terrible that I’m not able to continue making milk for Teddy as long as did for his siblings. He’s the one who could use it the most, and he’s the one who’s going to get it the least. I knew from the outset that there was no way I’d be able to pump for him as long as I nursed the other two, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow.

I’m not as sad about it as I thought I would be. To a certain extent, I just haven’t had time to dwell on it. We’ve been busy worrying about his liver and his worsening kidney function and his transplant and it hasn’t left me time or energy to have emotions about anything else. And that’s OK.

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2 responses to “So I stopped pumping

  1. Julie says:

    You are a pumping hero for making it 19 months. Pumping is one of the hardest and most demanding choices a mom can make. It demands you emotionally, physically and socially. Being a pumping veteran all I can say is awesome job.

  2. Valerie says:

    You are still a rock star. I had my own issues with breastfeeding and supply and I had some Momma-guilt over stopping when I did, but look at what an amazing thing you have done for Teddy (and continue to do with Genna). We mothers can be our own worst critics. Teddy is stronger for what you have done for him; you’ve given him an amazing gift that required sacrifice and can never be taken away. Be proud!

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