Oh yes. The days of pumping for the girls are over. It has been an entire 2 weeks since I retired my pump. I feel blessed and fortunate that I was able to provide breast milk for the girls.
When pregnant with them I thought of grandiose ideas of nursing them all to about 13 or 14 months. I nursed Jared until about 13 months and enjoyed it so I wanted to do the same for the girlies. As it turns out, I did nurse the girls for the first four months but then came down with mastitis. Blech! :P I had it with Jared when he was about 5 or 6 weeks old. It's no fun! With mastitis I didn't feel up to nursing the girls so I just pumped. Wow, what a difference exclusively pumping made! I did enjoy nursing the girls BUT it was very time consuming. They were still little preemies and not as efficient of nursers as a full term baby. So I remember the times I'd nurse for 30 minutes, then have to top them off with expressed milk or formula (another 30 minutes) via bottle and then go off to pump (again for another 30 minutes). So it would take 1.5hrs! to nurse, feed and pump. Uff! Then only 1.5hrs left until the next feeding. So pumping freed up so much time for me/us. Was it difficult, emotionally, giving up the nursing? Yes. Did I/do I miss it? Yes, especially this being my last pregnancy/baby(ies) to nurse. But was I more at peace and less frazzled by exclusively pumping? Yes. Hey, you've got to do what you've got to do, I guess.
I started out pumping right away, when the girls were born. 8x day, even through the night. Oh man, does that bring back memories! I lived by my cell phone alarm. It would wake me up, dead asleep, to say "hey you! it's time to get up and get pumping!" I'm sure I must have slept through some of those middle-of-the-night pumpings :) By the time the girls were 7 months old I was pumping 5x/day, with one middle-of-the-night pumping. By about 8 months old, I dropped that 2:00AM pump and was just pumping in the daytime, 4x/day. Slowly, when the girls turned a year old, I "weaned" myself from pumping. I will tell you, weaning from a baby and weaning from a pump are very different. I think weaning from the pump is much more difficult, as it's not a natural weaning where the baby dictates how much milk is needed. Man was that difficult with the pump!
Now, I am happy to say that the girls got all that I could provide for them in regards to milk. Yay! Here are some calculations (which I always find fun to look and reflect back at :) ) over the last 13 months of pumping/nursing for the girlies...
- I've pumped 26,506 ounces of breast milk! That's 207 gallons! WOW! And this doesn't take into consideration the ounces that the girls ate when nursing. WOW again! Just to put this in perspective, from WikiAnswers, "on average the commerical cow will give about 5 gallons per day." For me, during my "peak months," the most I got was a little over 1/2 gallon a day. I fall WAY short from Mrs. Guernsey, Mrs. Holstein or Mrs. Jersey ;) Although, I did still feel akin to them :D
- I've spent 73, 500 minutes in pumping alone. That's 1225 hours! Or 51 days of my life spent in pumping! Over a month, almost 2, just in pumping alone! No wonder I felt so sleep deprived and tired, especially in those early months pumping through the night! ;)
- I've nursed 25,200minutes! That's 420 hours, or 17.5 days of my life spent in nursing. I feel fortunate that I was able to even nurse quadruplets!
I bid you adéu, dear pump. We had a good thing going. Thanks for your time and efforts and thanks for the memories ;)