So I hit a little success landmark today. I now have 200 ounces of milk in the freezer. Sounds so impressive, until you think about the fact that the amount of milk that is taking up all that space in the freezer would only sustain E for just over a week. So I don't plan on letting up pumping anytime soon. In honor of this accomplishment, I thought I'd post about breastfeeding. No pictures in this post...
I will say, that on a normal day, when I'm with E all day, I only pump in the morning. Since she sleeps so well, I typically wake up "bursting at the seams." So I pump one side, and she nurses from the other. Works well, and I can usually get about 4oz a day to freeze. And I really, really hate pumping any other time. Being away from her and pumping SUCKS. I totally get why people give up breastfeeding when they return to work. Not only do you not get to look at those little milk-drunk eyes looking up at me, I also get, like, nada. Replacing feeding sessions with pumping, I sometimes only get, like, an ounce.
This brings me to why I chose to breastfeed in the first place. I'm a chemist. I understand the health benefits of breastmilk. That was point number 1. Point number 2: I'm cheap, and the thought of paying for something I could get for free makes me crazy. Particularly when I'm not working and need to be more careful about how we spend money than we have in the past with 2 full incomes.
I totally underestimated the psychological/bonding aspect of things. I love, love, LOVE our snuggle time. And to be honest, I LOVE the fact that when we're visiting other people, I get to sneak away every couple hours, just the two of us, to feed her. I think we both need that.
And an unexpected psychological advantage, for me, is that breastfeeding is going really well. So far (knock on wood) it has been easy, mostly pain-free, and E has been gaining weight like a champ. So for the first time in this journey of getting pregnant-staying pregnant-having a baby, I feel like my body is doing something like it should. I don't need a ton of interventions. I don't need to give myself shots in the stomach for this. My body can do this, on its own, just like it was made to do. And mentally, I need that.
I've got to credit the lactation consultants, both in the hospital and the ones that lead the support group I go to a couple times a month. They are WONDERFUL and so unbelievably helpful and supportive.
I found this blog awhile ago, and still read it multiple times a week. Really, it explains things from every angle SO perfectly. It really should be required first day reading for any new mom:
My ultimate goal is to breastfeed to a year, but, of course, I think that making it two months is a huge success in itself!