As of tomorrow, I will have spent six months pumping. SIX WHOLE MONTHS.* And let me tell you - pumping in real life looks nothing like this picture. First, trade the stylist-fueled locks for that three-days-dirty look only a new mom can sport (today our nanny comes AND I AM SO EXCITED I CAN WASH MY HAIR WITHOUT THE STEADY STREAM OF TEARS) and then that sweet, silk, maybe cashmere-blend cardigan for a milk and spitup stained t-shirt and a sweatshirt. And I’m wearing christmas pajama pants just to complete the “six months still means new mom” ensemble.
Pumping is hard work and there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t try to nurse. But SIX WHOLE MONTHS.
For the first few months, that meant pumping nearly 8 hours a day. Eight. Whole. Hours. Some people apparently pump much faster than this and can get five ounces in fifteen minutes. That’s awesome for you. I’m happy for you. It can take me thirty or forty to get that kind of output (despite a heavy letdown).
The whole thing really makes me lament that there is no real community for exclusive pumpers. I’ve been blessed to have a steady support of friends through this (and a phenomenal husband), but it makes me think I should put all my EP stuff online. So, as soon as I get some free time - you know, the kind where I can shower and not have it to the operatic sobs I know to be my showertime these days - I will put that here.
But halfway through - we’re going to one year so help me hannah - I have come to understand that there is one truth in all things baby: Whatever works for you is what’s right. End story.
And right now, for me, that’s a nanny and a shower and a really good pump.
* Hunter is tongue-tied and for the first two weeks, he nursed like a champ. Perfect latch, very hungry, he loved it, i loved it. My body didn’t feel the exact same way - while a tongue-tied baby can nurse, what happens to the mom isn’t pretty. So we began pumping so he could have breastmilk and have been trying to nurse ever since his tie was stretched enough it would be possible. It’s an ongoing drama. Some days nursing is easy, some days it’s a nightmare. But every day, I pump.