Pumping. It’s the norm for mom’s whose teeny babies are in the NICU. The hope is, with a little time to grow and practice eating, the babes with transition to nursing if that’s what the Mom wants, and the pump becomes a distant memory.
In a less rosy version of the story, teeny baby is born, Mom starts to pump and baby won’t nurse well enough to get discharged. So the bottle gets introduced to help get baby home and the attempt to nurse continues at home. The Mom tries absolutely everything while continuing to bottle feed some of the time, but baby doesn’t gain enough weight and the lactation consultants Mom has been seeing 3 X a week for 3 months say it’s time to stop and just feed baby by bottle as the failure to thrive has gone on long enough. Baby’s pediatrician also encourages abandoning breast feeding to allow baby to rest between bottle feedings and finally gain weight. Spurred on by a very, very strong desire to nurse, Mom sees worldwide breastfeeding guru to attempt to continue bre_astfeeding despite an utter (ha, I said udder) lack of success. Baby latches just fine but can’t transfer enough milk to offset the calories spent trying to nurse.
Guru insists lactation aid will do the trick so now Mom and baby are attempting to nurse, attempting to nurse with lactation aid and bottle feeding. Oh, and pumping.
Mom, despite a healthy dose of Mom Guilt, decides it’s time to just accept the bottle and spend the other hours a day previously spent attempting to bre_astfeed baby bonding with baby.
So the bottle prevails and the pump continues to wheesh, wheesh, wheesh – setting the soundtrack for hours and hours of babies first, second, third, many months.
Mom hates that pump. But, the Guilt and the desire to nurse which was foiled earlier in the story are stronger than the hate and the pumping goes on and on. Fast forward 8 months from when baby arrived.
The pump is still pumping. The Mom is still hating. The desire and guilt are still driving. And the milk is still present and accounted for.
What I want to know is how the story should end. And when?
What do you do when your ideals and your guilt are running your choices (wheesh, wheesh) and you’re beginning to think you should pull the plug and dump the pump? I don’t have a good answer really. But if you do, perhaps you can help me write then end sordid tale.