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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The combs or the long hair

Still here.  Still pumping.  Still all angsty about my lack of blogging.  I feel stuck in a Gift of the Magi conundrum, where the thing I want (writing, or the beautiful combs) is going to require giving up what I already have (pumping, or the long gorgeous hair).  And then what will I write about?

People often ask how long I am going to pump for.  Now I'm often asking myself.  For a while I was always surprised when it was time to write a new month onto the date line of a freezer bag, but even that has become routine.  I have hit the point that I've heard other EPers (exclusive pumpers) refer to where everything just gels and you kind of feel like you could do this indefinitely.  I'm 8.5 months and it's funny because 8 months feels close to only half a year, yet 9 months feels like almost a year.

I noticed a few months ago that my credit card wasn't being charged for the hospital-grade pump I am renting.  I thought maybe the hospital was being nice, or maybe someone had called in and was covering it for me.  It turned out to be a royal mess with all the new Affordable Care Act stuff.  At first I was annoyed because I was being required to return my pump, then I realized that I'd saved close to $400.  (I do already own other pumps, I just like this one the best.)  I thought maybe this was a sign to stop, but decided I didn't want to do it in a hurry, so went ahead and rented the same pump from a different hospital.  (Where I rented it from their gift shop because that makes a lot more sense than renting it from trained lactation professionals who will support and advise me, like hospitals used to do.)

Today I found out that if I want to continue donating to the milk bank, they will need me to do an updated blood test.  So, sign to stop?  I don't know.  I like the idea of going to a year (9 months is almost a year, after all), but the holidays are always stressful.  Or I should say December is stressful with a kid birthday and Christmas, as I usually don't lift a finger for Thanksgiving.

At my peak, I was able to break 40oz in one day.  I used to average 36oz per day.  After travel times and dropping pumps (only three times per day now), I now average 30oz per day.  This is a little on the high end of normal for an EPer.  I definitely do not think I would have lasted this long if my supply had been low, even though every drop is "extra" and never demanded from me.

Every drop I have pumped (except for a couple spilled ounces) is recorded in an app on my phone.  The time it takes to measure out actually feels like more of a burden then the pumping itself, but I can't let go of the data.  I use the excuse that I need to be careful not to overfill the bags anyway.  But really I just like numbers.

I should have some sort of beautiful conclusion here, right?  But my alarm will be going off in in a just over 5 hours from now, and I don't want to delay yet again in posting, so, goodnight.


  1. Sometimes it's good just to share. No epiphany needed.
    I'm sorry to hear about your mess with the ACA and your pump! I'm glad you were able to get an identical one.
    Whatever you decide, you have helped many babies and their families with your remembrance gift. You are kind and courageous. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us, sporadic or not. We love you.

  2. I'm a numbers person, too ... and it is really funny how those small differences are so large. 8.5 v. 9 months, 18 months v. 20 months.

    And it must be hard, moving from measuring time in heartbeats to months to years when they're all just a collection of heartbeats; counting the beats, counting the steps, counting the ounces, counting the words ....

    Anyway. I have no awesomer awesome conclusion to this thought than you have to your blog post, but this is my response and I'll leave it. <3