Oh, the Crying! by Heather Bowles

If I’m completely honest with myself? I have just about had it with this exclusive pumping mess. I don’t know who I let tell me this was a good idea. Maybe it was one of those silly nurses in the hospital. “Well, since we’ve stopped your daughter from latching ever, how about you rent this pump. Go ahead. Take it home for a week or two.” Then when you’ve got her completely in the bottle, we’re gonna make you feel guilty for EVER daring to think about using formula.

Then, of course, I’m surrounded by these amazing women, all of who are at least ten years younger than me having their babies at home and questioning why I couldn’t. There are many reasons, but let’s just say what you and I know.  That when you get the chance to have a child so late, and it’s what you always wanted, you make sure it goes off without a hitch.

That meant going in at 40 weeks and one day, worrying about the state of my placenta and thinking, “She’s not moving enough.”, letting them scare me into  induction, and then refusing painkillers because I won’t take a chance no matter how remote, of having a seizure on the table. You know they wouldn’t even let me see the placenta afterward? I bet you there was nothing wrong with it. Stupid hospitals. Grrr.

Fast forward four months… she won’t stop crying when we’re alone and I’m on the pump. It never fails. I’m on it maybe seven minutes, and the whimpering starts. From there, I have about ten minutes to do as much as I can before she echoes in the baby monitor, and about 4 more minutes from total meltdown. None of it is acceptable. I’ve tried getting her up before I pump to feed her, but she wakes up cranky, drinks maybe two ounces, and goes back to sleep. For ten minutes. Then the screaming starts. I can’t win.

I read somewhere last week that the average woman breastfeeds for 16 minutes. I’m on this pump almost 45 minutes, every time. On bad days, it can take over an hour. So, of course she’s crying! She needs her mommy. I wonder at what point the socialization damage this must be causing is worth it. Am I setting her up for educational failure? I know the stress hormones aren’t good for her. They aren’t doing me any good. I’ll tell you that for free.

And no. I’ve gotten absolutely no packing done. Sigh…


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. 3 Responses to “Oh, the Crying! by Heather Bowles”

  2. I feel your pain, Sister! My little girl needed intestinal surgery at 5 days of age. Once she healed, she would latch on to my breast, but she had learned to use a bottle in the hospital. After a few minutes of feeding from the breast, she would start to cry and want her breast milk from the bottle. So, I pumped…and pumped…and we bottle fed her breast milk. And then, after a couple of months, my milk started to dry up and not be enough for her. Oh, the guilt of supplementing with formula…and of eventually switching to formula fully. I’m still struggling with it. But, I must admit, it felt good to throw the pump away. I admire your commitment. Blessings to you and your little one!

    By Jody on Aug 18, 2012

  3. Oh boy, does this sound familiar! I delivered my son by C-section at age 46 after 18 hours of hard labor. No way was I going to be up every 2 hours learning how to breastfeed.

    So of course, the hospital staff stepped in and gave him a bottle, and I couldn’t get him to latch. Lord knows I tried.

    Enter the pump. Now, every time my baby cried in the wee hours, my husband would grab the bottle while I grabbed my pump. I wanted to keep that every-two-hour schedule going to get my milk production up.

    In the end, the little guy got only one or two drinks of momma’s milk per day for his first year of life and I was done. I could have made more milk but the schedule was exhausting. So a lactation consultant helped me tailor my milk production to an amount that I could keep up with without becoming a zombie.

    But getting on the pump and keeping him happy at the same time, oh boy, was that an art. Adam wouldn’t sleep on his own so I’d keep him next to me and distract him with toys while I pumped. Later, he’d be propped up in one of those little entertainment centers on wheels. If he got antsy, I’d hand him a milky funnel from my breast and he’d lick it like a lollipop.

    Yeah, I hate those younger women!!

    By Carolyn on Aug 20, 2012

  4. I pumped for three months and the longer I spent in time pumping, the less milk I seemed to produce. I then read that as much as a pump is supposed to mimic actual breastfeeding, it can’t produce a hormone that is secreted through the action of actual baby to nipple breastfeeding. There is a chemical reaction that a machine just cannot reproduce. So I gave the pump to a friend and started my son on expensive formula. I cried my eyes out, but in the end, he was full and happy, I spent less time catering to the pump and more time catching up on snippets of sleep, and everyone was calmer and less cranky. My son got the immune boosting milk that is produced in the beginning. But after I grieved, I realized I made the right choice for both of us.

    By Cara Meyers on Aug 23, 2012