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Adios, Breastpump. See you in hell.

April 23, 2012

Well, you can’t say I didn’t try.

Medela Symphony Plus Breast Pump 0240208-Medela Symphony Plus Breast Pump 0240208


Actually, I’m sure a lot of breastfeeding nazis advocates would indeed say that I didn’t try—or at least that I didn’t try hard enough.  To them I say: kiss my bottle-feeding butt.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been taking two types of supplements, drinking copious amounts of Mother’s Milk tea, eating oatmeal for breakfast, eating “Milk Maker” cookies (delicious, if not milk-inducing), pumping frequently, having skin time, drinking a dark beer at night…and still nothing.  Well, not nothing—about a little less than a third of an ounce each time.  Which means that it takes over three pumping sessions to get a single ounce of breast milk to give to Lila.  And so, although I know some people would disagree (cue frantic “ANY amount is better than nothing!!!!!”)…I’ve decided that for me personally, it’s just not worth it.  Pumping was wearing me out.  On Saturday, I pumped for thirty minutes, barely got enough to cover the bottom of the bottle, and then, in my sleep-deprived state, accidentally dropped the bottle on my way to the kitchen.  

You can imagine the meltdown that followed.

I kept pumping half-heartedly for the rest of Saturday and Sunday, but honestly, at that point, I think I knew that I was done.

And that’s okay. 

At least, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s okay.  I’ve been telling myself a lot of things—it’s not meant to be.  We’ll try again with the next baby.  There’s nothing wrong with formula.

In fact, I don’t think there is anything wrong with formula.  As I told my friend Lee, I know that we’ll find 5,980,465 ways to screw Lila up in the next 18 years, but I don’t think giving her formula is going to be at the top of that list. 

And so, I don’t feel guilty about giving her formula—I feel pissed off that my body has let me down.  As with so many realms of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting, I had an expectation of how breastfeeding was going to go, and it’s frustrating (and at times infuriating) that things haven’t gone as planned.

But that’s life.  We’ll move on.  Motherhood is more than boobs. 

Maybe I should get that printed on a t-shirt?  With all of the responses that I’ve gotten about this struggle, something tells me it would sell pretty well.  🙂

Thanks for your support on this topic…your comments and e-mails have helped more than you know!

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Ali permalink
    April 23, 2012 1:13 pm

    YES, it IS okay! Oh my goodness Anna, you did everything you could! And tried SO hard! Some wouldn’t even do that. Little Lila is so lucky to have you…. but you already know that! 🙂 Oh, and I would totally buy one of those t-shirts! 🙂

  2. April 23, 2012 1:13 pm

    Ugh, so sorry to hear that this has been a struggle. It sounds like you’ve explored your options and come to a decision that works for you and your family. And that’s something to feel really good about! Lila will be just fine!

  3. April 23, 2012 1:14 pm

    I’m so sorry that it didn’t work out the way you wanted to. However, you should be incredibly proud of yourself for trying as hard as you did. The first few weeks with a newborn are tough enough without the added stress of trying to establish your milk supply. I’m learning that with parenthood, a lot of things are just beyond our control- oftentimes I have had to throw my expectations out of the window. It is a humbling learning experience 🙂

    Lila is gorgeous and she is lucky to have parents like you and your husband!

  4. katheats permalink
    April 23, 2012 1:27 pm

    Bummer it didn’t work out, but good for you to accept that and move on. You’re right, there’s nothing BAD about formula like the propaganda likes to make us think. It’s a lifesaver – literally – when you need it.

  5. April 23, 2012 1:32 pm

    Please, please get that printed on a shirt. I would laugh so hard seeing someone wearing that 😉 Seriously though, I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I know what it’s like to envision something in your head and then not have it pan out. it can be crushing.

  6. April 23, 2012 1:34 pm

    I’m so happy for you! Like I said before, everyone has to do what works for them! Others can judge all they want

  7. hsdisarro permalink
    April 23, 2012 1:40 pm

    So I’m writing this on my iPhone but I just had to chime in…you are totally doing right by you and your sweet family, and I think that’s awesome! I’m lucky enough to be able to breastfeed but if I couldn’t I would be just as happy to feed Wes a bottle. And think about what your body did to deliver sweet Lila! It most certainly did not let you down. Just enjoy this time with her, they grow waaaaaaay to fast!

  8. April 23, 2012 1:45 pm

    Oh Anna, I know this seems really hard to deal with right now, but you are doing the right thing for you and Lila. Always being frustrated about producing your own milk won’t do anyone any good. You are nourishing her the best way you can and that’s the important part of all of this! Do not beat yourself up over it. Oh and yeah, you have plenty of time to screw her up…my kids are about as warped as you can get, but they know we love them and do all we can for them. In the end, that’s all that matters! I hope this week is better for you with that monkey off your back! Many hugs to you!

  9. jocelynmerkel permalink
    April 23, 2012 2:14 pm

    I have definitely gone into hysterics over spilled breast milk before. 😦 You definitely did everything you could to make it work. Enjoy the extra time with your sweet girl!

  10. Aunt Kristi permalink
    April 23, 2012 2:36 pm

    I’m in your corner!

  11. April 23, 2012 3:00 pm

    You did the right thing for you and no one can ever dispute that. The right decisions for you are just that, right. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about them. Ever.

  12. April 23, 2012 3:37 pm

    Oh I have lots!! of memories of the Symphony. Fun times.

    Glad you are doing what works for you and I loved the “I know that we’ll find 5,980,465 ways to screw Lila up in the next 18 years” comment.

    And I too have cried over spilled milk. Girl, I feel you. You are a great mom and she loves you, that’s all that matters!

  13. April 23, 2012 4:20 pm

    You are 100% doing what’s right for Lila & you. I’m SO happy you don’t feel guilty because you shouldn’t!

  14. April 23, 2012 4:55 pm

    You really gave it the ole college try! I have to say, pumping is annoying and time consuming enough even when you have an established supply months down the road– so no mother worth her salt is going to be judging your choice to JUST GET THE BABY FED already! 😉 In your previous post, you mentioned possible gas pains, etc.– we went through a lot of that. Check out tummy massage and the “colic carries” as remedies for that (specifically Dr. Sears). Also, we found that the more we wore her snugly wrapped in the sling or moby, the more gas she worked out of her system.

  15. April 23, 2012 7:26 pm

    I know how much you wanted this to work, but I totally think you should get that quote printed on a t-shirt and wear it with pride. While snuggling sweet Lila, of course.

  16. ginger635 permalink
    April 24, 2012 12:02 am

    You are right – you did everything you could do and I’m so proud of you. You and Ryan are great parents and Lila hit the jackpot with both of you. This decision will give you lots more time with that precious little girl, and you won’t be frustrated. I definitely think it was the best decision! Don’t look back.

  17. April 24, 2012 1:59 am

    There is nothing wrong with formula! Really. Motherhood is definitely more than boobs!

  18. Erin permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:10 am

    I would totally get the T-shirt! I think you gave it your all. And that’s what matters. What matters even more is a growing healthy girl, and you have that!

  19. April 25, 2012 1:42 pm

    Don’t beat yourself up about it. There’s nothing wrong with formula, I was fed using formula and there’s nothing wrong with me (i think!).

  20. April 25, 2012 10:50 pm

    I really hope no one would try to make you feel bad about this. You’ve put SO much effort into this. I’m honestly so amazed that you’ve stuck with trying this long, even though you’re not getting results. But there’s no point in stressing about something out of your control, so good for you for letting it go and getting on with things. Lila is much better off with formula even if you could produce enough, if it means you’re not stressed about it. “we’ll find 5,980,465 ways to screw Lila up in the next 18 years” HAH, I feel like that all the time about my kids, I love how you said it.

  21. April 27, 2012 3:46 pm

    Kudos to you for trying the whole breastfeeding thing. I admire that! And don’t feel bad about your decision – my daughter was 100% formula fed and is healthy as a horse. I’ve never had to give her medication of any kind – except Tylenol once when she was a few months old.

  22. Nick permalink
    April 27, 2012 6:02 pm

    You (or your intellectual side) might enjoy this book, Anna.

  23. April 27, 2012 6:13 pm

    You poor thing. You have such a good attitude about this. Sometimes, moms and moms-to-be really can rub even those who aren’t mothers yet the wrong wat with the holier than thou attitude towards all things breastfeeding, cloth diapers, staying at home…it’s very off-putting. And um, the blog world is full of them. You have to do what’s right for you and your child…and only you know that best 🙂

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