I Dumped the Pump

This week's Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is
Loving Your Child From Afar (Working and Breastfeeding).
I wrote this post almost a year ago, the day I decided to stop pumping at work.

Today marked the end of something really important to me: I turned in the key to my pump room at work. I haven't pumped at work in about 10 days. E is still nursing, but refuses to take a bottle or sipper of my milk when I'm not home. He drinks from the tap exclusively. I haven't had any engorgement issues (thank goodness), but I feel full by the time I get home. Coincidentally, tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of me returning to work after my maternity leave.

This was the "key" to my breastfeeding success. Har har har.

    I wouldn't have made it this far without some help. I'd like to thank:
  • My loving husband for his support and for washing and sanitizing the parts for over a year
  • My Medela Pump in Style Advanced for encouraging me (or as my friend Kacie calls it, "laying down a dope beat") by saying "Make Milk! Make Milk!" while I pumped and for not letting me down, even when it made a weird knocking noise for a week.
  • My insurance company for reimbursing me 75% of the cost of the pump.
  • PumpEase for making an awesome product I could count on day after day that allowed me to both compress my breasts and play on my iPhone while pumping.
  • The following iPhone apps for keeping me entertained: Facebook, Twitter, Words With Friends, and Kindle.
  • My friend Alanna for lending me her power cord when I forgot mine at home. Yes, this did happen once.
  • President Obama and government officials for including Break Time for Pumping Mothers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  • My supportive employer.
  • Fenugreek and Mothers Milk tea for helping me increase my supply when it felt low.

In a way, I'm glad I'm done pumping. I hated the feeling of being milked, but really liked the sensation of the let down. Is that weird? I hated washing and sanitizing those parts. I hated taking the time out of my day to pump, usually because it threw off my whole work rhythm.

However, I loved that I provided E with my milk when I wasn't with him. It's very bittersweet. I have a small stash left in my freezer that will get donated, along with the opened pack of breastmilk storage bags.

The last 32 ounces

I'm trying not to think of what this means. It's inevitable, at some point E will not want to nurse anymore. I'll leave it up to him to decide when that will be. Saturday will be 15 months of nursing, with almost 12 of those happening while I worked. That is something I'm very proud of. Until he decides he's done, I'll enjoy the time we have together.

[edited 3/1/13]: E and I continued to breastfeed for an additional 6 months, until he was just over 21 months old. For more posts related to working and breastfeeding, click here.