Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The end?

I have reached a critical juncture. My kids turn 1 year old in less than a month. I have 1 breastmilk storage bag left. I have no plan in place for calling it quits with the pump, or introducing cows milk. When I go to the store this weekend, I don't know if I should be buying organic whole milk, or more storage bags. Here are my jumbled, disorganized bullety thoughts on the matter. I would love to hear from all of you out there (especially the moms who work out of the home) to find out how you dealt with the one year mark and the expectation that your kids would start on cows milk!

*I am pretty sure my kids are not ready to stop nursing. The boob is my secret weapon. It never fails to calm them when they are fussy. They nurse to sleep every night. I don't usually tandem nurse, so I love having individual time with each baby when they're nursing. If I stop pumping during the day, I am worried that my production will drop too much to meet their needs.

*Part of me is really eager to be done with lugging the stupid pump everywhere. I am tired of dealing with cleaning all of the little bottles and pump parts. I am tired of needing to pump 28 oz a day so my kids will have enough for daycare. My production levels are such that it is not always easy for me to nurse them as much as they want and pump 28 oz. Sometimes it feels like a lot of pressure, and it would be nice to be done with that.

*I think the nursing sometimes hurts Elizabeth. She refers to herself as "toxic nighttime mommy" because when they wake up in the middle of the night they only want to nurse. They cry and twist and roll and struggle to escape her and get to the boob.

*I worry that it is "weird" to continue sending pumped milk to daycare once they've hit 1 year. If I will need to pump to keep up a supply to nurse when I am home, what do I do with all of that milk? Pump and dump? Donate?

*Sometimes I get really crazy, and think that I'd like to keep pumping to build a huge freezer stash for baby #3 which Elizabeth would carry. And so I could also nurse #3, so I don't also become "toxic nighttime mama". Problem is, we're at least 1 year off from even trying for #3. It's crazy to think about doing this, right?

EDITED TO ADD- I know I can only store milk in the freezer for 1 year max. I was thinking of trying to pump for my kids (or pump and dump, or donate) until we're at a point that I could freeze for #3. But I think I'd lose my mind if I had to pump that long.


Pufferfish said...

Well, I know you wanted to hear from moms who work, but I'm going to chime in. I was afraid that my supply would drop when I stopped pumping and it has kept up with the twin's needs. Funny how your body works that way.
I started dropping a pump a week a little after their 1st birthday. I cannot tell you how liberating and freeing it was. If I never see a pump again.... I hated that thing.
We did moo milk at one year and I continued to BF, but cut back on that slowly as well.
As I've written, nursing a toddler has been one of the best things I've ever done. So, if they aren't ready to stop and you aren't ready to stop--keep doing it!
Based on the responses I got about supply and dropping the pump, your body will adjust to 'weekday' demands and 'weekend' demands.

I'm sorry E thinks of herself as the toxic mommy. Chicken was a titty pusher. She never felt herself toxic, only blessed that she was able to sleep instead of having to feed. If they would wake up in the middle of the night, she would most likely mumble "I think you should BF him". Hee. Such a titty pusher.

I don't know about the baby #3 option because, I think they idea of twins + one more is Crazy in itself, but if you can handle it and want it, then go for it!!!

Good luck with the decision/s.

anofferingoflove said...

first of all, kudos for pumping so long. it's not easy. (and kudos for being able to pump 28 oz a day!!)

i was worried about my production too, that's why i kept pumping at work well past the year mark. bird got pumped breastmilk until very recently. i feel like in our culture, people think it's "weird" to breastfeed at all past infancy - but i think those people are dead wrong, so i tried not to let it bother me that she got it past 12 months old.

maybe you could ease the pressure a little, pump less and just send what you do pump with them to daycare? im sure water in a sippy cup (or cow's milk if you choose) would be fine the rest of the time.

as for freezing, i think it only lasts 1 year in a deep freeze, so if you abided by those guidelines (which are probably on the low side, but that's another post), the pumping for #3 might just be more frustration/worry/loss than it's worth?

good luck in whatever you decide!

Bionic Baby Mama said...

perhaps obviously, i have no advice, but i'm worried about the supply drop problem too. (i am not planning to pump because it sets off my vasospasms and i am selfish like that, but i'd like to still be able to nurse when i am at home.) i wish it were easier to find clear information about this stuff. i feel like it's just endless sifting through anecdotes every time i want to know something.

tbean said...

I would say if you are ready to drop a pump, drop a pump. I imagine, like Puffer said, your supply will adjust so you don't have to wean or anything. AooL is right that you really can't deep freeze the milk for more than 6-12 months, so that option is probably out. But if you want to send the kids to daycare with pump milk--do it. Screw anyone who thinks it is weird! Congrats to you for bfing your twins to 1 year. I was so excited to reach the 6 month mark last week! I only plan to make it to 12 months but have no idea how I'll feel about it come the winter. I say, if the three of you want to keep going, keep going!

Elana said...

I agree that if you want to keep going that you should, and if you want to keep it up for #3 then do it! It would be awesome for you both to be able to nurse another little one. Twice the antibodies!!! And you should keep sending pumped milk regardless of what anyone else thinks. They're your kids, not theirs. But you won't be able to save a huge pumped stash. So if you want to use cow's milk, then I would donate the pumped milk.

mama bea, bao in the oven said...

I was pretty confused about introducing cow's milk too, and although I only have 1 kid, when she was about to turn a year old I was down to like 10 ounces of bm in the freezer. I was still pumping twice a day at work, at times when she would have been nursing, but was only making enough for part of her day care needs. I called the dr to see if it was okay to introduce cow's milk when she turned a year, even though her well baby visit wasn't for a few weeks. She ok'd it, and the baby took to it like a fish to water. She continues to nurse at morning and at night, but gets cow's milk the rest of the time. And I am FREE from the pump, which is so incredibly delightful.
At this point, for my daughter, I am pretty sure nursing is about comfort rather than nutrition. I know there's a little bit in there still as I am getting the letdown sensation, but I know it's not enough to sate any sort of hunger. (She eats food like a champ and takes milk from a sippy cup.)
I don’t think it’s weird to send pumped BM to day care. It’s not like the daycare providers are tasting it to know whether it’s cow’s milk or BM anyway, so it’s unlikely they’ll notice! If you want to continue pumping, though, donating your milk is such an amazing gift. I have friends with adopted babies who rely on donating mothers’ excess supplies. You can connect with people in need at milkshare.com and I’m sure there are plenty of other places too.
As awesome as your idea of pumping for the next kid sounds, I think you may have to let go of it. It probably wouldn’t keep for as long as you would need it to, and I think you deserve a break from the pump! It’s incredibly freeing.
One more thing: 28 ounces a day?!? You must have had to store it in a Nalgene!

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

Your comment was so hilarious!

I noticed that I hadn't seen you around for awhile either. What's new??