All Good Things Must End

I didn’t think I’d be this emotional about turning off the Medela breast pump for good, but it’s bittersweet. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about my breastfeeding and pumping journey ending. I am beyond grateful that I was able to feed our son the best my body had to offer for 13 months, as well as donate in excess of 25 gallons (yes, GALLONS) of breast milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas, but I am incredibly sad to admit this chapter in my life, and my family’s life, is ending.

The end actually began late last week. I had a horrible sore throat last Friday and and went to doc-in-a-box (CareNow) first thing Saturday morning and received a steroid shot. I asked repeatedly if it was okay for breastfeeding and my milk supply and they assured me it was fine. I’m accepting responsibility for signing the consent form to receive the shot and I admit that I should have called my OB beforehand, but it’s additional proof that not all doctors are educated properly on drug interactions and breastfeeding. I knew this day would come eventually, but I wish it was on different terms. I wish it was on my terms. I wish I could have made the decision to stop pumping on my own. But, instead of passing judgment or blaming someone, I’m going to look at this situation as a sign to be thankful and move on.

The last 13 months have had a few bumps along the road, but, for the most part, my breastfeeding and pumping experience has been super positive. To new or expecting moms, I highly recommend taking a breastfeeding class before your little one arrives. This was the only class I attended, in addition to the maternity ward tour, and quite possibly the best decision I made while pregnant. I learned the basics, troubleshooting solutions, and left with the personal phone number of the lactation nurse at the hospital where Kamden was born. That class, plus some common sense, I think, was the reason we had such great success breastfeeding and pumping. I also realize how blessed I am to have a child who latched on so early and efficiently. Kamden’s birth was easy-peasy and he started eating almost immediately. It was the beginning of a very beautiful thing. But the first week and month were not without their challenges. Kamden had jaundice and that caused us stress and several trips to the hospital and pediatrician’s office for blood tests. He was also the master champion of frequent cluster feedings. It wasn’t until I started pumping that I realized his cluster feedings and spit-ups were most likely caused by my own body and very abundant supply issues. I originally planned to breastfeed as long as possible but I wanted to practice pumping before I had surgery in March (to remove my gallbladder and have my tubes tied), so I began pumping in January. It was then I realized I had a super abundant supply and really fast let-down, the rate at which milk comes out. Once we introduced Kamden to a bottle, and figured out his preferred quantity, he was a much happier, content baby. He started sleeping longer stretches because he was full and he stopped spitting up immediately. It was obvious that pumping would be our best option. It didn’t matter to me whether I fed at the breast or with a bottle, I wanted Kamden to have my breast milk as long as my body produced it. If that meant I had to become an exclusive pumper, I was happy to oblige … no matter the time, hard work, and dedication required. Fortunately, again, pumping was easy for me. I’ve never had an unpleasant experience pumping and, with the help of a hands-free bra, pumping became a way of life. It’s never been a burden or an inconvenience either. Within a few weeks of pumping exclusively, and freezing excess milk on a daily basis, I soon filled an entire basket in our chest deep freezer. It was around this time I was introduced to the Angel Gown program and donated my wedding dress. It was then I learned specific details about NICU babies receiving breast milk from registered donors. On May 19, I made my first donation to the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas. I am donor #5644. To date, I’ve donated 3,300 ounces of breast milk. Both of these numbers, my donor tag and quantity, mean as much to me as my college degree, it’s something that I accomplished and no one can take away.

TO KAMDEN – I am so proud of you and thankful to be your Mommy. Thank you for being the amazing and awesome and wonderful son that you are, not to mention my super-duper nursling and bottle-feeder. You have made my pumping experience so worthwhile and I hope the benefits of drinking Mommy’s Milk for a year-plus come to you ten-fold. I love you to the moon and back.

TO HUSBAND – Thank you for being my rock and strong hold of support not only through my pregnancy, but delivery and beyond. I could not have been as successful pumping exclusively without your love and support. You are my number one fan and team captain. Kamden is so blessed to have you as his daddy and there is no one on earth I’d rather be the father of my son than you. Thank you for making all of my dreams come true, every single day. I love you to the moon and back. Now, does our insurance cover breast augmentation? Because the girls are super sad looking now.

TO FRIENDS & FAMILY – Thank you for your ceaseless support of my family and pumping choice. You all have been our cheerleaders from the very beginning and we are so grateful. The saying – it takes a team to nurse or pump and a village to raise a child – is true! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts … and my sagging boobs. We love you all to the moon and back. Now, who’s got a bottle of Cupcake Moscato? I’m ready to celebrate and don’t have to pump-and-dump!

 

What should I do with this stuff?

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By |2015-01-22T15:53:46+00:00January 22nd, 2015|Blog, Motherhood|0 Comments

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  1. Celeste Zachry January 22, 2015 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    You know I’ve got you and those girls covered with Cupcake D’Nasty!!

    • Nicole January 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      That comment was just for YOU my love!!!!! hahahahaha

      On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:02 PM, Three 31 wrote:

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  2. Rebekah January 23, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Awesome job momma! Your journey pumping has inspired me to give pumping a better chance my next time around!

    • Nicole January 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Oh Rebekah, thank you for these sweet words. I wish you and your little one the very best, what a precious gift!!!!

      On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:54 PM, Three 31 wrote:

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  3. Kate Engle January 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    i have to say, as someone who is already getting sad about her own breast feeding journey coming to an end, I get a little teary reading this 😥

    • Nicole January 23, 2015 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      Oh Kate, YOU are the remarkable mom for being so diligent and overcoming great obstacles along your journey. KUDOS TO YOU!!!!!

      On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Three 31 wrote:

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  4. Nina January 23, 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Oh man, that really stinks that you couldn’t end this on your own terms. 🙁 However, I am super proud of you and your amazing boobs for producing so much and donating so much to the itty bitty babies who needed it.

    • Nicole January 23, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Nina, you’re so sweet. And I love your sense of humor. I look at Husband this morning, holding my boobs, and said, “Does this mean I’ll have itty-bitty-titties now?!” He just laughed. HAHAHAHA

      On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:34 PM, Three 31 wrote:

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      • Nina January 25, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

        HAHAHA! Boobs are fantastic. I’m sure if I was a guy I’d be all about the titties. I’m sure yours will stay gimungo. 🙂

  5. Sarah E. January 23, 2015 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Wow amazing mama! I’m about to start my second breastfeed journey. The first didn’t go exactly as planned but I’m hopeful for great success with this baby. I breastfed our son for 6 months and then I had 3 girlfriends pump and give me milk. It was a blessing. I currently don’t have a pump. I had borrowd a friends. If you really don’t know what to do with it I’d be interested in purchasing your pump!

    • Nicole January 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      Oh wow, Sarah, that’s amazing you had THREE friends give you milk. Those are real friends! There’s a lady at my church who is supposed to take my pump. If, for some reason, she reconsiders, I will definitely let you know. I won’t accept payment for it or the extra accessories I have as I received it free of charge from my insurance. Just paying it forward! 🙂

      On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 6:26 PM, Three 31 wrote:

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  6. vintageregina January 24, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Excited to see what God uses your talents for next.

    • Nicole January 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      Oh gosh, when one door closes another opens, right?! It’s bittersweet that our breastfeeding and pumping journey had to end on these terms, but I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity not only to feed our son, Kamden, but to have the ability (and resources) to donate a great quantity to the milk bank.

      On Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 6:13 PM, Three 31 wrote:

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  7. Monday Musings | Three 31 January 26, 2015 at 7:51 am - Reply

    […] a week. As of last Thursday, I officially ended my breastfeeding and pumping journey. It lasted 13 months, 399 days, to be exact. It was a fine, very productive ride. Though […]

  8. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,300 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  9. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,300 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  10. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,300 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  11. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,300 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  12. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,300 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  13. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,442 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  14. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,442 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  15. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,650 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  16. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,650 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  17. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,650 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

  18. […] Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,650 ounces to the MMBNT. Donate to a charity Throw a […]

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