Monday, July 9, 2012

Pump and Dump

I'm in the pit of despair.  I'm all alone in this world, and I don't know what I'm doing with my life.  Life is just sad for no reason.  Sad... sadder... saddest.  I'm just so sad.  - No-- wait.  I'm OK now.  Life is cool!

I have to be honest with you guys.  I think I've had a little bit of post-partum depression but it only occurred while I was pumping.  It's the weirdest thing!  As soon as the pump left skin contact, voila!  I was back to my old, cheery self.  The change in mood was so extreme, that I had no idea how to blog about it because I could not feel the depression if I wasn't pumping, and pumping and typing simultaneously is hard.  Even now, I don't think I'm doing a good job at describing it.

Luckily, I have been able to overcome the depression by making pumping into a psychological, competitive sport.  The Great Mother's Milk Race!  How much can Shirley pump in this round?  Can she pump more than the other mom's Lansinoh bags in the Mother's Room refrigerator?  She did!  Haha! Suckers!

Unfortunately, during my recent 9 days of vacation sans baby I needed to do a lot of pumping and dumping while I was in Mexico.  We had itineraries chock full of activities and there were some days when I could only pump once in the morning and once at night.  As a result, my milk production significantly reduced during the 9 days.  I remember reaching our hotel on Day 1 after a 7 hour flight with extra hours in connection flight times and my chest was rock hard!  Fast forward 9 days later and reaching home after the same number of hours and my chest was perfectly fine and barely producing anything it all.

Now I'm back in the mother's nursing room at work, and losing The Great Mother's Milk Race.  I'm a loser who doesn't produce over 2 ounces at the pump (It used to be at least 4-5 oz).  The mothers look at my Lansinoh bag and scoff.  'What a loser!' (OK - maybe that's just in my head)  A new depression sweeps over me to realize that at 6 months Mateo has been transformed from a breast milk baby with supplemental formula, to a formula baby with supplemental breastmilk.  :(

This can't happen.  I really wanted to last longer this time around.  Around 9-12 months was my goal.  Not 6 months!  I didn't overcome pump depression just to dry up due to a 9-day vacation to Cancun!  So my new, immediate goal is to stimulate milk production back to a somewhat acceptable level (without breastfeeding because Mateo's teeth have come in - Ouch!).  What does this mean?
  • More frequent time at the pump (my boobs will NOT be hybrids)
  • Stimulation by continued pumping even when there is no more milk
  • Mother's Milk Tea (Hey!  I'll give it a shot)
I will give an update on the Mother's Milk Race score in a followup post.  Wish me luck!

For now it's Other Mothers: 1, Shirley: 0    --- Shirley


Sara said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh my, good luck! I can only imagine how 9 days would have an impact on things, but I hope your new plan of attack will have you winning the race again soon!

Jessica Jollyjess said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

First of all, hats off to you for making it to 7 months! It seems like I have yet to hear of a working momma who doesn't have trouble with milk production at this stage of the game. I dread being in that boat one day. It's amazing how competitive I got with myself when it came to pumping, so I understand the race metaphor. You could try making lactation cookies or really upping your water intake. I took fenugreek and it helped some but it will make you and Mateo smell like syrup, seriously.

Shirley said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Jessica Jollyjess Haha strangely I don't mind smelling like syrup. I need to try something because so far it hasn't been working out. :(