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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bad Days

I pumped for six months. Charlotte continued to have problems with her reflux so we did testing. She showed severe sensitivity to what was in my breast milk, and since it was all frozen, we had no idea what I had eaten or consumed when it was expressed. After the g-tube, we had to go straight formula to help with her digestion.

I've never thought that I would be one to be so set on breast feeding. I breast fed Caleb for a year and was happy we did it, but even more happy it was over. But the day the rental company came to pick up that yellow breast pump for Charlotte, I watched another notch in the "failure" column show up.

I'd failed to keep a child inside of me, I'd failed to keep her safe, to grow her eye lashes, to give her time to develop. I'd failed at all of that. And yet, I had come to terms with it. Charlotte was the one who came early, and I just went with her plan. I was alright. Really. Really, really.

But not being able to breast feed her seemed bigger, if that makes any sense. It was the one thing I felt that we could do "normally." Throughout her entire NICU experience, I kept looking forward to the time we could spent breast feeding. We worked on non-nutritive suck exercises, and I pumped. We did oral stimulation, and I pumped. We did pacifier dips, and I pumped. We did everything and I pumped. And pumped. And pumped some more. Every three hours for six months.

I have more pumping stories than you would believe. Like the time someone broke into my car and stole my milk and ice packs. (Jerks) Or adapter I purchased for the car so I could pump while driving. Or the alarms on my phone that went off every three hours. All. Night. Long.

She had a fantastic suck reflex. She was awesome at latching on. And she aspirated like nothing the Speech Therapist had ever seen. I watched that liquid filling her lungs on the swallow study and knew our dream, uh, I mean, my dream, was over.

Peter threw out the last of the frozen milk this week. It's been sitting in the upright freezer (which we purchased to store all the milk while she was in the NICU) for three months. It was my final goodbye to a dream that will never be. I know the day I turned it the pump was really the end, but this seemed final. Absolute.

And although I'm not really ready for it, I'm able to envision a day when I'll be OK with it. Someday.


  1. I know how you feel and it really stinks :( I have been pumping for 4 months and my supply is so low. I continue to set my alarm for every 3 hours to get milk. Breastfeeding impacts me majorly as well; I breastfed my two older children for a year and I was so hoping to do the same for Dorian. I am continuing for now but am trying to come to terms with my very low supply. He already needs a special formula due to malabsorption so he only gets breastmilk 2x day. Thank you for your posts- I enjoy following your little miracle!

  2. That sucks... and that is all I have to say about that.

  3. What do I say? This is really bad. This is not fair. You worked so hard...Does that make is worse, should I be more positive. try to convince you that you did more than anyone would expect, you really did more than your best effort? I don't know what to say...

  4. Amanda you are amazing. I am so sorry you feel like you failed. You are amazing mother who continues to make sure Charlotte gets the best care. I don't know what to say other than I am sorry and I think you are incredible.