Monday, July 18, 2011

Eight Times a Day

This post is part of the July Carnival of Breastfeeding, hosted by Elita, over at  Blacktating - the topic this month is "Breastfeeding the Special Needs Baby" - a topic right up my alley.


Eight times a day, everything else stops and I sit here for a half hour and pump.

Eight times a day, I put liquid gold into little plastic tubes for my now 7 week old, 4 pound baby girl.

Seven of those are at home, without her. The last precious session is almost always at her bedside, with the pump I begged and pleaded to be allowed to leave in her tiny room, next to the plastic box where she spends most of her time.

Eight times a day, I hope that next week she will be big enough, better enough, to talk about breastfeeding from an actual breast, rather than dribbling milk down the tube in her mouth.

Eight times a day, I'm shocked that anything comes out of my breasts at all. Making milk to feed a baby really is a superpower.

Eight times a day, I write down every last milliliter of milk pumped, keeping a tally - at the end of the day, I'm always surprised at how much there was (right now, just less than 3 times the amount she is fed in a whole day).

Eight times a day, I'm reminded of the last time I did this - pumping for my now 3 year old son. He was a little more premature, a little smaller, and a lot sicker...and I had not nearly enough milk to sustain him, no matter how much I pumped.

Eight times a day I think about how much milk is in the freezer - bottles and bottles of 1-2 ounces each - right now, 15 bottles a day. And I'm reminded of the day we used the last of my frozen milk for my son, just 2 days before his due date.

Eight times a day I think about how much I loved breastfeeding my son - all 3 weeks of it, starting at about 3 1/2 months old, just before his lungs couldn't keep up anymore. When he was stable again, 2 months later, he had forgotten how to suck.

Eight times a day, I remember pumping eight times a day and bringing one full bottle to feed him - not even a full feeding by then. It doesn't make me cry every time, but more often than I like to admit.

Eight times a day I dread sitting down with this pump, but it's my only option to get breastmilk for my little girl, which is by far the best thing for her right now. It's also our best hope at one day having something resembling a normal breastfeeding relationship.

And so, everyday, I pump eight times a day to make sure she gets what she needs now, and hopefully long into the future.


Please read some of the other posts in this carnival too:

Kelley @ Navagating: No one told me I couldn't

Tanya: They said you can't breastfeed a baby with Down Syndrome

Marla @ A Place to Write Things: Breastfeeding My Daughter, Who Just Happens to Have Cerebral Palsy

Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Breastfeeding is the Only Way

Blacktating: In A World of Uncertainty, Boobs Are Certain


  1. Sending lots of love and support to you mama. You are AMAZING.

  2. What a beautiful post! Best wishes to you and your little girl, hope you get to bring her home soon!

  3. What a touching post! You are definitely a super momma! Pumping can be so hard! Im in awe of you!! Thank you for sharing! Best wishes to you and your family!

  4. Keep it up Mama! You're doing a fantastic job, and you have a lucky kiddo to have you for a mom.

  5. As you can see my my post for the carnival-I really did not get along with my pump. I have sooooooo much admiration for moms like you that have no love for their pump either and yet still manage to suck it up and get the milk their little one needs. Go Mama!

  6. beautiful post, Mama. Brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful thing you have done/are doing for your precious babies. Just remember to pat yourself on the back eight times a day, because you deserve it, and then some.