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Ever since that whole thing happened with my frozen milk stash, I have seriously lost my motivation to keep pumping. I do it 4 times a day right now. I'm up in the night with Lilah twice or three times, then maybe with my other girls sometimes, then I always have to set my alarm for 5:30am to pump before DH leaves for work. I can go back to bed after that, but someone is usually waking up. Today my day started at 4:30am because Lilah got up to eat, I couldn't fall back to sleep, then it was 5:30 and I had to get up, then my oldest daughter was up at 6:45am.
Donating milk was keeping me motivated because I was helping someone else as well as feeding Lilah, and the girl was depending on me for milk for her son.
I'm so tired and worn out from being up in the night, pumping is just a PITA. I want to go to bed at like 8:30pm, but instead I have to stay up until 9pm to pump, then I don't get to bed until 9:40 most nights.
I feel horrid guilt if I think about stopping because it would be selfish, but at the same time, I've almost done this for 5 months now and holy crap I want a break.
I get you 100%. Pumping flat out sucks. As hard as it is try to set aside the guilt. Do it for as long as it works for you and then pat yourself on the back for doing so great and helping another baby too.
Truthfully, it's a two way street and your feeding choice needs to work for BOTH of you.
I think five months is beyond fabulous. You could get her well past half of her first year (to the point of introducing solids anyway) on exclusive breast milk (with the rest of your freezer stash). That is something you need to shout from the rooftops. It's huge. I get the guilt. It seems we all carry it for some reason or another. But goodness you have done so much to outweigh that guilt (although I know it's easy to minimize that and just feel the guilt instead).
As a mother, you need to take care of YOU too. And that might mean dropping the nighttime pump to go to bed earlier. Heck, and the morning one to sleep later. You could still pump in the middle if you wanted to. Or not if you just need to be done.
You have done an excellent job. (I don't think I could have handled it this long either. I despise pumping).
Agree with all of the above. You've done amazingly well for all you have to keep up with with two other girls and Lilah being a bit high-maintenance. Why not see if she'll take formula, and then do whatever works for you--supplementing, or just go all formula if you're just ready to be done. I don't see any harm in that. It's not selfish---like they say, put on your own oxygen mask first if you have a child. You do have to put your own well-being first sometimes, in order to better care for your children.
I'm not ready to be done right now - my goal was 6 months and I plan to get her there on fresh milk (she never gets frozen right now). From there, I don't know. On one hand I'm exhausted, on the other hand I want to get her through cold/flu season on breast milk. It's so hard. I am proud to have made it this far for sure though. I was thinking of just dropping down to 3 pumps a day instead of 4 and maybe that would be eaiser......but then I'm still up early and up "late" at night. It's hard!
The reason I pump at 5:30 is because DH gets up for work at 6, and I like to pump when he's home if I can. It ensures that I can just sit and pump in peace! My last pump of the day is at 9, so I'm already going 8 1/2 hrs without pumping. I probably could push it later in the morning now that my breasts have adjusted to 8 1/2 hrs, but like I said, then I have to pump with all my girls awake...and mornings here are already pretty hectic with getting Lexy ready for school and getting everyone everything they need.
Right now I pump at 5:30am, 11am, 4:45pm and 9pm. I am thinking of moving the two middles ones closer then combining them into one pump around 2pm......but I know if I drop to 3 pumps I'll get my period back, and my supply might really drop.
Could you go ahead and pump at 8:30 and then go to bed? I just pump when I'm at work so if I'm off by a little bit it doesn't really matter so I don't know if it would make a huge difference to your supply. Since you do have such a stash built up maybe skip your last pump on Saturdays and go to bed early? I know it's all about supply and demand but maybe just taking a break every once and awhile wouldn't hurt? I agree with the other ladies, you've done this way longer than a lot of people could so be proud of that! Us mommas focus a little too much on what we think our "weaknesses" are and not enough on the great things we've accomplished in our kids lives. I'd say Lilah would be happy with whatever makes momma happy
Pumping is the worst. I hate it. I've gradually decreased how much I pump... for a long time I'd try to get in 5-6 sessions a day, and slowly it dropped down to the 3 I'm doing now. I stopped donating entirely recently. I sort of have to keep going because I don't have much of a freezer stash anymore (about 75oz, I donated almost all of it because I didn't realize Misha would start eating almost everything I pumped-- which is about 35oz/day). If I were you, I would base the decision to combine the two day sessions on how much extra I was able to freeze daily. I know it feels like an eternity, but you don't have much longer!!