No not that club….

So yesterday I traveled to Germany…and you may remember I am still nursing Mason.  Well that was something to try to figure out.  I had a pretty good feeling that at some point I would be pumping in the bathroom either at the airport or in the plane.  Hit that one on the head.  I wasn’t too disturbed by it because I am not saving any of this milk *GAH*, so he wouldn’t be drinking potty milk, yuck!

While waiting for our flight to Germany, I checked out the bathroom at the airport and there were NO electric sockets, phooey.  I have a battery pack to use but I didn’t want to waste them.  I decided I nursed Mason in the airport back in February, so I should be able to pump.  I had my nursing cover so no one would see what was up underneath .  So I did!  I went to the back of a gate that wasn’t being used and got my pump on.  Of course after I set everything up and was pumping along, a freaking herd of people decided to come over and see all the art on the walls.  I sat there and kept going on.  That was that and I got the job done.

On the flight I was more nervous, what the hell am I going to do?  It was so dark at the time when I need to pump I almost just did it at my seat.  It wasn’t like they could kick me off the plane.  I asked my flight attendant and she said I had to go to the bathroom….so I did!

It wasn’t all that bad, other than having to sit on the toilet for 25 minutes.  I did put the lid down, could you image??  I planned it so I only needed to pump once on the plane.  I am happy about that. 

We arrived safely in Germany and I made it to our quarters and found they had 110 volt plugs in our rooms.  GLORY!!!!  So I pumped twice using the 110 and thought I was free and clear from using my battery pack.  WRONG!  After the second pumping session, the plug won’t work!!!!  Curses!  I don’t know if the pump plug burned out or what, all I know is it won’t work.  Luckily the pump works with the battery pack.  I would be in the hurt locker if I burned out the pump, Mastitis anyone?

Enough with the boob and pump talk, I survived the trip and first night.  If there is a will there is a way!  17 more days!

So I have had a lot of questions about how and what I am feeding Mason.  He is a good size baby, but not huge.  So deliciously cute by the way. 

From First Flight and Oklahoma

From my earlier post you can deduce that he was a breastfed baby for the first month of his life.  Once my back blew out in a bad way, I had to revert to formula…my god that was heartbreaking.  I felt like there was an enormous amount of pressure to breastfeed this baby.  I kept hearing “breast is best” and felt like I was a failure while my mom and Josh made him bottles of Enfamil.  Other than being able to walk again, my primary concern was my ability to nurse him again.  I remember praying to God for just one more nursing session before he was too old.  Without letting him latch I would hold him to me close from time-to-time to see if he would root and open his mouth.  We would do that a lot, coupled with pumping and dumping my milk *SAD FACE*, as much as I could bear.  I can’t begin to describe how bad the pain of a rupture disc got.

After all that mess, and Nov 20, 2009 rolled around we tried our first nursing time since the blow-out.  He immediately latched and all was fabulous in our lives again.  I couldn’t carry him around due to post-surgery recovery limitations, however, mom and Josh would gladly bring him to me when it was time to eat.  We made it through the holidays nursing, occasionally supplementing with one formula bottle.  My supply dropped significantly during the back escapade.  The next step was to start pumping again, but no throwing away the milk…it was time to stock up!

When I started back to work, my pump could barely pull 5 ounces out of me a day.  I would pump religiously 3 times at work, for 20 minutes each.  I was so frustrated and heartbroken, I felt like I was back to not nursing and giving him what he needed.  Josh took paternity leave when I went back to work and he would feed Mason my pathetic amount of breast milk with the formula.  I felt defeated. 

One weekend we went over to a couple’s house – who just had twins.  Their twin girls didn’t have a great latch so the hospital recommended renting a pump.  They did and she was pumping like 70 ounces a day!!!!!  Holy Milk Cow Batman!  This just added to my defeated feelings.  So I talked to Josh about perchance renting a hospital grade pump.  He was all for it, especially if it increased my supply and cut back on the formula use.  So we took the plunge, rented the Medela Symphony pump.  Our lives changed…not over night, but slow and sure.  The new pump was a bit bigger and it meant hauling a more conspicuous machine to work everyday, but at that point I didn’t care.  I am still doing it today….Mason will be 6 months old in less than three weeks. 

I am pumping ALL he needs for the next day and more now.  I come home each day feeling great about what I am giving him, regardless of the lack of skin-to-skin contact with him each day.  I send him to his WONDERFUL sitter’s house with just breast milk bottles and I feel like I am finally succeeding. 

I feel like there are unspoken competitions between Moms.  Usually around feeding, sleeping and size milestones.  I try really hard not to compare Mason to the other women’s children at work.  It is difficult.  I love him so much I could make him his own fan page on Facebook and I believe he should have a million fans…however, I come back down to Earth understanding that 99.99% of other Moms feel the same way about their baby.  Right now I am just happy to be where I am with the pumping – I wish I could be at home holding him, allowing him to nurse, but this is the next best thing when I can’t be there, and that feels great.