Written by Morgan Patris
My pumping journey started a little over 7 years ago in 2009, when I had my first son. I didn’t
even last a full six weeks. It was hard, he had colic and cried all the time, he was either gassy or constipated, and it was all around a complete disaster.
Being a new mom is difficult to start with and to add all of that, little support just sets one up for failure. Two years later when I had my second son, I told myself I would give it another shot.
Same results. Except this time I had a crazy two year old running around and a content little baby who never cried. Once again, I never made it past six weeks.When my youngest son turned one I began dating the man who is now my husband. We knew from the beginning that we would eventually try for a baby but we wanted it to be planned and at the right time for us, if there is such a thing. We were married in August 2013 but decided to have a big wedding for the following August in 2014. I got pregnant quickly after the wedding and we had our baby girl in May 2015.
In my husband’s family they are very pro-breastfeeding, which was very nerve-racking since I had already “failed” twice. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it a third time, and I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed in me. Breastfeeding was something my husband and I talked about a lot. I knew that it was the only thing he really wanted me to do for our daughter, so I agreed to give it my best shot.
Facebook became my best friend – I joined so many breastfeeding/pumping mommy groups because I was determined to do this! I made some wonderful friends who were always there to cheer me on when times got rough. They gave me so much knowledge so that I was confident in my journey. My husband always backed me and supported me 100%, anything I needed he took care of.
For me putting the baby to the breast was weird and uncomfortable because that’s how society makes it out to be. Slowly I came around to the idea of attempting to latch.
It was terrible. It hurt. I cried. I felt defeated. But then I soon realized she had tongue and lip ties. They were revised and the pain was gone!
Eventually, though, she just refused the breast completely and I just pumped exclusively, and everywhere. I’m a full time student so I pumped at school, in the car driving (thanks to my freemies), at the mall, in the grocery store, at everyone’s house I knew, and I even pumped at my son’s football practice. At first it was uncomfortable doing it in public but I quickly decided I didn’t care and my boobs hurt and that milk had to come out!
I was not an over-producer by any means, but I did make enough to feed her and a little extra to freeze. Pumping was my life. I set little goals for myself, pump to 3 months, just one more week, okay now another month. My ultimate goal was one year – and I DID IT! I couldn’t believe it! I actually did it! I’ve never been more proud of myself. My husband even snuck some of my breast milk and had a ring and necklace made for me (seriously the sweetest most beautiful gift ever).
Now I try my best to pass on all the knowledge I have received to new mothers that are just starting their pumping journey and have no idea where to begin. The absolute best advice I was given and constantly had to remind myself and tell others is that “you never quit on a bad day,” because there will be so many days where you’re fed up and done with it. But don’t quit that day. Get some rest, wake up, and start fresh! Everyone has bad days and that’s okay.