R.I.P.P. – Rest In Peace, Pump

Last Saturday night, I pumped for the very last time.

After 14 months of exclusive pumping for the Happy Baby, it was time to lay that thing to rest.

funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.comfuneral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com2funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com3funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com4funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com5funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com6funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com7funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com10funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com11The Happy Hubby gave a moving eulogy.

Note - We had to bribe the Happy Buddy with a bag of graham crackers in order to get him to participate in this ridiculousness. :-)

*Adorable Boys Tie Shirts from HERE*

funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com8funeral for my pump at happyhomefairy.com9But, let me tell you, that pump didn’t go down without a fight!

I nursed the Happy Buddy until he was 2 years old and I never once touched a pump or a bottle.  When I got pregnant with the Happy Baby I decided to do the same thing because that is what I knew.  Pumping and bottling seemed too complicated for my tiny brain.

I even said, “I will never pump.”

Hahahahaha!

Within a few hours after the Happy Baby’s birth and he was whisked to the NICU in respiratory distress, a nurse rolled a giant Medela pump into my room and told me to get busy.

And boy, did I.

Every 2-3 hours.  20-30 minutes each session.  Pump, wash, sterilize, dry, bottle, label, store, repeat.

Pumping became this precious lifeline between my baby and me.  It made me feel like I was doing something for him even when I couldn’t always be at the hospital.  It gave me mission and purpose to get out of bed when many days I wanted to just pull the covers over my head and give up.

Some of my most memorable and worshipful times with God during our 3 month hospital stay were in the middle of the night, hooked to my pump, Bible open in my lap, tears running down my face while reading through the Psalms.

While my exclusive pumping journey began with pure motives and a sincere hope that one day he’d eventually nurse, somewhere along the way, though, my controlling, perfectionist, fearful nature took over.

Our world puts a huge amount of pressure on us mamas to give our babies breast milk.  Breast is best.  Breast is best.

But is it always best?

I believe with every fiber of my being that God created breast milk to be an incredible source of nutrition for our little bundles, but I do not believe God intended for us to make an idol out of it.

An idol that says, “I can control my child’s health if I give him/her breast milk.”

An idol that makes you fear the alternative – formula.

An idol that has you chained to a Medela 7-8 times a day hindering you from hearing sermons, playing with your other kids, having date nights longer than an hour, your sleep, time with friends, etc.

An idol that makes you feel like less of a mom if you choose not to/can’t nurse.

An idol that makes you think you won’t be able to bond with your baby if you can’t nurse (which is SO not true).

Now I am NOT saying that if you choose to make the commitment to pump exclusively it’s because you’ve made breast milk an idol.

No, no, no.  :-)

And I am also not saying that we should all throw in the towel and give up on breast milk completely.  Good heavens, no!  If you can, nurse, do it!  If you want to pump, do it!  Whichever works!

But what I AM saying is SEEK GOD about your decision.  Put Him first.  Make sure you’re doing it with the right motives and what’s best for your Happy Home.

If I had truly laid my fears before the Lord and surrendered everything at His feet, I probably would have saved myself about 6 months of feeling like a cow prisoner as well as 6 months of stress/sleepless nights trying to force my way instead of listening to God’s.

After all the Happy Baby went through in the hospital – all the unbelievable amounts of antibiotics and heavy drugs – I took it upon myself to be the sole provider of his health once we got him home.  I convinced myself that it was my purpose in life to cleanse his little system.  And by cleanse his little system, I meant to fill it up with the purest of medications – breast milk.

Y’all are so sweet and probably thinking, “There is nothing wrong with that, Julie!”

Yes, I know…  But if you knew how I almost had anxiety attacks every time my milk supply dropped, or my pump malfunctioned, or even just thought about having to give the Happy Baby formula…  There is definitely something wrong with that.

God’s plan for us never involves fear.

Studies show that breast milk has a ton of antibodies that protect babies from illness, so I went about striving and striving to protect my weakened-immune-system boy’s health.  What is interesting, though, is that my precious boy still got sick about every 4 weeks.  It was almost as if the Lord was saying, “I am Lord over the Happy Baby.  Not your breast milk.  Trust me.”

I also had it in my head that formula was a very scary thing.  Which is so ridiculous because I know SO MANY babies on formula who are perfect and thriving and FINE.  I was on formula, for pete’s sake!  My counselor even told me that their firstborn, who was the only one out of 5 kids to receive formula, is their smartest kid. :-)  It’s even more ironic because if you read THIS POST, you know that the Happy Baby was getting lots and lots of supplemented formula when we were in the hospital – when things were so completely out of my control.  But, like I said, as soon as he came home, I made it my mission to be in control.  And formula did not fit into my idea of what was best for the Happy Baby.

Then there’s just plain ole’ pride and perfectionism.  Everyone says to nurse for at least a year.  So I had to pump for a year – at least.

And if you are wondering why I would still be thinking of formula now when the Happy Baby is a year old, it is because he has not yet transitioned fully to solids.  His reflux, sensitive gag, and feeding issues (puts everything in his mouth, chews, chews, chews, then spits out) make him dependent on liquids for nutrition until he gets a little stronger.

Yes, I gave the Happy Baby a beautiful thing for 14 months that I don’t doubt God used to help the Happy Baby grow.

But at what cost?  It pains me to think of all the opportunities I missed because I had to pump.

And it pains me to think that I might make some of you feel pressured to pump for as long as stubborn me!

Ultimately, after the last year of pumping and washing and sterilizing and storing and sacrificing, I can say with confidence that what it really boils down to is this - It doesn’t matter what your baby eats (breast milk or formula) because God is in control of your baby’s life/health.

God doesn’t want you walking around all anxious and stressed.  God wants you to live in freedom.

I finally, FINALLY faced my fears last weekend.  I finally believed that no matter what, God would be with me (and the Happy Baby).  I went out and bought some formula.  I gave it to the Happy Baby.  And then I put my pump away.

And you know what?  My skinny little, often-malnourished-looking Happy Baby gained like 2 pounds almost instantly and was suddenly all like, “Take THAT, Hypotonia!” and started standing up (with support, but without his legs buckling underneath him).  I am not even kidding.  It’s like the Lord wanted to prove to me just how wrong I have been!!!

No, He wouldn’t do that – He is far too loving and gracious and so, so patient.  But what He would do is bring a whole lot of glory to Himself out of my finally learning to fully trust in His goodness and ability to care for my son – breast milk or no breast milk.

So, be free, sweet mama who knows exactly what I am talking about!  If you are pumping like a mad woman and you are tired and afraid of letting go…  Seriously.  Let it go.  Put your pump away (or bury it in the ground – ha!).  Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy watching So You Think You Can Dance with your Happy Hubby without the obnoxious woh-woh-woh of your pump drowning everything out but Mary’s Hot Tamale Train screams. :-)

Dear Pump, may you rest in peace.

I know I am!

:-)

“Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commands.  Their children will be mighty in the land…”

Psalm 112:1-2

*If you’ve read this post and you still want to/feel called to pump, check out THIS POST for all my extreme pumping tips and tricks!*

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65 thoughts on “R.I.P.P. – Rest In Peace, Pump

  1. Thank you for your transparency and honesty. God’s grace is so overwhelming and sufficient :-) I love that you are keeping it real. I pray that God would continue to show you His ways and keep blessing your family.

  2. These are definitely the funniest pictures you’ve ever posted. Love the look on the Happy Buddy’s face as he digs into that bag and you all are hamming it up in the background! So happy for your whole family. You are a testament to Jesus’ goodness and grace and love.

  3. Although my oldest is five and a half, this brought back SO MUCH of what I was feeling with her when she was born. I never ever ever ever planned on using formula, but there were problems with breastfeeding. I fought, and I fought, I cried, yelled, and fought some more. I tried everything I could, with the advice of the La Leche League and someone who befriended me in Canada who was desperately trying to help me. My lil girl was constantly unhappy, and I was trying to breastfeed 24/7. Literally…maybe minus making dinner for the older four step kids and showering at some point. Its all I did. Finally, my baby girl started losing weight, rather than gaining, so I gave up the exhausting fight and got formula. She ate. She was full for the first time in her little life and I no longer had to be constantly stressed and neither did she. We could breathe again. We could relax. I’ve always felt like a total failure for this, even though I tried as hard as I possibly could. It is so good to hear another momma say it does not matter whether you give them breast milk or formula in the end because God’s got their health. I wish I had realized this when I was going through it, but it is still so good to hear. <3

  4. YEAH for you. Love the funeral and all the fun. My favorite part is Happy Baby’s face in the pictures!! You guys are awesome and very creative and I am thankful to know you.

  5. I totally understand what you are saying. I had a preemie who had a hard time nursing. I went through so much stress and anxiety trying to get him to nurse-probably something similar to what you went through. He had a breast milk/formula mix for a year, but looking back I wish that I had just let it go and given him formula. Especially with the first child, it can become a bit of an obsession.

    I wish I had read your post when I was going through that struggle! What a great message for new moms-God is in control, not us!

  6. Love the Happy Baby’s facial expressions – where is my grandma, my parents have lost it? (hee hee). Blessings to you and your family with your new freedom. God is so amazing. I remember a year ago as we were getting ready to leave on tour, your parents with such heavy hearts. Prayer is wonderful.

  7. Well I was actually feeling somewhat down because my business is struggling, This certainly put the love I of Christ in front of me. Death to the pump, to fear and to worry of any kind. thank you Jesus. Dianne a friend of Mel’s and one of your prayer warriors

  8. Amen sister!!!! I also did @the 14 month plan of breast feeding my kiddos, unfortunately, I could NOT pump. So no one else could help. You family is a hoot – absolutely LovE the photos. Rolling and crying tears with laughter. Thanks for sharing!

      • Yes!! This was me three years ago. Had triplets who were two months early. In the NICU for two months. I was pressured to pump for all of them, but it just didn’t work, as it didn’t for our first child. Finally, after much tears and feelings of failure, my husband suggested I stop and use formula. He stepped in between a pushy doctor and a tearful me and said strongly that I was not continuing with pumping such a meager amount after an hour of pumping.

  9. What an inspiring post! I breasted/pumped for both of my girls for a very short time. With my first, we had oh so many problems. And with my second, my first stood at my feet screaming the whole time I fed the baby. I finally quit because I decided that what was best for my babies was a mommy who wasn’t just hanging on by a thread. Even though I know in my heart I made the right decision, I’ve always felt like I failed them. Until today.

    “It doesn’t matter what your baby eats (breast milk or formula) because God is in control of your baby’s life/health. God doesn’t want you walking around all anxious and stressed. God wants you to live in freedom.”

    What powerful words! Thank you!

  10. Ahh, tears streaming down my face. Thank you for your candid humor and faith. I wish I’d had these insights a few years ago with my own struggles and trying so hard to control and follow “my plan” and not HIS.

  11. I totally just went though this with my fourth baby. She wasn’t nursing beautifully like her three sisters, and I had to pump pump pump. For seven days I pumped and my milk never came back. 1 oz in 20 minutes on day seven. So, I packed up the good ole pump, and went through about 10 minutes of feeling guilty. Gotta do what’s best for our sanity, and as you said, for our happy homes. PPD is not good for a happy home, and that was about to happen!

  12. I wish I would’ve read this about three years ago. It wasn’t until 9 months into exclusively pumping that I realized that breast is not always best and as soon as I stopped my hubby said I was a totally different person. You’re so right, I never sought the Lord on it, I worried night and day that my daughter was going to be sickly if I didn’t breastfeed, or that she wasn’t going to be smart enough or any of the other things “breast is best” tells you. I felt the guilt of not giving my daughter what’s “best” and finally realized that what’s best is a calm and happy mommy who is enjoying her little one and not stressing every moment about pumping and cleaning pump parts, and the list goes on. May God bless you for sharing this because there are so many women that need to hear this!

  13. Five years ago our family went through a very similar situation. My first boy was easy to nurse and I could’ve fed the neighborhood. Our second boy had all sorts of health issues and reading about your baby always pulls at my memory and heart strings because I was recently there. I had to have a good heart to heart with God many times….and finally let it be okay when I put away the pump and bought formula too. And our boy gained weight rapidly and was so much happier. Letting go control is so scary. We have now added two little girls to our family and every time I give up a little more control of something I used to think was essential or took for granted I am reminded of my really big lesson about breast/formula. Feeding my happy 6-month old girl is truly a different experience because of my past. I love your sharing. Thank you for the sweet reminder.

  14. How blessed I have been reading your posts throughout the past year or so! This one especially touched my heart. I’m not a young mom with small children anymore, but an empty-nester with grown children and best of all two grandchildren :) This post speaks to EVERY mom! I can totally relate to your struggle about the breastfeeding issue as I can remember feeling less-than-a-good-mom for having fed my first daughter formula. It was a real and hurtful time. So it was great to read what God had taught you through this journey! Sadly, as I read it, I also thought “how I wish my challenges and fears were still about things like breastfeeding, etc.” Unfortunately, sometimes as our children grow, we are unexpectedly faced with issues about their lives and futures that are even more daunting and frightening. These concerns can loom over our heads and totally rob our joy and test our faith. It is good that God is teaching you these lessons on faith and total trust & dependence on Him early on. And although you will probably need to re-visit many times over the years what you’ve learned through this experience, it is a great blessing and advantage that He has taught you this so early on in your child rearing. I am still learning that God alone is in control and He can be trusted fully and completely. This post helped remind me of that and helped me “take a deep breath” of rest in Him. THANK YOU for sharing your heart and your journey with others! You are a great blessing even to a old grandma like me! God bless you and your happy home!

  15. As mothers I think we tend to be our own harshest critics. My generation (the “babyboomers) grew up on formula and lived to tell the tale I nursed my two but I worked at home (daycare). If I worked outside the home I might have made a different choice. Is your decision working for your family? is your child happy and thriving? are you happy? Then it’s all good, no matter the choice!

  16. Pingback: Extreme Pumping – Tips and Tricks | Happy Home Fairy

  17. Oh my goodness, you guys CRACK ME UP!!! I love how the Happy Hubby goes along with all of your magical ideas. Each picture made me laugh harder than the one before! But in all seriousness, I’m so proud of you. I know what a difficult decision that was, but you were obedient and God will bless you for it. Praying that the Lord will continue to fill you with His peace, and truly give you rest in His good and perfect plan! Love you sweet sis!

  18. I pump and breastfeed. I pump every day on my way to and from work and during breaks. Yes while im driving. It sucks but my daughter hates formula.

  19. I laughed out loud even more when I saw the BCO! Just awesome.
    I was able to “nurse” our three adopted sons for a little while with the help of SNS. I loved it. I’ll be bookmarking your blog – glad to have stumbled upon you!

  20. Thank you for this article! I found it randomly on Pinterest. God wanted me to read this.

    I have been EP’ing my little girl for 5 months now. And I have finally made the decision to put the pump away for many of the reasons you wrote. Baby girl had her first taste of formula tonight–mixed in with the breast milk and sucked it down like a champ.

    Thank you so much for helping me be at peace with this decision.

  21. I haven’t even read your whole post, and am already holding back tears. I have been Eping for 6.5 weeks and it has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I’m speechless. Thank you so much! These words are so encouraging

  22. Thank you! This post made me cry. I am Nirse in the NICU. My 3rd is 7.5 mos old and has horribly sensitive gut issues. I have cut everything I can think of out of my diet, cut back on hours at work and missed more me time and sleep than necessary in the name of breast feeding. While things are starting to become easier with the intro of solid foods, this was something I needed to hear. Thank you for wording it so lovingly and beautifully. <3

  23. lolll too funny i had a nicu baby too so i had to pump for the first 2 weeks until she came home. she breastfed for about 6 month and then she didn’t wanted anything to do w/ the boob. Given her health conditions i decided to keep pumping regarless of her not wanting off my boob. i did it for another 7 month. it was my mechanical daughter, and we had a love hate relationship . when i was ready to quit. my hubby asked me ironically if i was tired of pumping? i was like .. do you even have to ask ? ohh well. you do what you gotta do.

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  25. I thought this was cute. I too was a pumper for my kids. The first one I pumped 22months for and the second baby I pumped 24 months for and never did I have to substitute. Great photos.

  26. One of the most encouraging and uplifting posts I have read in a while! All to often it is easy to feel like we are in control, when in actuality it is Him! Thank you for your candor and you kind, loving words. How blessed are your children and your husband to have you.

  27. Thank you for this post! I just had my own sweet 2nd baby boy in March and was determined to nurse/pump for him exclusively for a year. I too have struggles with the obsession and fear and doubt of producing enough for my chubs especially when my MIL feeds him 20 oz while I’m at work! I needed to read this today! Thanks!

  28. Oh my goodness, reading this post brought me to tears and I felt the Holy Spirit just wash over my heart reading these words – God’s Plan for us never involves fear. This will be one of my new mantras. I wish back in March when I gave birth to my first baby, that I would have trusted God to take care of me and my baby boy through the struggle of learning to breastfeed. He lost too much weight and I had to start triple-feeding him in the hospital (nurse/pump/syringe feed) and it nearly gave me a nervous breakdown on top of trying to recover from a c-section and preeclampsia. I put SO much pressure on myself to feed him breastmilk and I’m ashamed to admit, I never thought to take my struggles and feeding fears to Him. I was too wrapped up in my own ideas and fears (that word again!) and hormones and the voices of lactation consultants that it never occurred to me to lay this struggle before The Lord and to trust Him that He would take care of my baby no matter what I fed him. I ended up being able to breastfeed and pump when needed, but I lost a lot of time, energy and peace of mind trying to rely on my own strength. God IS in control of our babies lives and health and I’m so grateful for finding this blog. I’ve thought about your words everyday since I first read this, and I thank God for you and your family and your willingness to share your journey with the world. I look forward to your posts and pray that your Happy Home will be blessed and healthy.

  29. Wow I just read this and is wonderfull, thank you love the parte where it says tha God is in control of your baby health also of your finances if you think that you have to breastfeed because there is not enought money to buy!!!!!!

  30. Thank you for sharing your journey and reminding me that anything we place before our relationship with God can be an idol. After two horrific weeks I finally gave in to formula feeding. While I hope that I will be able to successfully nurse my subsequent children, I also hope I remember this article and that if I can’t, it will not be the end of the world.

  31. Pingback: Advice For Exclusively Pumping Moms | With A Baby In Tow

  32. God must have led me to this post because it could not have come to me at a better time. I have been obsessing about breastfeeding and how it hasn’t gone the way I expected it to, and I have completely made it an idol. It really hit me when you said that this decision should be something to consult God’s direction on. The thought never occurred to me that I should be praying about God’s will on this. Thank you so much for your words!

  33. Thank you for writing this…it made me laugh out loud, and cry, too. I find strength in your journey, and am comforted by reading comments by such strong, dedicated women to their children. Now… off to planning my pumps final farewell!

  34. Absolutely LOVE this post and your thoughtful perspective on this issue… My daughter was a preemie and pumping was quite an ordeal. I’ll never forget your powerful words and encouragement to trust in your faith. Thank you, thank you!

  35. THANK YOU. I first read this, crying, at 2:30 this morning as I was laying in bed reflecting on the tiny amount of breast milk that I had just managed to pump. My beautiful little girl was born with a cleft palate almost six weeks ago. Even though I desperately wanted to breast feed, she could not create the suction needed to do so and she spent the first week of her life eating formula because my supply had not yet come in sufficiently. Doctors and specialists put so much pressure on us to get her to gain weight (cleft babies have difficulty gaining weight most times) that when she lost 13 ounces I was a wreck. When my supply did come in, I became a pumping fool and our girl gained a ton of weight! But I noticed two weeks ago that my supply has dwindled by about half and I’ve made myself sick stressing over whether or not I’ll have to put her on formula. I feel like a failure. I feel like a horrible mother. I feel like I’ve let my girl down. But reading your post I’ve realized that I have no control over it. All I can do is my best. My baby will most likely need formula and that is okay. Thank you for your kind, supportive words. You will never know how much I needed them this morning.

  36. God is so good!!!! I started with reading your tips to pump exclusively and I was led to click further to this link post and God has used you as a vessel to bless me in the midst of my current mind frame and decision-making process and the main thing you state here is to SEEK GOD, TRUST GOD!!!! HE CAN SO TAKE CARE OF OUR CHILDREN FAR BETTER THAN WE CAN!!!! Thank you for this post and your awesome, blessed testimony to help others that may be in such an “idol” position without labeling that and allowing themselves to be robbed of the joy and blessing of soaking up every minute with the blessed child because these young years pass so quickly and there will be many more decisions to make as parents! PRAISE GOD!!!

    GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

  37. Thank goodness I stumbled across this! My premature girls are 10 days old today. They were born at 32&4, and by the grace of God, only needed respatory support in the OR before the transfer up to NI. Priya needed 5 min on canula, Paisley needed about the same on CPAP. Then totally off. We started actual feeds at 3 days old. Anything on the breast is considered a ‘bonus’. The increase in volume of breast milk went from 5cc/3hrs to 40 within 4 days. I panicked. I spent 31 hours straight at NICU, thinking that being around the girls would increase production in my pumping. However the opposite happened. They have a strict 30 min window to get their allotted feeds down. After 15min of BFing, bottle feeding the pumped milk, and then gavage feeding the remainder, once I was done with both girls, I had 40 min to eat, sleep and pee! Around hour 28, I called a meeting of the minds with the NI team & the lactation consultant- we decided that donor milk was the best option for us as they had tried a preemie formula feeding which neither girl tolerated. At all. They’ve been on a 50/50 mix of donor milk and my colostrum for 2 days now. I’ve been able to get the stress off and I’m up to 500cc+/ day. Definitely enough for a small stockpile at the hospital!!!!

    Just offering up the idea of donor milk as an extremely viable option for some of your readers. It definitely took all the stress off of me and allowed me to ‘take care of me’ and then ‘my cup runneth over’!!!!

  38. This post is so encouraging because just after 4 months and getting 1 oz out each time I think I’m ready to throw in the towel. I’m so fearful that I won’t be giving her what’s best and that’s what’s kept me going. So after I pray a lot and ask for guidance I’ll let know what I’m going to do. Theres so much self worth put into pumping and I’m measuring myself by the ounce I output and I know Goddoesnt

  39. I need to send you a giant thank you for this post. I found this in a search while hooked up that I now know was anything but a random “Googling”. I have a 4.5 mo old who refused to latch from the get go. I was at a loss cause my first 2 were pro nursers. I did tons of research and began my “extreme pumping” lifestyle. I was so proud to be able to feed her and bank up a pretty stockpile. This post is the first time a realized how much I made this my idol. In the last month I have known I need to quit due to all the reasons you posted in addition to severely cracking skin, etc. The “fear of formula” was huge for me even though my first babies were eventually on it with no qualms then. Reading your post and the freeing feeling of releasing this issue to God had me sitting dissolved in tears. I didn’t even consider that He would care about this intimate issue and instead was praying for healing so I could continue to feed her. Now I see that the pain was another way He was showing me he was in control and that I needed to let go. After reading this and “burying my pump” I began to heal almost immediately. I still do pump minuscule amounts whenever I am uncomfortable but just to relieve the pain of weaning. Thank you again. You have been a huge blessing and thank you for letting Jesus use and speak through you.

  40. I am so happy I found your blog! I desperately wanted breastfeeding to work, but my Son’s latch was extreme and I battled painful Raynauds. A little over 2 months and I started to alternate breastfeeding and pumping and then by 3 months just pumping and bottle feeding. I’ve gone back to work and still pumping (reaching 8 months). My supply has had more supply and demand issues since. I’ve tried fenugreek and brewers yeast supplements and noticed an increase but now I’m decreasing by 2 oz or more and my right side only produces a half oz to 1 oz. So I’m only pumping 3-4 oz total at a time (minus the AM when I get 6-7 but would get 8-10 last month). I’m so ready to put the pump to rest and live freely, but I feel so guilty and worry that I will compromise his immune system.

  41. I, too, had a NICU respiratory distress baby my first time.. I solely pumped after a few weeks of frustration trying to breastfeed, but was only able to maintain it for about a month after returning to work.. I’m an RN and found it difficult to pump more than once a 12.5 hr shift (plus my 45 min commute each way)… As you can imagine, my supply dwindled fast, and I was pretty devastated to be done after only 3 months.. I just had my second child Dec 1 and decided to pump only from the get go.. Breast feeding is just not for me… This time he was perfect.. This time I only work 1 day a week and have a shorter commute.. This time I get 11 weeks off instead of 8… This time I was going to pump for FOREVER… But God has other plans, and, despite the supplements and desperate attempts at keeping up my supply, I am making next to nothing.. In the next few days I will be putting my pump away until the next time, and I have been pretty upset about that.. My husband, who has always supported all of my efforts, has also always said that I shouldn’t feel obligated to pump or breastfeed if I don’t want to… My retort is always, “If there was something you could do for your child’s health and well-being that ONLY you could do, and you weren’t doing it, you’d hate yourself…” Because that is how I truly felt.. I know he says those things because he loves me and because he sees me struggling… He sees me missing chunks of holiday celebrations and stressing constantly about my dwindling supply… But it didn’t stop me from feeling inadequate.. I stumbled upon this post after reading another that my sister in law emailed to me, and I wanted to say thank you.. I don’t normally respond to stuff like this.. You are probably inundated with messages just like this one… But I felt compelled to tell you how much this post meant to me… I feel less awful about being done pumping and a little more thankful for the freezer full of breast milk in my garage… So thank you for the post, and the laugh… :) Great pics!

    P.S. I am, however, super jealous of your 14 months… I’ll pray about that later.. ;)

  42. Omy, thank you so much for this post! I am 37 weeks tomorrow with my second, and breastfeeding was a disaster with my 4.5yr old. Many issues, and I felt like such a failure, etc etc. This time around I feel so determined, and yet I can see how much I can turn it into an idol. Thank you for the heart check! <3

  43. Wow, this is so me right now, I’m glad I found this post. I’ve been exclusively pumping since my baby girl was 2 months old. I gave her a bottle because I was returning to work and ever since then she prefers the bottle over me:( Now I’m so anxious because my milk supply is dropping and my baby is only 8 month old. I tried to give her formula but she refuses, she wont even take the milk that I have saved up in the freezer. She likes it fresh… Any advice on how to introduce formula?
    P.S. I tried different brands of formula, she refuses all :(

  44. This made me cry, seriously. I’m currently at 8 months and I’ve been EPing this whole time thanks to my son being unable to nurse. The first few weeks, I cried every day thinking I was a failure as a mother. I had so many friends (as I’m a nurse) saying that breast feeding is basically the “only way.” It made me feel awful. So I’ve been pumping and missing so much. I can’t go to lunch after church (I have to pump). I can’t go to a birthday party (I’ll miss a pump). And so many more. I truly believe that God sent me to your page for relief. I think I’m going to cut down to only 3 pumps a day so I can really enjoy the life Gods given me :) Thanks so much!

  45. Thank you so much for this. I have a 3 week old little boy. We gave struggled from day one. He fights breastfeeding and is a little lazy. He just doesn’t want to work for his meal. He does well for a few minutes and then falls asleep even with constant prodding. I have been pumping since week 1 to keep supply up. Feel like all I am doing is pumping. Struggling with this not being my plan and letting go. Hard not feeling like a failure. This blog helped me put things in better perspective and reminded me to truly trust in god and leave in his hands.

    Thank you so much!!

  46. I found myself in tears at times reading this and your extreme pumping article… thank you for writing them!!! Our stories are very much alike my daughter was 3 months premature and I too felt like pumping was the only way I could help out a small part with her in the NICU…. I had no desire to breast feed before she was born but when things happened the way they did and my control freak self had no control of what was happening to us I decided that I could control what she ate. She was tube fed at first and the nurses said it was ok if I didn’t produce enough they had “surrogate” breast milk they could give but her I was determined that she would only have MY MILK EVER! I pumped every 2 hours and for 30 min each time we were on vacation when she was born and ended up staying in the Ronald McDonald house while she was in the NICU I had no life except one attached to the pump (I even did it in the back row of the movie theater :-P) I pumped exclusively for 10 months my goal was a year but I was so beyond ready to quit and it was becoming a miserable chore….. I bawled the day I stopped and when my hubby asked about it I bawled some more and actually reconsidered it but it was the right decision. I swore up and down that I wasn’t ever going to go through that again and that the next baby was just going to get formula I spent so much of my time in bathrooms or locked away in my bedroom pumping that I didn’t want to go through that again….. however now that I find myself nearing 2nd babies arrival I find myself wanting to do it again am I crazy?! :-P haha but thank you I have tagged your posts on my pintrest so when it is time I can use your resources to help with everything!

  47. Thank you. I’ve been seeking approval for wanting to stop the madness of pumping. Some kind of validation that it ok for me to put my husband, my three beautiful children and myself before my need to pump breast milk from my body. There’s been an inner battle raging inside me for some time…. I wanted to hear from another mom that it won’t make me a bad mom to stop, that ultimately my baby girl will survive and even thrive without my breast milk. I’ve been putting perfection and pride before God, making that an idol in my life in the form of feeding my child. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Though I know there will still be some to criticize, I will rest knowing there are moms out there who feel the same as I do.

    • Oh, Stacy! Be free, dear one!!! You are an AMAZING mommy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are loved by the KING of KINGS! And if He says to stop the pump, then STOP THE PUMP. It’s SO much more important to listen to our Father than to the voices of the world. You are doing the right thing. I am proud of you! The Lord will take care of the details. Xoxo

  48. Thank you for writing this! I have cursed myself enough for producing less and less as days go by… I keep telling myself I need to pump more… I need to feed my son till he is 1, I dreaded giving him formula thinking I am less of a mom if I did. My husband was a formula baby and there is nothing wrong with him but the thought that I created within myself still keeps saying “bad mommy – no breast milk!” Your experience has given me courage to put my pump to rest, give my breasts some peace. No more squeezing out every drop of milk that can or cannot come out! :)

    PS: This is the first time ever that I am commenting on a blog post. Thanks again!

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