EP-ing, a term I wish I didn't even know, stands for "Exclusive Pumping". My Medela Pump In Style Advanced was at one time my best friend. When my baby wasn't latching when we were still in the hospital and I didn't want to be accused of starving my child, I was able to pump some of my liquid gold and give it to Julian in a syringe. When one of my nipples became so cracked and the open wound made it unbearable to nurse, the pump made it possible for me to still express milk and keep up with giving Julian my milk. But on the other hand, all that drama has made Julian prefer the bottle to the breast from the beginning of his life and making it a battle between him and I from day one. I would LOVE nothing more than to be able to nurse this child for as long as my milk is flowing, but it's just near impossible to nurse him! Sometimes he'll nurse in the middle of the night and sometimes if I've been home with him all day he'll be patient enough for the breast, but the vast majority of the time, he will just refuse by arching his back, crying, head butting me, hitting me, and doing whatever he can to try to escape me. So, the pump, although a double-edged sword, has allowed me to keep giving my baby breast-milk.
Now, let's just talk about the picture I shared above. It is sooo not like this. Unless you wear button down shirts and bras with holes in the front...this is not how it looks! Also, are you really going to just sit out in the living room with your shirt wide open and suction cups sucking milk from your body and your stomach that has just birthed a baby out there for all the world to see? I guess if it's just you and the baby maybe so, but it seemed like for me, there was always someone in and out of my house, which puts me back in a bedroom alone with my pump. Sob story, sorry.
We're 4 1/2 months into this mothering thing and I'm so glad he's gotten the food that nature has intended for him. I am just wondering how much more of this I can take!!! I feel sooo tied down to this pump. It makes it so hard to just relax because I'm always trying to squeeze in pumping session and making sure I have enough milk ready to go for him. That noise, and if you've ever pumped, you know what I'm talking about, just makes me cringe. Hauling around that stupid bag , washing the flanges a bajillion times a day, and then having to wash bottles as well, is sucking the life out of me. (no pun intended).
So are there any other moms out there who also have this dilemma. Anyone else out there pumping in silence? Well, I just wanna say, that we're in this together...if you exist. And I'm still not giving up! When I think I can't hook myself up to that darn machine one more time...I just do it and then again and again, because what's the alternative? I am not ready to deprive my baby of the best source of nutrition out there. Knowing that I willingly stopped giving Julian all the enzymes and antibodies that fight off infection is just not something I can let myself do right now. So, I'll keep pumping away and be thankful that I am able to give my baby the health benefits of breastmilk. Just look at this healthy boy! :)