Before my daughter was born, I made the decision to breastfeed her. Not because I was over the top breast is best type person, but because of our budget. Have you priced formula? Holy guacamole is it expensive! So, my husband and I both agreed that we would give the whole breastfeeding thing a try and if it didn’t work we would switch to formula. Because, let’s face it, the baby getting feed was the only thing that mattered. Luckily breastfeeding did work out for us and our budget was saved at least a thousand dollars! But breastfeeding has been both a curse and a blessing!
Now before you set me ablaze for saying breastfeeding is a curse and a blessing, let me explain.
My daughter was born with a congenital heart defect and I could not nurse so I exclusively pumped for her. Round the clock, every 3 hours, I pumped. I pumped, fed her, and then basically pumped again! It was a cycle. While pumping at the hospital I was known as “that mom”. I had my own shelf in the PICU freezer for milk. My mom transported two chest coolers full of frozen milk for us before my daughter was brought home at a month old. I had a hearty supply stored.
I was/am an over supplier. And by over supplier, I mean MASSIVE over supplier!
Looking at my freezer I knew I needed to do something. I found Human Milk For Human Babies Nebraska on Facebook and quickly located other mamas in need of milk. I met multiple moms and helped feed their beautiful babies while still feeding my daughter. I was pumping close to 100 ounces a day at the height of my pumping journey, which was enough to feed my daughter for basically a week. I would have needed multiple freezers to keep up with the supply if I didn’t do anything with it.
Then two years later, my son arrives. An amazing day when he latched and took to nursing like a pro! In the back of my head I am doing a happy dance because l didn’t have to be hooked up to the pump all the time! I had a plan; I would nurse him and then break the pump out after he was a month old to build a stash before returning to work.
But then the pain hit. He wasn’t even a week old and I grudgingly pulled out the pump and hooked up. Before he hit 2 months old I already pumped over 1,200 ounces and donated almost 600 ounces. I am helping feed a little girl who struggles on formula and her mama can’t quite keep up with feeding her!
So breastfeeding has been both a curse and a blessing for me! A curse because I have to have my least favorite friend, the pump, close by. I am not a mom who can always just feed and go. But on the other hand, I have helped feed babies that struggle on formula. I have helped moms who break their boobs trying to keep up with their kiddos eating habits. A blessing!
To all you mamas who are breastfeeding, you are doing an amazing job! If you are pumping or nursing and struggle with supply, know there are other moms out there like me ready to be a blessing. If you are an over supplier, consider donating to a mama who feels like she is pulling her hair out trying to keep up with their baby’s eating.