1. being chained to a breast pump for two or more non-continuous hours in a 24 hour period.
2. the inability to chase after children, or provide for their immediate needs for a 20 minute period.
Ninety-two. That is the number of days I have been exclusively pumping as I write this post. First, I will start by saying that my dear sweet husband is lucky he is still alive, as he is the one responsible for coining the term pumpcation. Anyone that has pumped, or is familiar with pumping would probably not dare compare it to a vacation, but by the definition of vacation I suppose you could make it fit. If you were to ask me, the definition of vacation is being somewhere on a beach, drink in hand, with no tiny humans begging for my attention…notice I did not mention having milk painfully extracted from my “girls” in that definition.
So, you can probably guess that exclusively pumping is no vacation, but it does have some benefits. I know not everyone has the choice of whether or not to pump, or nurse, and I really am thankful that I am able to, even though I complain about it all the time! It really is the definition of a love/hate relationship.
With my first, I almost solely nursed for about 14 months. I worked part time then, and was only able to pump just exactly enough for his next day at daycare. I feel like in my personal experience, nursing was the easier option with one child. I had the time to sit in one place for however long it took him to eat, and however many times a day he demanded I feed him, and no bottles or pump parts to wash all day long. This time around, after three extremely painful days of trying to nurse (and lots of tears), I threw in the towel on the whole nursing thing and decided to give pumping a whirl. Whirl makes it sound more fun than it actually is…I began pumping every three hours, you know to keep up with how often the babe was eating. The first month, each time I pumped I swore was my last….I just didn’t have it in me, but oh the guilt I put on myself…que all the emotions and hormones. I was a mess. Somehow, I pushed through and am finally at a happy medium with things.
Now, this all proved to be very comical while also potty training our two year old. You can imagine, me hooked up to my pump while simultaneously feeding the baby his bottle, and my toddler sweetly sitting next to me, or pooping in the floor next to me. Why does he always have to go while I’m chained up!? Literal “poop-show!” I soon discovered that I would have to find a way to space out my pumping sessions so I’d be more available for poo-mergencies. Mercy, that was painful, but now I am happily pumping three times a day, and once during the night. Hallelujah! With exclusive pumping, I do love the freedom I have to be out and about and just take a few bottles with me, not having to whip my boob out on whim….because lets be honest, there’s just no discrete way to whip out a D cup to feed a baby in public, and I’m just not that free spirited with the “girls.”
While pumpcationing, I’ve discovered again that as moms, we just do what we gotta do. Whatever works, and whatever works in that particular season of life. Baby #2 may or may not be fed breast milk for the same amount of time as baby #1 was, and that’s okay….he certainly won’t go hungry. Do whatever is the best fit for you and your family as a whole, and push aside the guilt and comparison and do whatever allows you to survive and also enjoy this short period of time…..and throw a shoe at your husband when he jokes about your pumpcation.