I was proposed with a hypothetical proposition yesterday and it really has me thinking. I would love others perspective on it.
As mentioned in a previous blog (Pump it up) I exclusively pump for my bubs. I have from the day they were born and 7 months and 3 weeks later I am still going strong. I pump seven times a day including one in the middle of the night pump (because it yields my second highest pump of the day). I pump for a total of 2 hours and 20ish minutes a day. That is 16.33 hours a week. Almost a full day of pumping a week. I have been considering dropping a pump because one of them runs closer to two others and I am getting quite a stock on milk. At any given time I have approximately 118 ounces of milk in the fridge and a couple dozen bags in the freezer. However, I am terrified to drop a pump. Who knows what it will do to my regulated supply.
I have a nurse that comes to my house to check on the babies once a month or so. I asked her about dropping a pump. She told me that it’s really up in the air because like I said who knows how my body will react. She came to the same conclusion I did: you don’t know until you try. However, the pump that I want to drop I already bumped down to 15 minutes instead of 20 minutes and I think I am going to drop it until 10 minutes for a week before dropping it altogether. I have gone this long no sense in dropping cold turkey and taking the full risk, right?
The nurse inquired how long will I pump for? At this point I have gone 8 months being milked like cattle so I’ve always had in my mind I would be shooting for a year. It’s only 4 more months. I am in the home stretch. She asked me why I keep pumping. She didn’t ask me in a judgmental way like most people do. Because most people don’t get it. I told her quite frankly we cannot afford formula. We have gone down to one income but make too much for assistance and I have a free solution. She then hit me with this hypothetical (kind of) proposition…
She asked if a pallet of formula showed up on my doorstep would I stop? I thought about it probably for a whole minute before giving an answer. Of course I will relish the day that I can take a bat to my pump. On the other hand, I love the fact that I have been able to give my babies milk as the majority of their diet. They get 4 milk bottles a day and one formula bottle (just so I don’t stress myself out about my supply–seems weird I know). However, what could I accomplish with those extra 16 hours a week back. I could focus on making their foods. At this point about once a week I make a batch of homemade baby food and the rest is store bought. It would be so much cheaper if I could do it on a regular basis and probably better for the babies as well. But lets face it, there just isn’t enough hours in the day. After thinking about my answer, I told her I would probably give up pumping if I had enough formula to last them until they were weaned. Why not?
She then told me that there may be a chance that she could get that much formula for me. Holy crap, this could be a possibility? But I couldn’t sleep last night for whatever reasons and I thought harder about this. I can produce milk and I do. Would it make my life easier if I could stop pumping? YES. Without a doubt, yes. But someone out there might not be able to and could be in a worse financial state and need that formula.
I’m not going to stress about a potential scenario.
But I am curious, what would you do?