This is a guest post written by Rachel Barry. You can read more about her at the end of this article.
It’s ok to cry over an empty deep chest freezer…
I shed a tear today for myself, my daughter, and my empty chest freezer. Our chest freezer held one of the most important things… breast milk. I had a difficult time breastfeeding. My daughter didn’t have a tongue or lip tie, but something was keeping her from latching and staying on. I saw lactation consultant’s and had experienced breastfeeding mom’s come see if they could help. I wore a canteen contraption, that held breast milk, around my neck that had tubes that ran from the canteen to my nipples so that my daughter would associate my boobs as the place food came from. We did the canteen/tubes for almost 3 weeks before I got so tired from trying to breastfeed and then pumping afterwards. We even took my daughter for cranial sacral therapy. She loved the therapy and after the third visit did latch on a couple of times, but she still wouldn’t stay latched on for a whole feeding. I give my husband credit. He held me close whenever I would break down crying because she wasn’t latching on, and he told me it was ok and held me again when we decided that maybe it was time to try a bottle.
Our daughter had no problems using a bottle. She eventually found out it was easier and quicker to get milk from the bottle so she stopped trying to latch on. I cried. So I pumped. Every 2 hours, then 2-3 hours, and as she got older every 3 hours, 3-4 hours, etc. 1 year of breastmilk I said. That was my goal. First I filled up the upstairs freezer. Approx. 1,120 oz. of milk. When there was no more room upstairs I had my husband buy a chest freezer. Then I filled up the 5 cu ft. chest freezer. I approximated I had about 3,000 oz. of milk in the chest freezer and the 1,120 oz. in the upstairs freezer. I was getting tired of pumping. So I slowed down, and told myself she had enough milk. Eventually I weaned myself off pumping when my daughter was 8 months.
Then there was only frozen milk. My stash slowly started to dwindle. A couple of weeks and a grocery bag full of milk was gone. Then another. Next thing I knew my upstairs freezer was empty of breast milk. I then moved up some milk from the chest freezer. One bag at a time. Now I am staring at the last grocery bag of breast milk in the chest freezer that I am about to bring up upstairs.
I don’t think we are going to make it to her 1st birthday a month away. So I shed a tear. Breastfeeding is not easy. One thing I learned that helped me though is that even if you are not breastfeeding your child at the breast you are still nursing your child. You are still holding them close and supplying them with sustenance and love, and that is everything. 🙂
Rachel is a mom to one human, and three dogs, wife, blogger, product tester, and couponer. 🙂 You can find her blog at www.prettyinbabyfood.wordpress.com.