Moving on...

8.29.2014

Pumping has been a way of life since the Zabies came along. I pumped for days before I could ever put Kensington or Quinn to breast. Even then I was only allowed to nurse them once or twice a day in the very beginning; it was too exhausting for them, as preemies, to do so at every feeding. When I did nurse them it was imperative that I pump off the excess milk to establish and maintain my milk supply. I started out pumping every three hours around the clock.
 I remember having to wake up in the middle of the night, lonely and no baby in my home, to pump in a great effort to establish my supply.
 Every time I cried and thought it would be so much more rewarding if my babies were with me. 

Fast forward to when they came home. Suddenly I was thrown into the routine in it's entirety, alone. Josh had to go back to work and neither of our families where here to visit yet since we expected the Zabies to spend a little while longer in the NICU. Nursing the girls took 45 minutes per baby, not including burping and diapering. It was exhausting to say the least. I did some research and reached out to my local Multiple Moms Mingle Group for support. I quickly found that many mothers of twins exclusively pump, bottling feeding their babies breast milk. I was determined to give my babies breast milk so exclusively pumping seemed like just the thing for me. 
I exclusively pumped through four consecutive months of, excruciatingly painful, mastitis, thrush, a second emergency surgery, the worst case of thrush my doctors had ever seen, colds and Coxsackie virus. Like I said, I was determined! 

I started weening from the pump around 10 ½ months. I gave the Zabies 75/25 (breastmilk/organic whole milk) for three weeks. At 11 months and 1 week, we gave them 50/50 for a week and I dropped the 3:30 pump. Two weeks before their birthday I dropped the mid-morning pump and started shortening the morning and evening pumps. My supply decreased drastically and the Zabies got 25/75 of breast milk and organic whole milk. The week of their birthday, I started going 12 hours and then 24 hours between pumps; the Zabies were getting breast milk in their morning and bedtime bottles but not the mid-day bottles. 

On August 21, 2014, my sweet girls turned one year old and also got their last bottle of  breast milk. It was bittersweet. I had a love/hate relationship with the pump. Today, August 28th, I still can't bring myself to remove the pump from it's usual spot. I sat on the couch for five or more hours per day pumping with that thing! So it will sit there a while longer. 

We are moving on in so many ways today that I can only handle one thing at a time. I am putting away all of the pumping parts. They will no longer sit on my counter waiting to be used. 

It might take a while longer, however, to remove them from my cabinet. 

I also removed the bottle drying rack and bottles today. No more bottles for the Zabies. We are going cold turkey. 

Yes, I am mourning all of the things we are moving on from. My babies are growing up. 
I'm positive this all is much harder for me than it is for them. 

My Pumping Schedule:

At birth:
 Every three hours, around the clock, for a minimum of 30 minutes each time, sometimes 45 minutes.

2 months:
Every time the girls ate (every three hours), I pumped for 30 minutes minimum. We fed on demand at this point so we were going longer stretches at night.

4 months:
The Zabies slept from 10 pm to 5 am. I pumped every time the girls ate (every three hours) for 30 minutes each time. I, too, went from 10-5 without pumping.

6 months:
The Zabies went to bed at 7pm but ate every three hours during the day. I pumped every time they ate for 30 minutes and also pumped one last time before I went to bed at 9 or 10 pm. My next pump was at 7 am when the Zabies woke.

8 months:
The Zabies ate every four hours thru the day and went to bed at 7pm. I first transitioned to pumping every four hours and then by 9 months I also stopped pumping before I went to bed; I was then going 12 hours between pumping.

10 Months:
 I pumped at 7 am, 11 am, 3pm & 7 pm

11 months:
I pumped at 7 am, 11am & 7pm

11 ¾ months:
7 am & 7 pm

12 months:
7am

If you have any questions about exclusively pumping or weening from the pump feel free to contact me! Support is key!




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