147 Hours and Counting: Pumping at Work

If we are estimating 3 times a day at about 20 minutes since I went back to work, and 1 time a day since Jameson was 3 weeks old, I have spent approximately 147 hours pumping – that is 8,820 minutes or nearly one full week of just pumping (alright, I did round up. It’s actually like 6.1 days, but that may as well be a full week, right?).

Since switching jobs, I have decreased the number of feedings by two, in preparation to quit. The extra pumping session at work, and the overnight feeding.

I’m not preparing to quit because I don’t have time at work – sometimes it is actually nice to get away for a bit. I have even been reading again during my 20 minute pumping sessions at work (rather than writing blog posts; those I do at home now and prepare most during the weekend).

[Side note: The room is nicer at my job here. If you remember, I showed some pictures of my previous job’s lactation room. Here’s what it looks like here.

The room was re-done very recently; since I have started, they have removed the office desk that was in the room. I wish I had gotten before and afters of that. (though, the glass side table is a poor choice, which I need to note to HR sometime). And look! I even have a refrigerator!]

I want to quit because Jameson stopped nursing before bed, so that was a FOURTH pumping session I was adding in, and 4 was too much for me. So it’s still 3 pumpings, twice at work and once at home.

It’s because of the endless cycle of it all, the nursing tank tops I wear every. day. , the perpetual cleaning of parts: the wiping down after each session, the washing at night, every night.

It’s because I want to wear real clothes, and I really want to go ride roller coasters all day long without needing to pump, or scheduling things around when I need to pump. I want to leave the pump at home. Better yet, pack it up and put it away.

It’s because I want to be able to have a glass of wine at dinner without feeling the (sometimes irrational) need to pour half the amount; or not at all if I need to pump within the hour.

I almost want to stop enough to really call it quits, but not quite yet. I sometimes wish that I would completely stop lactating without me having to choose though. The good thing about supplementing is that I don’t worry so much about the milk. The bad thing is that in continuing to provide mother’s milk while supplementing with formula is that when I decide to quit it will be my decision.

Which of course involves guilt, and maybe a little disappointment in myself, my selfishness. It’s easier at this point if the environment or my body takes that choice away, and then there is no option, I just quit.

(This is not to detract from others’ choices or lack of choices when it comes to nursing or pumping for their children, as these are my personal feelings on the matter and no others)

But for now, Jameson is still nursing in the morning when he wakes, and he’s having a few (common) digestive issues (i.e., constipation) so mommy’s milk still seems important, too important to quit.

And yes, I know it is important. I am just not sure when it won’t seem as important to me. But it better be before summer is up, so I can go to Cedar Point (and leave the pump behind).

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  1. I love the count-out, that is too funny. I can’t believe how nice your pumping room is, that’s amazing! I am a nurse at a hospital, and I have to pump in the bathroom. And I know EXACTLY how you feel…I stopped nursing my second about two months ago, at the 1-year mark, and oh, the relief to go one whole day with my boobs IN my shirt. Amazing. It’s hard work, but you’re almost there!!

    1. I am a little surprised, since it’s a hospital, that they wouldn’t be more accommodating and have a room for you!? That’s for the vote of confidence too!!

  2. Wow! Your pumping room at work is awesome. When I was pumping it was just an empty office I scouted out.

    I think it’s always hard to know when to stop and there is SO much guilt involved with making that decision. With my first, he was early and never latched. I was pumping and then bottle feeding. I only lasted about 8 weeks because it felt so impersonal. I felt so guilty when I switched him to formula no matter how many times my husband reassured me he was thriving.

    My daughter I breastfed for 4.5 months and had to pump at work. I can totally relate to wanting to wear clothing that isn’t made for nursing mothers and feeling like you are a ticking time bomb when you are out. (Gotta get this done and get back before my boobs need to be pumped again.)

    My daughter stopped wanting to nurse on her own for some reason, but I still felt guilty.

    No matter when you decide to stop you’ve done great. Dragging that pump into work every day is hard.

    1. Jameson is pretty much not nursing off of me anymore, only in the morning when he wakes up. Which I thought meant I would feel less guilty about quitting, but not really. The worst of course is when you forget the pump at home!!! agh

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