Mr C and I have been preparing some of the kiddo’s baby stuff to be passed on to our cousins who are new parents. We’re lucky that we got practically everything we needed from our baby shower, and I can’t stress enough how choosing to have a gift registry was our key to success.We managed to take good care of most of our things, and so we are now able to share them with relatives and friends in need, instead of them having to buy new stuff. I’m happy that the kiddo’s cousins will get to make their own memories with the stuff we used and loved ourselves over the years – our stroller, car seat, high chair, playpen, electric sterilizer and food warmer, and an assortment of toys and clothes.This evening over dinner, we were enumerating the things that Mr C will be turning over to one of his cousins this week, when I remembered that I had loaned my breast pump to a friend. The mere mention of my breast pump got everyone laughing, remembering the difficult time we all while I was breastfeeding.
The kiddo was one of those babies who never really learned how to drink milk straight from mommy. At first I thought it might have been because I was doing it wrong, specially since one of my friends who gave birth about the same time as I did was breastfeeding practically every hour and without any difficulty. I realize now that some kids just never really learn to latch on, and I remember that my mom had the same problem with my sister when she was a baby. Despite the fact that he didn’t quite get how to suck, I was determined to give the kiddo breast milk, and so I spent a good part of my first days as a new mom attached to a breast pump.
I got myself a trusty Pigeon electric breast pump, and I remember my mom telling me how lucky I was that they actually made motorized ones already, coz back in the day it was manual and a lot more difficult. I also had a manual pump, but I really preferred to use the electric one since it made life a whole lot easier. Still, even though this was supposedly the easy way, it was very difficult just filling up a 4oz bottle, and I really wished that the kiddo had just learned to take the milk straight from me. That would have been a whole lot better compared to my routine of sterilizing bottles, pumping and storing milk, then warming the bottles up each and every time he got hungry. Lucky for me, everyone in our household helped out, and so breastfeeding was literally a struggle for all of us.
Mr C cracked a joke during our conversation earlier that my poor breast pump was completely overworked, like a small generator trying to power an entire building. I suddenly remembered the day that Pigeon breast pump broke down and just stopped working. It made one last low hum before it died completely, and so began my excruciating experience of manual milk pumping. And oh my goodness, how tough it was. My hand eventually cramped up in the middle of the day from squeezing that crazy little pump, and I had to ask for help. Throughout the course of that afternoon and evening, both my mom and Mr C had a chance to work that pretty pink breast pump, just so we could come out with enough milk to feed out little kiddo. We were so exhausted by the end of that day that the following morning, my mom went to the store and bought me a brand new Pigeon electric pump.
After only five weeks, I stopped producing milk, I guess because my glands weren’t getting any actual stimulation from the baby. Meanwhile, my happily breastfeeding friend was able to get by on just breast milk until her daughter was two years old. How I wish things could have been the same for us. It would have saved us a lot of money, as the discovery that baby formula was impossibly expensive was our next parenting challenge. We learned a lot in our first three months as parents, and I’m really hoping that when we have our next baby, we get to nail this breast feeding challenge already. When that will be, I really can’t say. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be any time soon.