Winners Never Quit
I don’t think I can ever quit pumping.
Quitting would mean there would be no chance of me ever breastfeeding a baby. That teensiest slither of hope that I hang on to, the ridiculous belief that maybe one day Moo might just latch on and do it, would be gone. No breast milk, no chance. I’ve hung on to that desire, that wish, that insanely unlikely fantasy for so long. How do I just let it go?
I’ve worked damn hard to get here, to keep going this long. There were days when I’d be desperate to just do something else, to be able to leave the house without the contraption, to be able to sleep all night. Days that my nipples were bleeding and the milk was bright pink and I ached and shivered with mastitis. How can I give up when I’ve come this far?
It’s such an ingrained part of my life now. I get up, I pump. Before I say good morning to my daughter, before I eat, before I brush my teeth, I pump. Every single day, for more than two years. It’s the longest running activity I’ve ever taken part in. None of my other ‘hobbies’ have lasted this long.
With breastfeeding, there’s self weaning. But with pumping, there’s no natural end point. Lots of exclusively pumping mamas do a year, when they can switch to cows milk. Perhaps I should have had a date in mind and just stopped, a clean break. But I just couldn’t do it, I felt compelled to continue.
I’m freaking out that I’ll quit and then regret it. It’d be far too late to go back. The work that would take would destroy me, but I’m worried my stubbornness and determination would make me do it. So I’m stuck, just pumping on forever, aimlessly listening to the repetitive buzz of the pump.