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bodily pride

Many updates on little Z are forthcoming, but right now, he’s sleeping and I’m up late watching Grey’s Anatomy on DVR. Dave has given me a nice break this weekend (like every weekend) – taking over the diaper changes and playing and putting down for naps so I have some time to myself. So today I ate a leisurely breakfast, and read some and worked some and vacuumed some. And at 4 pm, I went to San Francisco to see a play and have dinner with some girlfriends. Pure luxury.

Back in July and August, I pumped everyday to make sure I had a good supply of milk so I could go out for nights like this and have the freedom and flexibility to leave Z with Dave or someone else. I built up a large stock – close to 30 4-ounce bags. Only I so rarely go out, and I didn’t want that milk to go to waste, so I stopped pumping. I stopped seeing daily proof that my body is producing this sustenance for my boy.

Five months later, that frozen supply is finally dwindling. So tonight, when I got home from my date, I decided to pump for the first time in a long time. I rarely get engorged anymore, even if I miss a feeding. So I didn’t need to pump. I mostly just wanted to see how much I would get. Production is usually lowest at night, and since I don’t know how much he gets during the day, and I’m still constantly nagged with the lingering insecurity “is he getting enough?” I was curious.

I pumped 8 ounces of rich, white milk. Amazing! Z and I have had so many struggles these first 8 months. So few things have fallen neatly into place for us, but this thing, this one amazing thing, has been good. Really good. And while I can’t say I enjoy pumping (I much prefer the closeness and intimacy of breastfeeding) it felt so good to have this visual reminder of what my body can do for my son. I know so many moms who struggle with breastfeeding, so many moms who make themselves crazy trying to keep up their supply. And I am so thankful that this one thing has gone well for us – that we have found this balance of supply and demand. I know that one day I’ll reach a point when I want to wean, when I’ll want my body for myself alone. But for now, I’m so proud of what I can do for Zeke, and I have no desire to stop.


  1. specules
    specules January 21, 2009

    I’m right with ya. Well said. With me, it’s almost a security blanket as well; I know if all else fails and baby’s inconsolable, at least I can produce the ultimate comfort object that will work 9 times out of 10. Not that one should rely on that as the first line of defense, but still, it’s a relief being able to think to myself, “At least I have that and it actually works!”

  2. Mom
    Mom January 24, 2009

    I think what you are doing is so wonderful….you feel fulfilled and so does your little guy…..there is nothing like that bond and I am in full agreement that you should continue as long as you are both satisfied!

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