I took a pill to stop lactating today. Thanks to NICU batchmate Marj who told me there was such a thing. My body hasn’t learned that Sofia has gone to heaven. 😦
The engorgement is a painful reminder that my body still expects to be nursing our beloved princess. I wasn’t sure how much pumping and for how long would be just right to relieve me but not stimulate more milk production. The term q3 kept entering my head – it was the term the nurses used for Sofia’s feeding schedule, which was every 3hrs.
I’ve been expressing milk for Sofia from the day she was born. I cherish the 1-2 weeks in April when I was able to breastfeed her directly at the NICU. The rest of the time it was pump, pump, pump. I don’t think any mom would ever call it a pleasant task, but it was the least I could do to provide Sofia with the best kind of food she could have. It was like lather, rinse, repeat – a pump-drink water-urinate cycle that could easily take up your time and make you wonder how the day went by so quickly; one that you have to schedule your other activities around.
I was able to build a modest stash for Sofia as there were times when she couldn’t take anything orally like when she was being prepared for a procedure or when she bled. Her fluid intake was also reduced when she had kidney failure and eventually we started adding Human Milk Fortifier (didn’t even know there was such a thing!) to my expressed milk to give her more calories with her limited fluid intake.
Soon after we rushed Sofia back to the hospital we explained to our boys that she was very sick. Yoachim innocently asked later if we would be giving my stash to a niece who was just a month older than Sofia, since Sofia wouldn’t be needing it anymore. I don’t remember which happened first anymore but about this time our refrigerator’s compressor also broke and I had to dispose of a good amount of frozen milk.
I pumped in the car so I could be free to do other things at home and at St. Luke’s. I’ve pumped at the Operating Room waiting area for the two times she had a Tenchoff catheter placed for her peritoneal dialysis, at the Cath Lab waiting area while she was being stented, and at the Nuclear Medicine waiting area while she was undergoing RBC tagging to find where she was pooping blood from. All this with the help of the hot pink nursing cover my projectmates gave me for Sofia’s baby shower, the cover that I wished so many times had Sofia underneath it instead of my Ameda pump.