I pumped to feel competent, to escape feelings of failure, to assuage guilt.
I pumped to give action to grief, to honor the existence of a person who died before she was born.
I pumped to feel control, to do something, the one thing uniquely in my power to give my son.
I pumped to feel security in the milk stockpiling in the deep freeze.
I pumped because of the mothers I met in the NICU who weren’t able to provide their fragile child with the milk that was needed despite giving their all
I pumped because of the seemingly stable preemies who are lost to NEC every year.
I pumped for all these reasons, but first and foremost, I pumped because access to breast milk matters. So for both my son and other babies in NICUs, both met and unmet, I pumped and my grief, my fears, my hopes and my strength all flowed into the bottles.
I pumped to honor our stillborn daughter, to protect and grow our premature son, to help their four-year-old brother learn more of the gift of giving and to help provide access to breastmilk to other babies needing it.
As I'm closing out my pumping career as Chiron is on Neocate and I just can't justify the time and medication restrictions to keep pumping just to donate, these are my thoughts. Over 40 gallons of milk to the milk bank and even more than that into Chiron.