Last Drop

The only picture I have of Hazel nursing. Taken by my good friend Rachel.

I gave birth to a delightful human being named Hazel on January 8th, 2016. Hazel did all of the normal human babies things, but they hated breastfeeding, or so it seemed. As it turned out, after successfully nursing on four other mamas, Hazel didn’t mind nursing, they just didn’t want to nurse on me.

Apparently, Hazel didn’t appreciate my giant boobs. I unscientifically confirmed this by having a friend with even larger breasts attempt to nurse Hazel — unsuccessfully.

Those of you that know me, know that I am not one to give up or give in. I tried ALL. THE. THINGS.

But, at the end of the day, I couldn’t change how my, now screaming and starving, fresh newborn felt about my giant boobs.

I’ve pumped for 11 months 1 week and 3 days. I thought about counting up the ounces and the hours, but I haven’t cried yet and feel like I want to avoid it if possible.

Mine and Hazel’s #treeoflife #normalizingbreastfeeding viral photography meme

I hated pumping pretty much all the time. I hated that first month of pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock, instead of sleeping and snuggling my baby. I hated how inconvenient it was to have to make plans around my pumping schedule, even after I switched to pumping every 4 hours around the clock. I hated falling asleep at 4am with a pump attached to me and waking back up an hour later with my nipple sucked into the back of the flange. I hated pumping pretty much all the time.

I love my baby. I love that my body can produce food for my baby even if they didn’t want to nurse. I love that special flanges were invented for mamas like me with really large breasts. I love that I had so much support from so many people all around the world.

My pumping version of the #treeoflife #normalizingbreastfeeding #exclusivelypumping viral photography meme

I am eternally grateful for Ngozi, my wonderful lactation consultant; the five other lactating goddessmamas who nursed my sweet baby; grey-market Domperidone that boosted my supply; and the SEVENTEEN milk donors who donated milk to feed my hungry baby while I built up my milk production (and their milk again feeds my babe while we cross the one year mark and transition from human milk to non-dairy milk).

Seventeen donors! Catholic, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Pagan, and Atheist donors. Black, Latina, Indigenous, and white donors. Donor milk from four different counties. Donors with their first newborns and a donor with their first grandchild! Queer mama donors and two trans* donors. Professional, experienced donors and just loving and helpful first time donors.

Best immune system ever!

Just a little over two hours ago I pumped for the last time. My last 1.5 ounces. The end of one chapter in my journey with sweet baby Hazel. I can’t wait to see what is around the corner for us.

My last 1.5 ounces pumped.

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