A Long Rant, and now weaning.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2010
A Long Rant, and now weaning.
Sat, 04-17-2010 - 11:02am

Okay, I've been lurking for about 10 weeks now, and I just want to start of by saying how much I've loved and valued this board. Thank you - all of you - for all the wisdom you've shared on here.

My quick story - DD born on 2/2 (so, she's about 10.5w now)- and a great combination of my flat nipples and her tiny, munching mouth led to a lot of pain, blood, tears, and (almost) a switch to formula. But then I discovered pumping, and then I discovered you guys, and so have been EP'ing since she was about 1w old. I'll admit, it's been pretty easy - I'm a HVP - and I was pumping out quarts of milk pretty damn fast. However, that was associated with REALLY painful letdown (that just occurs every two hours no matter what) and by about week two, my just hating it. Just sitting here at 3am hating every moment of pumping.

So...I said to myself, Self, just get to four weeks. Then you can decide to quit. Just get to four weeks. And at four weeks, I said just get to six....

I reduced the number of pumps a lot earlier than you're supposed to because a) my freezer is full, b) I'm a grad student and work in an HIV clinic. I have blocks of four hour meetings, then going directly into class. I was making myself crazy trying to get all the pumps in, and I decided, well, if I lose too much milk, I'll try then to, uh, pump it up. And I worked down to six pumps, then four pumps, and recently 3 pumps - because truth be told, I was going to try to just produce just enough milk for the next three months to mix with the frozen stuff to help with the taste (not that DD seems to notice). And it's been working and I had finally gotten to a point where I was comfortable with the routine - as you all said I would!

Now, here's the Rant:

I got a Playtex Double Embrace pump at my shower as a gift. From DH's cousin who's a fancypants at the Playtex Corporation (seriously, we got a LOT of stuff - which was really nice, but even I knew at that point that the PDE wasn't supposed to be as good as a Medela. But...we said we give it a try). And I'll say this about the PDE - I got a lot of milk from it. And it was really comfortable. From reading these boards, I knew it wasn't really designed for EP's. So I rented a Symphony. And I just didn't get the milk output. It would take me 40 minutes to get 4 ounces with a symphony instead of getting 6-8 in 20 with the PDE - and that's just one boob! And then flanges with the symphony were really uncomfortable. So I got a pumpin Pal. But still, no dice. So, after a month, I returned the Symphony.

And then.

Starting a few weeks ago: one day, the motor on the PDE starts making this horrible grinding gears noise. Uh oh. Call DH's cousin to ask who I should contact. She promptly just drops two new motors into FedEx to me. Awesome. Several days later, I'm at work with one of the new motors, go to pump, nothing. Won't turn on. Have to cancel my afternoon meetings and rush home. In so much pain from engorgement. And cue...clogged ducts. My DH figures out it's the power source and gets me a new one from Radio Shack (which I never would have thought of). Two days later, we head out on a roadtrip to see friends. We're 40 miles outside San Francisco, and I go to pump in the car...and I'm pumping and all of a sudden, the motor goes into overdrive, nearly sucks my nipple off my body, and then just as swiftly grinds to a halt. I could almost feel my ducts clogging at that moment. Again. Since we were several hundred miles from home and were going to be in SF for five days, I had to figure out fast, now what to do. Do I say eff it, and go get a Medela (oh, but see the part above where I'm a grad student - I don't have $300 burning a hole in my wallet), do I get on the phone with the cousin and have ANOTHER part sent out, do I wean, WTF. And I already had clogged ducts that I was working on from the day before, so I was a bit panicky.

Ended up spotting a BR'U, and bought ANOTHER PDE. I know, good money after bad - but I had all the bottles and whatnot and I knew that it worked for me a lot better than the Symphony (when it worked), so I was scared to drop 300 on a pump in style and then have it not work. At this point, I was getting pretty mad, and I didn't (and still don't) know what to say to the cousin.

So once we bought the new PDE, we discovered that the new one didn't work with the car-lighter attachment. Fine. Whatever, just get me to the hotel. And I spent the next five days working out clogged ducts, but at least I was able to pump.

Then (cue: choir of angels), I read a posting on here suggesting lecithin for clogged ducts. WOW. Big difference. Holy flowing nipples, Batman.

So, since then (two weeks?) things have been okay. Then yesterday, the new motor suddenly SPEEDS UP and all of a sudden the suction goes from 1 to infinity, and it almost rips off another nipple. And then the motor started grinding, and then wheezed to a halt. Sigh. And so I go to the playtex website, where it proudly advertises the PDE's "DURABLE, HOSPITAL GRADE MOTOR." Pardon my french, but Durable My A**. And I called their customer service line - please call back during business hours. Seriously?

So at this point, I'm done. I can't take this anymore. I can't afford a medela. I'm not sticking my boob back in another PDE. My insurance won't cover a pump (thanks Kaiser!). And I'm just so done with having to deal with this day after day after day. AAAARGH.

So I dropped 40 bucks (sigh) on a Avent Isis manual, I'm popping a lot of lecithin, sudafed, and ibuprofen, and I'm just pumping a couple ounces to relieve pressure when it gets too bad. But is this the best way to wean? Any advice?

Truth be told, I'm sad and angry about almost this whole experience. I had a really easy pregnancy and pretty easy birth (and the kid's not so bad either), so it's really just been BFing that's been a challenge. But we had settled into a bit of a quiet routine and now that POS PDE has blown it all apart again. And so this is how it ends. So frustrating!

Thanks for reading all this.- mack6697

Edited 4/17/2010 11:09 am ET by mack6697
- mack6697
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2008
Sat, 04-17-2010 - 2:28pm
SOOOO soorrrry.
DAWN Mom to Adelaide Grace 3/25/08