Tonight I return home from a five day business trip. Five days since I’ve hugged and kissed on my little ones. Five days since I’ve had to change diapers. Five days since I’ve heard the little high-pitched voices yelling for mom. Five days since I’ve nursed Macks.
Macks is 15 months next week. This is the longest I’ve ever gone with nursing one of my children. The girls weaned themselves around 13 months. Macks is still holding onto those late night and early morning feelings. And honestly, I’m okay with it. He’s most likely our last baby and this is the one thing that I can solely still provide him with. One thing that still keeps me holding onto the baby stage that I know is inching closer to being gone.
Before I left for my trip I debated on whether or not I wanted to bring my pump. Macks doesn’t use pumped milk anymore and really doesn’t even nurse for long when I do feed him. Bringing my pump was just more space in my bag and knowing that I wouldn’t do anything with the milk (the very little that’s left) made me even more of an excuse just to leave it at home. As much as I didn’t want to bring it with me, I wanted to make sure I could keep up with my supply, because deep down I’m not ready to close this chapter of our lives.
While incredible, breastfeeding hasn’t always been a facile journey. Supply issues, weight problems with the kids, doctors telling me to give up and move on, yet this deep desire inside me to stick with it. What I once thought was just a simple way to feed my child, has now grown into something that has helped shape the person and mother I am today. So while this pump might have been an extra burden for this trip, I wasn’t ready to part with it just yet.
As I return home tonight, I do so with butterflies in my stomach, not sure if Macks is ready to close this door. Ultimately it’s his decision, and as painstakingly difficult it might be for me, I know that there will be many more doors that will open up for just the two of us to take on as he gets older.
This breastfeeding path of mine has led to many things, which is why it has helped form my journey in motherhood. A few weeks ago I had the chance to be a part of something that I am so proud and honored to partake in. I traveled to Long Island with friends (and fellow writers and influencers) to visit the Ronald McDonald House Long Island for the Medela Recycles Program.
Four years ago, after I was finished breastfeeding Harlan, I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my breast pump. Rather than doing research, I just stuck it in a box for it to sit for another few years. Because there are so many other mothers that have experienced the same issue, Medela launched Medela Recycles, a program designed to allow more moms the opportunity to breastfeed—supported by the recycling of used Medela personal-use electric breastpumps.
Moms that are ready to part with their pump can visit the Medela website where they can print out a pre-paid shipping label to send their pump to Medela. Medela will then send all eligible breastpumps to a third-party processing center where they will be broken down and all recyclable parts will be recycled appropriately.
All pumps recycled through the Medela Recycles program will go toward a donation of hospital-grade Medela Symphony Preemie Breastpumps and breastfeeding supplies to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The Ronald McDonald House has always held a special place in my heart because it was our chosen charity for the sorority I belonged to in college. Our fundraisers and volunteer efforts all went towards Ronald McDonald House Charities which provides families with seriously ill children a safe and comfortable place to stay while their child is away in the hospital receiving care.
During my visit to the Ronald McDonald House Long Island, Medela donated two hospital grade breastpumps for moms with babies in the NICU. I had the chance to speak with a mom that was staying in the house who had a baby currently in the NICU and she couldn’t express how grateful she was to Medela for providing these pumps for her to use while she isn’t in the hospital.
We were also treated to a tour of the house. The Ronald McDonald House Long Island recently renovated their property and when I tell you that I was in awe of the house, my jaw literally dropped as I entered every room of the house.
Each room was designed by a different designer who donated their time and resources to making all of the families that stay at the Ronald McDonald House Long Island feel like home while they are there.
The bunny wallpaper in the Tower Lounge is everything. I would love a room in my house with this.
Every room I walked in I kept saying, “No this room is my favorite.” But I really think this one was my favorite. The entire wall was New York City and it was covered with plexi-glass so that you could grab a white board marker and color is. This IS going in my house. My next DIY.
This little nook was so bright and cheery and comfortable. I loved the curtain that you could pull for privacy if you needed to. It just so happened that I perfectly matched the decor, so a picture was necessary.
This was the inside of the elevator. I kept staring and touching it. I love the virbrancy of the colors and the texture of the fabric. The most interesting elevator I’ve ever been in.
My favorite candy is Swedish Fish, so naturaly I had to document the coolest hand-made Swedish Fish art.
And finally the Nursing Room, which was so quaint and warm. The perfect space for a mom to privately pump so she can provide her little one with the nutrition they need.
This house was beyond my wildest imagination and it was so wonderful to see amazingly generous people who give their time to helping families in need. I am so happy I could just have a small slice in all of that.
The time for me to say goodbye to this chapter is coming soon and as much as I try to kick and scream to make it end, time trumps it all. At least I know that with the end of this story, it helps start a new story for not only myself but for another mom too.
For more information about Medela Recycles and to find out how you can recycle your used breast pump, visit the Medela website.