I have been exclusively pumping for my twin girls for over 8 months. With the exception of supplementing 1 bottle of Neosure a day until the girls hit 10 lbs, they have drank strictly breastmilk. Due to dropping to 4 pumping sessions per day over the past couple of months (hello, I'm super busy!), my supply is slowly dropping. Luckily, I built up a pretty significant "freezer stash" from having an oversupply in the beginning of my pumping journey - so I pull a couple bags of frozen breastmilk everyday to mix in with fresh milk.
Exclusively pumping is a very rewarding thing that I do for my girls. I am extremely proud to be giving them the health benefits of my breastmilk. I'm even more proud to witness them grow big, strong, and chubby-cheeked, knowing that I provided the nutrition to get them there. I have saved us thousands by not having to purchase formula. Since we have 3 kids under 2 years, we have plenty of other expenses without having to spend $100 bucks a week on baby formula.
Exclusively pumping has been equally as exhausting as it has been rewarding. This is especially true in the beginning before your milk supply regulates, which typically happens around 12 weeks postpartum. Waking up to an alarm at night to pump in between twins waking up in the night, is extremely tiring. There's also so many pump parts that need to be washed, sterilized, and dried. You have to plan your day around your pumping schedule, and ensure that when you're traveling, you have all the necessary pump parts, bottles, and lids, in addition to a cooler, wet bags, and ice packs. You have to remember to pack your pump and wall plug everywhere you go, or make sure your battery is charged. You'll need to ask for help, often relying on your partner to take the lead with the kids so you can get your 30 minute session in.
Your babies miraculously go down for a nap at the same time. You hope that they'll nap for an hour so you can get some things done. You're hungry, need a shower, have 6 baskets of laundry to fold, have a sink full of dishes and baby bottles to wash, would LOVE to take a nap.... and also need to pump. Only 3 things on the aforementioned list will be completed - you'll eat microwaved leftovers while you pump, and wash dishes and baby bottles. You try to go for a fourth item on the list and lay down to close your eyes.....
........One of the babies will cry 2 minutes later.......
........... Inside, you will also cry.
Pumping is extremely hard work. There's so many days that I've wanted to quit. However, I've vowed to not quit on the hard days.
I no longer have a set plan for my pumping journey. My goal was to get to 3 months. Then 6 months. Now, as I approach 9 months, I've decided I'm just going to continue pumping until I decide I'm ready to be done. I will likely need to supplement with formula in the next couple of months, and that's okay. I've worked hard and am proud of how far I've come as a mother pumper.