Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Kind of Bees Make Milk????


Yes, I'm aware that that joke is SO second grade, but I couldn't help myself. I didn't know it would flop that badly though! Man, I think I even hear a few crickets chirping in the background (probaby those little Tubre crickets all the way from the swamp).

Mooooving on.... This post is dedicated to celebrating the fact that this milk well has FINALLY dried up. It took about a month to do, but I am SO over it and have in fact, "hung up the shields".

Okay, so call me anal (although inquisitive is a better word choice) but I have kept track of how much I've ever pumped from about 1 week after delivery to present. That's right, folks...8 months of being milked like a cow. My kids better thank me someday. Maybe when they're at some Ivy League school and earning their 4th Nobel Prize.

There have been many people who expressed interest in learning more about what we fed the babies in regards to breastmilk or formula. The truth is...we've used both since the babies were around a couple months old. Before that, they got all breastmilk with enough formula powder added to make it higher in calories. Then the little piggies figured out that eating is fun and we went down to "regular" breastmilk, which is typically calculated at about 20 kcals per ounce (the same as regular formulas). Well, around that time they started eating more than I was making. And I wasn't about to add even more pumpings into my day just so I could meet their demand. These ta-tas were overworked as it was and shoulda been making double time for all their efforts! So, we started making their bottles with "mostly" breastmilk and then added in mixed formula to bring it up to their current volumes at that time. As they started eating more and more, the ratio of breastmilk to formula became more and more inversely proportionate. By that time, I was almost done weaning myself off the pump.

Anyway, after keeping track of my pump volumes (NOT including the times I would actually nurse the babies) I totaled 8+ months worth of numbers up. Here are my stats:

November 25, 2007 to July 15, 2008 Total Milk Production:

337,120 mL (or cc's)

about 337 liters

about 11,238 ounces

around 88 gallons

Now for the monthly, weekly, daily AVERAGES....

1606 ounces per month

402 ounces per week

54 ounces per day

And just for fun, I went back and looked up my most productive day. On May 26th, I totaled 2120 mL, which is almost 71 ounces, in a 24 hr time period. Moo, moo, baby! I guess watching the Olympics made me want to see what my record was set at. Michael Phelps....You've got NOTHING on me (except maybe one meel-li-yon dollars. Mwah,ha,ha,ha! - to be read in the style of Dr. Evil).

Also, for shits and giggles, I approximated the savings by not having to buy as much formula. 88 gallons of milk is equivalent to about (125) 12.9 oz cans of Similac Advance. With tax, each of those cans runs about $14.00. So that was around $1,750.00 worth of savings. Not too shabby (but I'll admit, I thought it would be more than that).

Not to say pumping that long with quadruplets wasn't challenging. But it was MY time that I learned to appreciate. I read several books (in 20-30 minute intervals) and had lots of time to think about things. Overall, it was a good experience, minus the 2 bouts of mastitis and the ginormous melons I had to deal with. I would do it again and would encourage any new mom to do it, as well.

Well, that's really about all I have to say about that. Of course, I couldn't do a post without showing off our babies! I've been meaning to post the pictures from their 6 month (turned out to be more like 7 month) photo shoot. My nurse co-worker at the hospital, Gary, also does photography on the side. When he lived in Japan, he was an underwater photographer as well as fashion photographer. He's got mad skillz. And what's even better, he brought his wife, Tatiana, with him to OUR HOUSE and so the babies were in their comfort zone and we had extra hands to help. They're a great team. I asked Gary if he'd mind me putting his studio web address out here in blog land, and he gave me the okay. So look him up if you're needing any portraits taken and want great pictures at very reasonable prices (plus you get the rights to all the photos he takes - he even burns you the CD). The address is:

Here's a sampling of the hundreds we had to choose from....

Danna with 2 of her bodyguards, Forrest and Laine

Just the boys

Until next time, we'll be anxiously awaiting your comments!


The G to the R to the A to the F's (gearing up for football season - Go Broncos!)


Tubre Quads said...

I am cracking up over are the best Moni! You are so freakin witty Miss Thang! Ok, so first of all, I bow to you for pumping so long...twice as long as me to be exact. I just couldn't hang with it, you are a real trooper. So now that it is official and you are all dried up, welcome to the "formally big melons all shrunk up" club. I believe I am the president and am making you vice president. I do miss my big milk tata's :(

Ok, the 7 month pictures are adorable!!!! I love the one of you and Billy making out with the kiddos on the bed. Don't you guys know how you got quads in the first really need to lay off. The babies individual pics are priceless.

Love 'you guys' (in my best Kansas accent),

P.S. First to post...take that Ryno!

Tiffany said...

You are so amazing! And the babies are beautiful!

Tiffany (delurker)

Anonymous said...

One of many fat white guys in Fl said.......

That is one hell of alot of Boob Juice. I had no idea that was even possible. GOOD LORD!!!


The Carlsons said...

kudos to you for nursing/pumping that long! oh, i hope and pray i can make it till then ;)

love the pictures! excellent!

-fellow quad mom of GGGG and a 4yo boy

Ashley Dave and Lexi said...

The gold medal does indeed belong to you for pumping so long. I just love all the new pictures!!! Danna and her pink feathers are just adorable!

EMO said...

Haha! That is hilarious that you kept track and took the time to figure up all the numbers. I am impressed! Those pictures are great. I really like the last one. SOOO CUTE!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Monica! You and your boobies crack me up! I still can't figure out why Paula and Nick bought a new calf! All they needed to do was call you! You were a milk pumping machine!! Hiland who??? Anywho, the pictures are wonderful! I love my pictures that I got from you! It makes my room way better looking! Love you guys!
Love, Auntie Lainie

Sandra said...

I have heard so many great things about you from Jac! I cannot even imagine pumping that long!! You do deserve a medal!!! I'm in countdown mode now for my sweet babies and definitely not looking forward to milk ta-ta's again!!! Mine were absolutely ginormous with my first child!!!

Your babies are precious!! Whichever little boy is not taken by Emma or Abby needs to choose Lauren or Avery and then leave the other for whichever Tubre is left after your sweet beauty!!! We'd probably get our own show if our kids really all ended up together like that!!!

Keep up the good work, they couldn't be any more precious!!!

Paula71 said...

Gracious me girl. That's a lot of milk. The babies are growing too fast. The pics are fantastic.


Anonymous said...

Gold medal... You deserve something named after you for that much milk production. I can't believe you didn't end up saving more money than you did! Great pictures of the kiddos. The first one of Pius all shinin' in his baby blue shirt is soooo adorable (as are all the rest, of course). Just think... Soon you'll be getting their ONE YEAR pictures taken!


Anonymous said...

I am so proud!
I raised such a sweet little heifer who turned into a full- fledged, awesome producing cow.... he he!
Adorable pictures! I can't believe the quads are a couple of days away from 9 months old! You and Billy have done a wonderful job.
Love ya! Budda

McNulty Quads said...

Holy COW!! LOL! Moni I cannot believe you went pumped that long.. I only lasted three months! You are amazing girl, A M A Z I N G!

Love the pics too. You are all so beautiful!

ps: Ya, good call on the lease thing.. with three boys.. OMG!!! God bless you mama!

Anonymous said...

Random reader here... I just want to stand up and applaud you! I remember how tough it was to nurse just one baby. I will never complain again! YOU ARE A GODDESS. Congrats to you and its so wonderful to read all about your babes. Thanks for sharing.

Andrea said...

Great post Monica! It takes special dedication to do what you did. That is great that you stuck with it for so long. Surely an inspiration to some mommies to be!! Those pictures are GREAT! Thanks for new post:) Love, Andrea

Anonymous said...

I was great seeing you all and love reading your posts.

Has Billy dried up too?

Love from Uncle Tom

Anonymous said...

I love all the pictures. I never get enough of looking at the babies. I hate being back at work because I don't get to see them as much. Hopefully after school gets in full swing things will slow down. I'm proud of all of you. Love, Grandma Vicki

Hilary said...

The post was toooo funny! Way to go on pumping that long..that's ALOT of mommy milk :) The pictures are priceless..time flies and babies grow :)

Anonymous said...

None of the kids look too happy that mom and dad are getting a smooch fest in....Just thought I'd point that out...


rileyreese said...

I am coming of out "lurkdom" to tell you that it is AWESOME that you could pump that much!!!!

I also wanted to tell you the photos are great too!

Fern said...

First of all, you are amazing for being able and willing to pump so much!!! Good for you!!! And 88 gallons is so incredible.

Second, that last picture is so cute!

Anonymous said...

The babies are beautiful. How is crawling going? Blake is a disaster- into everything and always one step behind me.

Your breastfeeding adventures deserved its own post- the numbers were impressive.

Hope you are also gearing up for Golden Eagle football. If we get Forest, Pius, Laine, & Blake together we only need 7 more to make up the Carroll team in 15 years- add Jack Duling & Austin Selenke and we only need 5- who else could join us?

Dianna & Kevin Goebel

The Gerwer Babies said...

You are my hero! I seriouly bow down to you!!! I quit at 3.5 months. I know, terrible. I too would join Jac in the "once big, now shrunken" club as well! They are so cute, I love the outfits (i know i already told you that and i am biased because we have them too, good taste).
The babies are beautiful!!
XO Case

Lorene said...

I am a frequent reader. I found your blog by way of king quads.

I just wanted to congratulate you on pumping for that long for that many babies. As a fellow nursing Momma, I know the ups and downs. I pride myself for nursing my three girls for a year + each. And dang girl, you did 8 months with quads. You are the queen of the Medela. Rock on Momma. Rock on!

Oh and your children are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Must be all that Momma milk. ;)

Goerlich Quadruplets said...

Olympic Gold goes to you, hot momma! You go girl! I'm so impressed and know that I would've lost my mind by now. I pumped for 6 weeks and thought that was about 5 weeks too long! :) The family photos are so precious!

Ashley Dave and Lexi said...

Happy 9 months old birthday Graf quads!!!

Rachel Haag said...

Hahahaha! What a great post...I think mom was a little harsh with her comment don't you think?! Now I only wish for the day that I can join the "shrunk up club"! ;) Love you lots! And Happy 9 mon BDay Quads!!
Aunt RayRay

The Ballinger Family said...

That is so funny! You saved a lot of moo-lah! (that was a joke) Anyway, ran across your blog and had to comment on those cheeks-all of them! So, precious!

Anonymous said...

pictures are way too cute! photographers should be paying YOU to let them take pictures of the lil punkins. i'm impresses w/ this post, all around. Hope to see you at some BC games soon!

Misty said...

THe pictures are awesome! I only pumped about 3.5months and then was just a "snack machine" on demand for another month or 2.
I saw your post about Halloween outfits on the Gerwers. I think I have a blue gingham outfit (may be big?) but if you wanted to do the Wizard of OZ. Email me, and I can mail you the outfit.

Squiggle Wiggle & Maggers Moo said...

Congrats Moni, you have successfully nursed your first set of quads. Ready to do it again!?!?!? Kidding? I am so proud of you for sticking with it for so long. At least you don't have the embarrassing problem of trying to get your 2 year-old weaned in time for the new baby to be born. I have definitely learned from this issue.
Mag just got mad at me since I wouldn't let her type. She said "Mommy, I helping." in her best two year old voice. Funny kid. I hope next time you guys have an open house we can make it. I would love to see and meet you guys before I turn into a cow. Luv ya guys.

The College Hill Girls

P.S. I love the photos!!! They are absolutely fabulous. I can't believe how big they are. It is absolutely flabbergasting. Amazing!!!

The Munchkin Patch said...

Be sure to check out our Back to School Bash going on at The Munchkin Patch this week!!

Anonymous said...

Impressive milk production Moni. The photos are wonderful, Gary and Tatiana do an excellent job. Doesn't hurt that they had two good looking parents and 4 adorable infants to work with. :-)


Rick & Jenn Payne said...

Leave it to a nurse to keep track of that. I LOVE IT!! You make me PROUD! I'm still in shock that you made it that long...WOW I was determined and only made it 3 months. I thought I started hearing myself "MOO" and thought I better quit! (Okay...not funny, but had to put that in there!) the way can I be part of that "Dried Up...Have Nothing...Rocks in Tube Socks...Club" I'd make a good Secretary...LOL. Thanks for the sweet comments on my's been a little rough over on my side for a while. People haven't been very nice. It was certantly nice to hear from you guys. The pictures are GREAT!!! I LOVE them ALL!! You don't need my parenting tips are doing GREAT! All you need is my support just like I need yours. Feel free to steal my tips or how I do things anytime...I do yours! About that "CASH" friend said she got one at and the other at We LOVE them. She got us some other ones that I'll have to show off to ya too. You'll crack up! Stay sweet and keep that sense of humor. I need the laughs! Jenn - momma of the HERD!

Emily said...

Rach, you're PREGNANT???!!! hehe (shouldn't have made that big boob comment)

Moni, I LOVE the fact that you're down with crunching some numbers as well as the teets. You make me proud with those calculations.

Do i get copies of some of those family pics?? I really need one for my family wall collage.

Can't wait to see you guys over Christmas! I hear Forrest got his first tooth? Please send out the pics! And if they're crawling a lot or even walking, be sure to include videos!!
Miss you guys,
Auntie Em and Uncle Andy

jag said...

You are too funny! I think your joke is charming and look forward to sharing it with my husband. He's easily amused too (kidding). Anyway, thank you a million for all the info. Sounds like the girls and I have some work ahead of us!

Tubre Quads said...

Ok, seriously...this is comment #36...what are you waiting for??? How are my babies doing? I demand a video or I will pack up my crew and fly right up there Missy :)

Love you,

Laura said...

Oh my word, I just ran across your blog and wanted to tell you your babies are absolutely PRECIOUS! They seriously could be gerber babies..... no joke.

And I'm quite impressed over the whole pumping thing. I'm a mama to a singleton girl born in December and couldn't imagine pumping for that long for that many babies... you go girl!!!

Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read that blog. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.