We're in the middle of week 2, though, and I have one baby that will nurse from one breast. Monkey will nurse one breast; Football won't nurse either. In fact, last week, she would scream hysterically if put on a breast and, if her mouth was forced over the nipple, she bit it. Since she had nursed fine for the first couple of days, I didn't worry about it for a while, but at a week my pediatrician said that she needed nutrition, so I've been pumping and bottle feeding her.
Naturally, I hope this is going to be a temporary solution. I try to offer her the breast as often as I can, and she's gotten better - she no longer screams, and will occasionally give a desultory suck or two. I'm actively looking for a lactation consultant in the hopes that one can suggest something that I haven't tried, but, at the end of the day, it just depends on whether she'll flip the switch and breast feed or not.
Which leads to the problems of breast pumps. I had an Ameda Elite at the hospital, and I rented one for a week. It was OK, although the case on my rental was broken, which caused an annoying squeak, so it had to be returned. It was a $60 / month rental, though, so by the time I used it for a year, I might as well have bought a new one. (New ones are $800, resale value on ebay is about $450)
In the interim, however, a friend who had to pump exclusively for her twins recommended the Medela Symphony. I tried to rent one, but there aren't any available in my area, so I ended up with a Medela Lactina Select instead, which is basically the older model of the Symphony. At $30 / month, it is very affordable, but it does not have nearly the functionality of the symphony. In particular, it lacks Medela's 2 phase pumping. The Symphony costs $1200 and has a resale value on ebay of about $700-800, and rents for $80/month, when it is available. I prefer the pumping feel of the Lactina Select to the Elite, so I am thinking that I should probably buy a Medela product.
My other option is to buy a high end consumer grade pump. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced also has the 2 phase pumping option, if not quite as many settings as the Symphony. It costs $260 and has an ebay resale value of around $50. But it's not really intended for pumping 8x a day for a year, and I may have to buy two of them if one burns out (Although the motor is warrantied for a year, the rest of it only has a 90 day warranty.)
My insurance won't pay for a pump, but it looks as though the cost will be covered by my FSA, so I won't need to come up with the cash for any of these out of pocket. Still, even though it is paid for in pre-tax dollars, $1200 is a lot of money, and there is no guarantee that the current resale value will hold after I have used it for a year.
If I knew that Football was never going to nurse, I'd buy the Symphony or maybe the Elite; conversely, if I knew she was going to nurse, I would buy the Pump in Style. But, since the future is uncertain, I have to choose. Theoretically, I have until my pump rental expires in early December to decide, but since I'm planning to get a better pump, I plan to make the decision reasonably soon.
Does anyone have any experience with these pumps? Even if you don't, would you consider a hospital grade pump a want or a need, in light of my situation?