Disclaimer: If you are not a mama, this post will probably be, in no way, relatable to you. If talk of breastfeeding, pumping and/or breastmilk makes you uncomftable, I suggest skipping this one! However, as this blog is a place for all the adventure of mommyhood, here we go.
I have broken up with my breastpump. After weeks off going back and forth, I finally put my foot down, gave her the old "It's not you, it's me" speech, and bid her goodbye.
When I was pregnant with L I was so excited by the prospect of breastfeeding, and also incredibly intemidated. I had heard so many horror stories about how hard it was, how painful it was, how babies sometimes wouldn't latch. But, I knew this was something I wanted to do, so I made myself a deal.
"3 months" I told myself, "You just have to make it three months."
Three months came and went, and I was elated. Breastfeeding? This was easy! I was practically a pro, a nursing guru. It was like I had been doing it for years. L and I had had no problems, we were a winning team, and I'm not going to lie, I was more than a little smug. 3 months was no problem, so with a newfound confidenceand a cute new nursing cover, I set my sights on 6 months.
It was around this time that we slowly started introducing L to the bottle. He was still exlusivly on breatmilk, however I was now pumping several times a day, including at work, so that he could have my milk when he was a daycare and also so Daddy could give him a bottle at night. And this was when the cracks in mine and pumping/nursings relationship began to form. While the joy and closeness of feeding my child was still 100% there, and I still felt slightly superior when I sat down to nurse with the knowledge that my child was not getting formula. But, there were some complaints, and they pretty much all revolved around that blasted pump. I hated having to drop everything, especially when I was at work, to go spend 20 minutes pumping, I hated the constant assembly and dissasembly and cleaning of all the little parts, I hated having to plan my day around being able to pump, and mostly, I hated feeling like a cow hooked up to a milking machine.
I also started to put a lot of pressure on myself to keep up with how much L was eating. I was worried that I wasn't pumping enough to keep him satisfied, so I would start staying up late, or even waking up in the middle of the night so I could get up and pump. Finally, I couldn't keep up with how much he is eating, so, with guilt and a heavy heart, we started supplementing some formula at night. He was still getting 99% breastmilk, but it he was still hungry at night after his first bottle, we would give him a second small bottle of formula. I felt guilty. Like a horrible mama, for giving him formula.
I made another deal with myself.
"Just make it to one year," I thought, "One year pumping and nursing and then you can stop pumping."
I was sure I could make it. L turns one year in just about six weeks, but this weekend I finally broke. I packed up the pump with mixed feelings of freedom and guilt. I'm still nursing him, but at daycare and at night he is now getting formula bottles. Have I mentioned I feel so guilty? I know it's silly, and it's not like I've stopped completely, but I really wanted to make it to a full year..... but on the other hand, I'm really happy that I finally made the decision and I think it's the right desicion for me. I'm not doing L any favors if I'm spending all my time trying to pump, and the rest of time beating myself up for not pumping enough.
So, that's it. The pump is going in the closet until another baby graces us with his/her presence, and at the point we will rekindle the romance. Until then, I am a free woman!