So I thought I had this whole “weaning” business figured out. After all, I nursed/pumped for nine months with Maya and then weaned her pretty easily. My supply was dwindling and I just pulled the plug (literally and figuratively). No problem. Within a day or two, my chest felt like “mine” again (as in, not twice its pregnancy/breastfeeding size). And I assumed that it would be a similar situation for round two.
What’s that line, “when you assume you make an ass out of you and me?” Definitely ate some crow this past week.
Unless we’re blessed with a surprise baby someday, sometime this week, I’ll nurse my last baby for the last time.
It’s a bittersweet milestone, one heavily laden in emotions.
Memories of the sheer frustration of early nursing sessions where I cried my eyes out because he wouldn’t latch and stay awake, his little body fragile and unfamiliar to me … to a morning like this morning, where I can tell when my milk has let down by how his suckling changes — from frantic suckles to even, nutritive draws while he tucks his legs up to his belly and buries his face deep into the curve of my chest.
We’ve fallen into a nice rhythm … and it pains me to know it’s me whose making the decision to stop.
I’ve never judged mothers for their choice to breastfeed or not. It’s a personal decision — and one that isn’t always a “choice.” I’ve always felt like an outlier in the breastfeeding community because although I did a combo of nursing, pumping and supplementing formula, I was never in one “camp.” I just “was.” And for the nine months I nursed Maya, I didn’t really enjoy it (which I’m sure isn’t what some women want to hear, especially lactivists!).
I was stressed out because my supply wasn’t great.
I was a new mom who “thought” she needed to go/go/go 24/7, so the idea of sitting still for 20-30 minutes seemed like torture.
And I just didn’t love the act of breastfeeding. I knew it was good for her and that’s why I did it, but for the most part, aside from a few fleeting special moments with her, it wasn’t what I felt connected us — which was confirmed when I stopped nursing at nine months and our snuggle sessions at night were just as intimate — if not better — than they had been while nursing. Continue reading “Nursing, round two”→
Breastfeeding might be natural and instinctive and all that jazz, but the mechanics of it are often far from natural … even if you’ve done it before. Each child is different and there are lots of variables that go into play with respect to the supply and demand side of milk production.
I never thought I would a mom who breastfed. My mom didn’t breastfeed me and the idea grossed me out for a very long time. Of course, as I got older I came to know/understand the whole “breast is best” philosophy spewed by everyone and their mom … and figured if/when the time came, I’d give it the old college try.
And now, today, our little Maya hit the nine month mark. She’s been out of the womb as long as she has been in and, frankly, that milestone is mind-blowing to me. It hasn’t felt like it’s been nine months … yet at the same time, it’s hard to remember life before her; it feels like we have known her forever — and we have a lifetime ahead. Continue reading “On Nine Months”→
Yesterday was my first day not lugging my black pump bag to work. It was liberating, that’s quite sure! … But also a bit strange to not see my calendar blocked out four times a day; not to pack up all my laptop, etc, and bring it into the mother’s room; not to schedule meetings around said blocked-off time slots … and it was also more emotional than I expected it to be.
I immediately walked into the office and went to drop my bag off in the mama’s room, which I’ve done every day since coming back to work March 14.
But there was no need … so I turned on my heel and strode the other way to my cufice.
Today, while discussing weaning with a friend who is pregnant with her second baby, I got to thinking about these same notions with respect to nursing and pumping and thought I’d share them here on the blog — if for nothing else than to memorialize how I’m feeling at this very moment.
Because in the next few weeks, if not days, my pumping and nursing days will be done. I’m down to just five pumps a day plus one nursing session at night and at this point, I don’t think that I will be dealing with any engorgement issues that so many nursing moms deal with (as my supply is so low to begin with) when I do stop.