I hate to tempt fate by posting this preemptively, but with just 13 school days left and a healthy freezer stash still intact, I think it's safe to say I'm going to hit one of my HUGE breastfeeding goals. The end of the school year. Dalton will be just shy of 9 months then.
It sounds anti-climatic, and I just don't think there's any way to put into words how wild this ride has been. I truly never thought I would make it here back in the winter. I LOVE breastfeeding. I HATE pumping with the passion of a thousand suns.
Warning: I've decided to fill this post with breastfeeding selfies.
Really nothing could have possibly prepared me for how much this has taken over my life. Having to be half naked, if not more (depending on outfit choice), hooked to a machine, every few hours at work, come hell or high water. Constantly obsessing over how much I was pumping and if it would be enough. Pushing back and forth with daycare about whether I was sending enough (I was). Dragging the pump and cooler with me all over the place on field trips (but thank goodness for Tara lending me her pumping backpack!).
Before, I probably didn't have a frame of reference for how much liquid an ounce was. HA. And now that measurement has consumed so many of my waking thoughts for the past five months. Every day is some variation of "ok well I pumped x oz so far so I need x more at lunch and x more after school...". It's definitely a horse of a different color, and if you haven't had the luxury of dragging that pump bag into your place of employment, I'm sure this sounds dramatic and insane. Thank god I've had some wonderful friends (and amazing 5th grade teammates helping me out!) on this journey with me who get it, or I probably would have lost it by now.
We are finally now at the point where Dalton is eating massive amounts of solids, and has naturally cut down on nursing/bottles.
|Last night he pretty much destroyed my black bean enchilada. Should have gotten two.|
|Finally figured out how to suck down those pouches!|
I can honestly say I have worked for every last drop that I've pumped. I've taken Fenugreek since we came home from the hospital. I hydrate like a madwoman. Oatmeal every day, brewer's yeast, flax, coconut water - I eat every food known to man rumored to help out. Before my wild little man was mobile, we would do babywearing/skin to skin time every single night (although much like eating lactation cookies, that wasn't exactly a huge sacrifice).
|At Wegmans, not skin to skin, but you get the idea. TINY here in the fall.|
|And in the spring...less tiny. (Staring at a helicopter)|
|But I always wish he was!|
On maternity leave I would just hook the thing up, watch TV, and check out the bottles 20 minutes later or so and it seemed easy. I didn't even know there was a point when milk would stop coming out until I returned to work. Such ignorant bliss.
It's a pain logistically, and it sucks emotionally too. I've already mentioned how draining it is to constantly be reaching towards that quota. Aside from that, it's just a lame reminder of how much I miss my sweet little baby and what a poor substitute it is for actually feeding him. Like any mom needs a reminder anyway. Every day, all day, I'm counting the hours until I'm back with him.
After the school year ends, I'm working a handful of days the rest of June, then summer school. Since that's mostly part time, I plan to not pump at all unless I'm there for the full day (and I don't know how I would be able to anyway since we are with children the whole time). I'm hoping it doesn't affect my supply too negatively since it's only four weeks.
When we return the following school year, Dalton will be almost 11 months, so I'm really hoping not to be pumping then either, or at least only once a day. I don't plan to quit nursing at any particular time (ideally it would happen naturally but we'll see how things go). However, once he smashes that first birthday cake he's cut off from breast milk at daycare. Unless, by some miracle, I still have a freezer stash then, in which case he can finish that up in a sippy cup or something.
And that's my story, although I'm tired so I might think of more and randomly include it in unrelated posts. If I didn't want a second baby eventually, I'd be smashing my pump with a baseball bat on September 23.