I wrote a little bit back in April about my "aha" moment related to breast-feeding and weaning. Now that we're hitting the 1 year mark I guess it's time to continue the discussion.
I did something that is really rare for me. And I think it's rare for a lot of us who go through IF. I didn't over-think it. I am a BIG time over-thinker. But I tried really hard not to. I didn't research until g.oogle told me to shut the f up. I took the few books I had about breast feeding and took them off my night stand and moved them to the basement. Over thinking used to work for me but it wasn't helping with this. This was too personal. In full disclosure, I did have a few lengthy email convos in June with my breast feeding guru, Perky but she's just an awesome person to talk to anyway. And she told me I should do it however I wanted (gotta love advice like that), that there were no set fast rules. Which I needed to here, because I like systems and rules.
And what I decided then was that, selfishly, I wasn't ready to give it all up. But I was ready to stop pumping. I can not tell you how much I hated feeding the robot twice a day. Some people say that it makes them feel better about being at work, that they're still doing something for their baby. I felt the exact opposite. Every time I plugged in and strapped the horns on I felt like a complete piece of shit. Like I should be feeding her, not a machine. Like having to sit there for 25 minutes twice a day was my punishment for leaving her. Completely irrational, I know, but that's where my head was at. So starting in June ( I made it a birthday present to myself), I started fading out my two pumping sessions a day. I did it really slowly and by the end of the month they were gone. My biggest fear about this was not being able to feed Sweetness over the weekends. But here is where Perky once again proved her expertise and said it shouldn't matter. And she was right. I continued to feed Sweetness on the weekends and my days off until mid-July, when SHE decided she much rather play with toys then stop to eat. I was still a little sad that the feedings were gone but I'm much happier knowing that they stopped on her terms. Her bottles at this point are half breast milk, half formula. Not because I think formula is evil and milk is best. But because the girl is a total food snob and won't take her formula straight up....STILL....2 months after introducing it. It wasn't worth the battle and luckily I had enough in the freezer so it didn't have to be a battle. I am starting that battle with cow's milk though because I am not about to spend beaucoup bucks on formula when I can get a gallon of milk for a fraction of the cost.
So now you're all caught up. I'm nursing her in the morning and at night, much to the shock of myself and everyone around me. I plan on continuing it as long as she wants, not so much for her, but for me. Because like I said back in April, every little ounce I give her means that my body is working. She's occasionally showing some signs of dropping them but then the next day she'll be all about the boob all over again. We're going to an out of town wedding in October and will be gone for 3 days and I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the potential end. We'll see.
I've got another post brewing about some of the things I've learned from nursing this past year. As well as all of the things I'd do different if I'm ever lucky enough to get the chance at this again.