Almost Done

A Saturday morning haul. Pretty impressive, huh?

A Saturday morning haul. Pretty impressive, huh?

In exactly one week, Monito will be six months old. I am officially tapering down my pumping. I’m also officially experiencing ALL THE EMOTIONS.

The overwhelming feelings are of excitement and relief. Mostly I just feel so, so happy to finally be done with this, to finally have my body back, to finally get my breasts to stop hurting EVERY. WAKING. MOMENT.

But there are other emotions there too. Fear is one. I’m afraid that I’ll gain a bunch of weight when my body is no longer burning 350-400 calories a day making milk. I’m already having some very acute body issues, the idea of gaining 10-15 pounds (like I did when I stopped breastfeeding Osita) is terrifying (that is not hyperbole).

There is also guilt. I could keep doing this. I have the milk. It only requires three pumping session a day, totaling 90 minutes. Pumping would provide my son with breast milk, and save us $150 a month. Maybe I should just take one for the team and keep this up, indefinitely (or until he turns one).

Except 60 of those 90 minutes I’d be sleeping, and an hour of sleep is a very precious thing. And if I divide $150 by the number of hours spent pumping, my time wouldn’t be worth a whole helluva lot. ($3 an hour. Wow.) Once I’m done pumping I could spend that time cleaning my house, working out on the precore, making and eating a decent meal. And sleeping. (Did I mention sleeping?)

And of course, none of this takes into consideration the pain, or being able to go back on my meds, which are the mail reasons I need to stop. My breasts have hurt for six months. I need them to not hurt anymore. And I need to take my ADD medication again, so I can be a better teacher, a more present mother and a more attentive wife.

There are so many good reasons to stop, and yet a part of me keeps screaming, but he doesn’t turn six month until next week, if you taper now there won’t be enough milk to get him there!!!! At which point the other, not crazy, part of me yells back, IT’S FIVE OR SIX DAYS GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF WOMAN!!!

So yeah. All that screaming in my head is fun.

{Seriously, why does breastfeeding bring out the Grade-A 100% certifiable CRAZY in me?! THE FUCK!?}

So yeah. I’m feeling ALL THE EMOTIONS, but mostly I’m just relieved, and thankful. Thankful that I was able to make it this far. Thankful that now I can quit. Relieved that I reached my goal. Relieved that it’s finally over and I can move the fuck on with my life.

Today I pumped at my regular times, but didn’t do any squeezing or massaging of my breasts (and pumped about 2 ounces less a session because of it). Tomorrow I’ll pump a little less than I did today, and so on throughout the week until hopefully, by Monday, I won’t have to wake up at 5:30am to pump. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

{Oh, and I wanted to report that Monito’s pediatrician confirmed my (and all of your) suspicions that 36-40 ounces a day (and a bottle an hour) was too much. She recommended up to 32 ounces total in a day, and said that he should be able to go 2-3 hours between bottles (she thought three hours was appropriate at six months old). The conversation with my in-laws went… as well as could be expected. The final take away–after many awkward exchanges–is that I’ll get him on a new schedule this week, and let them know what it is next week. So far he’s been able to stretch his feedings to two hours, and is still sleeping through the night when he only gets 30-32 ounces, so it shouldn’t be too hard to make the necessary changes.}

And now I’m off to pump. I definitely feel more uncomfortable than I normally would at this time, but I suppose that is the point. It’s so hard to stop doing all the things I’ve done all these months to keep my supply up. It’s hard to do a 180 and start attempting the opposite. I know this week will be tough, but I also know I’ll feel good at the end of it. Wish me luck.

Was it hard to know when to stop breast feeding? How did you make the decision?

7 responses

  1. Wow. I can’t believe you’ve made it! Congratulations. Pumping is hard. And being in constant pain for six months is awful.

    I breastfed my first son for 14 months. I went back to work when he was one year so I was only doing bedtime and morning (and often middle of the night) feeds. I wanted to stop but the kid never ever took a bottle and I felt bad making him take a cup at night. How is that soothing?

    Anyway, I definitely had mixed emotions when I finally weaned him but I was ready to have control of my body again.

  2. It was really hard for me to stop breastfeeding. I had supply issues, so I worked with a LC, did teas, fenugreek, pumped out after every nursing session and pumped at work (massaging my breasts to get each and every drop out during those sessions). After not being able to breastfeed Oscar, Bella or Tittle, I was DETERMINED that I would breastfeed Gus. I knew that I wanted, if I could, to breastfeed for one year. The last time he breastfed was when he was 13mo old. It was very emotional for me. I was worried about that bond that we had, that my body was actually doing something it was supposed to for one of my kids, and I didn’t want that to end. Jon wanted me to stop. I had met my goal of one year. He wanted me to stop stressing out about how much Gus was drinking compared to how much I was pumping. He wanted to be more involved in the feeding of Gus. He wanted me to be able to reclaim some time for myself. In the end, I weaned slowly, removing one pumping session every couple days, didn’t massage my breast with the sessions. The last things to go were the 2 nursings (during the week) that we were still doing. I don’t think Gus noticed or cared, but I certainly did. We were also able to donate 143.25 ounces to a local breast milk bank, so that made me feel really good at the same time that I was sad about stopping breastfeeding.

  3. When you stop I think you need to be nothing but proud of yourself for this accomplishment with all you had stacked against you. Quite impressive. I think my days of breastfeeding C are numbered. It’s become really sporadic, I’m not really enjoying it at all anymore, and she’s bitten me twice this week, which has never happened before. I think it will be hard when it’s over, but not as hard as I would have thought when we started. There’s a season for everything I guess, and when that season is over, I think it’s ok to feel ok about moving on.

  4. You’ve done amazing! I can’t believe our little ones will be 6 months in a week. CANNOT FATHOM IT. Insane how quickly baby hood melts away.

    Breastfeeding is such an emotional thing. I had a really, really hard time weaning Luke. He was over a year and I beat myself over it so much. (it didn’t help that he chased me around the room crying and signing milk 😦 )

  5. For the kid I was done when she was finally healthy after 12 months (this took until about 13 months). I quit pumping one week and cut out one feed a day each of the next 3 weeks and then I was done. I offered sippy cups of milk after that and she only woke to snack one or two more overnights. It took about 2 weeks for the major discomfort to go away and another 2 months before I quit leaking milk regularly. I think LM is probably now done nursing at 14 months. We’ve been mostly morning/evening for the past month and in the last 3 weeks she has been chomping and yanking and I yell and am done when she does that. I have stopped offering nursing this week and I’ll hide the pillows she nursed on next week so she can’t bring them over to ask. So many emotions. You are a rockstar for having stuck with it this long.

  6. Okay, I saved this post in my reader until I had time to comment from a computer because HOLY SHIT WOMAN, that’s a lot of milk in one pump. I never get more than 4oz (maybe 6-7 if I skipped a session). DAMN. I’m jealous. It sucks you had to pump so much again this time, but it was so nice of your body to cooperate with EPing.

    Also, weight gain is definitely a possibility – but just be careful to listen to your hunger cues and not just eat the portions you’ve been eating the past 6 months because you’ve been hungry. Your body was CUEING you to eat extra while you were BFing – it’s just hard to remember to listen to it when it’s cueing you the other way. 🙂

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