Posted by: DD | January 2, 2009

BUH-BYE BOOB JUICE

Right about the time ZGirl hit five months, the breastfeeding went the way of Buh-Bye. I just couldn’t see how pumping at work would maintain my supply when I was limited by time and means in how often and length. There was no way I could sneak away every hour and a half and then add 10-20 minutes on top of the time it took in a vain attempt to increase my supply.

Plus, ZGirl hated breast milk from a bottle. Maybe I did create an abundance of lipase which caused her to turn up her nose, but the only way she would take any breastmilk is if I used a little to cool off a too warm bottle or add it to her cereal, which I served cold.

So, by a silent mutual agreement, I stopped freaking out about it. When my period started it was the final nail in the boob buffet’s coffin. She wanted nothing to do with me.

Mostly, I felt free. I could hand her off to Mr. DD and not worry if she was going to end up in a screaming fit. The change in formula from Infamil to Similac really made a significant difference, and for that I am glad I did some research regarding the taste of formulas.

Now I say, “Mostly…” because of course there’s a bit of me that was surprised by how I ended up missing those nursing sessions. I read for years from this blogger or that blogger how it happens and I never gave it more than a “Oh, you’ll get over it,” kind of comment, but there I was with the shoe on the other foot, engorged breasts, cracked nipples and a baby who had bit me twice within 24 hours.

Since then, I went from pumping twice a day to just once, and then once every other day to being at the point I am right now: done completely.

The pump, the pads, the hated nursing bras, they will all be retired/given away/thrown out. (I will be more than happy to pass on the pump, a nearly full box of disposable breast pads and an unopened box of milk storage bags to anyone who wants them – my treat) The only reminders I will have of her no longer breastfeeding is her stinky formula burps and poops, which finally meant that the open trash can had to be replaced by a real diaper pail.

Once in a while I’ll let myself believe that I can still turn it around. I can start pumping every hour! I can start taking supplements! I can ask for a prescription! but then I let myself enjoy the fact that her chubby little wrists and fingers, and her long, lean form, and her chunky thighs developed because of me.

And I feel some solace from the change since that’s been the hardest part: she’s evolved from a mewling newborn to a funny little person who giggles when I nom-nom those same chubby parts of her.

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Responses

  1. Nom-nom -ing baby parts is always such fun! You nursed, she had boob food, you’re done and that’s ok.

    Max got 5 weeks when the first 3 got 18mo+ and ya know what? It didn’t ruin or kill him! Or me!

    On to crawling and walking and other fun baby things…

  2. I’m struggling with this right now. The doctor is having me suppliment so much that my supply is bound to decrease as a result. I’m afraid the breast feeding days are numbered. It surprises me that I am sad because I don’t really love nursing. But part of me loves that it was all me…that she needed me in that way. My oldest is a total daddy’s girl and the boobs have kept Tessa a momma’s girl and I like that. And I love when we are visited by relatives that I have a reason to go disappear into the quiet of my bedroom to feed her.

  3. I pumped for like 2 months when I went back to work and it was a colossal pain in the ass. I think the only reason I kept breastfeeding was because I stopped working and didn’t need to deal with pumping anymore – otherwise I’m not sure I could have stuck it out for a year. Good for you for sticking it out as long as you did.

  4. Over the years, I’ve read so many varying experiences on BF’ing, pumping, etc. I have come to the conclusion that you do the best you can do and then you do the next best thing of that doesn’t work anymore or if that next best thing works better.

    I’m glad you were able to stop freaking out about it and that you were able to have that time with her (even though some of those times weren’t fun).

  5. I’m so very glad you got to do it, and for at least as long as you wanted to. Any breastmilk is better than none, and you did a fabulous job my dear. Now stop worrying about it, and have a glass of New Year’s cheer to celebrate!

  6. You’re not alone. Not at all. I have my own crazy moments where I consider offering the boob to Baby O, despite the fact that he weaned himself more than a month ago. And where I don’t MISS any of the crap that went along with pumping at work… there are times where I just miss nursing him.

    Really I think I just miss him being itty bitty, and being able to provide him with everything he needs.

    But yes. The chubby nom-nom giggles really do make up for it. And goodness, she is GORGEOUS. I mean, really, utterly gorgeous.

    xxx

  7. She’s lovely.

  8. nom noming is becoming my most favorite past time. We just started doing it to her fingers and she just started smiling over it.

  9. Get ready for the emotional roller coaster ride that is weaning though. It can catch some moms by surprise. The little helpers oxytocin and prolactin make us much calmer than we realize. LOL

  10. A bittersweet little ending of nursing. I nursed P for 18 months and even though we’d done it for so long and it was mostly because I was ready to be done that we stopped, it was still a little sad. It’s hard to understand how you can miss something so challenging/frustrating/painful until you’ve been there. Because when you’ve been there, you also realize how sweet/tender/loving those nursing sessions can be.

    Of course she’s fine with formula, and I’m glad you’ve found one that works for her. But it is a little sad to be done. It feels like one of those milestones that marks her growing up.

  11. I think that’s probably why I feel so strongly about BF’ing this time. With my first daughter, I wasn’t able to as long as I would have liked, but certainly not for lack of supply. My pic is next to “over produced” in the dictionary. UGH. I am not looking forward to the engorged boobs and sore nips and all that goes with it, but I do look forward to the bonding.

  12. As a certified lactational dunce, I never know how to commiserate for the loss of proper breastfeeding. But if it helps any, I did find several silver linings in the whole bottle thing.

    J

  13. She’s adorable!

    Giving up breastfeeding was tough and bittersweet for me too, though had you asked me at 2 weeks, I would have said I’d never have made it as far as I did!

  14. No matter the circumstances weaning is always hard. But you can and should only do so much.

    PS: Now you can wear dresses!

  15. I can’t even imagine trying to juggle bfing/working/pumping. That just doesn’t sound fun at all! I never like bfing but I did it for 6 months with my boys and a year with my daughter, and even though I didn’t really like it, for some reason it bothered me to quit? Good luck and enjoy those adorable kids!

  16. Kevin stopped nursing at 5.5 months. I couldn’t keep up with him and take care of teh twins AND do it all while my husband was gone 4-5 days a week.
    I was depressed about it but accepted it. What else could I do?

  17. um, you don’t still have the pump, do you?


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