Thursday, February 2, 2017

I Quit Breastfeeding, And I Don't Even Feel Bad









This whole mom thing can really do things to you, mentally and physically, that I never thought were possible. Crying at the thought of how happy your child makes you, crying while looking at your child's chubby hands and praying they never change, getting scared with every bite they take because choking is your biggest fear, etc. Motherhood is the best, most life changing thing and I wouldn't change any of it for the world.

You know what else is life changing: breastfeeding. I wrote alllll my thoughts about it here, but I now have an update for you; I quit, and I don't even feel bad. I should really say I quit pumping because I haven't actually breastfed Graham for about 5 months now. So, I quit pumping and I don't even feel bad.

You see, this is how my days were going:

5:15am - wake up

5:20 - 5:50am - get ready for work

5:50 - 6:15am - pump

Pray Graham doesn't wake if Chris has left for the gym.

6:15 - 6:25am - put away pumped milk, clean parts, pack pumping bag for school.

6:25-6:35am - make breakfast, pack G's bags, pack lunch

6:40am - wake G up, if he isn't already awake

6:40 - 6:55am - get G ready, load the car, head to school

7:20am - drop G off

7:35am (late for school) arrive at school

7:35am - 9:30am - teach

9:30am - leave class to go pump

9:50am - rush back to class

9:50 - 11:15am - teach

11:15 - 11:45am - lunch duty

11:45 - 12:15pm - my lunch break...where I would revert back to a small office to pump while eating my cold lunch because I don't have time to warm it up

12:15 - 1:00pm - my time to plan with my team, meet with parents, meetings for kids, etc.

1:00 - 3:00pm - teach then sends kids on their merry way

3:00pm - pump

3:30pm - rush to make sure I didn't miss anything from an after school meeting then pack up for the day. I usually have a TON to do, but since having G, I know it can all wait.

3:40 - 4:00pm - pick up G

4:00 - 4:30pm - drive home

4:30 - 5:30pm - play with G and run any errands we have

5:30pm - G eats dinner

6:00pm - daddy gets home!

6:30 - 6:50pm - G gets a bath

7:00pm - G's bedtime

Chris gives G a bottle while I, you guessed it, pump!

7:30pm - the FIRST time all day I've got to sit and relax, but nope! Time to make dinner, find dinner, microwave dinner, pack G's bags, and start on my sign orders.

7:30 - 10:00pm - eat while standing, work on signs, do laundry, shower, wash bottles, pack G's bags for the next day, work on lessons for class, etc.

10:00pm - shower

10:15pm - pump for the last time

10:30pm - bedtime

Every single day I felt exhausted. Because of the exhaustion, my job as a wife and mom were taking a hit, and I blame it all on having to be a human cow.

Around Christmas I decided that I wanted to try and stop pumping. At that time I had several hundred bags of stored milk, but more than that, I wanted to be able to wear a dress and not have to worry about how to pump in it. I wanted to be able to go somewhere and not have to worry about packing my pump. I wanted to go somewhere and not have to plan my whole trip around my boobs.

So, I decided I'd slowly start decreasing my pumping sessions.

Three weeks after starting the process, I was officially done pumping/milking/being a human cow!! AND, I don't feel one bit of sadness or guilt! You know why? Because my child is happy, healthy and will continue to be happy and healthy no matter what he is drinking: formula or breastmilk. You know what's even better? I AM THE HAPPIEST I'VE BEEN IN MONTHS! Literally, the day after I quit I felt less emotional and angry at the fact that I was having to sacrifice my time, my body, for my child. Why doesn't Chris have to go in a tiny room a trillion times a day and hook up to a machine that pulls on his utters? Why doesn't he have to wake up in the middle of the night to sacrifice for our child? The hormones are no joke, people. Chris is an angel because it was almost daily that I'd be mad at him simply because he didn't have boobs.

I know, I know. Some of you think I'm selfish because I shouldn't be thinking about me because once you have a child is isn't about you anymore. But, you know what? I am thinking about me because without me, this family doesn't function.

I can now confidently say that I am a month into not pumping and I am happier, less tired, less stressed, and a better wife and mom because of it. We have almost used up all my frozen milk and so G will have to start formula soon and I seriously have zero guilt. I was one of the fortunate ones where I had good milk and breastfeeding wasn't that hard for us, but mentally, it was the worst thing ever. I'd have another baby tomorrow if boobs weren't involved :)

So, if you are on the fence about this subject, or just need some encouragement, please let me know! I encourage you to do what is best for YOU because, like I said, without a fully functioning mommy, nothing gets done!

PS: You can read about traveling while pumping here. (I actually pumped across the Golden Gate Bridge...)

6 comments:

  1. OH man, the pumping life..I feel ya. I didn't have it that bad, but did pump 4 times a day during the work week, but I have an office job and it got me away from my desk, so it wasn't too bad. I don't know how people pump exclusively. Good for you for putting it out there, many mom's just need to hear about how someone else did it too and their kid is okay. :) And wow a whole month supply of milk, that is crazy good! I never had that much!

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  2. I am pumping as I read this and I was so hoping you would have an update after your breast feeding post! I am in the same boat and flip out at my husband because he isn't a human cow almost daily :( I am starting to cut back this weekend. Do you have any details on how you cut back? Did you just drop one time a day every few days? I am constantly running at work from the pumping room to a meeting and I'm exhausted 😩 Thank you for sharing!!

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  3. Girl, breastfeeding it HARD!! I made it 11 months (doing both nursing and pumping) and it was the hardest and most exhausting thing I have ever done. You did amazing and should feel so proud of yourself! I know I do!! I mean, do u know how many people give up after the first week?! We rock!! :)

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  4. As I sit here at 2:30am pumping I totally feel you! GOOD FOR YOU!! You did an awesome job and G is happy, healthy and adorable! You made an amazing sacrifice and are an amazing mama!! This pumping thing is no joke. I keep telling myself I'll keep going until I really hate it. I am so proud of you!! 10 months is really really incredible!!

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  5. breast feeding is easy if you dont' have to work!!! I swear... its easy to just put the baby on your boob in the middle of the night... but if you have to pump.. breast feeding can be a nightmare... and you're right... it isn't really about the baby's nutrition, its about your own feelings as a mom.... I tell everyone I know thinking of breast feeding... do it for 2 weeks.. if you love it.. keep going.. if you want to throw the baby out the window because of breast feeding... STOP... go get the biggest bottle you can find and relax...

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  6. I know breastfeeding is such a controversial topic, but I am of the opinion that you simply have to do what works for you and your child and not worry about what anyone else thinks.

    With my first baby, I had some medical issues and was put on medication that would have hurt my baby so he went on formula right away. (And he was fine!)

    With my second baby I tried breastfeeding but she would have nothing to do with it. So I decided to pump exclusively (and supplement with formula as needed). I worked full time and pumped for 7 months and then decided I was done (pumping was becoming my full time job rather than my actual full time job!). So I gradually phased out the pumping, and she had about 2 weeks of stored breast milk before she switched exclusively to formula. (And she too was fine!)

    My third baby was an expert at breastfeeding. (Yay!) But after about a month of doing nothing but feeding him, changing him, rocking him, feeding him, changing him...etc. I was overwhelmed with guilt that my other two children were getting absolutely no time with their mama because she always had a baby attached to her boob. I knew I didn't want to go through the pumping ritual again, so I decided I was done breastfeeding, and we switched him to formula. (And, surprise, he too was fine!)

    So, we figured out what worked for us. And even though it was completely different each time, it worked for each individual situation.

    So, good for you for doing what you needed to do for both you and your sweet baby.

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