Well, soon after I posted about breastfeeding, trying to rally myself to make it pumping another two months, I just gave up. There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is I just could not pump. One. More. Time. I hate it so, so much.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful for a good pump, for a job that allows me time away to pump during the day, for two babies who were good nursers, for boobs that produce a lot despite being tiny, for all the support of my husband and my friends. That, alone, is the biggest help. Philip was totally behind breastfeeding from the minute our first baby was born — through pumping, finger-feeding a cranky newborn, a total of five cases of mastitis, bleeding nipples, exhaustion and taking care of our toddler when I was nursing our daughter. It’s a team effort, this breastfeeding thing.
I was so proud to have made it 14 months with Jack. Ridiculously, high and mighty proud.
This time? I have been hating it for months. Mostly because my job has become even more insane than usual, and I felt like I was constantly juggling everything. As soon as I got into a groove at work, damn it, it was time to pump. I started cutting down from three sessions to two, and for the past month, just one. It didn’t seem to affect supply much on the weekends, but this past weekend, I could tell that Genevieve was just hungry, and I didn’t have enough for her, and I wasn’t interested in doing a nurse-in and building supply back up.
Is that awful? I feel awful. At the same time, not bad enough to give it more effort. She is 10.5 months old. I can’t even tell you how much guilt I feel that I just don’t have it in me to make it 1.5 more months. I could tell Philip was not happy with my decision to quit. He didn’t come right out and say it, but I can tell. Or feel like I can. Maybe I am projecting my own feelings of inadequacy there.
My best friend Laurie kept telling me, it’s OK. Really, it’s OK. But I feel like a failure. Because I’m lazy. Too lazy to continue. Just DONE. And what if she’s my last baby? It’s sad. I bought formula at Target this past weekend, and I actually hid it in the cart. I felt like if other parents saw me, they would judge. I wanted to tell the checker, “I just quit!” I’m sure she didn’t care.
Genevieve has been doing great with her bottles. We still have a lot of frozen milk, so she’s not done with breastmilk just yet.
I pumped once a day Wednesday and Thursday. And I haven’t today. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll cave and nurse her tonight. I wouldn’t mind nursing her to bed still. I do love those snuggles.
But my god, I don’t miss that pump. I loved getting up to go to the gym one day this week, and letting Philip just give her a bottle, instead of watching the clock, to make sure I am home in time.
Maybe I’m selfish. I don’t know. My feelings are so, so mixed about it. I love nursing my babies. I love wearing a non-nursing bra for a change. I love those sweet, skin-to-skin moments with the baby. I love not worrying if the clothes I’m wearing are easiliy manipulated to get a boob out and a baby on. It’s like I have a whole new wardrobe!
So, here I am. Not nursing. Or so far today, anyway. We’ll see what the weekend holds. At the very least, not pumping. I don’t remember being so emotional about it with Jack. But maybe it’s because we are still so undecided about a third baby, I just don’t know if I’m done or not.
Here’s my girl, hangin’ out in the driveway.
I didn’t realize how blurry this was. Oh well.