Friday, July 4, 2008

Milkmaid No More

After a long, close personal relationship with my breastpump for all but 3 months of the past 2 1/2 years, I think it is finally over between us. This wasn't how (or when) I saw it ending, but it is what it is.

I ended up weaning Sammy earlier than I wanted to, at 17 months old. At the time, I was 6 months pregnant with Natalie, and since becoming pregnant, nursing was not only painful but gave me a creepy-crawly feeling similar to hearing nails on a chalkboard. So when he started going for a day at a time without asking to nurse, it only took a little gentle encouragement on my part to wean him. I was sad about our nursing relationship ending, especially since I had hoped to nurse him until he was two years old, but I was also really ready at that point.

Then came Natalie. Since she is my last baby, I planned to nurse her as long as she wanted to, envisioning that I would have to be the one to put an end to it at some point. Wouldn't you know, she ended up being born with a mind of her own (imagine that!) and soon, the little baby who wouldn't deign to let a silicone nipple pass her lips for the first three months of her life started daycare, and learned to love and prefer the bottle. By six months old, the only time she would nurse was in the middle of the night, when she was too tired to care what method was used to deliver her milk, as long as it got into her belly, stat.

About a month ago, she stopped nursing at night. It was up to me and my trusty pump to keep her supplied with mama's milk. Unfortunately, due to renovations at work, I no longer have a private room to pump, so that set me pretty far back. Most of the time at home, it's all I can do to keep the kids fed, clean, and happy, so finding 10 minutes to sit down and hook myself up to the milkers is a near impossibility. So I ended up pumping only twice a day, which quickly went down to once. Yesterday, I realized I'm only pumping 2 oz. per day - not even half a bottle worth - and finally decided it's time to throw in the towel.

The good part? I can now finally concentrate on losing the last 10 pounds of my pregnancy weight (from my pregnancy with Sammy!) and hopefully a little more. In the past, every time I've tried to diet, my milk supply has crashed. And the next time I get a cold, I can take cold medicine. Oh, how I've missed my cold medicine over the last 2 1/2 years, in which I've averaged a cold a month during the winter months, thanks to all the viruses the kids drag home from daycare.

I suppose now I'll have to change the name of my blog...


Bri said...

Nah, still a milkmaid, just a different kind of milk!

mommyvern said...

I can't imagine not breastfeeding anymore...I bet it's bittersweet. I'm a new reader, interested in hearing all the things I have to look forward to!

Carol Beth said...

CONGRATS on all the awesome nourishment you gave your kiddos. :)

I didn't know the meaning of your blog until now...ironic that I know the meaning now that it's no longer relevant. :) I still like the name; I say keep it.