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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mixed Feelings.

First of all, I want to thank you all for the sweet & encouraging comments on my post about Early Intervention for Claire! A therapist is coming out to our house starting next Wednesday to work with her on her motor development (still no crawling) & I am really looking forward to it. I have high hopes that she will catch on quickly & will be moving in no time.

Now, onto the real reason for this post...

I'm weaning from the pump. And I have so many mixed feelings about it. I mean, that damn pump has been physically closer to me for the past 11 months than my husband has. 

Claire will be 11 months old this Saturday {holy shit. hold me}. And as of last week, I was still pumping every 6 hours. On the hour. 

I have read everything there is to read on weaning from the pump & at this point? I'm pumping way more than I need to for how old my baby is. I have poured out so many "half-drunk" {is that grammatically correct??} bottles in the past month, it's disgusting. So, last week I began "weaning" myself. Basically, going one more hour in between sessions & not pumping more than Claire drank from a bottle at one time {6 oz}. Let me tell you, IT WAS HELL. I was extremely engorged. Mainly on my left side. So, so painful. Even more painful than when my milk came in 11 months ago. OUCH.

I was in tears last week, you guys. Mainly because of the discomfort & full on PAIN I was experiencing, but also having SO many different feelings about what I was doing.
"I'm SO done with this. STUPID F-ING PUMP. WHY ARE YOU NOT WORKING?? AGAIN??"  I say this to myself every day. But am I really ready to quit??!

After some research, I began taking Sudafed on Sunday. Supposedly, it is supposed to help "dry you up, because of a certain ingredient in it. And? It's working. Like, really working. As I type this, however, I have a clogged duct in my left boob. {GOOOD TIMES}. But, I have not been able to pump any more than 4 oz at a time each session today. You'd think I would be jumping up and down & happy that the Sudafed/weaning is working, but? I'm not.

I'm a big ball of mixed emotions.

It is SO bittersweet. 

Yes. I want to have my body back to myself, and not have to watch the clock for when I pump next or worry if I'm leaking through my bra & shirt at work. And to be able to go out from time to time & enjoy myself without having to sneak away and pump. BUT, at the same time, I've pumped for 11 months already, WHAT'S ONE MORE MONTH?! 
BUT, every time I pump, I say to myself "OMG, I CAN'T WAIT TO PUT YOU AWAY, STUPID PUMP!!". 

Are these feelings normal? My educated guess is, YES. But does it make it any easier? HELL NO.

I'm battling with myself whether to continue pumping for another month, or to just dry up. Knowing myself, I will probably pump until Claire is a year, but then what? I just start giving her cow's milk? I'M NOT READY FOR THAT.


I've got issues.

And she's not even a year old. Yet. 


  1. It was the same when I stopped breast feeding Knox. After a year, I was ready to have my boobs back to myself, but at the same time, I was going to miss that bond and providing for him. It's such a strange time and just brings up really mixed emotions. Although I am pretty sure that each phase of life we enter into with our kids is going to bring up this exact same reaction, so I guess we better get used to it, now!

    Good luck with weaning yourself- I hope the engorgement eases up.

  2. I can completely relate! I have been BFing/pumping for 9 1/2 months and now I am weaning too.....I have been pumping every 4-6 hours the last 2 months and this week just started going 8-10. It hasnt been painful but I too keep asking myself if I am really ready....because I know once its gone its gone BUT- almost 10 months is a GREAT accomplishment and I have to realize that I did my part and its OK to want my body back all to myself! :) Good luck and be proud of what you did!

  3. When I stopped breastfeeding it hurt SO flipping bad! It seriously hurt worse than my csection recovery. I took sudafed around the clock for a few days and that did the trick. Ice packs under a sports bra help too! I only lasted for a props to you for sticking with it for at least 11 months! That's great!

  4. couple of things - first no matter what you decide, you get so many kudos of awesome for your dedication to providing the best food for claire the best way you can. awesome :)

    2ndly, if its possible for you and your schedule and your emotions (:-p), pumping less frequently, but enough to provide claire with Breastmilk only through 12 months is a great thing. only you can decide when you're ready to be done, but 12 months is the AAP/WHO minimum goal, which i'm sure you know.

    lastly, i know its different for a pumping vs breastfeeding mama, but its good to remember that 12 months is a magic "doesn't need mama's milk anymore" age. extended nursing (pumping!) is good for mama and baby - health wise and emotional wise. if she's still going to have bottles after a year - maybe, what, nap and bed? something like that? if you can still have those bottles be mama milk thats totally awesome.

    none of this is meant to be a guilt trip or anything to keep going, so hopefully it comes out right. i just wanted to let you know that if you *wanted* to, there IS a reason to keep giving claire breastmilk. and, honestly, as her bottle/liquid calorie needs decrease, its definitely possible to still semi-wean from the pump and pump less often, but still not being giving her cow's milk or whathaveyou.

    anyways, just throwing that out there. good luck with your decision and again, you're a rockstar for all you've done thus far!

  5. ack! 12 months *IS NOT* a magic age. lol sorry!

  6. I nursed until our little man was a week past his 1st birthday. Then the biting and teeth made me ready to stop. But it is a hard thing, even when I was pretty much only nursing him about 1 time a day at that point, it was amazing how long your milk wants to keep producing for. I think I recall about 3 weeks later and still had milk and yes you are a total bag of emotions and your boobs hurt all at once. Hang in there momma, I'll have to rememeber the sudafed trick when our 2nd little one is here and eventually done with nursing.

    Way to stick it out 11 months, especially when Claire was unable to nurse directly from you. What an amazing momma ;)

  7. You should be so proud that you did this as long as you have! I NEVER pumped- only exclusively nursed Brayden- for 9 months. And one day? He woke up and didn't want to nurse. Ever again. So I can relate to the whole wanting to make it to 12 months thing, but sometimes, things just have to go a different way. And yay, clogged ducts! (just kidding- they are the devil)

  8. I pumped (with some breast feeding, but mainly exclusive pumping) for eight months. It was a painfully (emotionally) hard decision to make, but it was the right one. It wasn't the one I wanted, but I knew it was what was best for the baby and for me. It is funny how life doesn't always go as we have mapped out in our heads. Good luck and go with what feels right!

  9. For the first two and a half months of my little guy's life, I pumped more than I nursed, due to a variety of issues. Pumping and cleaning those parts gets old in a hurry, so hats off you, wonderful mama! My fella is now 4 months and I almost exclusively breastfeed (an occasional pumped bottle, though). I head back to work in 4 weeks and am so nervous that I'll be able to keep up with what he is drinking at daycare when I pump on my break(s). I keep reassuring myself that I just need to do the best I can and we'll cross whatever bridge we need to when we get there. Again, congrats on making it this far - it's not easy, but it's a wonderful thing to do for your baby!