S wants to know how nursing has changed for me since I stopped pumping.
ooh…i have a question. since i’m getting ready to throw my pump out the window, but haven’t just yet, how did not pumping change breastfeeding for you?
Let me start by saying that I love how she started the question with “Ooooh!” I can just see her sitting in my class waving her hand and yelling “Ooooh! Oooh! Me!” Instead of my usual, “I’ll call on somebody who is raising a quiet hand.” I’ll go ahead and answer. First though, I wish I were clever with graphic programs, I’d make a visual for you… throwing the pump out the window reminded me of one of the very first screen savers: the flying toasters. Is anyone else old enough to remember that? Just change the toaster to a pump.
Hmmm. For one thing, it got a heck of a lot more easy. My life, that is. I was spending less time washing and steaming pump parts and more time with the baby or at work, with my colleagues and doing my actual physical job. I no longer forced myself to stay up to do that final pump around 11, so I was also getting more sleep.
Actual nursing, though? Once I stopped pumping, I realized how few times I actually hold the baby to me and feed him. Twice. It came down to twice. Once when we first wake up and once when I pick him up from daycare. We decided to give him a bottle before bed, so we wouldn’t fall into the nurse-to-sleep situation. If I were nursing him to sleep that would make it three times a day. That’s not so many times. It made it sad for me. But it also forced me to enjoy the times that I do feed him.
My supply was ok on the weekends. I do give him bottles when I feel like he maybe didn’t get enough. For several months, though, the weekend nursing stayed healthy. I don’t know if my supply just lessened, or if it is a result of the extra bottles, but the weekend nursing is less now, too. He gets some bottles and some mommy milk.
It is bittersweet, really. Part of me feels fine that I’m no longer sustaining him with just my body. I mean, he’s eating food, too. And now that he’s off formula, I don’t have to feel skeeved out by that anymore. I’m planning on weaning him sometime in the next few months, anyway. So I feel like the two feeds will make that transition easier than if I were nursing him all the time, whenever he had a hankering for a sip.
Another part of me, of course, feels sad. This is my last baby. It is the last time my girls will do the job they’ve been put on this earth to do. I will miss that awareness of the milk coming in. I will miss the look on his face as he nurses. It is one of the few times in the day when he sits still and looks at me. One part of me wants to make a plan to do this weaning. And another part — the part that will probably win — wants to let him make that decision. It doesn’t interfere with my life at all. The worst part of it being that the teeth (and by worst, I mean WORST!) sometimes hurt me a great deal. Who knows? Like most things I do, I will just wait to see what happens.
Now, I want to get to this mommyblogging issue, but I just realized that my yoga class starts 45 minutes sooner than I expected. So I’ll do it tomorrow.