Last week the idea of breast feeding made my skin crawl. I didn’t want to have to think about it anymore, I didn’t want to pump at work anymore, I didn’t want to be limited in time or space by my body anymore.
I started breastfeeding it see how it all worked. I mean, I could sustain my kid all by myself? Me and my magical mammaries? Nature is cool. So I went through the pain of it, the awkwardness of going back to work and even realizing it wasn’t going to go how I planned (adding in formula because I just couldn’t make enough around 4 months). And I was so so so adamant that I really wanted to make it till 6 months of as much breastfeeding as possible and then one day – poof! – the idea of continued pumping, of continued use of nursing bras and easy access shirts, of timing my day around feedings and stressing about drinking enough tea and making sure I was feeding Gabe on enough of a schedule on the weekend to keep up my flow made me want to scream.
But then, on the flip side, admitting that I don’t want to nurse anymore felt super selfish. And… a little nerve-wracking. When I for reals stop, and maybe even a little before that, my hormones will again shift. I’ll get my period back, I won’t be using up those extra calories and who knows how that will affect things. Some things I read say that those extra 5-10 lbs are easier to lose when you aren’t breastfeeding. Other things say that you gain weight once you stop. I just bought jeans and yes, I do have a little anxiety of them not fitting after I stop breast feeding.
Mostly, it is just 1 more outcome that is up in the air in regards to hormones, and facing it is just sort of exhausting mentally. And yeah… I feel bad saying, “I want my body back to myself, you have had it long enough.” Which sounds stupid when I type it out loud, but there it is. Curse of being a mom. The guilt of saying, “this one’s for me, kiddo!” is there and I have to overcome the irrational voices telling me “your a mean awful parent! you’re doing it wrong!” in order to not lose myself.
So on last Friday I decided to start the process. I have cut down my pumping at work to 2x a day instead of 3. At home I do 1 feeding before bed during the week days and 1 feeding before work. On the weekends we have started adding in more bottle feedings and not relying 100% on me anymore. I pretty much only feed him when I feel like my breasts are full. He drains them effectively so I haven’t had any discomfort.
I know that we are lucky to have a kid who will virtually eat anything. He sees a bottle and he wants it, he sees a boob, he wants it. He gobbles each down with equal gusto and has no extra gas or discomfort (knock on all the wood). I am really glad that we at the least made it through the newborn stage with 100% breast milk. But I am also really, really excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want my boobs back! I want my time back! My productivity at work back! It is on the horizon.
For those who have breastfed and then weaned – Any tips or tricks? What were your experiences? Any info would be great. I’ve already seen the webinar from Isis about it (lots of good info there).