Total Basset Case: The End of the Milk Maid Journey

Jun 5, 2017

The End of the Milk Maid Journey

I mentioned in my 8 month update on LM that 8 months marked the end of my pumping journey.
And while I've documented most of my journey in some capacity here, I surely could not leave out the end.
I will say, the end and deciding it was the end, was not a decision that I came by lightly, quickly or easily.

Mister and I had a LOT of conversations, tears (just me), prayers and thoughts that went into the decision.  Funnily enough, most of these happened while I was pumping.

From the beginning (and because our feeding journey did not begin or continue as I had thought it would while being pregnant), I said I would continue to pump until I could not stand it. While providing the upmost and best nutrition for LM is our top priority, so is Mama's sanity and quality of life.  I do not and never had anything against formula.  My train of thought was always 'why not give him breast milk as long as I can and when that's no longer an option we make the switch.'  The adage 'fed is best' is forever true and the best thing you can do for your child.

Around 6 months I began to think about when I wanted to stop pumping.  At the beginning I wanted to pump until he was a year but because I started out exclusively pumping 8x a day for months, I began to scale back that time frame as there were days my sanity began to dwindle.
For many, many days and months it was a lot of work.  Work I am VERY happy I did but still work.

Once LM was more mobile, fun and active I felt like I was beginning to miss out on bits of his day and interacting with him.  With his age and the warming weather we were out and about more but that always had to revolve around my pumping schedule and what time of the day it was, where we were going to be, etc.

 Who wouldn't rather hang out with this smiley babe?

At 7 months I decided I would start to scale back and start the process of slowing down and eventually stopping.  I have a post planned on how I actually went through that process.  I found there is not a lot of good information out there on that process and I feel the need to dedicate an entire post to that.
So with that decision Mister and I began a lot of conversations on the pros and cons and what stopping looked like.  I went back and forth approximately a million times on whether to actually stop or not.  What kept ringing in my head was 'why would I stop making this thing that is 100% perfectly made for my sweet baby?'  And I could not get that out of my head.
My mom said 'you've grown that boy from 3lbs 5.6oz and that's incredible.'  Mister kept saying 'we have freezer milk to use, he's had SO much of your milk and you've done so much work, it's really okay.'  Mister was (and is) 100% supportive in all facets and especially pumping.
And while he is my biggest cheerleader, I think he was ready to have his semi sane, not hooked up to a machine wife back ;)
As I've said and documented I was lucky enough to have freezer milk stored up.  While we knew it wouldn't last forever or be enough for him to have freezer milk completely, it did help knowing we had that.

I could probably talk about this for hours but I'll spare you ;)

3 comments:

Libby said...

You are such an amazing mom, Sarah, and great job pumping that long! I love that pict too...such a cutie!!

Erin LFF said...

You rock girl! Seriously... what your momma said! Look at this sweet healthy boy you've grown from a little 3 pound peanut :) You're amazing. I EPed for awhile too and it's SO MUCH WORK, so kudos to you for keeping up with it as long as you did.

Anne said...

I thought pumping was SO HARD emotionally and did not stick with it at all. So I'm amazed by how long you dedicated yourself to this and the attitude you took in your approach. In addition to "fed is best" I think "cared for" counts for a lot - no matter what route you're going with feeding him at this point, it's obvious that the care and nurture are there in abundance, and he's going to grow in all ways from it :) Yay for sanity too!!