It is with some (ok...perhaps a lot) of sadness I write this post. Something I treasured has come to an end and although it is time to move on, I cannot help but feel a little glum about the subject. What I am talking about is giving up expressing breastmilk for Teddy...to have in his food or in the freezer in case (this has never happened) he wakes for a feed and I don't get home in time. I have 90ml left in the freezer as an emergency stash...unless I need to express for a specific feeding I will miss I have decided enough is enough.
I have made this choice for a couple of reasons:
(a) pumping ain't what it used to be...gone are the days of getting 100ml in 10 minutes, of my breasts making more just because I pumped regularly for a couple of days. I tried numerous methods of increasing the supply so I'd have surplus, but was having limited success for much effort;
(b) I realised I really didn't need to be stressing myself over getting approximately 60ml to mix in Teddy's breakfast. Breastfeeding (mixed with ample sleep deprivation) has caused me to lose my baby weight (yay!) plus some (not so yay!), so adding more sleep deprivation so I could pump more created a catch-22 situation...I kept losing weight which I do not have to lose. He is nearly 8 months old and well established on solids (eating me out of house and home in fact) so 60ml of breastmilk is really neither here nor there for the little tyke;
(c) I have more than enough milk for Teddy to have during his feeds, of which he has between 4 and 5 per day, and I suspect he is drinking much more than I could ever express. So all that effort was very much a drop in the ocean!
I have a rather large tendency to feel guilty when my pre-baby plans go out the window now I have an actual baby. I had thought I would continue to mix his cereal with breastmilk for 3 months after he weaned (that being the freezer shelf life of the liquid gold)...this is not to be.
I am happy I will be able to feel a little sad and perhaps a little guilty about this decision, but will bounce back fairly quickly. I feel such a tremendous gratitude to have such a successful breastfeeding relationship with my son, I realise other women do not have it so easy. I feel such overwhelming joy at the thought that I will reach my original goal of feeding for 12 months and excited I will probably exceed it.
I treasure every moment I have with Teddy snuggled close, sharing something only we can share. I adore the knowledge that I helped create this life, I kept him safe while he grew inside my belly, I birthed him the way I felt nature intended for me to and that I am able to give him the best of myself every day.