Within the last few weeks, I've slowly been weaning myself from pumping. On the one hand, I am just SO GLAD to finally be done with it. Pumping was something that was important to me, and it was definitely an accomplishment for me to make it so long. Originally, my goal was to last 6 months and then see where it went. There were times when I was just so done with being hooked to that inane machine four times a day. There were times when Jake was colicky and people told me to just switch to formula. There were other times when I was secretly glad that the machine was doing the work because for me, it was far less painful and awkward than nursing ever was. There were times when I was stressed or sick or got distracted at work and my supply would wane and I would take brewer's yeast horse pills and drink gallons of water and pump and pump and pump to keep it up....and still would end up supplementing with formula (but only at night, because Jake was a milk snob and wouldn't take it unless he was half asleep.) And let's not forget how almost every time we went out, I said, "Hold on, let me pump first." Oh, and the two occasions on which my (older) (male) co-workers somehow missed the PLEASE DO NOT ENTER; PRIVACY NEEDED sign on my locked office door (to which they had a key) and nearly walked in on me with my shirt up and my boobs suctioned into the pump. Yeah, wouldn't ever want to forget that.
All in all, I don't know if I would say my journey was any more or less difficult than any other breastfeeding mom, simply because I don't know any other way. I do know that I was able to leave my baby at home for a few hours alone or with my husband because I already knew he would take a bottle. When I would tell other moms that I pumped they would say "I don't know how you do it," but I could say the same thing back at them in my head. Maybe that's because Jake and I never really got the hang of it and it was never really comfortable for us and the bottle was just...easier.
Also, I would like to say that weaning freaking sucks and I don't even have that real emotional pull factor that some breastfeeding women experience. For the last two weeks, every day, I have said to TJ, "I think I'm pregnant." I had the exact same symptoms: fatigue, food sounded gross, slight nausea. On top of the false pregnancy symptoms, I have also been a witch with a capital B, and what's worse is that I know it and I can't fix it. Hormones. After not having a period for nearly two years, my body is more than making up for those monthly fluctuations. It might also have to do with the birth control, but I went back to the same exact pill I used before getting pregnant and I don't remember it being this bad. Either way, my body is a mess and I don't feel like me, oh and my thyroid is probably off as well but I keep forgetting to set up a doctors appointment, because I'm just tired...you know?
Why doesn't anyone tell you this stuff? Why do they just say, "Parenting is hard," and leave it at that? Not that it would change anything, because it wouldn't, but it would be nice if someone had said, "Oh, you're weaning? Just be prepared, you might think you're pregnant and you might want to divorce your husband (exaggerating, of course), but that's normal and you'll get through it." Instead, I had to figure it out all on my own.
Don't even get me started on the engorgement that I suffered from for two days (I'm such a whiner). I'm happy to report that my boobs are back to their normal, pre-pregnancy size (AKA, flat), and that my husband happens to like them that way.
Well, I gotta say, I'm glad I got that off my chest. (ba-dum psh)