The Milk Story

Update Friday, August 6, 2010 at 4:27 PM.
Dalam topik musings,my sweetest

As I mentioned briefly before, I'm losing my milk. I can only guess at what brought about this turn of events, but I imagine it's a combination of the fact that he no longer nurses at night, he only nurses 2-3 oz every 3 hours from me, he's into solids, I'm pumping at work and maybe the hot weather. He shows a lot less interest in nursing too. He only really settles down to it if he's very tired or upset. Even then a bottle will usually do just as well.

A lot of my friends have expressed their concern about my upset over it - except that I'm not really upset. I've read that some women need to get up to pump in the middle of the night to maintain their supply when baby starts sleeping for long stretches. I'm not doing that. If I get to sleep, I'm sleeping. I also know that I could increase my supply through diligent pumping. I'm not doing that either. I know me, and I'm not starting an obsession with maintaining milk. I want to enjoy the baby more. I'm a little sad about the loss of this bonding and the loss of such a fascinating, amazing function my body performs for the baby. However, I've gotten 7 good months in and will probably be able to continue for a bit more. (Not so bad right?) My main worry was that I would have to try to wean E, and that it would be traumatic for him. He seems fine. That eases me so much. It also eases me that we have so many other ways to bond now. When he was tiny, breast feeding was really our main connection in that way. E was so on edge all the time that his meal times were some of our only peaceful moments. Now we laugh together, hold hands, cuddle, kiss, hug, squeal and he babbles, "mum mum mum!" His eyes light up when he sees me. He shivers in delight when I touch him. How could I be sad?

All that said, I'm also quite happy about reducing my pumping times at work. It always frustrates me when I see articles about how few women breast feed exclusively to such and such an age. They make it sound horrible, and usually tout lack of education. I agree that education has something to do with it, but so do medical issues and the fact of our society - that many moms need to work. If I didn't work, there would be no health care. It's an unfortunate fact. But work hurts breast feeding in a big way in my opinion. I'm not going to go into that rant here, but I'd really like it if working moms had more options in the U.S. to be able to spend more time with baby or integrate more slowly back into the work force. Done.

You know what else I won't miss? Thrush, painful bites that linger, thrush, giant boobs, and thrush that makes me write in pain at night. And oh what else? Oh yeah.. thrush.

What will I miss? I will miss watching his little peaceful face as I provide sustenance and he falls asleep at the breast. But I do get much of that with the bottle as well. I will miss the convenience of breast feeding (once it was established and easier.) I will miss the economic and environmental pluses. I will miss the absolute amazement at what my body could do. I will miss being the main provider of his sustenance.

But I'm ready to share. I'm ready to have a little bit more freedom to be apart from the baby. I don't usually want that time apart, but it's nice to have that little piece of me as an option again. As I said to Hub tonight, during the last month, I've finally started to find ME again. I love it. I love who I've become. I love being a Mom. I'm OK.

Note: Other Moms please share bfing loss experiences. I'm especially interested in stores from moms who breast fed but also worked and pumped. I wonder if my body is unusual or the norm. I don't know any Moms like me in real life I think.

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The Milk Story
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