The end is near

Gentlemen, beware. This post involves talk of The Boobs. You have been warned.

I always planned to breastfeed Per Christian until he was nine months old. This may sound like an arbitrary number, but it was based upon the fact that we’ll be traveling to the US for the holidays this year and I wanted to easily feed him on the plane. I don’t know all the nutritional facts about breastfeeding for nine months, but I do know what it’s like to have a fussy baby on a long-haul flight. I wanted to avoid that as much as possible.

But the fact is – I just don’t have it. For whatever reason, my supply is about done. I’ve exhausted myself with pumping sessions to try and keep it up, but I’m about to forfeit the game. My mind is going numb with the rhythmic whirring sound of the electric pump; my wrists are developing carpel tunnel from the manual version. And it’s almost embarrassing to admit how skilled I’ve become at one-handed Tetris on the iPhone. I have always despised pumping with a heated passion, it’s like being at the dairy farm and having your worth measured by how many ounces you produce each day.

I have no idea how other mothers manage. Is it all worth it, I wonder? (FYI – I know I’m not the only one out there with such fierce pumping-fueled hatred. See herehere and here for more of the same.)

I’ve somehow managed to compare the end of breastfeeding in my head to those protesters’ signs outside the Capitol building. They all predict doomsday around the corner and your inevitable persecution for being such an unworthy sloth.

Save yourself!
The End is near!
Have you prayed lately?

I know this pressure and sense of judgement is only in my head. I know breastfeeding for six months is a great accomplishment. I know my son is well-fed and happy (his heavily-dimpled arms and legs are proof of that). But still I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic already. This stage of Per Christian’s baby-hood is coming to a close and it went by so quickly. Did I appreciate it enough while it was here? Should I have spent a little less time complaining and more time enjoying the moment?

It’s sad to know that our days are numbered and we’ll never get these moments back. On the other hand, I’m so, so thrilled to be moving off the dairy farm and getting rid of that evil pump. Far thee well, you squeezer of flesh and crusher of nipples! 

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5 thoughts on “The end is near

  1. hey! good luck!!! just an FYI that i never knew about until it hit me flat in the face… you might have a crazy hormone surge when you stop breastfeeding. i was hopped up on hormones from either being preggers or breastfeeding for about three years and when i weaned tony, i went into crazy post-whatever depression. but i didn’t know what was happening/why/or even to expect it. just take care of yourself–maybe it won’t be anything for you, but i just wanted to share b/c i wished i had known that could happen.
    i love you so much and miss you. so glad there’s FB to keep us connected. xoxo A

  2. Thanks for the link!

    Totally agree with Anna’s comment – be wary of the hormone surge if you finish. It hit me much harder than I expected!

    Good luck with whatever you decide. Could you just quit the pumping, and keep breastfeeding your little one – he may still be able to get milk where the pump can’t! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Mission impossible | Prosecco & Pampers

  4. Hey Marguerite,
    Just swung by your blog and saw this post and I completely understand every single emotion you’re going through and both the freedom and loss were equally intense. I stopped breastfeeding Mira at 4 months and at the time I thought I had failed as a mother. But in hindsight I was being completely ridiculous and overdramatic. Mira has grown by leaps and bounds and is a smart, talkative, and beautiful little girl. The whole formula vs breastfeeding Mommy War is lunacy. In the end, it’s whatever works for you: your beautiful baby boy will be just as beautiful no matter what.
    –Baq

  5. Thanks all for the comments and positive thoughts. I’m still feeding Per Christian first thing in the morning for a while – it’s when I have the most to offer him and is such a nice cuddle time for us both. The little guy is growing and moving so quickly now, it’s nice to still snag a few moments with him when I can!

    I really don’t have any issues about breast vs. bottle except my own desire to “succeed” (which of course is crazy). I do notice though that he’s much happier with the flow from the bottle and getting his little belly full from the bottle before bedtime.

    Like you all said – whatever works best!

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