Friday, June 18, 2010

The End

A couple weeks ago, I decided I was going to quit pumping. I went through a time where I really felt guilty about stopping, like I am doing a big disservice to Toots. I know that breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for him and I am really glad he was able to get it for a little over 5 months and I hope to be able to keep it up with our next kid longer than that, but with having to solely pump and never being able to actually breastfeed him, it was becoming so tiring and challenging. I started pumping only twice per day at the beginning of June and did that for two weeks, then I went to once a day and then I stopped.

I almost feel like it made it harder to pump since I stay home with him. I know that probably sounds kind of crazy, but here's what I mean: If I pumped while he was awake, I would have to hope he could entertain himself for 30-40 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes two to three more times during the day. You moms out there know that it's hard to keep a very small child occupied without crying for that amount of time without playing with them yourself. I tried to do it while he was napping sometimes but I have SO many other things that I need to do while he's napping - cleaning, doing work, preparing food. I couldn't do work while I was pumping because I have to have a ton of documents spread around since I am doing title work and it was nearly impossible to be able to have everything out along with the pump and be able to move around like I needed to.

I also felt like I pretty much had to revolve my life around pumping. I had to make sure I had time to do it everyday, if we were at a family member's house for the weekend or travelling elsewhere, I would have to leave everyone for 20 to 40 minutes to go pump, bring the pump and all the accessories with me everywhere, etc. If Toots would still have breastfed off of me, there is no question in my mind that I would still be doing it. I had just gotten to the point where I enjoyed it when he got the cold and decided he wouldn't nurse anymore. I think some people probably think I am making it up when I say he refused to nurse anymore or think that I didn't try hard enough to get him to start again, but I WANTED him to continue nursing, so I promise I am not making it up and I didn't just take the easy way out. I feel that pumping was much, much more work than him just breastfeeding, so I was definitely not doing it by choice.

He doesn't seem to notice any difference that he's not getting breastmilk anymore and hasn't had any issues. I did try to switch him from Similac Sensitive to Earth's Best Organic Formula and it made him gassy and constipated, so I had to switch back. I'm planning on asking the doctor at his six month appointment if there's anyway to gradually switch him over.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a post on here about it as kind of an update of something going on in our lives at this point. I'm still a little sad about it but happy I was able to do it for the amount of time I did. And, like I said, I plan on trying to do it longer with the next kid.


Carrie said...

I'm right there with ya with the pump - it's annoying! We attempted to switch Emily to foluma around 5 months but she REFUSED the formula. She's now 10 months old and I'm still pumping away.
By the way - you are right about being easier to pump at work vs. at home.

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

You have to do what is best for YOU and TOOTS.

Kelli said...

I'm kind of coming to terms with the same thing right now. Aiden's had so many issues related to being 4 weeks early that he can't breastfeed properly and I have no help at home, so pumping is impossible. Through lots of tears and self-inflicted agony, I decided to switch him to formula exclusively yesterday. It's really hard to feel okay with your decision, but you made the best decision you could for your baby. A happy mommy makes a happy baby, and you will be much happier if you're not having to be a 24/7 milk machine. No judgement here - I totally understand!

Natalie said...

I definitely get how hard it is to pump when home along with your LO! I tried pumping in between nursing sessions before heading back to work to build up a freezer supply but it never seemed to help. I ended up "giving up" because pumping could not maintain my supply.

One thing that made me feel better was something my pediatrician said & it has really stuck with me: she encourages women to nurse for at least that 1st week, because there are studies out there that show the benefits to the immune system for just that little bit! So KUDOS mama! You did something so amazing and self-sacrificing for your son... do not feel bad about that!

Seth and Lacey mase said...

You are awesome for doing what you've been doing for as long as you have! Toots is a healthy, happy little boy, and lucky to have you as his momma!

PS We use Similac Organic and it's completely eliminated all the gas M had from the breastmilk... maybe a switch to a formula within the same brand would be easier on his little tummy!? Who knows, I guess.