I knew that I needed to quit. It was making me crazy. I was pumping eight times a day, for 15-20 minutes each-- that's between 2 and 3 hours of pumping a day. It was uncomfortable and mechanical and to tell you the truth, I was starting to resent my baby a little bit. I was measuring my worth as a mother in ounces pumped. It was kind of a sickness. And I'm done with it.
Since I've made the decision, I'd say I feel about 90% relief and 10% guilt. Making the decision was the hardest part. I was just hanging on because I was hoping that she might grow out of her reflux enough that I would be able to nurse her again, but the GI has told me that is unlikely. And, I needed to wait until I could feel more relieved than guilty. If I could have kept nursing, I would have gone the full year. And I know some moms keep pumping if their babies can't nurse for whatever reason. But I've come to terms with the fact that I just am not one of those moms. I'm okay with that now.
So, I've dropped down to three pumps per day, and over the next two weeks I'll drop the other two. I'm hoping to be done by the time she's five months old. I need to go slowly since I am so prone to mastitis-- I've already had it three times. (The last pump to go will actually be our early morning nursing session, which I am really not supposed to be doing anyway... that is the one I will really miss.) I feel a little bit sad, but mostly I just feel free. No more hooking myself up to a machine. No more trying desperately to keep up with her demand. I just started weaning yesterday, and I already feel like I am enjoying her more.
Some of my friends told me I should smash my pump, Office Space-style. Haha. If I had quit anytime before now, I probably would have wanted to. But now I just feel good about it. I did the best I possibly could have done, and I'm at peace with it.
Thank you to all who have offered me support since my last post. I can't tell you how much it has meant to me.