I reached my goal, and now I’m done.
When Leon was born, I wanted to try breastfeeding for one month. I didn’t anticipate being able to breastfeed at all since I had read so much about how difficult it was, but the nurses in the hospital were helpful and encouraged trying. I was pretty shocked we survived the first few weeks, so I pushed our goal out to three months. Then six months. Then a year.
But I recently realized breastfeeding was no longer enjoyable to me and I was looking forward to the day I would wean. I battled so much momguilt after that realization because I know that Leon prefers breastfeeding over drinking from bottles. But now he’s able to drink cow’s milk since he’s over a year old — and he loves Minh just fine despite his non-lactating nipples, so I figured he’ll be fine without mine.
We made it. One year without a drop of formula.
And was it worth it?
Probably not, actually.
I spent so much time in the early days power-pumping around the clock to increase my supply, washing pump parts with that stupid pipe-cleaner brush, and massaging so many painful clogs. I escaped every few hours we were apart to hook myself up to a machine for 30 minutes. I got mastitis and had to go on antibiotics twice. I had high lipase milk and had to scald everything I pumped on the stove before I could freeze it. In the first few months I frequently laid in bed at night, unable to sleep because of the pain from my chapped, cracked, and/or blistered nipples. I was sick several times since I started my new job, but couldn’t take the medicine I’d need to feel better. I got bit almost every nursing session lately. I stressed daily about whether or not I’d have enough milk for the following day. And for crying out loud, I haven’t had any caffeine since before he was born.
And Leon was sick constantly, so it’s not even like he has a shiny immune system to show for it. But hey, I probably saved a few bucks, so there’s that.
I gave it a try. And it was a good try. So a pat on the back to me and a pat on the back to Leon, but now it’s time to move on.