I am mourning the end of my time pumping.
Yes. You read right. Pumping.
On July 8, my little Miss turned one and I was still pumping 3-5 times a day. I never in a million years thought I would pump for over a year. There are several reasons why I kept pumping, the most important being that Mila was a premie with a major surgery and the second was for financial reasons.
Last night, the Main Squeeze, who is also a CPA, and I guesstimated that I have spent over 32 days pumping. Yes. You read correctly I spent over a MONTH attached to that pump.
The past year flew by in a lot of ways but I was shocked with that number. Thirty days! After her first birthday I started the slow process of stopping. I have heard horror stories about trying to wean from breast feeing or pumping so I wanted to take it slow. I was so excited to stop! I wouldn't be confined to a room. I wouldn't miss any fun conversations with my family. I wouldn't be in pain if I was a few hours late. Excited, I was!
When I got down to once a day, I was very confused and was sad. I've heard about women struggling with their little ones weaning from breast feeding but not from pumping. I felt very silly as to why I felt this way. I mean, hello!, after a year attached to a machine you would think I'd be excited.
When I told the Main Squeeze he was just as confused as I was. He couldn't understand why I was sad about something I have been complaining about for over a year!
I started to realize that a lot of the emotions I was feeling were similar to the 5 Stages of Grief. After loosing my dad and grandpa, I am very familiar with the stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, & acceptance).
I was in denial that my daughter was one and would not longer need breastmilk (although I have a lot of frozen so guess what Mila, you ain't done!). When she was in the NICU and was unable to eat due to her surgery, pumping was the one thing I could do for her. I was one thing I had control over in a terrible, uncontrollable situation. I was angry that I didn't understand why I felt so attached to pumping, something that I have really hated doing. Well, hate is a strong word, but I really didn't enjoy it. I began to bargain with my emotions. I justified my feelings and also tried to ignore them. I became depressed, and this I still feel like I can't explain. I assume hormones. And now, I accept that my feelings are ok and that this time in my life has ended.
|the day I said goodbye|
Like any habit, it's a hard one to break. So much of my days for the last year were consumed with "GET MILK!" I can't even begin to tell you how many times I said, "I have to go pump."
I officially stopped pumping July 27th. The first couple days weren't the most comfortable but after 8 days I was back to "normal." It felt strange to not be tied down to the pump but after about a week the sadness went away. Thankfully, I have a good bit frozen so Missy Moo will still be getting breastmilk for the next 2 months.
I am proud to say I pumped for over 12 months and I am glad it's over ;)