Baby Shower 3
23 Nov

Six months of Mommyhood

I opened the front door this morning, expecting to see something on the doorstep: a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, a trophy or a token to reward me for making it through six months of motherhood. But there was nothing but a beautiful autumnal day. I’ll take it; I’m not picky.

The truth is that I do feel pretty fantastic today. And the reason is simply this: I managed to keep to my goal of making sure that Baby had some breast milk every day for at least 6 months. I’m not going to get a medal for my achievement, but I’m just so ecstatic that I’ve done it.

I’ve seen a steady decrease over the last month and a half in my milk supply. Currently, my body only produces 8-10 ounces of breast milk per day (of the 40 that she needs), which I extract in two 30-minute pumping marathons, morning and evening. I pump it out because neither of us have the patience anymore for the hour-long feeding sessions she used to pull. If she wakes up early in the morning, she gets a bit more milk straight from the tap, but that’s the only time we do it the old-fashioned way (and without the nipple shield, which I finally ditched 4 weeks ago).

But after all my histrionics about breastfeeding and my disappointment with not having enough milk, I’m actually pretty happy with how it’s all turned out. I like to think of it as Baby got the best of both worlds.

The question now is: when do I stop? I feel that I worked so hard to give her all that I could that I don’t want to give up just yet. As we enter the winter season and she comes into contact with more germs, I like the idea of her having my antibodies. They’ve already saved her from one stinking cold that I had. On the other hand, I look at my breast pump and I want to go outside, put it underneath the wheel of my car and reverse over it again and again. I’ve pumped multiple times per day for almost 5 ½ months; at the height of it, I was doing it 6-7 times per day, to get my milk flowing and to freeze some for her for when I had to work.

I think one morning, I’ll just wake up and think, “It’s time to stop.” And I’ll pack it away, ready for number two. I’m going to have a party that day, but also, I’m going to feel a little sad.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep setting myself small goals to continue with the pumping and take it one week at a time. And of course, I have the new trials of Baby-Led Weaning to keep me occupied. And teething. And crawling.

When do I get that medal?

4 Comments

  1. 23 Nov

    Chanelle

    I can give you a gold star for your forehead next time I see you ;)

  2. 23 Nov

    Vicky

    You should get a blooming medal for pumping all this time! I have managed this time to exclusively breastfeed my little girl (6.5m) but with number one I was expressing but gave up after 6 weeks, very hard work!

    So like you I’m at the six month stage and well in to the baby led weaning (did this with son too and it is the only way to wean in my eyes :) ) but as far as the b/f goes I’m just going to let her dictate, she’s already reduced her feeds from five to three so I expect she’ll wean herself off soon… Boo hoo sob sob :(
    Xx

  3. 24 Nov

    Sian

    My little one is now 7 months and I always said that I would breastfeed for at least 6 months. I had a battle with breastfeeding, a bout of mastitis, which developed into a horrid abscess that required hospital treatment. Despite all that I some how carried on feeding him, using the inner strength I never knew I had until I had him. He has always struggled with putting on weight and so at 5 months I decided to start giving him formula once a day. This gradually increased and by the time he was 6 months I was just feeding him twice a day. I built myself up to do the final last feed to which he decided for me that he preferred the bottle! This made giving up easier but the hormonal rollercoster that followed was tough, so be warned! But like you I’m so proud that I gave my darling son a good start. Well done on getting to 6 months! Xx

  4. 29 Nov

    wendy flynn

    Wow, i pumped full time for the first 6 weeks (for various reasons mostly due to baby being in SCBU for the first 17 days) then part time til 12 weeks i was exhausted, and had to stop i am sending you a virtual medal for carrying on so long! Well done, i wish i could have but i was stressing myself out so much that i forgot to enjoy him! once i got through the guilt of formula we got on great! and he his a very healthy thriving 5 and a half months old :)
    now off to read about your visit to the US embassy again as i need to sort out my half yank baby’s passport….

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