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?