I did it. I broke up with my pump. The reason? Hiccup is now one year old! Woohoo! The Professor and I can hardly believe it. When our little squish was born, he was so tiny and delicate. In my new-mama insecurity, it never felt like I was holding him quite right, and I dealt with this fear by looking ahead to the stage in which he would be able to hold his head up on his own. I told myself that if we could just make it to that point, we’d be okay. We breastfed like crazy, subjected him to the daily tortures of tummy-time; he grew and became stronger. We navigated obstacles like tongue-tie, acid reflux, and some well-intentioned but nevertheless bad sleep advice from various friends and family members. We reached that three month mark and it felt great! Hiccup could hold his head up by himself, smile, laugh (he has one of those great, belly-jiggling laughs – still kills me), and we were exclusively breastfeeding like a couple of champs.
Then came a new obstacle. It was around this time that I returned to work with my five bags and a new goal in sight – continue breastfeeding my baby until his first birthday. This meant needing to pump while at work; and if you’ve been following this diary then you know that has not been easy. My head was not always in the game, and there were times when it seemed like my milk supply was in danger due to my consistent trouble with release at the pump; but I made it! We made it, and Hiccup could not be healthier!
He is definitely not ready to give up breastfeeding completely and I’m happy to continue for as long as he is interested, but it is with great joy and zero guilt that I am releasing myself from pumping. No more pump, no more expressed milk. Hiccup eats a wonderful variety of solid foods now; and while he still enjoys nursing when we’re together, he doesn’t seem to be missing the bottle at all. He was never a big fan to begin with and would sometimes hold out until I got home anyway (stubborn like his dad!). Our plan going forward is to continue breastfeeding upon request when I’m around, while weaning him more onto solids and cow’s milk when I’m not. Wish us luck! So far cow’s milk has failed to impress our little developing foodie. He will be okay though. He’s getting older and part of getting older is learning to take one for the team. Mama needs a break.
It may sound selfish, but I’m excited to have my lunch hour back and to wear some of the prettier dresses that have been going to waste in my closet simply because they lacked easy boob-access. I wore one today with a pair of celebratory new shoes and it felt really good. Also, I’m looking forward to developing a relationship with my son that is increasingly less about my ability to feed him. Right now, if you ask Hiccup to say “Mama” he makes the hand-sign for milk instead! It’s cute…but also not.
There’s one more thing I hope breaking up with my pump will help facilitate and that… is the return of Aunt Flo (yes ladies, you read that right). I’m looking forward to my body kicking back into reproductive gear because this working mama and her hubby are ready to start trying for baby number two!