Friday, October 13, 2017

And here we are

It's been almost two weeks since my last post, when I was determining whether The End Of Pumping was upon me. I haven't pumped in two weeks. I'm done. I think I can safely bring the pump home from work, do a final sterilization of all the parts, and put it in storage until a potential future someday where I'll need it again.

So I'm not pumping anymore. My body seems to have adjusted. It feels sort of anticlimactic, to be honest, but I'm glad to have the time back in my day, and I don't feel as sad as I thought I would about the fact that I'm not producing milk for Margie while I'm at work.

She's nursing a bit less now, we're down to 3 times (morning, a usually-short session after work, and bedtime) as well as whatever happens overnight. Which...has been 1 or nothing lately. We've had an interesting week with sleep, so I'll just share.

  • Sunday night (first night back home after a few nights away, where sleep was a little wonky): about 45 min of on and off crying (Will went in for one check)
  • Monday night: about an hour of on and off crying, 1-2am (my going in for a check made it worse, Will going in made it better)
  • Tuesday night: SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. 8:15pm-7:20am. Without waking up. If you're keeping track, that's three nights in a row with no nursing overnight.
  • Wednesday night: One wakeup at 4am; I nursed her, though we probably could have done cry-it-out.
  • Thursday night: Nursed at 2:30am, Will rocked her back down at 5:45 after what we think was a nightmare. The air quality is really bad right now because of huge fires, and our throats and noses are dry, so we're trying to be a little more responsive to resolving her upsets.

But sleep is about a million times better than it was. Bedtime is a breeze of delightful reading and cuddles. There will always be something that comes in to mess with sleep, be it smoky air or emerging teeth or a handful of new words. But I feel like the default has improved; the baseline has risen. Things are getting better. And even though most nights are still a little wakeful, I got 8 hours of sleep in a row for the first time in over a year and a half. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

First Day?

Here I am in Week 3 of Weaning From The Pump. And I think...I am not pumping today? Am I done now? Like, forever?

Last week, I pumped once a day, for 30 minutes. Monday and Tuesday, I was all full and tingly feeling by 1pm (aka pump o'clock). Wednesday and Friday (I'm home on Thursdays and don't pump) I didn't get tingly by 1pm, but I pumped at that time anyway. I got between 3-4oz in that 30min session all four days. Great. Enough for a bottle, and it looks like my body has adjusted to the new schedule (it takes 2-3 days for the milk production to adjust to a change in schedule), despite nursing more than usual overnight last week.

And now it's today. I was going to pump for 15 minutes Mon-Wed this week (we're traveling Thurs-Fri) and then consider myself done. Taper the end out slowly and gently. But things have been getting busy at work today, and I hadn't been getting the "full and tinglies" so I just haven't done it. But now it's 3pm, and I'm starting to feel the tingles...and yet I think I'm going to try to hold out another 2.5 hours and just nurse at home. I don't want to go through the hassle of setting up and tearing down the pump situation if I don't have to. It's time for Margie to learn to drink non-breastmilk anyway, so if I don't come home with a bottle she'll either have thawed milk from the freezer or soy milk tomorrow.

It's really strange to not pump. You spend so much time thinking and worrying and calculating how much time you're pumping and ounces you're producing -- for months, I've been obsessed with these numbers. And now, I'm just choosing not to pump. Because even though I know that I could go into the pumping room and crank out a 3-4oz bottle (hi, full breasts!), that's not the goal. My goal is not to pump enough for tomorrow's bottle. My goal is to not pump at all. For her to have a bottle or cup of soy milk and for my boobs to stop producing milk between the hours of 8:30am-5:30pm. I keep telling myself this, because it feels somehow wasteful to not bring home a bottle when I could - the milk is just sitting there, filling up, waiting to be emptied and I'm just letting it sit, teaching my body to stop making it.

Even on weekends, recently, it seems that Margie is less interested in nursing during those "business" hours. Maybe we're somehow telepathically syncing up. She's not super interested in nursing - there's too much to see and do - and my body is adapting. Timed well with the pumping-weaning, maybe it's a coincidence, or maybe it's Just Time.

I'm trying to ride the wave and let this happen as it happens and not get too emotional about it. But between the "is this the right thing? what should I do?" and the "my baaaaaby is a toddddler and she doesn't neeeed meeeee the same waaaaaay" feelings...there's a lot going on.

But today might be the first day I don't pump. So that's a thing.