So the other day, given how much my milk supply had been dwindling, I told myself that I’d officially stop pumping at the 13.5 month mark, which is January 24. But then I started looking at the calendar, and I realized how soon that was, and I honestly don’t think that I was mentally ready to fully wean. It made me feel so sad and conflicted: on the one hand, I’d be completely liberated from my breast pump finally after 13.5 months. I could have full ownership of my body again. I could drink whatever I wanted and use whatever BHA or retinol skin care product again! But then I thought back to the beginning of my journey, which was miserable by anyone’s definition. The first three months were a total struggle both mentally and physically. I hated every single thing about pumping, and I especially hated that it took me physically away from my baby. But then I got used to it and into a routine of cleaning, putting the parts away, putting them all back together again, getting set up. I knew what pump settings worked best for my body. I was increasing my supply. But the one thing keeping me going was knowing my baby was getting the best nutrition for her straight from my body. The months went on. I was mentally at ease and peace with all of this. I had let go of the fact that nursing didn’t work out for us, and that my baby was just never going to develop a strong enough suck. And now, when you’d think I’d be so excited to throw the towel in and wean 100 percent, I am not getting any satisfaction from approaching the date I arbitrarily set. So maybe I’ll go until Feb 10, so we can officially be at a rounder time — 14 months. If I were just producing drops, it may make the most sense to stop, but I’m still doing an ounce or so a day. It’s not the best, but it’s not the absolute worst. It’s winter, and my one pump per day is right before bed, so what am I missing out on, anyway?
See how dysfunctional this thought process is? I should be happy to wean, but I am not. I should be happy to be free of pumping, of an electric nipple sucker, but instead, I am still holding onto this and trying to keep my baby getting some bits of breast milk for as long as possible. In some way, it’s like pumping has given me yet another life purpose: to provide sustenance and feed my baby, if now just a small amount… it’s still not nothing.