In July, I wrote about how my supply started to drop once I went back to work. After trying everything in the book, I started taking Motilium and it nearly tripled my milk outtake. Throughout the rest of the Summer and into the Fall, things were going pretty good. We had a system going and had a routine down pat. Noah would nurse first thing in the morning (6 am+/-), I would pump at 9, 12 and 3 at work and then he would nurse again in the evening at 7. Well, once we started BLW, he dropped his lunchtime bottle on his own and it became apparent he was more interested in solids. October rolled around and I went from pumping three times a day to two.
Looking back, I probably should have kept pumping 3 times a day but I was starting to really hate pumping. Work was busy and it was a hassle to stop what I was doing and leave my office for 20 minutes, 3 separate times. That may sound super selfish but I just couldn't do it anymore so once Noah dropped his lunchtime milk feeding, I was more than glad to give up a session. Well, when I did that, my body gradually started making less milk. Even though I was still taking Motilium, I noticed I was getting only 2 ounces total each time I pumped. Feeling discouraged, I added back in a pumping session before bed but it didn't help much. I told myself I had a decision to make. I only had two bags of milk left in my frozen stash and it was clear my body just couldn't keep up.
Two weeks ago, for the first time since Noah was born, I bought a can of formula. A few months back, I would have cried and beat myself up for not being able to nurse my son. Hell, I have cried over it! But ya know what? It's not the end of the world. There is nothing wrong with formula and if I'm being completely honest here - nursing was really hard. Mentally, physically and emotionally hard. They say breast is best but I truly believe it's not for everyone. There are a million and one reasons why women choose not to nurse their babies and now that I've gone through the ups and downs of it myself, I honestly can't say I blame them.
For 9 months, my son was exclusively breast fed and though it wasn't easy at times, it really was an amazing experience for both of us. Thinking back to those moments when I really despised my pump and hated having to find a private corner in the mall to nurse my son, I can't help but be grateful that I was able to provide for him as long as I did. Some days I couldn't wait to be done - but now that he's only nursing once a day, first thing in the morning, I feel like we've gotten back to that quiet bonding time we had in the very beginning. Nursing is no longer stressful for me... for us. And now that I know he will soon be weaned completely, I cherish that time in the morning. No, I can't say I ever loved nursing but it's the almost the end of a long road for us.
Ack, sorry. I got all emotional on you guys and I didn't really mean to. To sum things up, Noah is down to three milk feedings a day. One nursing session early in the morning, as soon as he wakes up, along with two bottles of formula at daycare - one at 10 and one at 2. We dropped his evening feeding a few weeks ago and he doesn't seem to miss it. He's not as interested in his morning nursing session as much either and I'm afraid the end is in sight for it as well.
Hard to believe my baby boy is growing up so fast.
Seriously. Make it stop.
EDIT: For another amazing weaning story, one of the reasons I decided to blog this, check out Brittany's story here: http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/2012/11/17/officially-weaned/