Here I sit. Milking myself like a dairy cow. Again. ::insert deep, drawn-out sigh here::
I don’t like it. I’m not a fan of being attached to this pump four to five times a day. I’ve considered trying to get Joshua back to the breast, but I know the efforts would be futile and would result in me being even more emotional over this whole thing than I already am. In fact, I tried to get him to nurse a couple days ago and he bit me. Hard. My nipple still hurts just thinking about it.
I never expected that this would be something I would feel so emotional about. I know I wrote about this before, but I really, truly never expected to feel so hurt and depressed about losing this relationship. I don’t know what upsets me more. The fact that my job basically took this away from us or the fact that it was so easy for Joshua to give it up.
The thing is, even though I hate pumping, I’m attached to giving Joshua breastmilk. The idea (emotionally and financially) of giving him formula sends me on a HUGE guilt trip. Like, a guilt trip the size of Texas. And we all know that everything’s bigger in Texas, right?
Emotionally, I know that breastmilk is best for him. Will he continue to thrive if we switch him to formula? Sure. But I know that the nutrients in that aren’t the same as the nutrients in my breastmilk. Breastmilk, to me, and I know this is going to sound ridiculous, is the first “soul food.” It doesn’t just feed his belly. It feeds his soul because there’s a lot of love in that milk. You can’t manufacture that kind of love.
Financially, I know that breastmilk is best for him and for us. To say that we’re still working things out in our budget is an understatement. We’re trying (feably) to overhaul our entire way of operating is more like it. And it’s taking some getting used to. Because of the milk allergy, he has to have “fancypants” formula and that stuff is expensive. REALLY expensive. Even if we switch him to soy, which I think we can do because he doesn’t seem to be reacting at all to soy in my diet, we’re still talking about an added expense each week/month. All breastmilk costs us is my time and sanity, so really, why shouldn’t I just stick with it? That’d be the smartest thing, right?
My supply took a nosedive on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but seems to have recovered now. I don’t know if it was because of the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on about this whole situation, or the extreme exhaustion I was feeling toward the end of the week. At least it seems to be rebounding right now. Supply, however, is another of those major stressors when it comes to pumping. When you’re exclusively pumping, you can see how much you get each time, so even though you shouldn’t compare one day to the next in terms of ounces produced, it’s almost impossible not to.
We’re coming up on six months on Tuesday and I’m excited to have made it this far. I was trying to talk to my mom about this the other day (and, as much as I love her and respect her and the sacrifices she made for me growing up, breastfeeding is something she just doesn’t get, even though she says she breastfed me…) and she said “Well, you were planning on stopping at six months anyway and you’re almost there!” I had to gently correct her. I’ve never planned on stopping at six months. I just wanted to make it this far. And now that I have, I’m asking myself “now what?” What do I do now? Where do I go from here?
I have no idea.
Do I take it month-by-month? week-by-week? day-by-day? Will I just wake up one day and suddenly feel okay with stopping? So many questions. Does anyone have the answers, because I certainly don’t.