I’ve been avoiding this post for over a month, almost two. I’ve struggled with it and turned myself upside down mentally and emotionally. I’m almost nauseated just thinking about the words.
I’m done breastfeeding my baby.
I made it over 9 months and to be honest, I had to fight the last 3.5 months to keep it up. As soon as I started working full time at Sierra Nevada and pumping more instead of actually nursing as much, my body and production just tanked. For some people, pumping stimulates lactation in a similar way as nursing. For my body – at least this time around – there was no faking it… I would squeak out as much as I could twice a day during my work day, around nursing in the morning, after work, and before bed. Honestly, I could tell that the only time Clara was really getting a full “meal” was the morning feeding. Eventually it slowed to just one pumping session at work plus a morning and maybe an evening feed but would have to supplement so she wouldn’t go to bed hungry. Then it was just a morning and maybe an evening feed. My body was just not producing anything.
I remember weaning Landon around 9 months so long ago. I remember crying in the shower because my breasts were so full and sore. I don’t know why I stopped at the time. I was so young and I’m sure it was out of convenience. It doesn’t really matter because it was my choice to stop and I felt comfortable with that choice.
This time is different. I’m not ready to stop. It’s not my choice. I’ve just fought too hard and I’m kind of tired of fighting.
The last time I nursed Clara, we were in the woods hiking in DuPont and I knew it would be the last time. I felt it to my core. I picked up my phone and wanted my husband to take a picture so I had one last memento of my journey, but I chickened out and just decided to enjoy the moments. I was so grateful when I saw him pick up his phone a snap a quick picture. I don’t think he has captured any moments of me nursing throughout her life, which is fine – it’s kind of one of those awkward things so I’ve never asked or expected it. I would have loved to have more pictures of such a beautiful gift to give my children.
I’m finding peace with it, but I’ll be completely transparent – I struggled deeply the last few weeks to accept it. I found myself in some very dark places that are embarrassing to admit, but completely natural and okay as long as you get help. And I have gotten help. Postpartum depression is no joke. Calling them “The Baby Blues” is too cozy of a name. It’s an ugly, terrifying, horrible thing to experience and I’m sure it was present before I stopped nursing; however, that definitely triggered an exponential uptick in “episodes” for lack of a better term.
Clara is officially 11 months old. She’s so fun and her personality is developing more and more everyday. I have a feeling she’s going to be much more of a handful of a kiddo than Landon was. She wears pigtails, has a contagious laugh, plays peek-a-boo, knows “what the puppy says”, and is learning to blow kisses. She is going to be a strong willed, hilarious, brilliant girl and lord help the person that stands in her way.