Ending our breastfeeding journey

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I didn’t think I would be upset when our breastfeeding journey ended, but then I saw a modest Instagram story with a mom nursing her baby and it brought tears to my eyes. They were cuddly and wrapped in blanket. I won’t get that time back with her.

My daughter loved it and she was always excited. My husband and I had this silly routine at night where I’d dress her and hand her to him. I’d get comfy in my chair with the beloved boppy and then he’d hand her back to me. She would practically leap out of his arms and hyperventilate trying to get to me. “Do you see this right now?” He’d smirk. My husband and I would chuckle every time.

Seeing her ecstatic about something trivial to us is something I don’t want to forget.

It was a love/hate relationship

I had a love hate relationship with nursing. I always knew I wanted to nurse, and I knew it was a commitment, but I didn’t know. Ya know?

When she was two months old, we went to Italy for work. I was determined to maintain my supply so I was a slave to the pump and I carried my manual pump everywhere we went. I pumped in the sketchiest of sketchy bathrooms. (Bugs, dirt, and dumpsters, OH MY. Wait— not in the dumpster, just the bathroom beside it, in case you questioned my sanity.) And damn customs through Britain wouldn’t let me take my milk as a carry on, so we had to check it. It ended up THAWING in the overpriced cooler we bought just for my milk. *EYEROLLS FOR DAYS*. You can read about our [trip to Italy] or how I [maintained my supply while traveling].

During “Asshole” at a [bachelorette party], there I was pumping away, flashing the entire table. One of the girls offered to help me, and for some odd reason I thought she meant with the pump, so of course I gave her a weird look. She saw my face and laughed explaining, “with the CARDS, BRI. THE CARDS.”

The enemy

I began to hate the pump after needing it for all these events. At my cousin’s rehearsal dinner for her wedding I was sitting in the women’s restroom with the cord dangling outside the stall and plugged into the outlet. I couldn’t quite shut the door. I can only imagine how weird that looked. A strange motor sucking sound, a plug, and a half open door. I tried to listen to everyone’s voices that came in so I could be like, “It’s just me. Pumping. Again.”

But because I despised the pump, she would not take the bottle. The few times I was away from her she’d give the sitter/family member a hard time. It factored into the decision of quitting my job. She wouldn’t take the bottle at daycare so I’d go there on my lunch. At the time, she’d take really long afternoon naps (I mean really long… like 3 hours) so I could scoop her up from day care and take her home and continue to work in the afternoon.

[I was trapped]. I just wanted to assurance that my husband could step in if I got hit by a bus or in the slight chance he wanted to volunteer to get up with her in the night. HA. That’s a real knee slapper.

After a month of giving her a stemless wine glass with pureed fruit and formula mixed together, I was [finally able to transition her to the bottle].

And after about two months of occasionally dropping a feeding, she was done nursing. I thought I was done exactly on her [11 month mark], but after about 60 hours without a feeding I was uncomfortable so I did one real last feeding. Now I’m tearing up again.

I never thought that I’d miss this, but it just means little by little she’ll need me less. Okay, now I’m crying. I’m going to quit while I’m ahead. If you figure out how to keep babies little forever, let me know. K? K.

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