Goodbye Breastfeeding, Hello Guilt
After 9 long short amazing painful beautiful challenging simple stressful months of breastfeeding, I am done. Rory is doing great on the bottle and eating solids like such a big kid, I can hardly handle it. While there are more dishes than I enjoy (so. many. bottles) I do love watching Lacey feed Rory and finally being able to eat dairy again is nothing to shake a stick at.
I do miss it at times. Nursing her to sleep while singing one of our songs. Or the early morning hours when it felt like it was just the two of us in a big still world. I hate to admit it, but one of my fears about stopping was that she wouldn’t need me anymore. That the only tool I had to soothe her was breastfeeding and without it, she would feel distant from me. As someone who faced down PPD, this fear feels both real and impossible all at once. Thankfully, I have the greatest wife ever and she’s been helping me keep my shit together through the whole process.
I was pretty lucky during my breastfeeding adventure - all things considered. Those first few weeks were a struggle and good god the nipple pain but I kept at it and after 4 weeks we managed to get over the hump and to a good place where it all just sort of clicked. Even nursing in public wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.
Pumping on the other hand was a total bitch. Waking up extra early or staying up a little later trying to get in an extra session. Lugging that damn bag of milk back and forth on the subway. Being away from my desk to the pumping room 3 times a day, hooked up to that awful machine as a constant reminder that someone else is watching my kid. Always stressing that I wasn’t making enough milk and heaven help me, the days that I would spill some of it. I put endless pressure on myself and pumping is the number one reason I weaned when I did. It was eating away at me and I couldn’t keep it up anymore.
I’m working on letting go of my guilt. Rory is fine and I am fine and it’s going to be FINE. It was the right choice for us and that’s enough. I’m fairly certain this won’t be the last time I tell myself this regarding a parenting choice we make for our family.
I have a picture Lacey took of me nursing Rory in the back of a rental car in the parking lot of a Sonic. I’m holding her in one arm and a container of tater tots in the other and it is perfect. It’s exactly how I want to remember that time - completely on our own terms.