3 or 4 more months from now, I’ll be one hell of a free woman. I cannot wait to say bye-bye to pumping. And in my head, I am singing, “When I stopped pumping…it will be forever…” to the tune of Nat King Cole’s “when I fall in love…”
I nursed Spud till she was about 4 months old, and because she pretty much rejected my breasts when I went back to work, I had to pump. I have to admit that I was initially upset when I realized that she did not want to have nothing to do with my boobs, even when she was real hungry.
The first time it happened (rather unexpectedly), it felt like I was being robbed on this supposedly bonding time every mother gets with their child. It was distressing. Quite a contrast considering the challenges we went through to wean her off my breasts to put her on the bottle when I had to return to work! She cried hysterically when I shoved her the boobs, and only calmed down when I offered her the bottle. And, after 3 days of continuous fighting (her not wanting the boobs at all, and me trying to cajole her to just please take the goddamn boob and feed) and followed byincessant crying of the both of us, I decided to stop nursing her for good.
Even though I wasn’t ready at that time, I managed to comfort myself that it probably was a good thing as I was spared from having to wean her off my breasts. I know too well how bad that (weaning things off Spud) could get. Although there were times when I felt judged whenever I had to give her a bottle when we were outside, it really did not bother me too much. We both were, indeed happier when not nursing.
And since then, I pumped religiously for a good 9+ months just to have her on exclusive breast milk till she was about almost 11 months old. Thanks to the breast milk stock I had, I was able to stretch out my milk supply for as long as I could before she went on 100% formula (which unfortunately, was about a month prior to introducing cow’s milk).
With Squirt, I aim to do the same. A couple of weeks before I went back to work, I started to give him the bottle when I put him to bed instead of nursing him. He did not fuss very much. Squirt’s a funny guy –sometimes he fusses a lot, and giving him the boobs makes him angry; sometimes though, he doesn’t want the bottle but takes the breasts. I never really know with this kid – I guess it just depends on his mood at that point in time. He is not completely weaned off the breasts yet, but these days, I tend to offer him the bottle a lot more than the boobs. After all, he gets the bottle when I am at work. I no longer nurse him to sleep when I get home from work, and although he seems comfortable to take his milk from either source, he seems to prefer the bottle; which is really, really, really fine by me.
Sure, I have to work a lot harder with the pump to get my supply going – not to mention a lot of hassle with assembling, cleaning and sterilizing, but I do much prefer that option. After going through the whole breastfeeding experience twice now, I think the whole breastfeeding and bonding concept is lost on me.
Breastfeeding is completely over rated.
There! I said it.
Breastfeeding is O.V.E.R.R.A.T.E.D.
There. I said it again.
And no, I’m not trying to be funny. It is just how I feel about it – more on the act itself (in no way I am contesting on the benefits of breast milk) – and since this is purely from my own personal experience, I am entitled to my own bias opinion about it. It does make me wonder if the act of breastfeeding itself is more to comfort the mother or the baby.