Yesterday I pumped for the final time at 3pm. And I cried myself to sleep last night. Not because of the discomfort of full, rock-hard breasts (that didn't really happen until about 3am). But because of the finality of all. And because there is something about watching my baby eagerly drink back a bottle of breastmilk that came straight from me, that makes me feel really close to her. Our own special little bond. I can't help but feel like formula is just "food", and my milk was more than that.
But like "Operation:Overnighter", just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do. Just because it's difficult doesn't mean that I should put it off. It's simply time. The toll that that pump is taking on my life and my family is something that I'm not willing to compromise with anymore. I know that weaning would be hard at ANY age. If I had $110 extra dollars I would go visit my therapist and I am quite certain she would confirm that I am doing the right thing and then she would give me a good dose of tough love and make me snap out of this guilt bullshit. But since I don't have the $110 dollars, I'm just going to have to fight the fight on my own (and perhaps with a little help from my dear internets).
I'm sure however, that a couple of days of being pump free will do wonders in the mood lifting department. In fact, it's not been 24 hours yet and although my chest feels like someone sewed two giant boulders under my skin and then held them over an open flame for a couple of hours, the break from pumping is already making me feel happier.
I've been giving Ruby supplemented formula feedings for a couple of days now and it's going well. We're up to 50/50 with no problems. (I still have plenty in the fridge and freezer if I need it). Her appetite seems to have changed a little though - she doesn't always finish her bottles and I wonder if that's because there's more calories in the formula and she gets fuller faster. I'd like to go with that train of thought instead of my Crazy Mommy Guilt train of thought which says she isn't finishing it (occasionally) because she doesn't like it.
My worries were somewhat abated by Steve last night. He fed her at 4am and through the baby monitor I could hear him softly chanting, "Rob-erts! Rob-erts! Rob-erts!" When he came out of her room with an empty bottle I anxiously asked, "Did she take it ok!? Did she finish the bottle?!!??"
He said, "Did she finish the bottle??? Tara, she chugged it!!! She's going to be a big hit one day at Spring Break!"