Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bittersweet Transition

This is Ethan's one year photo-shoot, shot
by Andmade Photography

I celebrated a big milestone 2 months ago; I breastfed Ethan for an entire year! I know this may not seem like a huge accomplishment, but believe me, there were days where I didn't think we'd make it to the end of the week let alone the end of the year.  Even though I worked full-time I was able to breastfeed or give Ethan breastmilk in a bottle (without supplementing with formula) for an entire year.

As I got to the end of the year I slowly stopped pumping at work.  I had been pumping twice a day (at 9 AM and 12 PM).  I first stopped the 9 AM pumping for a week, and then I stopped the 12 PM pumping the next week.  Unfortunately, stopping the pumping also meant not nursing Ethan anymore during the day.  That's the problem with pumping, since I do it 5 days a week and only nurse Ethan during the day, 2 days a week, once I stopped the pumping I was also stopping the daytime nursing.  

This was a very hard decision for me to make but I got to the point where I felt that I needed to listen to my body and it was telling me that it was time to stop.  My hair had started to fall out again, and I was taking a lot of fenugreek supplement in order to pump a measly 8 oz. a day. Ethan also began to show signs that he was done.  On many occasions when I would go to nurse him he would push me away and want to go play instead.  He has also become a very good eater and would often sign for food instead of milk.  If I would try to nurse him before feeding he would become angry and sometimes even bite me!  I realized that both my body and my son were letting me know that we had had a good run, but it was time for us to stop nursing.  

Ethan let go of the daytime nursing just fine, since he usually drinks his milk from a sippy cup it wasn't a big change for him anyway.  I held onto the evening and before bedtime nursing for a few more weeks but quickly noticed that my supply was almost non-existent, and that Ethan was getting frustrated with the lack of milk.  He would often push me away at night and prefer to be placed in his crib and would go to sleep on his own.

So on the night that was his last nursing I looked down at him and as he nursed I thought about the wonderful journey we had embarked on this last year.  Although it was incredibly difficult to pump it was also the most beautiful experience I could have shared with Ethan.  The bonding that occurred and the gift that I gave to him through our nursing relationship is something that I will treasure forever.  I also said a prayer thanking God for giving me the tenacity to continue on this journey even when things were difficult, and for just making the whole thing possible.  
Design by: The Blog Decorator