October 24, 2011

Chapter closed

Last week, I emptied my cabinets of all the empty breastmilk storage bottles that have been sitting there, collecting dust. I put them in a bag, packed up all my breastpump pieces and put them away for the last time. I have officially closed the childbearing/lactating stage of my life. I had been holding on by a thread, hoping that Caleb was going through a phase, that he'd start nursing again. My plan all along with him had been to let him nurse as long as he wanted. Well, I guess up to 2 years, maybe a month or two more, because he would be the last baby I nursed. He nursed for the last time in early September and I pumped religiously, trying to keep up my supply, trying to make enough milk for one bottle on my 4 days off. I finally tired of pumping and not getting anything more than half an ounce from the right side and drops from the left. Honestly, I am a little sad, but not like I thought I would be. I held out and he did get breastmilk until he was 1 year, but he's been done. It was so much easier to just nurse him in the middle of the night. Now if he wakes up and wants a drink, we have to go downstairs and get him a bottle. No more falling asleep as my sleepy baby falls asleep nursing. While a little sad that phase is over, I also feel free. I finally have my body back to myself...no more supporting someone else, either through pregnancy or breastfeeding. I enjoy not having to hook myself up to a pump. Its nice that I can give Caleb a bottle and he will drink it an fall asleep for his nap. I do miss that connection, that feeling of being very feminine, womanly, motherly. But, here I am, looking back at that chapter of my life, satisfied and very happy. Since October 2002, I have either been pregnant or nursing, with the exception of 16 months. I breastfed for about 5 years. I have been pregnant for about 156 weeks, or 3 years. I will look back on those years with joy, pride, tenderness and much love. I look forward to the next chapter eagerly.

5 comments:

Heather said...

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments.

LP said...

I've been having similar feelings about weaning my son. Although I only have the one (so far), I was really sad when my supply dwindled and he quit nursing around 7 1/2 months or so, especially since my goal was to make it to one year. I also really miss the snuggle time. Pumping was a misery for me, though, so in some ways I was happy not to have to lug a breast pump around with me everywhere, especially with a full time 8-5 job, getting on the subway, etc.

Solitary Diner said...

Glad that you can look back on this period of your life with happiness. It seems like it's the nature of life to be constantly mourning the things we're leaving behind while simultaneously looking forward to the things that are still to come.

(At least, that's the way it is if one is happy with their life.)

Shelly Burke said...

It is such a blessing to feel that a stage is completed, when it is. I can look back at my kids' lives (they are now {gulp!} almost 18 and almost 20 years old!) and I can truly say that I enjoyed every stage they went through...I was always ready for the next stage...and there is not one stage I would go back to (except maybe newborn...but I think I'm too old and tired to do that now!). My kids are the biggest blessing in my life, and I feel so very, very blessed that I look back, and forward, with satisfaction and contentment.

trouble getting pregnant said...

You are a very brave woman and I feel proud about myself for being a woman.