life moved much faster now with three other kiddos under foot - with preschool schedules and swim class and lunches to make and toes to wash and beds to make, nursing started to make me anxious but we kept at it, two years was our goal. i even struggled with the fact that this time around my body did the opposite of what it was suppose to, you know, shed all that baby weight with the burnt off calories. no, my belly hung onto it all, all of it and that was hard for me. dear jeans, i miss you.
then rowan got sick. i drug robin all the way to the tri-cities when i went to rowan, because you know, nursing. but with the commotion and stress and the way time was slipping by i was barely having time to hide in a room and pump and robin was flying through the frozen supply we had shlepped with us. when the decision was made for rowan to life-flight back to seattle, my sister put a call out to friends and strangers for donner milk. i love the idea that we share our milk to help other babies and even have donated some of my own, but never considered how i felt about my children having someone else's. it was weird the way that didn't matter anymore, i wasn't ready for my son to have formula. that supply didn't last long and eventually i had to face facts, and i purchased my first can of formula in years and painfully handed over a new outfits worth of money for similac organic. i guess i did the best i could.
i set another goal, half and half. i got really good at hiding in the bathroom to pump often but as rowan started to come back to us more and her days got busier five pumpings turned into three, that turned into two, that stayed at about once a day for awhile. robin would go days with just formula due to the issue of getting the pumped milk back and forth and eventually he started to prefer formula over my milk. we got home from the hospital and we started to notice how much he spit up after he drank a bottle of breast milk and i started to say goodbye to that part of our relationship. he wouldn't latch anymore - he would just play and yank and bite me with his two shiny new teeth.
my only saving grace was that he would still nurse back to sleep at night, so i kept up my one pumping a day of just a few ounces to satisfy that time together. then eventually, he wouldn't even do that...
i tried pumping every hour for days, drinking tea, taking supplements all without much result and really i don't have time for that. i talked with friends who gracefully validated my reasons for stopping, that helped a lot. then i got my period back and i was just pissed.
so, last week i stopped nursing and it literally torments my heart. a good friend pointed out, "formula, isn't poison" and she is right, but that isn't at all why i am sad, it is more the loss of that special bond. it didn't even phase either of us physically to stop, my bank account maybe, but not him and not my boobs. it has been hard, by i expected it to be even harder, but it helped to look at the positives - now i could change my diet more drastically, exercise without worry, and steal some extra moments in the day while a sister or two fed him his bottle.
so, here we are at the end of an era. robin was the last baby i'll ever nurse...