Monday, August 24, 2009

Please do not disturb.

This is how I spend two 30 min "sessions" during each of my days at the office. I put up my sign, close my door, and... pump.

I'm not really sure what I expected of myself when I first committed to breastfeeding. I kept my expectations low... aiming to make it through the first two weeks, then through my maternity leave, then until Andrew went to day care... and I'm still here.

I can say that I'm proud of myself and how long I've "lasted" so far. So, very, many times through out it all I was ready to stop.

When he was first born - feeding took an hour, with about an hour (maaaaybe 2) in between feedings. Then an hour went down to 45 min and then that went down to 30 min... luckily, now he's down to about 20 min... 6-8 times a day (2-3 hours a day, if you're counting!).

While I love, love, love spending that time with Andrew... breastfeeding has always felt to me more of a chore, than a choice. I'd rather be playing with him... and cooing at him... interacting with him... than feeding him.

I'm starting the "weaning" process this week. It is strange to say that as Brandyn and I were discussing this last night... I was sad. Why? Why was I crying at the thought of giving up something I have felt so negative about since the beginning?

Its very hard to even process my feelings about breastfeeding, let alone type them out. I guess my thoughts are this.

While Andrew grew in my belly for nine months... *I* was responsible for growing him... keeping him healthy... giving him nutrients. I took care of myself... I watched my diet... I stopped drinking caffeine... I stopped drinking alcohol... ALL for him. When he was born... I was so proud of myself. Proud and relieved to see how big, beautiful and well developed he was. All my hard work paid off.

Once we was born... Andrew was no longer 100% my responsibility... his care was in both my and Brandyn's hands. I got my body back, but I gave up a little... control.

But feeding him... keeping him healthy... "growing" him... that was still *my* responsibility. I took care of myself... I watched my diet... I cut out pepperoni.... I stopped drinking caffeine... I limited my alcohol... ALL for him. When Andrew grew... and gained weight... I was proud of myself. All my hard work paid off.

Now... as I think about weaning... think about taking some of *myself* back (ahhh... caffeinated coffee and pepperoni pizza - here I come!!)... I realize this is a choice I'm making (not being forced to make)... it sorta feels like I'm giving up control over Andrew's growth and development... its sorta feels selfish.

I guess I can associate these same feelings with the ones that I had when I went back to work... went I send Andrew to day care... and how I assume I'll feel all along the way through parenting... loss of control. (I can't imagine the break down I'll have when he goes off to college!!).


Danae said...

Yeahh...all I can do is nod in agreement

CHarris said...

We can relate with you Alison! All I can say, is that once you stop and get all your hormones back ;-) you'll wonder why it was so hard to stop! I remember crying many-a-times about this very issue! And you have done SOOOO much better than I ever did!

Justk said...

Unfortunately, it doesn't get any easier. I'm still breastfeeding and he's just shy of 2 years and I feel guilty for trying to wean him. I will say though, weaning can take months so just allow yourself to make this a gradual process.

Kelly said...

So so true. Good luck on the weaning process. And always remember, a happy mommy makes for a happy family.

Brakes and Gas said...

Being a mom is so hard regardless of what choices you make. I am still second guessing myself for moving Weezy to her own room and it has been a month! We just have to do the best we can. I appreciate your thoughts on weaning; thank you for sharing!

janessa said...

You've done a great thing for Andrew. You're now doing a great thing for both you and Andrew. Congratulations on your journey and accomplishments.

And, I will tell you I ended up being so, so sappy and emotional while weaning. Have plenty of chocolate in the house!

ab said...

I like to think of it as a milestone for you (both!) Congratulations on the wonderful start you've given Andrew, and congratulations on your road to getting 'you' back! I can only imaging that wonderful feeling around your corner!! GL!

Jennifer said...

((hugs)) I have been there too! Yor description was spot on to how many of us have felt. You are making the very best decision for you family and Andrew. This Motherhood ride can be really bumpy!