September 11, 2014

Why I took my boobs back.

Boobs and breast pumps. 

(That really caught your attention, right?)

Well, I took mine back -- my boobs, not my pump -- I don't think the store would take the pump, though I'd gladly get rid of it. 

That little chant that I used to find hilarious (read Things I've learned), yeah, it became my arch-nemesis. 

Pride kept me going when I would hardly pump half of what my kid demanded. I'd sit by lamplight in a locked room at work, trying to relax and envision the milk-rivers of my past. I would watch Mack videos and look at Mack pictures. I would cry, stress out and feel guilty. I even brought a blanket to the room to rest my head on while I would try to relax enough and maybe even doze off and wake up to magic milk. I didn't want to quit. 

I was determined to supply - even when I had to supplement with formula. It made me feel better knowing that I could still give him half of me (breastmilk) and by doing so I could make it last longer. I built my freezer supply back up and kept chanting and pumping. 

I could say that I didn't want to quit because I didn't want to pay for formula. But really, it was my crutch. And, it is so much easier to whip a boob out at 2am rather than making up a bottle. But really really, I didn't want to quit because I wanted to win. I wanted Mack to win. I would not be defeated by the pumping game, or my job, or the call of freedom.

But, I did feel defeated. It was exhausting pumping before bed and in the middle of the night when I work at 6am, and taking 2 breaks at work.  And, it was stressful not getting enough for him and still being told how down my numbers are at work (really I can't hate on this balogna because I did work less, I was away 5 hours a week to try and provide for my kid, why should they care about breastmilk).  And then there is the planning that it takes to go away. The stress caused by not being able to feed him and put him to bed at the one time of day that I could feed him directly, and help my body understand what we needed, was torture. Really the list of stressors goes on and on, and maybe I brought them on myself. 

Shit. Is. Hard.

Then I quit. Gave up. Stopped. Whatever you want to call it. 

And the first full bottle of formula that Mack had...he couldn't have cared less, and I bawled. 

Part of me was hurt that he didn't mind where the food came from -- he is such a greedy little nugget. 

Part of me was - is - proud that he is so strong, trusting and determined.

I no longer feel defeated, though. I feel blessed and proud that I could give him all of me that I did, for as long as I did. I never really had a goal or length of time that I planned to breastfeed, but I feel like I exceeded most expectations, and, I have definitely won. 

Definitely, definitely, won.
And this video is certainly entertaining, if you like spit and adorable baby chatter.