Friday, August 11, 2006

Last Bell

So here's the news:

In about two weeks, my husband is going on a business trip to San Diego. He'll be going for an entire week. We've decided that me and the kids will go with him, for a little vacation before school starts.

My plan is that by the time we leave for San Diego, I won't be lactating anymore. I'm going to stop pumping.

Last week I started to drastically reduce the number of times I pump per day. Instead of pumping every two to three hours, I started going to every five or six hours. I'm still making enough to feed Darth D. breast milk, but I'm not freezing anymore. I'm now going to really start the process of getting my body to stop making milk. I'll only be pumping when my breasts get really painfully engorged, and even then, I won't be emptying them.

I know there will be women out there who think I should try to go on vacation and pump there. There might also be women who think that if I can't pump while on vacation, then I shouldn't go at all, and stay home so I can pump. You know what? If you think that, then you are entitled to your opinion. But you are not me.

One of first conditions I had about pumping, from the beginning, was that I would do it only as long as it didn't have a negative effect on my relationship with my husband, older children, or baby. My family needs this vacation; we need the time away, and the opportunity won't come again for at least another year. I know that if pumping in any way would ruin this trip with my husband and kids, then I would be just incredibly resentful and depressed about it. And it definitely would have a huge negative impact on the trip. I would constantly be worrying about finding places to pump on the beach, in amusement parks, at tourist attractions...or I would be stuck inside the hotel room while my husband took the kids out. Nights would also be a disaster--I would have to pump in the middle of the night, waking everyone up in the hotel room. And if I couldn't pump, then I'd be in severe pain.

Darth D. will soon be five months old. Five months is longer than either of my other two kids got breast milk. I'm very proud of myself for making it this far. It was a personal choice made from the beginning, with the support of my husband.

And it's my personal decision that this part of my life, and Darth D.'s life, must now draw to an end.


Blogger Epiphany Alone said...


Certainly no criticism from me - you are amazing mom.

Thanks for being the inspiring person you are. I was close to giving up when I found your blog and it helped me more than you'll know to read your story, and following the blogs of fellow pumpers.

-still pumping at 12 weeks

4:20 PM  
Blogger Blossy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Blossy said...

Congratulations on making it this far and doing such a great job. You've been an inspiration.

The only reason I'm sad is I've enjoyed your blog and I've always looked forward to your point of view. I've only just found you - and now you're going away!

Best wishes to you, your hubby and all the Darths.

And epiphany - you go! I'm stll pumping at 17 weeks.

4:54 PM  
Blogger liz said...

No arguments here, you stop when you feel it's time.

You are a superhero for doing 5 months.


5:38 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I agree with the other posters--five months is certainly a great achievment and you should do what's best for YOU and your family.

I also will miss your writing and I'm so glad you were there to help so many women who can't breastfeed but still want to pump. You are an inspiration.

5:55 PM  
Blogger mc said...

What they said -- I am so impressed that you pumped exclusively for five months. That's a ton of work. I hope you'll keep blogging in one form or another...

6:55 PM  
Blogger George said...

5 months is a great achievement! Feeding a new baby and looking after the rest of the family can be hard work at the best of times and you have done that and pumped! I think you are wonderful.

3:52 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

I also pumped exclusively for 5 months and it's an amazing achievement in my book. I also pumped while on vacation and it was horrible (imagine pumping in the car up winding North Carolina mountain roads). That trip was definitely one of the reasons I stopped pumping and if I had it to do over, I too would have stopped BEFORE the vacation.
Good for you that you've made peace with your decision to stop pumping. I beat myself up about my decision to stop pumping for way too long and it was very mentally unhealthy.
Realistically, LLL brain-washing aside, formula is NOT poison and plenty of kids do just fine with it.
Have a great time on your vacation.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

congratulatiosn for making it 5 months! I think what you have done for your son is fantastic. Not only that you made a difficult but smart decision for your family. Your a good mom!

2:08 PM  
Blogger laura said...

kudos to you. You've recognized what you need to do, for yourself and your family, and have the courage to make what can be a very hard choice.

Many thanks for your encouragement, via this blog. It has helped me keep going.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I lift a cone in salute!

You've done something wonderful for your baby. You've earned not only a vacation but congratulations. So congratulations!

4:58 AM  
Blogger PinkPoppies said...

That's amazing. What a wonderful gift to your son, and to others via the blog. I think if women aren't able to physically breastfeed, then pumping is the way to go. And then the next best thing after that is formula. Because the main thing is you try. And being a mom is all about trying different things to see what works for you and baby. This blog is a great resource!!!!

I pumped to stimulate supply and to keep him going when I went back to work. I was sad when he weaned at 13 months but ever so glad to put away the pump. Pumping is hard work. I had a friend who pumped exclusively and bottle fed the breastmilk to her child and one thing she didn't know was making sure when you feed the baby that you alternate the feeding position the same way you would if feeding at the breast. This helps stimulate the baby by alternating views (not explaining this well but it is the same principle too as alternating which way the baby goes in the crib to avoid flat head).

Finally I would point out that pumping while nursing does give you the flexibility to go out without worrying about how the baby will get fed. I could never hand express and relied on my Medela PIS, but I knew lots of other exclusive bf-ing moms who would express so they could have an afternoon out. It really is about all about finding what works for you, and not taking on or accepting any guilt for your choice.

6:35 PM  

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