10 Months, 1 Week, 1 Day
Generally weekends are quiet time on the blog-- time for me to catch up with other chores and projects and marvel at how quickly the two days flies. I have a "story idea" backlog though, so i thought i would go ahead and post this evening.
For me, a big part of mothering has been breast feeding Henry. Even back in the dark days when i was suffering horribly from depression, feeding him helped me stay close to him. When Henry was about 8 months old we started supplementing with formula, but i continued to nurse morning and night and pump multiple times a day to provide milk for his feedings at daycare. I've been very slowly phasing the pumping sessions out. It's been slow, because making the transition is so fraught with self-imposed meaning and guilt.
Full-time pumping involved 3 sessions during the day and then one at night before i went to bed. By pumping this often i was able to get enough milk to keep up with Henry's increased demand. But, if you've ever known a pumping mom, pumping that much (especially during work) is tough. It's tiring, and to be honest, it's annoying. I think the fact that i work at home made it possible for me to keep it up as long as i did. Even still, when you're busy at work, wrapped up in a project or deadline or on the phone, it's not always easy to stop what you're doing to gather all your supplies and pump.
Awhile ago i cut back to pumping twice during the day and then more recently started thinking about phasing it out all-together. I'd go back and forth though, skip pumping all-together when i had a busy day and then get back into my routine the next day, because i felt like i didn't have a good enough reason not to be pumping. I know that 10 months is a long time to keep breast-feeding, and i also know that supplementing with formula is fine, actually necessary in Henry's case. As we've been providing one bottle of formula for months now, rationally i feel like it's not a big deal to provide all three bottles of formula and keep up nursing night and day.
But i had to struggle through feeling like if i can do more for him i should and this is why i would go back to pumping the next day. It took a few weeks, but i think i've made peace with our new routine: nurse day and night and bottles of formula during the day. I haven't packed the pump away yet but i have sorted out all the accoutrement that goes along with pumped milk and am starting to think about storing it in the burgeoning "Henry's outgrown" closet.