As National Breastfeeding Awareness Month draws to a close, so does my love-hate relationship with my pump. That’s right, after seven looooong months of pumping 2-3 times a day after returning to work, I’ve decided to say adios to my Hygeia Enjoye and not look back. As with most things involving your baby, there’s always a little bit of mommy guilt involved. Totally illogical thoughts on how giving just a couple bottles of formula a few days a week will be bad for the baby (newsflash: it’s ok!) and how I’m letting baby down by not continuing to hook myself to a machine multiple times a day and feeling super disappointed that the end result wasn’t quite enough (another newsflash: Baby could care less!).
But once those feelings of guilt passed, all I was left with was a sense of relief. No more tedious washing of So. Many. pump parts and bottles every night! No more sitting in a closet half-dressed being paranoid someone was going to walk in on me despite the door being locked (except for that one time, but I drigess…)! And no more staring at the bottles and willing another ounce to come out! I’m free! As any working mom knows, pumping is definitely a labor of love, and no matter how long that labor lasted, you should feel proud and amazed at the work that you did. I know I do.
And let’s be honest – giving up pumping isn’t the same as the end of breastfeeding. There’s no sense of nostalgia and aw, I’m really going to miss this here. Quite the contrary; it’s time to celebrate! It’s been a long hard road, and while I’m grateful that I made it this far, I’m definitely not looking back!
How did you feel the day you stopped pumping? Relief? Sadness? Joy?