The Beginning of the End of my Breastfeeding Journey

Posted October 29, 2015 by Julie in Parenting / 14 Comments

As my baby nears his first birthday, I wanted to reflect on our breastfeeding journey since I know it is coming to a close.

breastfeedingjourney

My baby is about to turn one. ONE! My goal was to breastfeed for one year, and so I can say I have met this goal. However, I can’t say I met it successfully. I’ve struggled with low supply and nursing refusal since the beginning, and it looks like this is how the journey will also end.

I’m only pumping at work once a day now, and I’m only getting one ounce of breast milk. It is time to stop pumping, because it really has taken its toll on me and I’m not seeing much of a return on my investment here. A few months ago I dropped my afternoon pumping session since I was only getting an ounce, but at that time I was still getting three ounces in the morning and in my mid-day session. (Not that 3 ounces is a good output anyway, but I’ve never been able to increase my supply.) Now I’m only getting an ounce in my mid-day session, and I know that stopping that pumping session will diminish my morning output as well. But it is for the best, because it is time.

For the past few weeks or so it has been hit or miss whether Baby H will nurse in the evening after work. Since I pump in the morning while he’s still sleeping, and then have been pumping at work, the evening time is the only chance I get to nurse him. With his refusals and my dropping pumping at work, I know my milk supply will dry up quickly.

But this is bittersweet. I’m disappointed at my own body for failing me in this. I never expected breastfeeding to be so hard and my supply to be so low, but I am proud of myself that I kept going for the full year despite the issues we’ve had.

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I will miss holding my baby close with him latched on and the way his body melts into mine. I will miss the way his eyes roll up in the back of his head when he starts to nurse. I will miss him passing out in milk coma cuteness on top of me. I also am sad for the missed opportunities for more time. For more nursing sessions ending in happy milk coma baby instead of still hungry angry baby.

But I’m also feeling a bit relieved, too. I’m not going to miss the nursing strikes and having baby push me away. I’m not going to miss the pump – not even a little. I’m looking forward to having control over my body again, and maybe really being able to lose some more of this stubborn baby weight.

So for better or for worse, the beginning of the end of my breastfeeding journey is here.

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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
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14 responses to “The Beginning of the End of my Breastfeeding Journey

  1. Long story about my late arrival from #breastfeedingandI; I’m so very sorry. I thought better late than never though.

    Oh my, what a journey you’ve been on, probably most life changing changes you’ve experienced within such a short period of time. You’ve done so well to keep going for so long despite all the challenges you’ve had to overcome.

    Please don’t feel that your body failed you … YOU WON AGAINST THE ODDS! You perserved through so many reasons to stop, you kept going when some others would have stopped … seriously Julie, you’ve done such a great job. The road might not have been as you would have liked but you made wonderful memories through your grit nonetheless.

    May next time be better still 🙂

    Hope you’ll stay with #breastfeedingandI for as long as you can yet. I’ll be sharing about the pause and way forward shortly.

    • Thanks hon *HUG*
      I’m happy to add that we’re still going. I took the pressure off by stopping pumping at work, but we still do morning/evening if he wants to and it has been so much less stressful!

  2. Don’t feel sad, feel proud that you have carried on despite the issues when others would have given up. Funnily enough when I want back to work after my first was when I ended up giving up as my son no longer seemed to want it and it took me ages to decide and then he drank so much better with the bottle it was bitter sweet, but it was also a relief.

  3. It is sad when that journey comes to an end but you have done so well to make it to a year. There will still be lots of snuggles even without the breastfeeding and it is nice to have back that control over your body. Enjoy these last feeds – sometimes it helps to know that it is coming to an end so you can enjoy those moments.

  4. Well done getting to a year mama x

    I think pumping can be really difficult for some people, I successfully breastfed my baby so she must have been getting lots of milk but could only pump a few ounces when I tried. I was so lucky I didn’t have to go back to work and pump all the time
    I am sure your body wasn’t failing you, you did your best and thats what counts.
    #BreastfeedingandI

  5. I breastfed mine all to the one year mark too. It was time. As much as I loved the experience, I was glad it was done. So many other thngs for baby I was looking forward to, like eating more solids. I always told moms, enjoy it however long you can and don’t have regrets. Some is better than none.

  6. Wow, it’s crazy that he’s ready to turn ONE! You are amazing for sticking with breastfeeding for so long with those challenges. Breastfeeding can be HARD, no matter how “easy” or “natural” some will say it is. It isn’t that way for everyone. I couldn’t do it, and it was a traumatizing experience for me. Sounds silly, but it really was traumatic having PPD and having my son push me away, screaming every time I’d try to feed him – I felt rejected. I couldn’t get a half ounce from both sides with pumping and my supply kept dropping. Just… ugh. So, my dear, you are awesome for toughing it out through all of that. Well, you’re awesome anyway but you know what I mean. -hug-

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