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Breastfeeding was hard, but that's OK

Isaac turns 7 months old tomorrow, and this morning he drank his last breast milk bottle. I shared early on my struggles with nursing. (here and here) I just went back and read those posts, and I have to say, I’m so proud of where we ended up. No, we never did get the hang...

photoIsaac turns 7 months old tomorrow, and this morning he drank his last breast milk bottle. I shared early on my struggles with nursing. (here and here) I just went back and read those posts, and I have to say, I’m so proud of where we ended up. No, we never did get the hang of nursing, but my boy had at least some breast milk for 7 full months! I never thought I’d make it that far. I mean, let’s face it, pumping is no fun.
My supply peaked sometime in February, and then gradually tapered off until recently I started stepping down my pumping sessions to taper it to a close. We never got to exclusive breast milk, but for quite some time we were averaging over 50 percent breast milk a day. I consider that a success.
I might have quit sooner, but I had a hard time deciding when enough was enough. I had to take a long hard look at why I was feeling remorseful thinking of quitting. It came down to this irrational belief that if I quit pumping, that I was giving up on nursing. In reality, I gave up on nursing 6 weeks in, and it was the best decision I could have made for myself, and my son. Nursing was not a happy experience for us. It was extremely painful for me, and frustrating for both of us. Many times, we would both end up in tears. It wasn’t until I started focusing on how I succeeded that I was okay with being done.
I’ve wondered how I would do things differently next time around. (And yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about next time … but that’s a topic for a different post.) I have to wonder if I could stick to pumping for this long again. The good news is, I know it’s quite possible that with my next baby, I could be a nursing rock star. I have friends who had very similar experiences with their first, and have had much success with nursing their second. No matter what happens, I’ll just do my best, and that’s always good enough.
Now, excuse me while I go pack up all the pumping supplies. (Hooray!)

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