So far so good. The munchkin still seems to be thriving since our switch to formula. She just seems so darn happy and content most of the time now. It really is amazing. Now if she would just start sleeping longer during the night... then we would have a really happy mamma too.
All of the forms have been filled out and sent off. Yesterday I had my blood drawn at the doctor's office and they mailed it off to the milk bank for me. So as long as everything checks out (and it should), then I will be shipping my milk to the bank by the end of the week or early next week. The sooner, the better. We ran out of room in the container I had for it in the deep freezer and now it is overflowing. I have bags of milk all over the place.
Weaning myself off of nursing has gone a little better then I thought. I waited till it was extremely uncomfortable and then I would pump 2 oz from each side. I went from 37 oz the first day of doing this, down to 4 oz yesterday. I only had to pump once! As of right now, I haven't pumped since 9pm yesterday and I feel totally fine. So now when it becomes very full again, I will just pump 1 oz. from each side. I don't see myself pumping anymore after the next few days. It is nice not having to pump at work anymore. I really hated pumping in the yucky bathroom.
I know I am doing what is best for the munchkin. She is happier and obviously feeling better. I know I tried my best and gave her 5 months of breastmilk, none of which was easy at any point. I know all of this, yet I am still so sad that we are no longer breastfeeding. I only have a very very small handful of friends that I can talk to that understand how I feel... I think only a mom who has breastfed can relate. To some, it seems silly to be so attached to something that was so challenging and difficult, especially with the option to switch to something that is so much easier and obviously makes her much happier. I am not sure why I am having such a hard time. Even as I type this, I can't help but tear up and feel the sadness wash over me.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, whether or not to breastfeed was never really a question. I knew I would and I was very excited about it. It seemed so natural and beautiful to me. I knew it was what was best for her and only I, her mother, could give her that gift. I anticipated having some difficulties, but I was sure I could work through anything. I started attending La Leche League meetings early on to arm myself with a support group and resources. From the beginning, we had many difficulties, from latching issues, to nipple confusion, to an extreme oversupply. Whenever we nursed I leaked milk everywhere. I had to lay down towels all around us to try to catch it, but it finally calmed down. I could barely leave the house with her for the first 2 months because of these issues. But we worked through all of it. And as soon as things really started to feel relaxed, like we had finally figured it all out, her reflux started to show up.
Nursing (or taking a bottle) during the day was always a struggle. But at night, when things were calm and relaxed, and she was more comfortable eating, she would often nurse without any trouble at all. I will treasure those memories forever. They were such sweet moments and I can't help but feel sadness and miss them already. In those moments, I felt such a bond and connection with her. Every night, I wished more then anything that she would feel better and that we could nurse like this all the time. I would scoop her up and bring her to her glider with me. She would nestle in and lay her little hand on top of my chest. She would gently pat me with her hand and close her eyes. Sometimes she would open them up just long enough to look up and smile at me. She would let out a sigh of contentment and her whole body would be relaxed and cozy as she would curl her little body around me.
I wanted to nurse her for atleast a year. I am realizing, more then ever with the birth of a child, that things rarely go as planned. We can plan and prepare and want things, but everything is up in the air. I do not feel any guilt, as I really believe I tried as hard as I could. And I could have attempted to do more, change my diet or try other medications, but it would inevitably prolong her pain as well. Getting her feeling better and eating well as soon as possible was my top priority always.
I think that once I am done pumping completely, and my breastmilk is shipped off to the milk bank and out of the house, I can better put this behind me and move on. I feel the loss of something that I know is now gone forever. Something that was very special and very dear to me. It helps to know it will nourish another little life out there. I just feel so emotional about it all and I am ready to leave that part behind and just enjoy my baby. She has moved on and is happier then ever... I just need to join her.