|Baby led weaning at its finest|
I was all ready to enact a draw down plan with the pumping but my bout of mastitis in March kind of did that for me. Even though I took all the recommended steps to maintain supply, my boobs were all, "Meh" and have been seriously under performing as of late. I'm looking at you, Righty. I even went back on the fenugreek pills in all of their mapley glory. That has helped some but only enough to prevent the use of formula most of the time. Every time I come home from work to find that she had to have formula that day I feel guilty so I go in to work the next day and keep on plugging away three times a day and end up making myself feel even worse when the milk just isn't there like it used to be.
I could try pumping more at home to get the volume back up but Bruce's spring hockey has begun in full force so I find myself doing a lot of solo parenting lately. While Calder and Wren are both fairly well behaved and able to entertain themselves for period of time, my kids are not so good as to be left to their own devices for any stretch of time several times a day. After all, it's quite difficult to prevent a certain someone from flinging herself headlong off the couch if I am currently across the room being tethered to the wall by my boobs.
I have also begin to feel like the constant coming and going to pump is beginning to affect my professional life. The lengths of time it is taking to get any significant amounts are increasing and I feel like I am abandoning my work at ever longer intervals. Rightly or wrongly, I realize that this leaves people an opening to judge me. While my company is very accommodating to mothers, and parents in general, there is still a wide gap between policy and perception. In an ideal world, a person walking by my desk and seeing an empty chair would think, "How wonderful that she takes the time to do what's best for her child." But I don't work in such a feminist utopia, I work in the real world and when someone stops by my desk to go over something an I am once again absent, they are more likely to think, "She's not at her desk AGAIN. Suuuuper." My job is not my whole life but it is essential to it and to the continued happiness of my family. I have to make the decision which is the most important to me: I know that breast is best but health insurance is pretty awesome too.
Hence, this Monday is the official beginning of my Take Back the Ta-tas plan. Unofficially it started a few weeks ago when Wren decided she didn't need to eat when I got home from work but today I am starting for realsies. First, drop a pumping session per day. Once she hits a year old, drop another. After that it's once a day until I run out of my current stock milk storage bags. It's kind of arbitrary but I am comforted by having a definitive but flexible timeline and I'd hate to waste money by throwing the unused bags away.
The thing is, Wren is such a good eater (she is seriously kicking baby led weaning's ass) that she doesn't rely on me for a great deal of her nutrition any more. Lately Wren seems to do more comfort nursing rather than doing it to feed. I mean, why would you want to lay still and eat when you could take it with you in a bottle and continue on your merry way of pulling cat tails and stealing your brother's toys? As to finally weening her, I will deal with it when the time comes but what I realized is that right now, I'm the one who needs to be weened from the feeling that "if I don't pump X oz a day, my baby will starve". Be cause she won't. She's a hoss. And I am staring to feel better already.