So, here we are. Can you believe it’s already been a year? I can’t. Well, maybe when I’m attached to the breast pump I can. (J is 53 weeks old today, which means I’ve been pumping for 48 weeks.)
Breastfeeding was a really big deal for me as a mom. I wanted to make it work until his first birthday come hell or high water, and I actually did it. I have to say, breastfeeding as a working mom is so hard. There are a lot of challenges that stay-at-home moms just don’t have to face (unless they have to pump and bottle feed). I don’t want to discourage anyone from breastfeeding in any way, because it was an incredible experience, but it was tough at times.
I’m happy that I was able to nourish his body with the best thing I could offer him for his first year of life, and honestly, if I didn’t have to pump, I would want to keep doing it for longer. But as it is, working full-time, not even getting a lunch break, having to pump while I work, standing on my feet 14 hours a day? I’m ready to quit. My body is just so tired.
In an ideal world, I would nurse until he was about 2 as long as he wanted to continue. I would settle for continuing for the next 6-ish months at nap time and bedtime. If I can swing that without having to pump while I’m at work, I totally will. We are going to work hard at getting rid of the bottle, since it isn’t good for his teeth and I don’t want to keep pumping much longer. He was with his dad for 9 hours, and only had food and a cup with water/organic apple juice, so he can definitely do it. I just have to get the kid drinking some liquids! I read that toddlers between 1 and 3 should be consuming a liter of liquids a day, and he definitely isn’t since he’s started slacking on breastfeeding. His poop is getting hard, and I’m convinced it’s because he isn’t drinking enough liquids. He just isn’t interested in a cup. He will take a few sips and then he throws it across the room – water or juice. It’s so frustrating!! Maybe trying breastmilk in the cup will help? We just hesitate to do that, because he wastes most of whatever we give him in the cup, and I don’t have extra breastmilk to spare.
To sum it up, breastfeeding = good, pumping = pain in the butt. The US needs to get on board with the rest of the civilized world and give longer maternity leave benefits. Actually, so does the company I work for… Anyway, we have definitely had an awesome, if sometimes challenging, successful first year of nursing!