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Monday, November 19, 2012

"What I Will Miss About Nursing"

Stephanie sent me this article tonight, and I am so glad she did.  It made me laugh and it made me cry, and it put into words a lot of what I've been feeling. 

I have said before and will say again that in my opinion, nursing is like a full-time job in itself.  It was challenging for Lilly and me at first, and we were very fortunate to get the hang of it three months in (Better late than never, I say.  To this day, every time we see L's pediatrician, Dr. V shakes her head and tells me she has literally never seen anything like it.  L just wanted to do it in her own time, I guess!).  Once Lilly picked it up, we never looked back.  I don't think it's something that I know how to put into words, and I think it's hard to explain to those, like my husband, who are not nursing mothers, but I have absolutely loved every second.  There's something so special about the bond that it creates between mother and child.  Selfishly, I also have loved the fact that it is something only I can give to Lilly.

Going back to work and keeping it up was maybe an even harder challenge than getting the hang of nursing to begin with.  It truly made me understand why a lot of Moms stop, or never nurse at all.  It is a lot, and I mean  LOT of work.  Making time to pump, scheduling around pumping, even just those few minutes it takes to get dressed and undressed add up.  Add to that the stress of trying to juggle it all, which has a direct effect on supply, worrying about aforementioned supply which probably doesn't help matters, and worrying about what you're eating/drinking and whether it will affect the baby among other things and it can downright seem like a chore. 

Lately, there have been a lot of days when I have thought, "I can't wait until Lilly's first birthday so this will be over."  Those have mostly been the days when I'm not with her, either due to being at work or out of town.  The past two weekends, we've had weddings out of town. I've had to pump on planes, in bathrooms, and annoy everyone I've been with by scheduling my activities around pumping or missing aforementioned activities all together so that I could pump.  And that's just the pumping itself.  The logistics of transporting it are a whole different nightmare (I realize that I could avoid this by not bringing any home, but after all of the work that goes into getting it in the first place, I can't bring myself to dump it out for no good reason!).  To say I have been "over it" would be an understatement.  Side note: major shout out to my husband for being supportive, because I'm quite sure there have been more than a few times over the course of the months that he's been "over it" and ready for me to quit as well.  Like on all of the planes I've had to pump on recently.  Or when we went to California and almost missed our flight home because we got a male TSA agent who wanted to test every. single. bag. of milk.  Or like two weekends ago when we went to Vegas and I forgot my pump charger so we had to figure out how to charge the pump.  Or like last weekend when we almost missed our flight again because I realized as we were walking out the door to go to the airport that I'd forgotten my pump at work (oops). 

But there have also been days like today, when I got to see my baby girl for the first time since I put her to bed Thursday night, and she is coming down with a cold and isn't feeling well and only wants her Mommy.  As I was putting Lilly to bed tonight, nursing her and rocking her and singing to her, I thought to myself how much I will miss this time with her, just Lilly and Mommy, when we no longer have it.

I am starting to realize that I have an almost 10-month-old, who in two short months will turn one.  One year is when Lilly can start having whole milk, and while I know I don't have to stop nursing right at one, I think for both of us, it will be time.  And while there are plenty of things I won't miss about it, there are also plenty more things that I will miss.  Regardless of whether we make it to a year, I am so proud of both of us for making it this long, because there was a time not too long ago that I remember thinking, "if we even make it a month with this, I will be shocked."  I think the article above perfectly sums up what I'm feeling, especially #10:
"Most of all, I will miss the baby I am nursing. In no time at all, she'll be...leaving me behind. I'll get to wear my proper bra and drink a beer guilt-free, and my breasts will dry up and once again look like tube socks half-filled with uncooked rice. But I will never have my baby back again. And that will be all right and as it should be, but that does not mean I won't miss her."

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