Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's the end of the road

I just took the last 6 ounces of frozen breast milk out of the freezer. I am down to pumping only about 12 ounces a day, and it's dropping daily. It's the end of the road.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.

On one hand, I am happy and relieved. I have no problems with formula (other than the smell...gross!). Mini Me was exclusively formula fed and is perfectly happy and healthy. Much healthier, in fact, than many breastfed babies I know. I will no longer have to worry about my supply, timing/limiting drinks so that I don't have to pump & dump, stressing over scheduling in time to pump, entertaining 2 children while I pump, etc. It's very freeing to be (almost) done. Besides, Sweet Pea is starting solids and we've made it through most of cold/flu season without any illnesses. And, since that was my main objective, I feel like I've achieved my goal (even though we haven't made it to the 6 month mark that I pre-determined.)

On the other hand, I'm heartbroken. All that guilt I've written about before? Yeah, it was nothing compared to what I feel at this moment. I can make enough milk to sustain my child, yet I've decided not to. I have worked so hard the past 5 months to feed her. And, I'm very proud of what I've done. And, I feel very blessed to have been able to. Part of my guilt comes from the fact that there are many women who would love to breastfeed, including some very dear friends, who are unable to for various reasons.

So, as I stood in the store yesterday, near tears as I picked up a canister of formula, I reminded myself that it may be the end of this road, but there are still millions of miles ahead of us.

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