Saturday, January 8, 2011

The ridiculous

Thank you so much for your supportive comments about stopping breast-feeding and moving to formula. It's so nice to have your voices cheering me on in whatever direction I go.

There's a small part of me that is still holding on to the ideas that: 1. reducing my supply might take a load off of my ducts; 2. nursing again might drain my girls more completely. Maybe a combination reducing my supply to a lower level and nursing might do the trick to allow me to just supplement without returning to the hospital every other week.

Then there's the other part of me that says to commit to weaning. After all, there are definitely benefits to switching as hopefully I won't be sicker than a dog anymore, and I might be able to spend the day in Anchorage without worrying about the time ticking away on my boob-clock while we're shopping. It will also make our trip to the lower 48 so much easier as I won't have to worry about pumping on the plane and holding E when I'm by myself. Can you imagine that conversation with my seat-mates?

Regardless of the pros and cons, I have gone ahead and started trying to reduce my supply. And just like my red and white polka dot pumping bra with the pump phalanges sticking out evokes the ridiculous, so does this endeavor.

After all, who thought of putting cabbage leaves on their girls?

Who started eating a whole tin of Peppermint Altoids, the 'curiously strong mints' in hopes of drying the milk fountain?

Seriously, people who come up with this are wacky cool. Well, they're cool if it actually works.

So here I sit on my couch, popping Altoids like candy with green cabbage leaves tucked into my bra. Come and get it honey!



  1. I am so sorry you have been faced with this decision :( But you definitely have put yourself through a LOT, and any breastfeeding is better than none, remember that. You need to be healthy for your kiddo, number 1. HUGS. Enjoy the cabbage.

  2. Always disappointing to give up on "the plan," whatever the plan is that you've created for yourself. But you did it when you decided your very successful, alternate route for having this precious (and adorable) baby. And now that you've made a new plan for feeding this little miracle, try to relax and enjoy your little boy! He will be FINE; it's you that is disappointed. (Which I totally get.) Hope your new plan goes well!

  3. Girl, you now have the freshest breath and the most organic teats in all the land. Heh.

    Sorry you are having to do this when it wasn't your choice, but think about all the time you'll have to hang with E that won't be spend instead on pumping, doctor visits, etc. It will seem much better after you settle into the new routine, I bet.

  4. I went through something very similar ... exclusive pumping for several months before finally switching to formula. I just wanted to say a couple things:

    1. I know what you mean about wanting to HAVE to give it up, instead of choosing. I wanted that too. In some ways, I think my husband sort of forced me to do it so I could blame him instead of myself. I was so sad about it. I chose to give up because pumping was taking too much time away from my kids, and destroying any free time I had. It was so so so hard.

    2. I STILL somewhat regret giving up pumping and not trying to get the babies to nurse again. But then I remember how hard it was, how I'd have to leave them with a babysitter or my mom or my husband multiple times a day to pump, and how much they would scream when I'd try to get them to nurse. I need to remember that to remind myself that I made the right decision.

    3. In some ways, I'm happy I gave up pumping, because it would have just gotten harder. As you know, it's awkward to bring a pump around with you and find privacy as often as you need to, and it just gets harder as the baby gets older. I've been able to do a lot more now that I'm not pumping anymore, and it DID make a difference in my life.

    I don't know if this will help, but I can say that I understand what you're going through, and I'm really sorry. These parts of motherhood are much harder than I expected.

  5. One more thing - I took three weeks to wean, and I'm happy I didn't go cold turkey. I'm also sad I didn't just try to keep things going at a low level for a while to see if I could make it work part-time.

  6. Very strange images of you in my head now!!!! I hope it goes more smoothly than the breast feeding and pumping attempts have! You dodn't need that sort of pain and illness.