A sweet reader asked me how breastfeeding and pumping were going and I've been wanting to share an update. When I received the comment I was surprised that I haven't written about breastfeeding Cedric and actually I'm already nearing the end! Breastfeeding (and until recently, pumping) has been such a routine part of my life for a year now I think I've forgotten to write about the experience, something like missing the forest for the trees perhaps?
Overall everything has gone really well and before the Christmas holidays I hit a big milestone: I'm done pumping!!! I have really been looking forward to being done with pumping, even more so than I was with Dashiell. I even had alerts set on my work calendar counting down the months ("Just four months to go!"). The week before my holiday vacation from work began I suddenly realized I had made it to my goal of pumping through December. Hooray! To note, although I continued to pump we supplemented Cedric's bottles with formula since he was about four months old, which we did not need to do with Dash. Also, conveniently, Cedric weaned himself from a bottle just as I was finishing pumping. He was even turning away from bottles of full breastmilk.
And then just this past week I've ended nursing Cedric to sleep and during the night in hopes of encouraging him to sleep through the night. Instead, Chris puts him to bed and goes to comfort him at night, although he's slept through the night for two weeks straight so we think it's a new normal!
I do still nurse Cedric in the evening before bed, just not to sleep, and once or twice a day on the weekends. I've noticed Cedric wants to nurse when he's upset and needs comforting or is tired. He eats well and often a lot so I think it's not much about nutrition any more. Nursing is going great and for the most part I'm still enjoying it. I love holding Cedric's heavy, soft body against mine and watching him settle down. He loves to run his little hand up and down my arm as he nurses and squeeze my arm periodically. He runs his fingers through my hair. I want to always remember this. Cedric is so wiggly and on the move at all others times (seemingly unlike Dash, who loved to sit perched on my hip) and I love to just hold him against me. I say I'm enjoying breastfeeding for the most part because there are the considerations of always needing to wear clothing that allows me to nurse easily and dealing with leaky breasts.
Now that I'm done pumping my plan is to continue to nurse Cedric here and there when we're together if he seems interested. I don't have a particular goal in mind other than the goal I achieved of breastfeeding/pumping until Cedric is a year old and I'm thrilled, proud and humbled to have made it. I'm humbled that my body has been able to produce and sustain breastmilk production. I'm also proud of myself for all the work and dedication that went into pumping at work.
We feel that our family is complete with our two boys and so the end of nursing sometime in 2016 will represent the end of a big chapter in my life - I have been continuously pregnant and/or breastfeeding since I became pregnant with Dashiell in July of 2012! Honestly I can hardly believe it although I know I lived it.
I have so much to be thankful for all that has come from these years. I also recognize that my body has been through and given a lot. So when I'm officially done nursing I'm looking forward to planning a solo trip for myself for at least a couple of nights to commemorate this chapter in my life (one of my 2016 goals). I haven't decided where I'll go or what I'll do yet but the vision of that trip certainly helped when I was setting up my pump for the second time in the middle of a busy work day and would make pumping nearly enjoyable.