This is Day 5 without pumping and Day 4 without the pump in close proximity. Went out of town, left it behind. It was a snap decision on my part. There it was - The Pump - sitting on the bedroom floor as I packed a suitcase for NG and me. I could have bent down, picked it up and placed it carefully between our clothes, but I didn't.
The last few days have been surprisingly torment-free over this decision. The boobs aren't really aching except for an occasional tweak. My heart is not aching as much now as it was immediately before this decision. NG is happy and healthy, eating dirt, tasting rocks, pulling up grass. Other than stinkier, harder poops, I'm not noticing any major difference right now between NG with and without breastmilk.
I am different. I am calmer, more patient with her, more attentive and appreciative. I'm feeling less pressured and no longer put off by yet another plastic pump flange to the boobs session. No more suction, no more watching the dribble barely fill the bottom of the bottle. The time I spent pumping is now spent hugging and kissing NG and making her laugh. Time well spent then. Time well spent now.
So this is the lesson I'm taking away from this experience: Sometimes we work ourselves up over a decision - agonize over it, pick it apart, create unnecessary layers of complexity and stomp on our hearts - only to find that once the decision is made, it really was no big deal at all. Sure, there are ramifications either way. But 5 days pump-free, and I can honestly say I'm happier and even a better mother emotionally because of the decision to hang up the pump.
I can't say my experience will be the same for others, however, I hope by sharing this, other women will feel better about their decision, regardless of the way they go. We all do our best, and our best at one time may differ from our best at another time. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the more we beat ourselves up, the less positive energy we have to give to the ones we love.
Oh yeah, I have to remind myself of this. Consider myself reminded.