FYI, I’m going to be talking about my experience with weaning Evelyn so if anyone doesn’t want to read about nursing, engorgement, boobs, and lots of baby poop they may want to skip to the next post. I’m sure it’s about something cute the girls are doing.
As the title suggests (bonus points if you can identify the cult comedy I’m parodying), this post is about my decision to quit pumping milk at work during what turned out to be an inopportune time.
Just as I did with Rose, I had a goal to breastfeed Evelyn for a year. This included 3 pumping sessions per day after I went back to work. Luckily for me, I was blessed with easy nursing babies and produced the amount of milk needed to do so with no problem. As I look back on the two, year long nursing/pumping periods I can only thank my fabulous genetics (my mom had the same supply blessing) for letting me provide my daughters with a easy and really cheap food source. I have nothing against choosing to use formula but that stuff’s expensive! I did have to cut out all citrus, caffeine, and alcohol as I discovered (the hard way) that all of those would give both the girls upset tummys. A small price to pay but man, I’m looking forward to a tall glass of fresh lemonade. Our lemon tree has been mocking me all year.
I have an extra incentive to stop this time as well. I’m going to Ireland in the middle of August with a friend and need to be totally dried up so I don’t have any clogged duct/engorgement issues when I’m there. That would be awkward. Evelyn is such a gentle snugly nurser, I think I might have kept doing at least the evening snuggle/nursing session for a while otherwise. Once I’m done with that I’m done for forever. Forever! Sniff sniff. <— by this I mean I’m a little sad but noooo second guessing on having a third.
As Evelyn’s birthday approached, I started to reduce the number of times that I pumped at work. Three weeks before, I reduced from 3 pumping sessions per day to 2. Two weeks before, I reduced from 2 to 1. The last week, as you can imagine, I went to 1. On a side note, while I am going to miss the evening and morning nursing sessions, I was waiting with baited breath to stop pumping. Totally worth it but man, work is crazy and taking 20 minutes out of my day 3 times a day was really getting difficult. Besides not being sure when I would have a chance to check Twitter anymore at work, I was very happy to pack those pump supplies up and take them home that Friday. By reducing slowly like I did, I only had minor discomfort and no engorgement/clogged duct issues. Yay!
So then…. three days before my last pumping day Evelyn woke with a little fever. She didn’t seem to be too bad although we noticed that she pooped a few more times then normal. By Friday she still had a fever and the increased pooping had turned into diarrhea along with a decreased appetite. As the fever was a little high even with Advil, and the poop kept coming we took her into the doc. On the way, she threw up. Lovely. The doc said it was most likely Hand Foot and Mouth as her throat was a raw and the strain this year included a tummy issue. Fun times.
Because of her sore throat and tummy ichyness, the only thing she would put in her tummy was milk. And only straight from the source. And only for 5 minutes at a time. And often. Anyone who has nursed before knows where this is going. I went from my boobs being adjusted to being totally drained only 3 times a day to a small overly warm creature simply sipping for 5 minutes every hour for 2 days straight. Then I went back to work on Monday where I no longer had a pump. Whomp.
To say I looked like I had taken my lunch hour to get a boob job by the end of the day would be an accurate description. And then Monday night Evelyn would wake to nurse a little every hour or so all night. Then repeat the next day. And the next. And the next. By the middle of the week her poops were looking/smelling like newborn due to a diet of only breast milk for so long. Finally on Friday she woke with no fever, started having regularish looking poops and took up eating everything in sight. By then my body was so confused it didn’t know what to do. No pumping/nursing all day then tons of milk production at night. My hormones were off the charts let alone a clogged duct or two.
Now another week later, thank goodness things are back to normal both with Evelyn’s illness (which turned out to be a virus and not HFM) and my boobs. I can go all day or night without getting really uncomfortable but still produce enough milk for Evelyn on the morning and evening nursing sessions.
Soon I will drop those sessions too. That will be a little sad. I love the baby snuggles and the look of a milk drunk baby breathing gently in my arms. But the next chapter and Ireland awaits. 🙂