After almost 14 months of dragging my pump to work every day, today is the first day that I walked out the door without it. I thought this would make me do a happy dance, but it actually made me a little sad. I guess because it makes me afraid that this might start signaling the end of our breastfeeding relationship.
Back in December 2013 when I started back to the office after maternity leave I was counting the months until he would be one and I would quit pumping at work. Probably because pumping at work after Andrew sucked since I didn't have a private office and I had to go sit in an empty room two times a day. This time I moved to my own office and bought a hands free pumping bra, so pumping at work really wasn't that much of a hassle (besides dragging it back and forth every day and having to wash everything).
Pumping also wasn't as stressful this time around because I was always able to keep up with his demand. Yes, there were a couple times where my supply seemed to dip down and I was just able to pump enough for him, but not once did Elliot have to get any formula (something that made me stupidly proud).
So my plan was always to phase out pumping once he turned one and we transitioned him to whole milk. Unfortunately, as we discovered, he had a cow milk protein allergy so transitioning to milk has been a slow process. Lately we have giving him some cheese and trying out whole milk and he hasn't been getting hives so we're hoping that he is outgrowing the allergy. We still go back in March for another check at the allergy doctor, but I'm hopeful that will be the last time. Because of the allergy I had kept up my pumping schedule at work so he would still have breast milk while we tried to get him to drink the almond milk.
Over the last couple weeks Elliot has been taking less and less breast milk during the day at Andrea's. I haven't been pumping a ton at work (maybe 5 oz a day), but it's still been accumulating in the fridge and now there's probably at least 30 oz in there. I've been hesitant to give up pumping because I don't want my supply to completely dry up since he nurses first thing in the morning and still before bed.
This was an easier decision with Andrew since he self weaned the day he turned 14 months. That and I knew we planned to have another baby so that wouldn't the the end of nursing. I'm having a harder time now because this is it. Once Elliot is done then we are done.
I will say that it will be nice to have my body back completely to myself. And I look forward to getting back to wearing cute bras and clothes for work that aren't conducive to pumping. I'm not ready for Elliot to wean, but I am kind of ready to burn all of my nursing bras.
So yeah - today I am saying goodbye to my pump. We've had a good run and this little guy thanks it for all of it's hard work: