I want to be a dry cow
I never thought I would be THAT mom.
You know the mom that is breastfeeding her child in public all the time, whipping out her goods with little regard for indecent exposure and nursing her child until they are walking and well beyond.
I remember being almost traumatized when I saw a woman breastfeeding her child at Disney World once when Big D and I were first married. I never thought that could or would EVER be me. Well they say everything changes when you have a child and I can say with utmost certainity - that they are RIGHT!
So when it came down to making the choice ... breastfeeding or formula, I decided early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to breastfeed for 12 months. That is the decision I made and I wanted to stick to it, no matter who judged me, glared at me or questioned me (except RayRay's doc of course).
From all the books that I read pre-baby and friends that I'd spoke to telling me that the the "breast is best" and "to nurse your baby exclusively for the first six months," I was confident in the choice that I made. There are countless advantages to breastfeeding including the cost savings, the health benefits for both mother and baby, conveniance (sometimes), and weight loss for mothers. Let me just say, that this is probably one of the reasons that I have become such an advocate for breastfeeding. (Although, I am completely respectful of any mother who feeds formula just as much - it's a personal choice and I would never push my views on anyone unless they asked for my opinion)
My weight loss story
When I was pregnant with RayRay, I weighed just shy of 200 pounds at 5'7". Right after RayRay was born, I think I weighed around 165-170. After 11 months of breastfeeding, I am nearly down to my high school weight at 139 lbs. I know it's incredible (also for the fact that I'm broadcasting my weight across the web) - for the pure weight loss standpoint, I wish I could breastfeed forever.
At first, I must admit, though, I was pretty shy and uncomfortable with the whole idea (especially in public), but as time went on I realized what a bonding experience it was for both of us. And I have never done anything that has been so relaxing and calming - (likely due to the release of oxytocin and prolactin that relaxes the mother).
It hasn't all been great though, there's the challange of pumping at work. That has probably been the most difficult aspect of being a breastfeeding workin momma. Since I work full-time, I have to "pump" twice daily at work (or more) to keep RayRay off of formula. It has been a tremendous challenge, because somedays I just don't want to or don't have the time. Or how about the days I'm off at a meeting, conference or tour of some sort. It becomes a totally inconveniance and a HUGE hassle.
This is where I probably spilt off on another direction from the breastfeeding diehards.
You see I've been breastfeeding since July 31, 2010 - almost a year. And I went back to work on Sept. 28, so let's see here - pumping twice a day, 4 days a week (on an average of 4 weeks since October 2010) that is 32 pumping sessions a month (times 9 months) that is 288 times that I've pumped (or about 1,728 ounces or 108 lbs if my math is right).
I hate to use the words - milk cow - but when you throw those numbers around it sorta sorts like the lactation record of a dairy cow. If I only had butterfat and protein content - my records would be complete.