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I want to be a dry cow

By July 05, 2011 , , ,

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.

Well now that we are nearing RayRay's first birthday, it's time to start thinking about weaning and I think we're both ready. I've noticed her have less interest in nursing and I am DEFINITELY less interested in pumping. I am over the whole pumping experience or lack thereof for sure. But I will miss the peaceful little moments that RayRay and I share together just the two of us. It has been an incredible bonding experience (one that is hard to put into words), but it's time for us to learn to bond in other ways and to retire my trusty Medela pump for another day.

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  1. Love this! I am hoping to breastfeed for a year too :) And thanks for sharing the weight loss story too, that's just another motivator!

  2. I am certainly no "granola lady" but I breastfed my 3 kids for a year each. I nursed them in (empty) pig pens at the fair, in the bathroom at Target and everywhere in between. I had a lacation room at work to use but off-site meetings were intersting. I was often found on breaks pumping in the passenger seat with my Medela pump car adapter. Wishing you a gentle and easy weaning.

  3. You have done AWESOME! It's so hard to pump and work...trust me, I know!

    I quit pumping at a year and just nursed at bedtime/morning. Then, gradually, it went to just bedtime. And one night, I was gone late and Bart put adam to bed, and that was it!

  4. Good for you! Everyone has to do what fits best into one's life. Glad your choice worked out so well. I remember missing those one onn one times too, but you will love to see her go out and form new bonds. That whole independent thing is a tug at Mommy's heartstrings!

  5. I never breastfed, but just wanted to say Good for you for not giving up!!!

  6. LOVE IT! You go girl! I'm incredibly small-chested (ok, they're like non-existant) and I only made it 2 mos. w/ Preschooler. I got to 4 mos. w/ Toddler and I'm hoping to make it at least 6 mos. w/ this baby. If it were up to me, I'd BF at least 1 year (I think my mom did it even longer w/ us kids), but the girls just can't keep up that long, haha. And yea, Husband keeps telling me that he could always "hook me up" in the milking parlor to see if that helped. Ouch!

  7. I feel for you!
    I nursed (AND pumped!) each of my girls for a full year.
    I miss the part about being able to eat anything and the weight kept dropping!
    I didn't expect to make it that long with either child, but it just worked out... even if it meant pumping in the car (yes, I did it while driving to a meeting), in restrooms and borrowed spaces. Even had a maintenance guy walk in on me once in my office!
    You can feel good that you did the best you could, as much as you could, for your little guy.

  8. Somehow I missed this post awhile back but WAY TO GO. I was a pumping, nursing mom for two years with my two youngest. It's worth it and I loved it...the time with my babies. But the pumping is TOUGH and the weight loss is a bonus!