Well, I'm finally done pumping. What a wild ride that was. I gave breastfeeding my best shot (who knew it was so dang hard??) and after 4 personal lactation consultants and a trip to the ER, I decided to exclusively pump for as long as I could. Jude had problems with latching, overeating, and projectile vomiting (which is a disaster when your one and only food source has just been depleted). I don't remember one thing about having a newborn that went "right" or easy... well except for the naps. Jude's naps, I didn't take any. I just stared at the wall and wondered why I ever thought mothering would be easy or fun and tried to plot my way onto a bus going nowhere.
Anyway, I exclusively pumped between 3-6 times a day for 9 straight months, and still have not received my honorary trophy. I hated pumping. Every time I had a moment to myself... it was time to pump. But, there was nothing more satisfying than putting a bag of breastmilk in the fridge after a pump session. And when I had a small stash going, I had to take a picture. I have to remember how proud that made me, to have kept at it for so long. I tried to quit a few times and just couldn't bring myself to do it, which I always thought was strange. If I hate it so much, why can't I stop? Well, my brilliant husband reminded me why: it was something I knew I had truly succeeded at. The proof was in the milk. I fought for it, worked hard at it, and made it happen. It's hard to stop the only thing you're sure you are doing well. There isn't much about motherhood that you can say "worked", you just have to do your best and hope your little guy is flourishing. But pumping worked. And I'm happy that the decision to stop wasn't exactly mine, my body just stopped making milk. So it was an easy end to a not-so-easy 9 months. I finally have my body back...well, until the next tiny creature inhabits it (read: when I'm insane enough to start this crazy process all over again).